Art Deco Interior Design

by BrendaReeves

Art deco design stormed the design scene between 1920 and 1940. This "new modern" in interior design was gaudy yet glamorous and as energetic as the era

Industrialization around the world brought mass production which meant the average working person could afford the elegant, lavish art deco style that only the rich previously enjoyed. Remnants of this period still exist in the architecture of large cities: The Chrysler Building and Radio City Music Hall are exemplary examples of the period. Thrift and antique shops sell art deco furniture, jewelry, clothing and dishes. Vintage art deco cars are coveted by collectors all over the world. Interior design reaped the biggest influence of the art deco era and you can easily recreate it with little cost in your twenty-first century home.

Characteristics of Art Deco Interior Design

When scavenging thrift stores, look for posters of the time period and mount them in black lacquered frames with glass. Look for accessories that are tall, thin and slightly curved; colored glass, shiny metal chrome, ivory or jade. Stained glass pieces and mirrors were popular in art deco. Rugs had geometric patterns and bold colors. Furniture displayed voluptuous curves and was often mirrored or lacquered. Nudes, foliage and stylized animals were common themes.

Choose velvet, chenille or mohair fabrics for that old art deco chair you found at the flea market. Include piping and trim and over stuff those chairs to achieve the curvy look. Bold geometric or flowered patterns are permissible in draperies and furniture.

Art Deco Paint Trims

Walls and ceilings were painted in bold colors. It wasn't uncommon to see a black ceiling and metallic gold or silver on the walls. Homeowners didn't shy away from painting each wall in a room a different color. One of the most popular paint colors was orchid, a lavender hue. The color was used in every room of the house, and even plumbing fixtures came in orchid. Peach and sea-foam green paint were often used alongside orchid.

DIY Art Deco

To get a genuine feel for art deco, watch some old Jean Harlow movies. Jean Harlow was a popular actress during the golden age of cinema. Pay close attention to the lavish furnishings used on the set. That's art deco! Scavenge the thrift stores, flea markets, swap meets and estate sales for furniture. Get on the Internet and search for reproductions. You can easily find reproduction posters in retail stores and online. You'll recognize them by the symmetrical lines and geometric patterning. Use caution when selecting furniture. Many sellers erroneously label pieces as art deco. Keep certain ideas in mind when shopping: Bold colors; geometric shapes; curvy lacquered furniture; over-stuffed chairs; beveled symmetrical mirrors and stained glass. Glitz and glamor symbolized the rowdy and energetic new modern of the "Roaring Twenties" sharply contrasting the more sedate design of the nineteenth century. Reproduce art deco in any home by shopping for antique items at flea markets, antique malls and estate sales.

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Updated: 03/26/2013, BrendaReeves
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BrendaReeves on 09/19/2012

I don't think I would like my walls painted that way Sheila. I like everything white and bright.

sheilamarie on 09/19/2012

I find your description of Art Deco colors interesting, Brenda. I wonder if I would be brave enough to paint each of my walls a different color, but it would add a lot of interest.

BrendaReeves on 09/19/2012

I'm with you Katie. I love to decorate, and I get bored after a while and want to try something new.

katiem2 on 09/19/2012

You had me at ART. I've all but ran out of room for more art but have been thinking of remodeling creating a new design in my home. Anything gets old after a while. I feel a change coming on and one sure to include art. :)K

BrendaReeves on 09/19/2012

Thank you for the comment Mira.

Mira on 09/19/2012

Art Deco posters are really nice . . . !

BrendaReeves on 09/19/2012

Thank you 2uesday. I think I might add some of those posters to my home.

2uesday on 09/19/2012

Art Deco can create stylish decor in the home. Art Deco posters are good because they can be combined with other styles of interior decor. I think it works because of the clean lines and limited color use in these posters.

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