Art Deco

Art Deco: The Timeless Interior Style Lives On

Dazzled by the elegant designs, streamlined geometric shapes and bold colours? Art Deco designs could be your match, and can easily be adapted to suit your taste.
Art Deco: The Timeless Interior Style Lives On

Originally, Art Deco made its first appearance in France and spread around the world as a design movement that encompassed everything related to the arts and cultures. As a style, it embodies glamour, ostentatious, and there’s a bold depth to the designs that give it a unique aesthetic that’s otherwise hard to find in other interior styles.

It reached the heights of its popularity in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s, influencing everything from architecture—the most obvious being the Empire State Building—in jewellery—my personal favourite being Charles Rennie Mackintosh—design and typography, and of course, interiors. Born out of a desire to give the look of sophistication, glamour, and wealth, we’re not surprised the style has stuck around for as long as it has.

What is Art Deco?

The details of the style strived to represent modernism after emerging from the more whimsical and intricate patterns and ambience of Art Nouveau. You could see this through the fixtures in buildings and the streamlined forms of the furniture, while artists embodied this through the use of bold colours and contrast in patterns by intertwining cubism and modernism together in their artwork.

If you’re dazzled by the elegant designs, streamlined geometric shapes and bold colours, Art Deco is one of the more interesting styles to incorporate inside your home and can easily be adapted to suit your taste.

this is a hallway cabinet in art deco style featured on residence magazine

Characteristics of Art Deco interiors

  • Motif designs. There’s a stunning array of motifs to choose from when looking for patterns to incorporate inside an art deco inspired home. From fan shapes inspired by performers on stage to geometric lines in bold rich colours, Art Deco motifs have a beautiful strong look.
  • Mirror, chrome, and glass. Everywhere. Art Deco interiors in inherently luxurious and is synonymous with the use of chrome and glass t accentuating the style. While silver may not be to everyone’s tastes, gold tones and the use of brass more often than not made an appearance.
  • Mix ‘n’ matching interiors. It’s said that Art Deco is a style that’s been influenced by being aesthetically pleasing and decorative—in contrast to Scandinavian, Mid Century Modern, and Japandi interiors, there’s no real philosophical reasons behind the style’s design. It’s for this reason that makes Art Deco malleable to suit your taste, that’s to say you could choose to go all out or select a couple of pieces that interlace Art Deco into your home without it dominating everything else.
  • Wooden elements. Art Deco furniture would often come with a polished and luxurious finish, with a touch of metallic accents to create a contract between the two. It’s because of these contracts that make Art Deco what is it—striking the perfect balance between elegance and strength. In more recent times, adaptation to Art Deco has led to a modern take on wooden elements, where there’s less gloss applied and lighter tones of wood used.
  • Contrasting colours. You’ll notice that Art Deco doesn’t necessarily come with a fixed colour palette, instead, there’s an array of colours to choose from and combinations to be made. From bold and bright to moody and deep, balanced out by softer nude shades.
this is a hallway looking into a kitchen with art deco interiors featured on cote maison this is a parisian apartment with art deco gold and green wallpaper featured on cote maison

Setting the scene

As mentioned previously, it all depends on how much Art Deco you want to incorporate inside your home. The truth is, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to this interior style. You can bring in as much or as little as you please, and it’ll still look timeless. One way to seamlessly add Art Deco into a space that’s looking for a touch of glamour and luxury is through wallpaper.

Today, there’s an abundance of wallpaper designs that you can choose from—but it has to be said, Deco-inspired wallpaper is one of the most diverse and can work inside most homes. When looking for Deco-inspired designs, keep an eye out for patterns such as chevron, fans, stepped forms, and sunbursts.

It’s all in the ambience

Inevitably lighting was going to make its way on the list for getting the Art Deco look. There are few better ways to get the opulent look that’s essential in the interior style than through a careful selection of lighting. The characteristics of Art Deco are known to shined through in lighting—the modern lines, curved shapes and detailing in the chandeliers, pendants, and wall fixtures are the perfect features for a modern and contemporary home that’s looking for an old-Hollywood edge.

Likewise, mirrors were essential in creating a movie set-like ambience inside homes and buildings of that era. To incorporate Deco-inspired mirrors into your home, look for foxed mirrors (aka distressed looking mirrors) and mirrors with a gold frame around them—nothing says Great Gatsby quite like them.

Go for statement pieces

Whether you’ve gone all in or you’re looking for one or two Deco-inspired furniture, adding pieces that bring the metallic accents of the style can be a great way to give a subtle nod to the interior style. Any furniture that comes in reflective materials such as mirror and lacquer or with brass, copper and chrome metal detailing will round off the look and can be accentuated through the use of dark wood—if natural elements are more your thing.

Photo credits: 1-2. Residence Magazine 3-4. Cote Maison

Related Features