What it is: Art deco style spanned the interval between World Wars I and II, peaking in the late 1920s and early ’30s. It highlighted form as much as function and focused on glamour and opulence. As the Great Depression deepened, so did art deco’s popularity — it provided a sense of escapism for a country that desperately needed it.
Why it works: Art deco style embodies the finest of the Roaring Twenties. It’s lush and suave, with a classy elegance plus a forward-thinking mindset. It broadcasts an air of luxury and whispers of this world as an oyster.
You’ll enjoy it if … You enjoy your jewellery bold and showy. You dressed as a flapper for your last Halloween party. You long to reside in Miami’s South Beach (those gorgeous hotels!) . You understand the distinction between a martini and a Gibson, and you will take the latter. You have a long-standing love affair with chrome.
Tongue & Groove
Style Secret: Evocative Lighting
Mood is everything in art deco design, and layered lighting is vital to creating the right atmosphere. Sconces and torchères beam light up or down to cast a flattering, sultry glow. Art deco fixtures were futuristic because of their age, with polished, shiny materials such as brass and chrome, and many reflect the strong geometric influence that is a hallmark of the design.
Glam it up: Art deco lighting borders on bombastic yet keeps a basic elegance. The sunburst pattern (a favorite art deco theme, by the way) that emanates out of this sconce provides a sassy top note that produces the space stick out.
Tim Barber Ltd Architecture
Style Secret: Powerful Geometry
Maybe the signature element of art deco design is its emphasis on geometric contours. Angular patterns, stepped designs and daring curves all emphasize the look — no fussy, yummy profiles or patterns. Picture a 1930s theater marquee and you will have the idea.
Glam it up: Like a stroke of eyeliner, the black tile in this bath helps you to define and draw attention to the space (imagine how shy it would seem with the mint-green and white palette). It plays off the square and square planes of this sink, mirror and sconces for visual cohesion and a beautiful interplay of angles.
Margeaux Interiors – Margaret Skinner
Style Secret: Sleek Surfaces
In keeping with its optimistic overtones and see to the long run, art deco is all about glow, shine, glow. Lacquer, polished wood and metal, and glossy paint blend for a slick and gleaming effect. Sprinkle glass and mirrored pieces throughout an art deco room to add to the reflective quality.
Glam it up: Wish to shoot an art deco area over the top? Insert a note of shagreen, an extremely textured leatherlike material traditionally created in skin of sharks or rays. Don’t worry — fake versions on the industry closely approximate the real thing minus the concerns of animal cruelty.
Style Secret: Luxurious Textiles
Natural weaves and plain fabrics? Not in this fashion. Graphic patterns and glossy textures rule. Mix vinyl, lace and silk for layers of visual interest; select rugs, upholstery and rugs with geometric, rhythmic motifs. Animal prints feel appropriately showy also.
Glam it up: A bit of metallic gold or silver brings an extra-swanky feel to an art deco room. Don’t overdo it, but feel free to choose textiles that are taken with shimmer: a coverlet woven with gold threads, a cushion embroidered with silver foliage.
Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..
Style Secret: Black and White
Black and white is the most iconic art deco palette. Classic, classy and timeless, it has an inherent drama that matches this design like a habit Chanel suit. And combined with the glow that typifies the art deco look, a white and black colour scheme just dazzles.
Glam it up: Craving colour? Move bright. Golden yellow, kelly green, peacock blue and regal purple all strengthens the energy that pervaded the art deco era at its peak. Be informed about using these brilliant hues, nevertheless — art deco interiors tend toward minimalism, therefore err on the side of restraint. Play them against a backdrop that is smoother and restrict them to one or two prominent choices to prevent an over-the-rainbow mishmash.
David Churchill – Architectural Photographer
Style Secret: Lacquered Furniture
Authentic to the trademark art deco gleam, lustrous lacquer became popular in a significant way in this period. Its attention-getting gloss makes exotic components, such as this fan-shape headboard, feel much more so. You can’t go wrong with classic black, white, white or red, but believe beyond the fundamentals — consider spicing up a very simple palette with a single signature bit lacquered in an outrageous color such as persimmon.
Glam it up: Give lacquered case goods more pizzazz by bedecking them together with glamorous hardware. Look for vintage door, cabinet and drawer knobs and pulls, or think about a number of those excellent reproductions that are available. Choose angular and, yes, geometric shapes that fall in step with the lines of this time.
Tiffany Eastman Interiors, LLC
Style Secret: Mirrored Furnishings
Mirrored consoles, chests or tables are essential in an art deco room. As you do not wish to go crazy together (the space shouldn’t feel as though you can never escape your reflection), two or three judiciously chosen pieces help bounce light around and deliver the sparkle.
Glam it up: Hang a framed mirror over a mirrored bit of furniture for a stunning one-two punch. The white bamboo that surrounds the mirror in this living area blends into the background only enough to prevent overshadowing the table that is the actual star of this room.
Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc..
Style Secret: Symmetry
Authentic to its accent on line and shape, art deco design has a basic charm that emanates from the prior Victorian and art nouveau characteristics of decorating. This symmetrical strategy extends to all aspects of this design, from architecture to furniture design to the placement of artwork and accessories.
Glam it up: Symmetry does not mean inflexible lines and directly profiles. The theatrical, flowing curves of this mirror maintain balance but help soften the space. The arrangement on the table beneath bears out the subject of repetition.
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