Unleashing the Glamour: The Best Art Deco Decor for Your Home
Are you ready to immerse yourself in the glamorous and opulent world of Art Deco interior design? Get ready to step into an era of bold patterns, rich colors, and luxurious materials. In this article, we will explore the defining elements of Art Deco decor and how it can transform any space into a stylish haven. Discover the best Art Deco decor ideas that will transport you back in time while adding a touch of timeless elegance to your modern living spaces. Get ready to be inspired!
What is Art Deco interior design?
The photo shows a starburst-inspired design on the floor of a home designed by Jessica Lagrange Interiors.
Photo: Douglas Friedman. According to Wesley Moon, an interior designer and founder of Wesley Moon Design and Decoration, there are two ways to think about Art Deco design: the historical roots and the modern renditions. To appreciate the modern interpretation of Art Deco, it is important to understand its history.
History of Art Deco interior design
Historically, Art Deco, a term derived from "arts décoratifs," originated in France in the early 1900s. However, it became most prominent in America in the '20s and '30s. It was the style of choice for art, interiors, architecture, and product design during the period between the two World Wars. The name "Art Deco" was established in 1925 during the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris, which showcased the style. Art Deco designs of that time were known for their streamlined aesthetic, characterized by simple lines and geometric shapes, and they were made using innovative, high-quality materials.
The photo showcases the use of jewel tones in Moon's home, with a gilded table and velvet stools.
Photo: Pernille Loof Popular figures from the Art Deco era include artists like René Lalique and Jean Dunand, furniture and product designers like Jacques Ruhlmann and Maurice Dufrène, interior designers like Jean-Michel Frank and Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, and architects such as William Van Alen and the firm Shreve, Lamb & Harmon. Art Deco drew influences from Art Nouveau, the Bauhaus school, and Cubism, predating the midcentury-modern aesthetics. Many iconic Art Deco buildings, like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, can be found in New York City, while cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Detroit, Michigan, also boast impressive collections of Art Deco structures.
What is the difference between Art Deco and Art Nouveau?
While Art Deco and Art Nouveau were both popular styles and share some similarities, there are distinct differences between them. Art Nouveau focused on organic, flowing lines, often inspired by natural elements like vines and flower stems. It was most prevalent in the decorative arts. On the other hand, Art Deco employed straight lines, geometric shapes, and streamlined forms.
Is Art Deco in style?
The photo depicts checkered floors in an entryway designed by Jessica Lagrange Studio, showcasing a modern use of Art Deco elements.
Photo: Douglas Friedman While Art Deco is not as popular as it used to be, that does not diminish its merit or beauty. Architecture and design historians generally consider the start of World War II as the end of the Art Deco period, though its decline had begun earlier. Designers from the Bauhaus school, which closed in 1933 under Hitler's rule, migrated to other parts of the world, including the United States, bringing new ideas of simple, functional design. After the war, aesthetic values shifted towards utilitarianism and unornamented designs, giving rise to international and midcentury-modern styles popularized by visionaries like Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. As a result, the original principles of Art Deco, such as the use of rich materials and ornate ornamentation, became less affordable and desirable.
Modern interpretations of Art Deco
However, like most interior design trends, Art Deco has made a comeback in a modern form. Nowadays, true-to-era replicas of Art Deco interiors are not as common. Instead, many modern designers choose to capture the spirit of Art Deco, incorporating its elements and embodying the movement's principles. Wesley Moon, for example, describes his own apartment as having Art Deco qualities, such as exuberance, opulence, and unique, specially crafted elements.
Defining elements and characteristics of Art Deco interior design
To create a modern Art Deco look, it is important to understand its classic elements and reimagine them in a contemporary way.
What are the key design elements of Art Deco?
The photo shows a living room that incorporates elements of Art Deco, particularly the opulent and bold aesthetic.
Photo: Pernille Loof; Styling: Mieke ten Have While this is not an exhaustive list, the following elements are commonly used in Art Deco interiors:
- Streamlined, symmetrical forms
- Geometric designs as ornamentation, often featuring shapes such as trapezoids, triangles, zigzags, chevrons, and sunbursts
- Rich material and textile palettes, including lacquered surfaces, brass, stainless steel, gilt, and high-end upholstery fabrics
- Ornamental light fixtures like chandeliers and sconces
What are the main colors of Art Deco?
The photo showcases the use of jewel tones like emerald, gold, and sapphire in a sitting area designed by Jessica Lagrange Interiors.
