In between the 1920s and early 1930s, art deco style rose to the occasion and became the go-to way to celebrate glamour and opulence. Ornate, jewel-like elements with sleek and dazzling accents perfectly summarize the chicness of the decade. Think Gatsby-esque design with shiny patina and elegant finishes.
Moving away from its vintage references, today’s art deco style is modern and playful. If all of these elements spark your curiosity and sound like you, maybe art deco style is your interior design matchup. This guide takes you through the essential elements of art deco style and how to design every room in your house.
What is Art Deco Style?
As the Great Depression deepened, so did art deco’s fashionableness — it gave a sense of escapism for a nation that desperately needed it. Art deco’s inspiration comes from the bold geometric shapes of Cubism, bright colors of Fauvism, plus the upscale craftsmanship of the furniture of the eras of Louis XVI. It highlights the exotic styles of Asia and blends them with rare materials like ebony. When you think of art deco, consider architectural staples like the Chrysler building in New York, those are the beginnings of this style.
The Key Elements of Art Deco Style
Taking its name from the French –Arts Décoratifs – where it first appeared, Art Deco was the perfect union of the early modernist movement, industrial development, and the return of luxurious materials with impeccable craftsmanship. At its peak, Art Deco style was seen on everything, from buildings and cars to vacuums and radios, and of course, homes everywhere.
Art Deco style is:
- Exuberant over-the-top with a forward-thinking mindset that makes it look timeless.
- A bit bold and flashy, not afraid to add shine, sparkles, and combine different textures and patterns.
- Evocative and opulent with an emphasis on high-end, luxurious materials.
Art Deco style is not:
- Plain or focused on natural textures and textiles.
- Minimal and straightforward without layering elements.
- Old-looking, classical, or purely retro or vintage.
Colors & Texture
When you think about art deco, it is impossible not to think about black, white, silver, and gold color palettes. Truthfully, those are the basics of this design style. But, bold jewel tones also have a place in an art deco design. Deep hues next to softer tones are vital for balancing art deco rooms. More soothing colors are best for bedrooms and dining rooms, while more audacious shades find their way into the living room and bathrooms for a statement-making background. Great color palettes for art deco homes include:
- Deep jewel tones: ruby, sapphire, fuchsia, and purples.
- Basic neutrals: soft cream, beige, white, and black.
- Classic colors: muted navy, beeswax, rust red, poppy, light leaf, and khaki gray.
Texture is essential but not as highlighted as in other interior design styles. For this style, textures come in silks and velvets, sleek surfaces, and metals rather than porous and more natural-looking textiles.
As with everything in art deco interior design, furniture was wildly unique. Curvaceous furniture with smooth lines is also prevalent. Scalloped designs and tufted details are heavily present in art deco furnishings. Lacquer, polished wood and metal, and glossy paint combine for a slick and gleaming effect that you’ll see consistently from room to room.
Out of all the furniture pieces, there are two distinct pieces you’ll find in art deco: lacquered furniture and mirrored furnishings. With its attention-getting gloss, lustrous lacquer became popular in a big way during this period. So did mirrored consoles, chests, and side tables to bounce light around and bring that refined sparkle so prominent in art deco designs.
Small decorative elements and lighting are the finishing touches of the art deco room. Rococo mirrors make any room look polished and larger even. Most rooms will feature or two. Art deco style prints, art pieces, and sculptures are perfect for decking the walls, while vases and figurines add a personal touch that completes the room.
When it comes to decor, art deco asks you to splurge on art and decorative wall elements. You might see room dividers, large sculptures, art deco wallpaper used as accents, and small curated pieces that tell a story. This eclectic mix of elements is what makes art deco so intriguing and visually appealing.
The Art Deco Style House
Truth be told, the art deco style house feels like a replica of the Gatsby movie. It embodies the luxury, glam, and opulence of the era and feels utterly sophisticated. There’s a symmetry to it, thoughtfulness, and creativity. It might take years to curate the ultimate art deco style house, but you can always start with the basics.
Art Deco Entryway
No other entryway makes such an impact as the art deco entryway. Think opulent pieces, art deco-inspired shapes, curved lines, and lush textiles. Mirrored console tables paired with large wall art pieces, sculptures, and impactful lighting are the essentials. The entryway might also be dressed up with deco wallpaper or wall fixtures to set the tone and create ambiance. Art deco style is big on drama and setting up the stage for what’s next. Small decorative figurines will likely adorn the tablescape and complete the look to leave a lasting statement.
Art Deco Living Room
The art deco living room looks and feels like a work of art. Although not necessarily centered around comfort, it is definitely focused on style. Drenched in luxurious textiles and finishes, the art deco living room is all about making a statement and daring to push the boundaries.
Plenty of metallics are present in this style, from gold to silver, stainless steel, and chrome. They lend any room an elegant and luxurious feel. In the living room, you’ll see pieces like a glass-topped coffee table, chrome lamps, and patterned rugs converge to create an intricate space filled with layers of exquisite materials.
Remember, this era was all about extravagance, and materials in the rooms were meant to display prestige. Rare, polished dark woods were used in furniture pieces and flooring. Deluxe materials like marble were also prevalent, paired with gold accents and metallic finishes.
Art Deco Dining Room and Kitchen
No art deco dining area is complete without a set of black and white tiles. Lacquered flooring with a high shine was prominent in kitchen spaces. The use of bold wallpapers with art deco motifs was huge for the dining room space. Here, bold statements through the lighting fixtures and table finishes were vital.
Brass accented chairs, glass-topped tables, opulent chandeliers, and sculptural elements highlight the space. Art deco dining rooms follow a more formal aesthetic. Think of large banquets and upscale seating over luxurious rugs with Oriental themes. The dining room celebrates the essence of art deco style more than any other room.
Art Deco Bedroom
While out-of-the-ordinary, the art deco bedroom is unlike any other. Dramatic and statement-making, the art deco bedroom is all about glamour. Geometric-shaped headboards, luxurious textiles, sheer or velvet curtains are all common in the art deco bedroom.
But mood is everything in art deco style, and the layering of lighting is huge for creating the perfect atmosphere in the bedroom. Sconces and torches beam cast a flattering and sultry glow. Art deco fixtures with polished materials like chrome and brass, reflective strong geometric influences are a hallmark of the style and elevate the bedroom’s look. Furnishing, even in the bedroom, is ornate and elaborate with exquisite showcasing of an era’s craftsmanship. Think curved lines, beautiful ironwork, and architectural details.
Ready to See How Art Deco Style Looks In Your Home?
Art deco style can seem intimidating and daunting to try at first. But, if your taste beers towards the ornate, vintage-like statement pieces of the 1920s and the euphoric feeling of an era, it might be just the perfect style for your home. Instead of trying to glue it all together, start a project today.
Work with our interior designers to better understand art deco style and see how it will look in your home. We’ll collaborate with you on ideas, themes, and color palettes to create an exquisite art deco space that perfectly reflects your personality. Once done, you’ll be able to see a real-life rendering of your new art deco style house and shop our picks straight from our platform. We want to create for you a space that sparks nothing but joy. So, are you ready to see how art deco style looks in your home? Let’s start.