1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Decorating in the Art Deco Style

Sleek, Sophisticated, and Shiny Surfaces

By

Decorating in the Art Deco Style

This poster from the 1937 Paris exposition salutes the French railway.

Photo courtesy of Modernism.com
Art Deco style was developed following World War I, offering people a glamorous style for a new era. The excitement and optimism of post-war Europe and America formed the basis for this glamorous and elegant style of decorating.

Art Deco style blended fashion, architecture, fabric and jewelry design, furniture, and interior design with sleek, smooth lines. It combined modern materials, movement, and the industrial trends of the time.

Read about how to incorporate the Art Deco style into your home.

  • Art Deco Furniture
    Art Deco furniture is streamlined in design. It is modern and sleek but comfortable. Many designs of furniture are made with a flat bent chrome base that gives the piece a rocking effect. Wood pieces are highly lacquered in black. Decorative black lacquered panels are used as room screens. Highly lacquered wood frames are upholstered in lustrous white leather. A stepped-up arm is typical. Woods used include exotic Brazilian rosewood, ebony, birds-eye maple, and light maple veneers. Upholstery is typically of velour, giving the stark form comfort and a sensuous hand.

  • Colors for Art Deco Interiors
    Because Art Deco interiors are minimalist, colors are used sparingly. Most color schemes include black, combining green and black, red and black and white and black. Accents are of chrome and gold. Pale blue or dove grey provides a softening effect.

  • Flooring for Art Deco Rooms
    Classic white or black marble flooring is typical in an Art Deco interior. Checkered tiles of black and white squares are common. Rugs are placed over the sleek flooring, commonly brown, black or dove gray with serpentine swirls or period geometric flowers adding design.

  • Art Deco Lighting
    Lighting in Art Deco interiors include ceiling lights, floor lamps, table lamps and wall sconces. Most styles are streamlined in design. Bronze and glass are used extensively incorporating flowers and geometric shapes in the design. Floor lamps include tall torchieres in wrought iron or chrome with hand blown glass shades. Some are also of black wrought iron. Table lamps of bright nickel with white, clear, frosted, or colorful glass shades are common. Wall sconces can be bronze, aluminum, steel, or silver plated base metal with opaque white or colorful glass shades.

  • Textures in Art Deco Interiors
    Most surfaces are sleek and clean, lacking texture. Velour is used extensively in upholstered furniture and leather gives a simple sleek look on surfaces. Wood veneers add depth to wood pieces and add design to otherwise plain pieces.

  • Accessories Accent Art Deco Design
    Form is important in Art Deco interiors. Mirrors made of nickel, chrome, or silver are decorated with motifs of deer, peacocks, roses, and geometric shapes. Bronze sculptures are sleek covered with colored or pearl beads. Desk sets of pen and pencil on a base are streamlined in design. Door handles and candlesticks molded of nickel, chrome, or silver have woodsy or chevron shapes. Frosted glass or black and white marble are used for vases. Inlay is common and adds color and design. Cameo glass vases show under layers of color exposed by etching away top layers of white or clear glass.

Art Deco style was modern for its time and many elements of the style carry over to design elements of later eras.

See wonderful examples of Art Deco furniture, lighting, art, and accessories at Modernism.com.

Related Video
Decorating Rooms for Kids
How to Hang Art

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.