Photo: William Waldron "Traditional Art Deco in the '20s often used rich, jewel tone color palettes," according to Durand. These were often complemented by more neutral shades like beiges, creams, or slightly muted yellows. Modern interpretations of Art Deco can be more minimalistic but still feature bold colors.
How did the Art Deco trend start?
Trends have been with us for a long time. Sometimes a single event can unleash a trend. The 1925 Paris world's fair, Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, is credited with launching the Art Deco style.
Art Deco interior design incorporates slick and reflective materials that exude everyday glamour in the home. Metallics, such as gold, silver, stainless steel, and chrome, are prominent in this style and can be used throughout the space. For example, a modern art deco living room may feature a glass-topped gold coffee table, chrome lamps, and a bold geometric-patterned rug in black, gold, and white. Glass is also frequently used in Art Deco design, whether through mirrors, glass-topped tables, sculptural elements, or decorative objects like vases or lamps. Glass adds to the elegant feel of an Art Deco room.
When considering Art Deco, one might not initially think of wood as a frequently used material. However, rare and dark woods like ebony were often used for furniture and flooring in Art Deco interiors. Inlaid wood furniture celebrated traditional Art Deco patterns that signaled its distinctive style. Additionally, materials like marble were prevalent in Art Deco spaces, emphasizing their grand and luxurious aesthetic.
Art Deco is known for its decadent color palettes. Jewel tones like sapphire, ruby, and emerald are prominent in this style, often complemented by glimmering accents of silver and gold. To add depth and drama, black is consistently used in Art Deco interiors. While deep hues shine in this artistic movement, light colors can also be incorporated. Soft pastels are often used to create contrast and highlight specific elements within the space.
Geometric Shapes and Repeating Lines
Art Deco relies on bold shapes and repeating lines to create dynamic arrangements. From stick-straight lines to curved arches, repeating lines are used to generate emphasis. Common Art Deco patterns feature triangle shapes, chevron lines, sunbursts, and Greek key designs. For example, kitchens often showcase hexagon-patterned or staggered tiles on the floor, creating a distinctive Art Deco feature.
Incorporate geometric patterns.
Repetitive geometric shapes, including zigzag patterns and triangular forms, were prevalent in many Art Deco designs. You can incorporate these motifs into your decor with patterned wallpaper or upholstery fabric. For an instant impact, lay down a statement rug to add Art Deco flair to an otherwise neutral space.
Decorate with shapely accents.
Trapezoidal shapes and curved forms are key elements in Art Deco design. Incorporate these motifs through eye-catching accent furniture or decorative items such as mirrors and vases. By incorporating just one or two of these pieces, you can hint at Art Deco within a more modern or eclectic space, avoiding an overly themed look.
Showcase fluted details.
Fluted detailing, characterized by grooved or scalloped looks, is a hallmark of Art Deco design. This detail can be seen on furniture and paneling, adding a touch of elegance and linear forms. You can incorporate fluted elements in your home, such as on cabinetry in the kitchen or bathroom, to bring a sense of opulence and dimension.
Wallpaper and bold tile arrangements with striking patterns play a vital role in creating moody Art Deco atmospheres. Geometric shapes are repeated to form unique patterns on floors and walls. Feature tiles with hexagon patterns or staggered designs can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, or foyers to enhance the Art Deco aesthetic. Floral or velvet embossed wallpapers can also be used to create an accent wall, adding that distinct Art Deco touch.
Bring in bold artwork and sculptures.
Art Deco celebrates grandeur and drama, and incorporating art is one of the best ways to achieve this. Place prominent artwork in high-contrast hues or display sculptural accents that embody the sleek look of Art Deco. Not only do these elements catch the eye, but they also serve as great conversation starters.
Art Deco style embraces shine and shimmer. Gold, brass, and chrome accents are used throughout furnishings, fixtures, and finishes. The repeated use of these metallics creates cohesion in any space. Light fixtures, seating, small accents, flooring, and wall coverings can all feature a touch of shimmer. Polished fixtures add a timeless look to any room, while mirrored accents help reflect these shiny surfaces.
Art Deco lighting exudes luxury and grandeur. From dazzling chandeliers to retro sconces, unique light fixtures play a significant role in this style. Statement fixtures can be either elaborate and lavish or elegantly crafted with simple lines and shapes. They often showcase polished metallic finishes. Table lamps with oversized shades and unique shapes are also a common feature in Art Deco interiors.
