Art Deco holds a dominant position in the history of design and is a style that has influenced many artistic movements over the past few decades. Art Deco has also inspired modern interior design, thanks to its clean lines and sleek style, and is thus a popular design element in homes today. This article outlines the primary stylist elements of Art Deco and how you can successfully implement Art Deco interior design into your living space.
What is Art Deco?
Art Deco is a design style that came out of Paris in the 1920s, eventually spreading around Western Europe and North America, flourishing in the 1930s. Accordingly, the term ‘Art Deco’ was coined in Paris after an exhibition titled ‘Exposition des Arts Decoratifs’ in 1925, giving a name to the style that influenced all areas of design, including architecture, interior design, fashion, jewellery, industrial design and even the visual arts.
Art Deco Inspirations
Like many stylistic movements before it, Art Deco was influenced by the ideas and fashions of its time. In part, Art Deco was a reaction to the austerity of World War I, and began a design period of elegance coupled with functionality and modernity. Art Deco was also heavily influenced by the technology of the time. The speed of ships, aeroplanes, cars and trains were often illustrated on lamps or Art Decco mirrors and frames, and chrome became a popular material. Art Deco also drew inspiration from Picasso and Cubism, which is evident in its smooth lines. Notably, Art Deco favours linear symmetry. The most distinguishing difference between Art Deco and its predecessors is that its beginnings were purely decorative.
Art Deco Furniture
Art Deco features streamlined design that is simultaneously sleek and comfortable. Furniture bases made from flat bent chrome have always been a popular Art Deco item, and commonly give Art Deco furniture a slight rock. Wood often has synthetic coatings in minimalist shades of colour. Solid black, white and grey are common and are often combined with red and green for colour. Popular woods include Brazilian rosewood, birds-eye maple, ebony and light maple veneers.
Art Deco Flooring
Art Deco flooring has a classic feel to it. White or black marble Art Deco flooring is typical of the style, as is chequered black and white tiles, which is popular in bathrooms and kitchens today. Art Deco rugs are placed over sleek flooring to add texture, and are commonly black, brown or dove-grey in colour.
Art Deco Lighting
Lighting has always been a very important element of Art Deco style, and because chrome and glass where the modern materials of the 1930s, these materials largely featured in Art Deco light fittings. Art Deco wall lights, ceiling lights and lamp shades were sleek and streamlined, often in fan or bowl shapes. Other popular materials include bronze, aluminium and steel.
Penny Munroe is an avid writer in interior design and visual arts. Articles include selecting the ideal contemporary furniture for your home to lessons in Art Deco design style.