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Embrace the Roaring 20s With Art Deco Interior Design

While the 1920s are long past, the Art Deco interior design movement is far from over. Want to successfully get this look? Here are some tips for making your home look ready to host a flapper-themed get-together — and look opulent and decadent at all times. Let's get swinging!

What Is Art Deco Interior Design?

Like any look, there's the original style and the modern renditions that follow. At its core, Art Deco is a design choice that brings glamor and symmetry together, focusing on rich colors, bold geometry and intricate details.

The Art Deco movement was one of the first modern art movements, becoming an inspiration for many objects and materials, including jewelry, glassware, skyscrapers and even ocean liners.

To create a home inspired by this style, it's helpful to take a look at history to determine where the design started.

History of Art Deco: Where Did It Come From?

Historically, Art Deco started in France in the early 1900s but flourished in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. Originally called "le style moderne" or "Jazz Moderne," it got its current name during the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. This event was held in Paris in 1925 and was the very first time this style was put on display.

After 1925, many interior designers took inspiration from the rapid artistic and technological innovations happening during the period, incorporating lots of elegant, eclectic style choices that this look is now known for. The Art Deco aesthetic was used heavily for decades until the 1950s gave way to the more streamlined look of mid-century modern style.

Today, people draw inspiration from this period when it comes to decor, colors, furniture pieces and more, making the spirit of this time live on.

glamourArt Deco brings glamor and symmetry together.

What's the Difference Between Art Deco and Art Nouveau?

You may put Art Deco and Art Nouveau in the same stylistic category, but there are a few main differences between them. The main factor is the types of shapes used. While Art Deco uses straight lines, zig-zags and chevrons, Art Nouveau features curved lines and more organic shapes.

Art Nouveau is considered one of the first modern art styles, leading the way for other avant-garde art movements that followed. It takes inspiration from nature and strays away from the clean lines and sharp corners of Art Deco.

Key Characteristics of Art Deco Interior Style

Want to get this post-World War I look? Art Deco is characterized by jewel tones, simple lines, geometric shapes and expensive-looking materials and textiles.

Geometric Shapes

Using geometric shapes as ornamentation is extremely important for this style. Often, patterns in Art Deco-inspired homes repeat squares, triangles, chevrons, zig-zags, sunbursts and stepped forms. While you never want to go overboard with patterns, you can incorporate them into furniture, lighting fixtures and architectural elements — even wallpaper.

Rich Materials

Art Deco interiors often incorporate luxurious material options like exotic wood — think ebony and zebra wood — chrome, glass and marble. Also, lacquered surfaces, brass, stainless steel, gilt and high-end upholstery fabrics give off an upscale look. You can determine how fancy and opulent you want your space to look by adding more or limiting the use of these materials.

Fancy Lighting

For an Art Deco interior, play around with fixtures that feature geometric shapes, clean lines and any of the luxurious material options mentioned above. Dramatic Art Deco lighting like chandeliers or sconces are popular because they're functional and look stunning simultaneously, contributing to the overall glamor and elegance of the space.

Jewel Tones

An Art Deco color palette should include jewel tones like reds, purples, blues and greens complemented by beiges, creams and muted yellows. Bold schemes like black and white are also popular options, creating a striking contrast for any room. You can use any of these hues to build the art deco pattern work so commonly used in this style.

Mirrored Surfaces

If you've read — or watched — The Great Gatsby, you most likely already have a mental image of what Art Deco rooms look like. If you haven't, think mirrors. And not just hanging mirrors (while those are wonderful additions); mirrors can be used as decorative accents, like on furniture and used as wall panels. This not only creates visual interest but also enhances the light in your rooms and creates depth.

Vertical Lines

Yes, every room in any interior style has vertical lines. However, Art Deco architecture and design often emphasize tall, slender forms to add a sense of height and grandeur to the space. This could mean including tall floor lamps, hanging your drapery at the ceiling rather than the top of the window and incorporating thin vertical panels on your walls for extra detail.

Art Deco Interior Design Ideas

You know what you need to make your home look like a speakeasy from the 1920s — now you just need the inspiration to strike. Lucky for you, we've got some lovely ideas to get you started.

Large-Scale Sideboards and Armoires

What Art Deco furniture lacks in frills it makes up for in size. Big sideboards and armoires are wonderful storage options for your living room and dining room, allowing you to stylishly hide drinks, glasses and extra dishware. Generally, they'll be made of dark wood or painted black with gold geometric-shaped details or metallic accents, acting as a focal point that's both stunning and functional.

Tortoiseshell and Mother-of-Pearl Inlays

While intricate detailing isn't what Art Deco style is known for, pieces that have tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl inlays really fit well within this design style. This upscale take on furniture is timeless and unique, giving your guests something to ask about. This look is inspired by the popularity of safari vacations at the time this design rose to stardom.

Herringbone-Patterned Wood Flooring

Subtle elegance and distinctive flair are what makes Art Deco homes thrive. Parquet wood flooring is made by arranging small slats of wood in repeating patterns, resulting in a beautiful effect. Herringbone is a zig-zag geometric pattern made by using rectangular blocks or planks with straight edges. This is a great way to tie the sharp geometric look throughout your whole home — flooring included.

lightingLighting fixtures are a way to add luxury.

Lighting Features With Stepped or Elongated Shapes

Lighting features can really take the spotlight, providing an easy way to bring eye-catching Art Deco decor into your home. Because this style is known for its bold geometric shapes and symmetrical patterns, a common look is lamp shades made of etched glass or chrome with stepped or elongated shapes that depict skyscrapers.

They can be large and dramatic like a chandelier in your main entrance or be smaller and more subtle for a kitchen or living room. Either way, play around with different colored glass options and pick one that stands out from the furniture without being overly distracting.

Animal Print Area Rug

Is your room missing a special final touch that can bring everything together? We've got the perfect thing: animal print. Now, before you roll your eyes, hear us out. Zebra print and cheetah print are beautiful in moderation, especially when tied with jewel tones and dark wood. Try a subtle zebra print throw blanket or go bold with a tiger print area rug — just don't mix too many patterns. You want a tasteful room, not a zoo.

Getting in the Swing of Art Deco Design

Ready to make your home feel like a mysterious speakeasy from the period art deco style hails from? Get help from Decorating Den Interiors by connecting with one of our personal decorators in your area. Once you get in touch with us, we'll work with you to make your Art Deco design wishes become a reality.

Ready to get started? Enter your zip code to find the Decorating Den Interiors decorator nearest to you.

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