Invest In Timeless Features
If you're open to renovating your space, incorporating built-ins inspired by the 1920s can elevate your redesign. Dramatic crown molding and built-in shelving can transport your home to the Art Deco era.
Create a Contrast with Contemporary Art
Achieve a cohesive look by incorporating more contemporary pieces alongside traditional Art Deco decor. This contrast adds visual interest and complements the Art Deco elements in your space.
When decorating an Art Deco room, consider composition and aim for symmetry. From the shape of the headboard to the arrangement of nightstand decor, maintaining perfect symmetry is key. This symmetrical arrangement adds to the overall Art Deco design.
Revisit Time-Worn Designs
Reclaimed wood can add a touch of history and character to your Art Deco-inspired space. Though often associated with rustic designs, salvaged wood can be used in a sophisticated manner. For example, incorporating geometric door fronts made from old timber shelving adds interest and impact to your space.
Go The More-Is-More Route
In Art Deco decor, embracing abundance is part of the aesthetic. While one brass pendant light is stunning, incorporating multiple lights can create an even more dazzling effect. Pair these lights with granite floors and concrete walls for a truly dramatic Art Deco setting.
Don't Settle On A Single Design Style
Combining different design styles can create a unique and cohesive Art Deco space. In this kitchen, elements of traditional farmhouse decor are seamlessly combined with Art Deco designs. To achieve a unified look, stick to a clear color palette and streamlined metallic finishes.
Try A Modern Approach
If you prefer a more modern look, you can still incorporate Art Deco elements into your design. For example, a horizontally tufted headboard in a moss green color can add a modern touch with a hint of Art Deco flair.
Infuse Your Space With A Touch Of Glamour
To capture the essence of Art Deco, incorporate glamorous elements into your space. Add a gilded mirror above the fireplace and hang a crystal chandelier overhead. To find unique pieces like these, don't hesitate to explore local antique shops and flea markets.
Showcase Rich Materials
Upscale materials are crucial in achieving the luxurious appeal of Art Deco design. Incorporate polished marble, granite, metallics, and burl wood to add richness to your interior. While using real materials like these can be costly, you can achieve a similar look with more budget-friendly veneers or laminate surfaces.
Opulent Textiles and Furniture Designs
Sofas and other seating inspired by Art Deco showcase luxurious fabrics like velvet and leather. The furniture also boasts unique shapes and embellishments, such as curved, fluted, and scalloped edges. Each piece is crafted to make a statement, whether it's with lacquered wood, gold legs, or fringe trim.
Lacquered wood, a popular finish for Art Deco furniture, creates a glass-like sheen on stained wood. It has a warm, dark color and is often used on armoires, dining room tables, desks, and other fixtures. Furniture with intricate gold legs and glass, stone, or wood surfaces is another staple of Art Deco design.
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ACCESSORIES AND LIGHTING
Accessories complete an art deco room – small elements like fixtures and fittings will make a huge difference too. You can find great replica light fittings, door handles, switch panels, and other furnishings online, especially if you're on a budget and can't splurge on genuine art deco period pieces.
Mirrors look great in an art deco style home, and you can find affordable art deco style options. Ornate mirrors add polish and make any room appear larger. Don't forget to source art deco style prints, art, vases, and figurines to add that finishing touch to your walls.
Don't Overlook Functional Spaces
While the living room and kitchen may take priority in home decor, it's important not to overlook functional spaces, no matter how little foot traffic they receive. Designing a home that truly feels like yours means including walk-in closets and other practical spaces.
Incorporate Brass Elements
Design: Brady Tolbert, Photo: Tessa Neustadt
Nothing says opulence more than brass elements. We're in love with the metallic additions on these kitchen chairs, light fixtures, and cabinet hardware. The brass stands out even more with the black and white color scheme.
Incorporate Arch Designs
Design: Dorothee Meilichzon, Photo:Karel Balas & Paul Bowyer
Arch designs are a major element in Art Deco, so make sure to emphasize those curves. This bathroom incorporates arches in multiple places, from the mirror to the window above the door and the marble backsplash. Even the sink features rounded edges for a cohesive look in this powder room.
Find Furnishings With Strong Lines
Design: Dorothee Meilichzon, Photo: Romain Ricard
Art Deco decor is all about strong lines and bold shapes. The headboard in this bedroom epitomizes 1920s interior design and is complemented by the pendant light hanging overhead.
