This post contains information and tips to help you create your little piece of Art Deco style. The colors, patterns, designs, furniture styles and decorative detailing of the Art Deco style will be revealed. Added to this are lists of where to find more information and suppliers of Art Deco items. If you follow the 6 easy steps you can easily put together your Art Deco master piece.
During the Art Deco era interior design was a main focus. Smooth surfaces, exotic materials and repeated geometric forms characterise this style. The style became part of the ‘Swinging Twenties’ part of the ‘Jazz Age’.
Tip: Read through the whole article before you start following the steps
Step 1: Know what makes Art Deco different from Art Nouveau
Art Deco is a jazzy style with straight lines, geometric and abstracted shapes used in buildings, furniture and decorative details. This is the main difference from the earlier Art Nouveau style with its flowing lines, organic curved rounded forms, fantasy themes and gentle pastel colors. In comparison Art Deco is bold, colorful, showy and dramatic.
Tip: Look for
- Straight lines
- Geometric shapes
- Abstract patterns
- Egyptian scarab
- Sun Motifs
- Stepped ziggurat shapes
- Fan shapes
- Aztec symbols
- Stylised flowers
Step 2: Become familiar with examples of Art Deco design
You can do this from the comfort of your computer desk. Just use the information below to inform your research. This is the easiest way, but you can also visit your local library or you can research in your local area.
Tip: An easy way to find visual information is to do a Google image search. Please note some images labeled as Art Deco are in fact Art Nouveau
- Emile –Jacques Ruhlmann a leader of French interior design and furniture design between 1918 – 1925
- Paul Iribe
- Andre Groult
- Neuilly Villa designed 1929 by Pierre Legrain
- Eileen Gray in 1920 designed Suzanne Talbot’s apartment
Art Deco USA
Design in the USA was Influenced by French Art Deco after the 1925 Paris exhibition. The Americans loved the bright surfaces and abstract patterns of the style. The 1933 World’s Fair ‘Century of Progress’ in Chicago saw many Art Deco motifs, designs and shapes used for example the rising sun motif and stepped ziggurat. Ely Jacques Kahn designed Art Deco skyscraper entrance lobbies
- Bricken Building
- Chrysler Building
- Empire State Building
- Banking Hall of the Irving Trust Company
Step 3: Select floor covering
For a bedroom plain wall to wall fitted carpet would be an excellent choice. This was a popular floor treatment of the time. Although geometric patterns and Sarouk Persian or Turkish carpets in geometric or floral salmon pink were popular in the States. In Britain large repeat patterns in soft muted colors (similar to William Morris designs) were used in hotels and on ocean liners. French carpets were formal in style with highly stylized floral designs. Brilliantly colored carpets with abstract patterns were used in theaters and department stores in the US and France. Animal skin floor rugs could also be used in your bedroom. Zebra skin rugs were popular and placed over the plain carpets. Linoleum continued to be popular as did parquet floors.
Tip: What you choose for the floor will influence all your other choices. Remember this when you make your selection.
Art Deco Floors:
- Zebra skin
- Turkish (Sarouk)
Carpets Available in Art Deco Style
Stark’s Navarre design
Stark’s Laseine design
Bosanquet’s Ives trellis design
Axminster Carpets’ Honeycomb design
Step 4: Select the wallpaper and paint colors
You may want to create a modern styled room with an Art Deco twist or create a room to reflect a real impression from the Art Deco times. Strong colors were used as a reaction to the pastels of the Art Nouveau style. However colors did vary between countries and the decades of the Art Deco era. In a bedroom green, ultramarine, sea green or deep blue could create a peaceful retreat. But black, red, crimson, burnt orange or hot pink could create a dramatic bold statement. Or a sophisticated elegant atmosphere could be created by using white on white, cream, coffee, beige, bluff or chocolate brown.
Tip: Some colors work better in a bedroom. Greens and blues are said to decrease the heart rate. Reds and oranges are said to stimulate and increase the heart rate.
Art Deco colors
- Chocolate brown
- Hot Pink
- White on White
Walls, ceilings and woodwork were often smooth and sometimes glossy. Wallpapers were also popular. If you want drama and excitement in your scheme then wallpapers with bold geometric, Egyptian or Aztec motifs in vibrant colors would achieve this. The wallpaper designs of the 1930’s could create a sophisticated elegant look. The tea stained colors heighted with silver or gold would create a rich, smart interior space. A truly feminine room could be created using one of the many Art Deco floral design wallpapers. Or a classic modern Art Deco look could be achieved by using geometric patterns in cubist like designs.
- Stylised Flowers
- Egyptian motifs
- 1930’s (tea stained colors highlighted with silver or gold)
Bradbury and Bradbury’s Glasgow Panel
G.P. & J. Baker’s Rose & Hummingbird
Step 5: Select the Furniture
The interiors of the Art Deco era housed furniture with straight (sometimes curved) clean lines. To create a classic modern room glass and chrome could be used. Lacquered furniture was also popular at this time so could be used to create an elegant sophisticated style. Exotic timbers could be used to create bold statements and rooms with a sense of drama. Upholstery was often designed in geometric patterns, but plain fabrics were often used. Large tasseled cushions of varying shapes covered with sumptuous fabrics were popular. Using cushions in this manner would create a more informal look.
Tip: It is best to make the final choice on paint color selections after the furniture has been selected
- Veneered exotic timbers
- Lacquered: Black, Scarlet, Pale yellow
Step 6: Select Art Deco Accessories
Ornaments were sparsely used during the Art Deco period. The classical minimal modern look was starting to have an impact at this time and influenced Art Deco design. The stepped profile is considered the shape of the Art Deco era. Abstracted fans, sunrise and Egyptian motifs were also popular. Lamps with female figurers holding a ball are a well known icon of the Art Deco era. Also cushion were used in strongly colored rooms, often black and red with red lacquer-work furniture and China pagoda lamps. So what could you use to finish off your Art Deco room? Fan design table lamps or a girl with a ball lamp could be used with sleek lacquered furniture or with exotic timber or glass and chrome pieces.
A mirror in a fan or step design would work well with most furniture designs. Art Deco interiors rarely displayed paintings however murals were sometimes used. Ornaments in bronze and other metals of the female or animal form were in vogue at this time so could make a nice addition to your Art Deco bedroom
Tip: One piece of Art Deco; a lamp, piece of furniture or wallpaper could be the starting point of your interior decorating scheme. Everything else selected should then relate to that object.
This article has illustrated there are three main themes you can use to create your bedroom in an Art Deco style.
You could create:
- A bold dramatic room with strong colors, bold geometric patterns and exotic timber furniture.
- Or secondly you could create a classic modern style using chrome and glass furniture, abstract patterns and muted or neutral colors with strong contrast.
- Or a luxurious sophisticated room could be created using lacquered furniture, subtle patterns and tea stained colored wallpaper with silver or gold stripes.
That is not to say you can’t mix some of the items from each style to create a really individual take on Art Deco. The important thing to remember when creating an Art Deco room; the motifs, patterns and designs are basically the same. I will be writing a series on Art Deco on my creative buzz blog.
I invite you to visit. It will be loaded with information and images.
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Author: Rosena MacFadzean for SampleBoard.com