The Art Deco design explosion was between 1920s to the end of the 1930s. Also, known as The Roaring Twenties or Art Nouveau, this period was a new age in aerodynamics, industry and decorative art. It was obvious that Art Deco was unique by not only the architecture on infamous buildings, such as Radio City Music Hall and the Chrysler building, but through the likes of fashion and design, this era was unlike the past generations. It earned the reputation of exhibiting luxury and sophistication, even by today’s standards.
Shine and Glitz
One of the components of Art Deco is the love for shimmer and shine. Whether it’s on coffee tables, glamorous light fixtures or furnishings, the need for sparkle and reflective materials was certainly a feature in home design. Even architecture was made to look ostentatious and over the top with its flashy gold chevron and geometric patterns. Accessories in rooms were sculptural and ornamental with an Asian flare. Common materials were silver, crystal, ivory, jade and lacquer. Long after the great Depression it was cheaper to mass-produced materials like chrome, plastics, and other industrial items to help accommodate the populating middle class which was also influenced by this high fashioned period.
Art Deco is also known for wild and exotic fabrics and textiles. The use of animal skins, such as, zebra-skin, shark-skin were just some of the unusual materials used on rugs and accessories. Animal motifs were displayed on ornate silk fabrics for pillows, tapestries and fancy room dividers. Wild life and Audubon’s were framed and hung. Walls were wallpapered in unique material such as bamboo for great texture and dimensions to rooms. Light and dark wood inlays created a pattern of sunbursts, chevron and other designs that repeated itself on bed frames, doors, cabinets and tables. These usually had an intricate design that really was modern and industrial for the time.
When creating your Art Deco space, go glamorous and over the top with shine, alluring fabrications and an industrial edge. Shop at antique stores, flea malls or drop by an occasional estate sale to see what goodies you can find from this decade. Remember, good style doesn’t have to be expensive.
Want to know more about your Decorating Style? Check out this and other Design Styles on our DCS Design Style Guide!