Art Deco Experiments With Shapes Materials
One of the most authentic ways to design a space in the original spirit of Art Deco is to incorporate art and sculpture that feels brand-new. Art Deco embodies optimism and celebrates technological breakthroughs, so spaces with both modernist pieces and hypermodernist installations echo that momentum.
Don't Overlook The Floor
Design: Dorothee Meilichzon, Photo: Paul Bowyer
When decorating a room, don't forget about the floor. This marble runner in the hallway adds a touch of the 1920s, while the stone material feels luxurious. While this may be an expensive renovation, you can easily recreate the look with a runner rug on a budget.
As with everything in art deco interior design, 1920s furniture is unique and imposing. You'll often find large-scale sideboards in ebony and pieces that take up plenty of floor space.
Curvaceous furniture with smooth lines is also prevalent, with armchairs in pink velvet and scalloped designs making a captivating addition to art deco interior design ideas. Wooden furniture with inlaid art deco designs, featuring classic geometric and symmetrical patterns, as well as Grecian key patterns are also essential art deco features.
No art deco home is complete without beautiful black and white art deco tiles, which can be stunning in a hallway, bathroom, or even an art deco kitchen. Lacquered flooring with a high shine is perfect for art deco interior design, and highly polished parquet flooring in a dark wood is also a stunning option.
If you can't replace your flooring with art deco style, you can cover it with large rugs in geometric patterns to add some spice.
Create Faux Moldings
Adding artful molding around plain door frames can make a significant difference in the final look of your space. Paint them in a contrasting color to create an Art Deco palace.
Play with Scale
Large bedrooms can be challenging to decorate, as furniture can get lost in the space. The key is to have a few well-proportioned pieces instead of multiple furnishings, which can look mismatched. In this example, the interior designer has used a softly patterned wallpaper to bring the walls in, while an extra-wide bed and ottoman help fill out the space. Large-scale matching artworks bring the scheme together.
Choose Tile Wisely
Design: Dorothee Meilichzon, Photo: Karel Balas
When it comes to bathrooms or kitchens, choosing the right tile can make all the difference in achieving a timeless result. While subway tiles can feel modern, octagon or diamond-shaped tiles evoke a classic and Art Deco-inspired feel.
Create a Layered Look with Glamorous Touches
This apartment in the iconic Battersea Power Station in London draws inspiration from the Art Deco heritage of the building. The dining space is papered in a champagne-colored linen with a woven finish for softness and warmth. Art Deco rugs, like the one in the room, add a linear interpretation to the style. Petrol blues, black, and gold create contrasts within the palette, and upholstered chairs provide comfort for long dinners. Vintage pieces are juxtaposed with contemporary works for character and visual interest.
Introduce Decorative Paneling
Sometimes a small hint of partition can visually separate one space from another. Carefully using decorative glazing can be enough to break the flow of an open-plan kitchen. Steel frames with geometric glazed panels nod at Art Deco design, and different glazing techniques, from colored to fluted glass, fill the panels. The flooring reflects the tones and geometrics of the panel to emphasize its importance.
Miami Embodies Tropical Art Deco Style
To experience the Art Deco aesthetic with a beachy twist, look to the colorful, sunlit interiors of Miami Beach. Contemporary interpretations of Art Deco include vivid coastal blues on velvet chairs with geometric details, curvaceous glass accessories, and bold abstract paintings. Custom lighting adds a playful contrast to traditional chandeliers and sconces. The style in Miami Beach showcases oversized metal furnishings with pointed edges, arched tops, mirrored finishes, and jagged corners. Kerrie Kelly, Chair of the ASID National Board, is a fan of Miami Beach's perfected Art Deco style.
Sticking to a single color can create a luxurious look. In this example, the navy wallpaper, chair, and lamp create an expensive feel. The addition of an opulent sconce and herringbone floors adds to the overall luxuriousness.
Art Deco Furniture Favors Rare Woods
If you come across a piece like this Art Deco table with drawers carved from burled wood, don't think about painting it. The graining on this wood is rare, costly, and a hallmark of original pieces. While rare wood was in high demand during the first heyday of Art Deco, it often appears in inlaid details rather than large slabs. However, you can also achieve the Art Deco style on a budget by giving humbler woods a dramatic coat of high-gloss black lacquer.
Art Deco Accessories Are Exotic
Art Deco spaces often feature intricate floral, animal, and Eastern motifs. In this chic Art Deco-inspired entryway, Egyptian busts, gleaming gold starburst paperweights, and an assortment of art, sculpture, and travel-related curios create an eclectic mix. Bold sconces flank a vintage clock composed of mirrored panels.
