Fall's just around the corner and with it come the frigid months and even longer hours indoors. In interior design terms, it's time to update the look of your home so that warmer colors are used to offset the coldness without. Would you want to learn a way to redesign your home in the most stylish way possible?
Do it the Art Deco way.
But a lot of people are stymied when asked to define Art Deco style. Others are even more confused when asked to distinguish similar types of decorative art.
Art Deco style is often recognized intuitively, meaning, upon seeing a piece, you can pinpoint that that piece is Art Deco. But when asked to describe the elements involved, the circumstance becomes a tad more complicated.
Primarily, there are different varieties of Art Deco. This is the pastiche for styles and is also an eclectic fusion of materials, influences, and shapes. These are the reasons that make recognition of Art Deco more complicated.
Just think about this, if Art Deco were to be placed side-by-side with Art Moderne, Art Nouveau, or Bauhaus, would you be able to tell the difference?
#1. Art Deco Is An Influential Decorative Style
Art Deco style is an influential design during the first half of the 20th-century. It made its first appearance in the 1920s in France. It also took its name from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes.
In no time, it spread quickly throughout the world as it also drew inspiration from other sources and disciplines.
Art Deco was deemed most popular during the two World Wars. While it is not distinguished as an art movement until the sixties, this style did not fail in terms of beautifying homes. These days, artists are still fighting for Art Deco to be recognized as a distinct art on its own.
#2. Art Deco Was Created By Art and Architecture Experts
Many architects and artists helped develop Art Deco. Cedric Gibbons was one such artist. Gibbons was a Hollywood set designer who was able to attend the 1925 Paris exhibition. He created Art Deco in all his Hollywood sets.
Another one was William Van Allen, who was the architect who conceptualized the Chrysler Building. Donald Deskey, also an architect, built the Radio City Music Hall. Other names followed suit such as Edward McKnight Kauffer, A.M. Cassandre, Rene Lalique, Jean Puiforcat, Jacques Ruhlmann, and Jean Dunand.
#3. Art Deco Is Similar to Other Charming Styles
Art Deco style makes use of a lot of geometric forms. There is also use for symmetry as well as the fusion of crafts and arts. These are the elements that made Art Deco similar to the Bauhaus design. These two movements are placed at the opposite ends of the modernist spectrum.
Art Deco is also often compared to Art Nouveau. The latter is its forerunner. If you are also interested in learning about Art Nouveau design, then read A 5 Minute Read to Becoming An Art Nouveau Connoisseur. Both styles are strongly influenced by traditional fine arts. Both are also filled with lavish ornaments and interesting treatment of lines and shapes.
Art Deco was also strongly influenced by technical and industrialization progress. With these, geometrical patterns were arranged in symmetry.
#4. Art Deco Is Visible In Architecture and Visual Arts
Art Deco effectively combined arts and craftsmanship in the field of interior design, architecture, fashion, textiles, and furnishings. When it comes to visual arts, especially on sculpture, paintings, and graphic designs, Art Deco was also deemed phenomenal.
Take a closer look at the skyscrapers that are lining New York’s horizon. The Rockefeller and Chrysler buildings are the perfect example of Art Deco displayed in the most awesome manner. The birth of this design can be traced to the early 1920s all the way to the 1940s.
Art Deco was a style that showed a lot of accomplishments. It portrayed hope and strength for the future. It paid homage to past designs but, at the same time, it acknowledged newer technologies.
#5. Art Deco Is Resilient
Art Deco successfully survived the periods of Depression in the 1930s. It also managed to come out from the ‘40s and the ‘50s until it finally bowed out to make way for the Mid-century modern design. Despite all these, Art Deco is slowly making a comeback.
Period pieces are finding their way to many homes. Have you seen the style of the homes in The Great Gatsby? Then you just caught a glimpse of the perfectionist style that is Art Deco.
#6. Art Deco Evolves
Though this style was most popular during the World Wars, it hasn’t stopped making homes beautiful even in our era. Art Deco was revived in the 1960s especially during the rise of consumerism.
Art Deco is now global as it responds well to mass production requirements. Its influence is strongly felt in visual art, architecture, fashion, and interior design.
#7. Interior Design Is More Beautiful With Art Deco
These days, Art Deco is a style that relies upon the past though it continues to imagine, re-imagine, and pay attention to the design elements of today. It is often studied and collected by people who are fascinated by the ‘20s and ‘30s styles.
When using Art Deco style in your home, it would be safe to say that you need a lot of rectangular, block-shaped fine furniture pieces. Use these in interesting geometric patterns then be sure to break them up with curves.
Art Deco is more modern and opulent which makes it a suitable style for many cinemas and ocean liners.
