Art Deco Interior Design: A Timeless Aesthetic

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November 20, 2023
Robern Design Solutions

Art Deco interior design is a bold, stylish aesthetic that surged in popularity in the 1920s and 1930s. The Art Deco design movement has left an indelible mark on the world of architecture and design, characterized by its use of geometric shapes, rich colors, sleek lines, and luxurious materials.

Characteristics of Art Deco Interior Design

A symmetrical bathroom vanity set with two green cabinets, each flanked by a tall mirror with an arched top. There's a shelf unit between the cabinets with towels and decorative items. Shadows cast on the wall suggest a light source to the left.

Art Deco Interior design is identified by several key characteristics:

  • Geometric shapes: This style is known for its use of geometric and symmetrical patterns.
  • Rich colors: Bold, vibrant colors are a staple of Art Deco design.
  • Sleek lines: Clean, streamlined shapes are a distinctive feature of this style.
  • Luxurious materials: From mirrors and chrome to glass, lacquer, velvet, marble, zebra skin, and gold, the use of high-end materials is fundamental in Art Deco interiors.

The History of Art Deco

An elegant living room with a salmon pink tufted sofa, two patterned armchairs, a decorative wall with a green geometric pattern, and ambient lamps on both sides. A coffee table with books and vases sits in the center on top of a light rug, with one pendant light hanging above.
By manow

The Art Deco movement, known for its luxurious and flamboyant character, swept through the world of design and architecture in the early 20th century. Its legacy remains alive and relevant in the design world today.

Origins of Art Deco

An art deco style wall with elaborate golden designs on a dark background and a stylish black leather chair on the right side of the image.
By neirfy

Art Deco emerged in France just before World War I, gaining prominence at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris in 1925. The exhibition showcased a new aesthetic that was an amalgamation of styles, influences, and technologies. This was a reaction against the organic, curvilinear designs of the preceding Art Nouveau period, with designers seeking to infuse a more modern, mechanistic aesthetic into their work.

Influences on Art Deco

A modern bathroom interior with a double vanity set against a blue herringbone tile wall, two tall shelving units, a round mirror with sconce lights, and a clear glass walk-in shower on the right.

Art Deco was a melting pot of inspirations. It drew from Art Nouveau's flowing lines and natural motifs, but also incorporated the abstract forms of Cubism, the machine-like shapes of the Bauhaus, and the influence of Fauvism and Orphism. The movement also looked to non-Western cultures for inspiration, particularly ancient Egyptian, African, and Aztec art.

Technological Innovations

The 1920s and 1930s were a time of rapid technological progress. Innovations such as the skyscraper and developments in new materials and building techniques deeply influenced Art Deco. Stainless steel, aluminum, lacquer, inlaid wood, and other materials came into vogue. Designers began to embrace the machine-age, which is evident in the repetitive geometric patterns and symmetrical forms common in Art Deco design.

Art Deco Architecture

Art Deco style ceiling with symmetrical pattern and intricate lighting details.
By egiadone

Perhaps the most prominent manifestation of Art Deco is in architecture. Notable examples include the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in New York City. These buildings, with their emphasis on vertical lines, stylized geometric ornamentation, and use of modern materials, embody the key elements of Art Deco style.

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Art Deco's Legacy  

A luxurious living room with a dark color palette, featuring a navy blue sofa adorned with white cushions, gold-accented walls, and a wooden center table on a shaggy black rug.
By P11irom

Although the Art Deco movement started to decline by the 1940s while contemporary and modern styles began to emerge, its impact on the world of design and architecture is undeniable. Today, the Art Deco style is celebrated for its glamour, luxury, and symmetrical designs, and continues to influence contemporary design.

How to Add Art Deco Elements to Your Home  

A vibrant living room corner featuring a plush yellow armchair, a decorative console table with a sculpture and plants, a striking black lamp, and a gold patterned artwork against a deep green wall.
By Dmitry Berg

The bold glamour of Art Deco interior design can be incorporated into any space, whether it's your living room, bedroom, or kitchen. Here are some in-depth tips on how to incorporate Art Deco style in your home:    

  • Vibrant Colors: Art Deco revels in luxury, and nothing speaks of luxury more than vibrant, rich colors. Consider using jewel tones, black, gold, and silver in your home. These colors can be applied to walls, furniture, or even accessories, setting a glamorous and opulent mood.  
  • Shapely Accents: In keeping with the geometric patterns associated with Art Deco, consider adding accents to your rooms that reflect these forms. Look for pieces with trapezoidal, curved, or sunburst forms, whether it's a mirror, a piece of furniture, or a decorative ornament.  
  • Fluted Details: Details matter in Art Deco design, and one way to capture this is with fluting. This kind of detail, which can be seen on furniture, cabinetry, or accessories, adds texture and dimension to your space.  
  • Geometric Patterns: These patterns can be incorporated in a number of ways, from wallpaper and upholstery to rugs and curtains. These not only add visual interest but also create a beautiful contrast in your room.  
  • Sleek Materials: The choice of material is crucial in Art Deco interior design. Sleek materials such as stainless steel, chrome, glass, lacquer, velvet, zebra skin, marble, and ebony bring a sense of sophistication and elegance to any room, including a luxury primary bathroom.  
  • Art Deco Lighting: Lighting plays a major role in creating the right ambiance. Choose light fixtures with metallic finishes, crystal accents, or angular shapes for that genuine Art Deco feel.  
  • Mix of Antiques and New Pieces: While you may want to stay true to the Art Deco style, mixing antiques with new pieces can give your space a personal touch. It adds character and avoids a too-themed look.  
  • Sunburst Motifs: A classic Art Deco motif, sunbursts can be incorporated into mirrors, wall art, or furniture. This dramatic element can instantly bring in a touch of Art Deco flair to your space.  

Remember, Art Deco is all about glamour and sophistication. By following these tips, you can successfully incorporate the Art Deco interior design into your home.  

Bringing Art Deco Into Your Modern Home  

As we journey back from the vibrant era of Art Deco, we bring with us a wealth of inspiration. The bold geometric shapes, the luxurious materials, and the celebration of modernity—each of these elements offers countless opportunities to imbue our own homes with a touch of the past's glamour.  

Whether you're revamping a single room or embarking on a complete home renovation, Art Deco interior design provides a treasure trove of design possibilities. The style's inherent versatility allows for a unique blend of old and new, striking and subtle, glamour and functionality. No matter how you choose to interpret Art Deco, one thing remains constant—the style's ability to transcend time and bring an air of elegance into any space.  

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