In 1925 a group of artists displayed their shamelessly modernist (for the time) designs at an international art exposition held in Paris. Such was their impact upon the worlds of design, architecture, and decor that their movement, which later became classified as Art Deco, gained enormous popularity throughout America and Europe, defining a style that has become indelibly associated with the hedonistic and decadent 1920s and 1930s and yet which remains as popular and fashionable today as it was then.
The good news is that acquiring the style and elegance of Art Deco in your own home is not difficult once you are familiar with its associated materials, designs and shapes. To get you started here are some ideas for decoration, furnishings, and accessories that will help to give your home that ultra-chic Art Deco feels.
Art Deco Furniture
Art Deco is symbolized by strong, geometric shapes with equal symmetry. Furniture should feature bold, clean lines and should comprise individual items rather than suites. Typical Art Deco patterns for upholstery or cushions would feature chevrons, zig-zags, sunbursts, or stylized representations of natural objects such as leaves, feathers, or wild animals. When choosing furniture for an Art Deco look, popular materials and finishes include black lacquered wood, chrome, marble, mirror-finished items, stainless steel, and reproduction tiger, leopard, or zebra skin.
Art Deco Flooring
Highly polished tiled or inlaid parquet floors in the ‘herringbone’ or ‘chevron’ pattern is typically Art Deco, although black and white ‘chequerboard’ tiles overlaid with geometrically-patterned rugs were also a popular choice.
Art Deco Lighting
Whilst it is possible to obtain reproduction colored-glass light fittings based upon the style of the works of the Art Deco artist Clarice Cliff these are not authentically Art Deco. Glass shades would typically be enameled or etched rather than colored. Portable or floor lamps were popularly torch-shaped or styled as a female figurine holding a lit globe or geometrical representation of a flame. Such lamps would be finished in bronze, nickel, iron, or chrome.
Art Deco Accessories
There is a wealth of decorative accessories and adornments that can enhance and accentuate the Art Deco look. When looking for such items, go for those which incorporate Art Deco’s classic ‘stepped’ design or feature geometrical patterns and symmetry. Easily obtained Art Deco accessories include table lamps, vases, jewelry boxes, candlesticks, table sculptures, and picture frames.
Art Deco Finishing Touches
It’s possible to achieve a sense of Art Deco style without investing in new furniture by adding Art Deco handles to existing furniture. Sofas can be transformed by the addition of geometrically patterned throw and scatter cushions either in a single, bold color or featuring a motif from the natural world. If redecorating an entire room in the Art Deco style seems a little too adventurous, consider making a ‘feature wall’ using Art Deco wallpaper which will add focus and style to a room without overpowering it. Since a fundamental aspect of the Art Deco look is strong, clean lines pencil-pleated curtains are the best option for window furnishings, although dark Venetian blinds also provide that Art Deco authenticity.
About the Author: Art deco mirrors are available to purchase from the Mirror Shop, based in Scotland