Nod yes to mathematically-inclined geometric forms that look Roman, Greek or Greco-Roman classicist.
New materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, lacquer, plastics, and inlaid wood are welcome. While you can still continue using high-end Art Nouveau materials like horn, molded glass, and ivory, you can throw in some zebra lines and shark skin exotics anytime.
A sleek, large-scale cocktail with contemporary sensibilities and hints of the Art Deco Era, in quartered and crotch black walnut with subtle brass inlays.
Art Deco is often associated with nationalism, color, iconography, zigzag lines, geometry, relief, sculpture, murals, botany, mythology, and many more things. In terms of hue, buildings use pastels, to vivid paint, to gold to glossy hues.
Colors often contrast on the interior and exterior parts of the building. The artworks were inspired by a wide array of colors from bright down to mute. Some buildings also used ornamentation which referenced mythology, more particularly, Egyptian mythology.
Glass is also a common material used in Art Deco. You will see a lot of etching and blocks in this style. You will also see geometric forms and other materials such as linoleum, jade, plastic, steel, Bakelite, and chrome.
Metal also perfectly represented Art Deco because it showed industrialism and strength.
Art Deco Style Furniture
Parisian factors influenced the Art Deco style furniture pieces of today so you will see a lot of grandiose features. Expect opulence and exotic pieces like ebony furniture and rare materials like ivory.
Stained glass is also possibly included as are enamels and inlays. Other materials that are also used are marble, wood, metal, plastic, animal skin, and lacquer pieces.
The different types of furniture include art deco table, art deco sofa, art deco desk, chairs, cabinets, beds, and tables. Chairs come with curved lines and often represent the human form. Some pieces incorporate leather and chrome.
Cabinets, on the other hand, are often rigid and large. They have lacquered wood with distinctive grains such as burled oak, bird’s eye maple, and Macassar ebony.
The beds are oversized and they come with head and footboards. These are often constructed from metal or wood. The tables – specifically the cocktail tables – come with glass or leather tops, or wood or chrome legs.
The factors that you need to consider when buying Art Deco quality furniture, are its condition, quality, and its details.
#8. Art Deco Means Bold Décor
Interior decoration, just like architecture, has been a good home for Art Deco. It has all been about making a statement. So, if you love geometric patterns complete with edgy angles, and if you like symmetry rather than organized chaos, then this should be your go-to style.
Art Deco-inspired homes also use generous amounts of steel and gold. It’s impossible not to think of wealth when creating an Art Deco zone.
Art Deco is as exotic as you could go. Use angular and linear forms. Say no to fussiness or the romantic elements. Use a lot of mirrors, stainless steel, lacquer, chrome, glass, inlaid wood, and even exotic animal skins such as zebra and shark.
Are you looking for elements that can become the motivation for your Art Deco home? Elements that are typically seen are trapezoids, nudes, branches, leaves, feathers, zigzags, chevron, sunbursts, and jagged edges as is seen with the Chrysler Building.
Make Art Deco Your New Home Design
Okay, so you’ve finally chosen Art Deco as your official style. What should you do now?
Begin with contrasts. Art Deco is also about creating contrasts. Use deep yellows, blues, reds, greens or pinks with black, silver or chrome. Those who prefer to have a softer version of this design would do well to use beiges or creams. These hues beautifully contrast with a lacquered finish or with polished wood.
Now it’s time to pick your quality furniture. Go for the strong and streamlined pieces. Say no to frills and small pieces. Nod, instead, to exotic woods, big pieces like armoires, sideboards, etc. Find those that are typical of the past decades when Art Deco flourished.
Unsure about Art Deco design's requirements? Then ask to claim your free advice from our expert designers on Designer on Demand.
Lacquered furniture pieces are also a staple in many Art Deco homes. These are attention-grabbing elements that can help spice up the already interesting palette of an Art Deco abode.
As for your fabric choice, don’t go for florals or plaids. The Art Deco room thrives in geometric or solid designs. Add a punch by highlighting the room with cushions. Again, the keyword here is bold.
When it comes to lighting, use a lot of chrome and glass. Have the glass enameled or etched. Tiffany-style is also quite common. Be sure to evoke elegance. Sunburst pattern is a widespread Art Deco motif. Be sassy and stand out by glamming up your home with evocative lighting.
When you’re done designing the top to the middle part of your home, then it’s time to look down and see how to beautify your Art Deco flooring. Find black and white tiles or set up a lacquered floor. Abstract designs are also an amazing option.
Go ahead and shine. Let the floors do the talking. Use polished wood or any such material that offers a gleaming effect. Anything that looks timeless and sophisticated (picture a Chanel outfit in all its glory) is acceptable in an Art Deco setting.