Have you heard the latest design news? Art Deco is back! We are happy to report to you that one of the most creative and sophisticated design styles of all time, Art Deco, is facing a renaissance. Design lovers with a tender spot in their hearts for the Great Gatsby look are given a strong promise of yet another flamboyant era of interior design. Timeless Art Deco aesthetic meets modern day lifestyle and their lovechild is simply breathtaking!
But to be able to understand Contemporary Art Deco and the reasons for this fashionable comeback, we first need to get a strong hold on what makes the classic Art Deco so irresistible even a century after it first came into favour.
Image credit: Elizabeth Metcalfe
History of Art Deco
Art Deco was a short-lived yet highly influential design movement that peaked in popularity in the years between two global conflicts. Technological advances of the Machine Age, prosperity and general optimism were transforming society and finally, gave birth to Art Deco as a way of adapting to the new, fast-paced world of discovery and invention.
A new sensibility was heavily influenced by the love of arts and the strong need for a universal style that would not be threatened by change. Hunger for life and cultural awareness gave birth to this bold design style that was soon adopted by people of good taste and wealth from all across the globe, who were looking to live art, not just consume it. It was the era of charleston and tango; jazz was the new kid on the block, and Tutankhamun’s tomb had just been discovered. Cosmopolitan lifestyle became fashionable, and enthusiasm was omnipresent!
Image source: House Beautiful
Officially, Art Deco was born in Paris in 1925 on the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs when this unique approach to decorating was first introduced to the public eye. The world went mad over Art Deco’s inclusiveness that gathered elements from all design stars of the past in order to shape the future! In Art Deco, you can spot traces of ancient Egypt, classical Greece, mysterious Byzantine, exotic East, tribal Africa, sunkissed Native America, Aztec, Mayan and even some Gothic elements, but also the influence of Ballet Russes, whose troupe was busy touring the world at the time.
This exciting melting pot of cultures touched every aspect of design, including interiors, architecture (signature skyscrapers shaped the cities’ skylines), furniture, haute-couture, all sorts of art, jewellery and even cars.
Art Deco was all the rage until the 50s when it had to step down to its successor Mid-Century Modern. But that was hardly the end of Art Deco. Every couple of decades we tend to go back to it for inspiration and guidance, which only proves its significance and evergreen quality. We are living one of such moments right now. The demand on the period pieces is skyrocketing as public taste shifts away from the mass-produced furniture in favour of unique pieces with character. Art Deco is getting softer and more minimal with geometric lines, round shapes and Milano-Memphis influences shaping the new look. But some things never change.
Designer: Irakli Zaria, Elle Decor
How to Spot the Style
Freedom of expression and rebellion against social norms are the hallmarks of Art Deco. Everything about this style is bold and distinctive. The over-the-top glamour of glimmering glass and pieces shimmering in gold and brass is further emphasised by the use of clean edges and decadent detail work.
The celebration of lines and geometry dominates the Art Deco aesthetic. Daring patterns with hard angles and strong symmetry adorn the decorative veneer and most often feature stepped profile, zigzags, chevrons, and lightning bolts. But the natural curves of Art Nouveau remain.
Image credit: Tayone Design Studio
Art Deco furniture is large and sturdy. The streamlined shapes show no frills and symbolise the power of an industry that was transforming society. Materials are sleek. Other than natural wood with interesting grain and some exotic skins, Art Deco materials are usually manmade. Chrome, brass, stainless steel and glass are typical, and so are lacquer, mirrors and expensive materials such as gold, marble, ebony and other rare woods, making some of the period pieces highly expensive and accessible only to the super-rich. Theatrical contrasts are an epitome of the style, with stripped-down form and lavish luxury highlighting each other.
The colours are rich and vibrant with lots of contrasts. For extra playfulness, yellows, reds, blues and pinks are often matched with black, silver and chrome. Creams, greens and beige are used to achieve a more calm ambience.
Image source: Arquitetas Express
Art Deco Gondola Table With Rosewood £3,300.00
For an added sense of glam, everything is polished and smooth. You won’t be able to find any raw textures in Art Deco. Fabrics are either graphical or in solid colours and used in juxtaposition to each other.
Floors are lacquered or polished and overlaid with large geometric rugs. Fireplaces are rectangular and bold, and often made of concrete (not many survived to this day). Lighting speaks about the wealth and luxury of the era, often featuring a female figure holding a ball of the lamp.
Some of the most popular themes in Art Deco are sunbursts, nudes, stylised animals, leaves, branches and feathers, and you will find them generously used in all sorts of Art Deco designs.
Get the Look
Image source: Eclectic Trends
To turn your everyday space into a temple of sophistication and style, you will first need to source some Art Deco furniture.
Luckily, here at Vinterior, we only gather the most interesting pieces out there, that are guaranteed to elevate any room they are brought into.
Take a glimpse at some of our stylish picks and get ready to dive into the whole collection at this link.