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Art Deco | The ’20s Roar Again

What goes around comes around. Art Deco, short for Arts Décoratifs or Decorative Art, was an extremely popular interior design style during the 1920s and 1930s. A century later, the trend is making its way back into homes for a dazzling encore. Vibrant colors, luxurious textures, symmetrical motifs, and strong geometric designs are some of the main themes that define art deco. Here are some ways you can incorporate Gatsby-era glamour into your home.

Bold and beautiful colors
Favorite colors of the art deco period focus on moody, saturated deep yellows, greens, blues, reds and pinks. Think vibrant, jewel tones such as cobalt blue, emerald green or mustard yellow. These striking colors are often paired with or accented by bright, metallic pieces, such as silver, gold or chrome, as well as neutrals to help balance out the space. Paint or wallpaper adds the most richness to a room. You can elevate the drama and create dimension with gold detailing on light fixtures. Just remember to use unique, saturated shades and stay away from the true primary and secondary colors. Pops of color can also be brought in with furniture or smaller décor items such as pillows, drapes and ottomans.

Symmetrical motifs and patterns
The geometric, linear and angular patterns that characterize art deco design were meant to symbolize technological progress in the 1920s. For example, jagged, pointed edges were inspired by skyscrapers such as the iconic Chrysler building. An easy way to incorporate this into your décor is with a zigzag- or triangular-patterned wallpaper. You can also add fun, patterned throw pillows to a neutral-colored sofa or lay down an abstract statement rug. Tie in the trend with geometric tiles in the kitchen, bathroom or entryway. Don’t be afraid to try out unique shapes such as fish scales, arabesques and elongated hexagons.

Dramatic artwork and sculptures
Art deco is all about making a statement. Investing in sculptures, ornate furniture, mirrors and paintings can instantly bring that lavish feel into your home. Look for items with geometric shapes, smooth lines and linear patterns. Animal sculptures, statue replicas and large vases work well here. Abstract paintings and wall hangings or even an abstract area rug can create bold focal points. Don’t be afraid to go big! Even large furniture can double as a form of artwork: think oversized sideboards with grooved paneling or a massive, scalloped mirror.

Luxurious and unexpected materials
Incorporating rich or exotic materials is a sure way to add some art deco flair into your life. Velvet, marble, fringe, concrete, and leather all represent luxury and glamour. You can even get playful by adding in animal print such as a striking, zebra-print rug. A golden, crushed velvet tufted headboard would look stunning against a moody, plum bedroom wall. For hard surfaces such as tables, bed frames, and lamps, opt for sleek materials such as stainless steel, chrome and glass. Learn more about velvet here.

High-contrast palette
Quite the opposite of minimalist design, art deco shamelessly draws attention to itself. The bigger and bolder, the better. One of the main aspects of the trend is its high-contrast palette. A wall painted black or navy paired with gold accents is one of the most iconic ways to achieve this. Mustard throw pillows, blankets and tapestries complement a jade-colored sofa. Blackand- white checkered flooring is instantly dramatic, as well. Color isn’t the only way to add contrast; the same can be done with shapes. Uniform, geometric lines combined with streamlined curves are trademarks of art deco. Lines create movement and can bring a space to life, but balance is essential. Both curves and sharp angles should be showcased together. For example, if your wallpaper has more straight lines, try pairing it with a curved headboard or sofa. Consequently, if you have a room full of archways, stick with sharp-edged furniture. Check out our story on colors of the year here.

Decadent details
No detail is too small when it comes to art deco. Light fixtures offer an easy way to bring the trend into your home. Even against a basic, white wall, chrome fixtures in elongated or fanned-out shapes can be eye-catching. On an entryway table pair stark-white exotic sculptures with gold accessories and an assortment of art. Symmetry is key here. Bring in mirrors with intricate, geometric frames to reflect light and add embellishment and luxury. Be dramatic: Stars, globes and other interesting shapes add instant glitz. Art deco can be easily mixed in with other design styles — just a few pieces can be the stars of the show. Start small with gold, decorative accents such as cabinet hardware, sink faucets and curtain rods. Add playful, unique mirrors and a gold accent table or bar cart to an otherwise neutral living room. Drip some color into the area with jewel-toned pillows and throws, or add wallpaper with a pop of metallic gold or geometrical shapes to small spaces such as behind shelves.

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