Art Deco is a distinctive design style that can be traced back to the 1920s. In France the decade was known as the Années folles (“crazy years”), but you may affectionately know the era as the Roaring Twenties. The style was named after the “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes,” held in Paris in 1925. Literally meaning “Decorative Art”, its design aesthetics are characterized by bold geometry, massive forms, vibrant colors, simplified lines and use of modern industrial materials.
The style evokes an era of glamour and sophistication, found in areas of architecture, interior design, furniture, fashion and more. If you’d like to add a bit of this old school flair to your living space, take a peek at these design tips for how you can channel Art Deco in your modern interiors.
Design Tip #1
Incorporate geometric shapes into your aesthetic
Drawing upon geometric patterns and curvilinear forms, the playful wall mirror with fanciful colored fringing by spatial and product designer Tero Kuitunen is all about making a big statement, and thus achieving the streamlined and modernist look of the Art Deco period. The fringes are just like those found on a flapper dress too.
Design Tip #2
Go glam with solid earthy colors
In addition to bold geometric designs, the Art Deco influence also appears in color treatment.
In the open plan kitchen of this Barcelona apartment, the richly lacquered kitchen counter has a round form and shape reminiscent of the Art Deco era, contrasting beautifully with beams painted in coral. As such, the high-contrast color palette brings home the striking and bold appeal of the artsy revival vibe.
Design Tip #3
Try metallic accents with shiny finishes for more punch
Sleek materials with shiny fabrics and metallic paints are frequently used on furniture pieces to complete the Art Deco look. Inside the home of designer Miles Willis McDermott, the vintage antique piece featuring glossy metal cladding in gold finish is intended to sit in the background to allow the retro style to be the central focal point of the room.
Design Tip #4
Go wild with animal prints
Stylized animal prints also characterize Deco-inspired interiors, and will be sure to elevate your space.
In this case, a pop of bird-themed prints combined with berries creates the modern interior design palette but with the Art Deco sentimentals, going beautifully with the lounge chair and floor in neutrals.
Design Tip #5
Apply exotic motifs to make for an eye-catching centerpiece in the room
Oriental rugs were a key furniture item for Art Deco decorating styles. With bold shapes and luxurious materials, rugs are a good way to go that have maintained their modernity and Art Deco appeal.
This boho-eclectic room with cactus accent contains layered Oriental rugs in a patchwork style, which could just as easily grace the space as artworks in their own right, balancing sophistication and personality in equal measure.
Design Tip #6
Art as Decor
Hang paintings and enjoy art as decor.
A glimpse into Terry Hunziker’s apartment and you’ll see he features an abundance of artwork on his walls. The classic appeal of the home office design is in the bookshelf detail and wood-accented furniture paired with the striking artwork. To me Art Deco was about creating decoration through art, and here Hunziker showcases how well the right painting can pull a room together.
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