Invest in a Standout Home Bar
A home bar is now the epicenter for modern home life and a hub for entertaining, making it the ideal space to go all-out with opulence. Create a refined and luxurious yet comfortable space by mixing different period pieces and connecting them through unified color palettes. Custom lighting adds an extra touch of luxury.
Art Deco Deploys Mirrors, Crystal and Acrylic
Art Deco rooms are all about mirrors. They reflect light, add embellishment, and pile on the luxury. Geometric frames and dramatic sconces are characteristic of the style. Deep, oceanic tones offset pale, metallic, and reflective pieces.
DIY Art Deco Elements
Design: Dorothee Meilichzon, Photo: Karel Balas
If you're not lucky enough to have vaulted ceilings and arched doorways in your home, you can still create a charming Art Deco feel with a DIY paint job. Consider scalloped color blocking to update your space and add that art deco touch.
Examples of Art Deco Interior Design
To better understand Art Deco and get design inspiration, consider both historic examples and modern interpretations designed by Lagrange and Moon.
Historic Art Deco
Radio City Music Hall
The grand foyer of Radio City Music Hall. Photo: Courtesy of Radio City Music Hall. Radio City Music Hall is a prime example of Art Deco interiors and architecture. The interiors, designed by Donald Deskey, feature terrazzo floors, marble walls, and brass ticket booths.
The Chrysler Building
The lobby of the Chrysler Building. Photo: Angelo Hornak/Getty Images. The doors of an elevator inside the Chrysler Building. Photo: Angelo Hornak/Getty Images. The Chrysler Building, designed by William Van Alen, is an undeniable Art Deco masterpiece. The lobby, which has a triangular shape, features a floor made of yellow travertine from Sienna, red-granite-clad walls, Belgian blue marble lights, and stainless-steel accents.
Modern Art Deco
Art Deco living room
A seating room designed by Jessica Lagrange Interiors, embracing the streamline form, rich color palette, and bold materiality of Art Deco interiors. Photo: Douglas Friedman. Art Deco dining room
The dining room in Moon's home, with a gilded chandelier and gold bench reminiscent of jewel-toned interiors. Photo: Pernille Loof. Art Deco bedroom
A bedroom designed by Jessica Lagrange Interiors, featuring a black-lacquered light fixture and gold-toned floor lamp. Moon's bedroom channels Art Deco with opulent upholstery and textiles from Fortuny. Photo: Pernille Loof. Art Deco bathroom
A bathroom in a Jessica Lagrange Interiors project, with streamlined geometric tile accents. Photo: TBC.
Take Inspiration from the Terrazzo Trend
Give your bathroom an instant update with stylish terrazzo surfaces. Terrazzo comes in various forms, with authentic options being cement or resin based. The Siren Hotel in Detroit showcases both types of terrazzo, with cementitious terrazzo flooring that feels soft underfoot and requires resealing, and resin-based terrazzo basin that comes in bright colors and has a hygienic, easy-to-clean finish.
Explore the art of scaling
(Image credit: Richard Powers)
Decorating a large bedroom can be a challenge because furniture can easily get lost in such a spacious area. The key is to choose a few well-proportioned pieces instead of filling the room with multiple furnishings, as this can create a disjointed and underwhelming look.
In this example, interior designer Rebecca Hughes has cleverly used a softly patterned wallpaper to visually bring the walls closer. The extra-wide bed and corresponding ottoman effectively fill out the room, while a pair of large-scale matching artworks enhance the overall aesthetic. As Rebecca suggests, opting for three or four statement pieces, arranged symmetrically, adds a touch of grandeur, and incorporating subtle patterns adds depth.
This room follows a classic design with Art Deco elements, incorporating strong lines to create definition. Notice the dark wood-framed chests, studded ottoman, and blinds with contrasting trim. The overscaled artwork further reinforces the overall style and theme.
In conclusion, Art Deco interior design is a captivating and glamorous style that has stood the test of time. By incorporating opulent materials, bold patterns, and geometric shapes, you can transform your space into an exquisite example of Art Deco decor. Don't be afraid to mix and match different design styles, and remember to infuse a touch of glamor with rich materials and statement lighting. Whether you decide to go for a monochromatic look or experiment with bold colors, Art Deco offers endless possibilities to create a truly unique and stylish home. So why not give it a try and let your creativity soar?
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