Art Deco

Decorating in the Art Deco Style

Sleek, Sophisticated, and Shiny Surfaces

Art Deco style was developed following World War I, offering people a glamorous style for a new era. The excitement and optimism of post-war Europe and America formed the basis for this glamorous and elegant style of decorating.

Art Deco style blended fashion, architecture, fabric and jewelry design, furniture, and interior design with sleek, smooth lines. It combined modern materials, movement, and the industrial trends of the time.

Read about how to incorporate the Art Deco style into your home.

  • Art Deco Furniture

Art Deco furniture is streamlined in design. It is modern and sleek but comfortable. Many designs of furniture are made with a flat bent chrome base that gives the piece a rocking effect. Wood pieces are highly lacquered in black. Decorative black lacquered panels are used as room screens. Highly lacquered wood frames are upholstered in lustrous white leather. A stepped-up arm is typical. Woods used include exotic Brazilian rosewood, ebony, birds-eye maple, and light maple veneers. Upholstery is typically of velour, giving the stark form comfort and a sensuous hand.

  • Colors for Art Deco Interiors

Because Art Deco interiors are minimalist, colors are used sparingly. Most color schemes include black, combining green and black, red and black and white and black. Accents are of chrome and gold. Pale blue or dove grey provides a softening effect.

  • Flooring for Art Deco Rooms

Classic white or black marble flooring is typical in an Art Deco interior. Checkered tiles of black and white squares are common. Rugs are placed over the sleek flooring, commonly brown, black or dove gray with serpentine swirls or period geometric flowers adding design.

  • Art Deco Lighting

Lighting in Art Deco interiors include ceiling lights, floor lamps, table lamps and wall sconces. Most styles are streamlined in design. Bronze and glass are used extensively incorporating flowers and geometric shapes in the design. Floor lamps include tall trochees in wrought iron or chrome with hand blown glass shades. Some are also of black wrought iron. Table lamps of bright nickel with white, clear, frosted, or colorful glass shades are common. Wall sconces can be bronze, aluminum, steel, or silver plated base metal with opaque white or colorful glass shades.

  • Textures in Art Deco Interiors

Most surfaces are sleek and clean, lacking texture. Velour is used extensively in upholstered furniture and leather gives a simple sleek look on surfaces. Wood veneers add depth to wood pieces and add design to otherwise plain pieces.

  • Accessories Accent Art Deco Design

Form is important in Art Deco interiors. Mirrors made of nickel, chrome, or silver are decorated with motifs of deer, peacocks, roses, and geometric shapes. Bronze sculptures are sleek covered with colored or pearl beads. Desk sets of pen and pencil on a base are streamlined in design. Door handles and candlesticks molded of nickel, chrome, or silver have woodsy or chevron shapes. Frosted glass or black and white marble are used for vases. Inlay is common and adds color and design. Cameo glass vases show under layers of color exposed by etching away top layers of white or clear glass.

Art Deco style was modern for its time and many elements of the style carry over to design elements of later eras.

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Art Deco Decorating Tips for Your Apartment

If you love glamour, try incorporating these Art Deco decorating tips into your apartment. Art Deco style originated in the 1920s; its important elements include symmetry, modernism and angular shapes. Interior decorators like to combine the allure of the period with glamour, turning to Hollywood films for inspiration.

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Texture and Colors

Texture is a crucial aspect to Art Deco interior design. Floors and furnishings use materials such as satin, silk, or chrome. The style also capitalizes on the sleekness of marble, bronze and lacquered surfaces. You may add vintage Hollywood elements such as faux fur or feathers for intimate places in your apartment. Large mirrors can become a focal point in your living area.

Fabrics drape rather than cling to furnishings. Curtains should have an abundant amount of material, providing a luxurious feeling in the apartment. Art Deco colors are monochromatic and bold. The style features cooler colors, such as grey and metallic hues. You can also incorporate shiny black and wooden colors. Everything in your apartment should have a polished, clean appearance.



You may able to incorporate laminate flooring or parquet tiles that are common in many apartments. Art Deco flooring patterns usually have geometric shapes or checkerboard patterns. The bare floors in your apartment should have a shiny glow to them.

You may also use an area rug to achieve the Art Deco ambiance in your apartment. Look for rugs that incorporate circle motifs or geometric shapes. Even if you are unable to find an Art Deco rug at your local flea market or estate sale, many modern retail stores have rugs that replicate the Art Deco style.

Furniture and Lighting Fixtures

Furnishings and lighting fixtures have a glossy, luxurious appearance. The edges of bureaus and tables are usually curved. Upholstered chairs and couches include ornate flourishes on the arms and legs. Couches may be made in leather or velveteen.

Art Deco lighting fixtures often make use of the stacked geometric patterns. You may see cones or sphere-shaped shades. Stained glass was a popular trend during this period. Light shades may appear as colored glass with chrome, brass or steel bases

“These interior design trends shout sophistication!”

Some nice interior design trends have emerged in recent years. I always enjoy looking through design publications and, yes, even studying the ad layouts in design magazines. I know it sounds strange, but advertisements can be worth a second look when it comes to decorating.

They say a lot about current trends in:

  • Styles
  • Colors
  • Texture
  • Fabrics
  • Lighting

You could say I’m a picture oriented guy. Maybe that’s just a throw back to my childhood when picture books were the best and those without fun illustrations…well…they were just plain boring. To me, checking out how an interior is arranged and how the various style elements support one another is fun  even if it is an advertisement. It gives me ideas for how I’d like my home to be.

I have to admit, the current interior design trends are exciting! They shout sophistication regardless of specific style – casual, traditional, contemporary or classic. Now is not the time to be “matchy-matchy” and super uptight by making everything in your space ultra coordinated to mind numbing detail.

The current trend is a bit different. To me it is essentially a sophisticated blending of style types and materials to create a look that is very appealing. There are various elements that are brought together to establish this appeal.

Style Mix

Starting with one style and then adding elements of another one contributes to the look of today’s popular interiors. The combination of classic and contemporary elements looks refreshingly interesting. For example, furniture with a contemporary silhouette sits beautifully within classically traditional architecture regardless of the purpose of the room. I see this approach used a lot in the interior design world today.

Glamour and Shimmer

Infusing your interior with a hint of shimmer is hot these days. Examples include iridescent, glass mosaic tiles featured on the wall between the kitchen counter and upper cabinets as well as in the bathroom on the walls of the shower. It looks fantastic!

You can add a touch of glamour with your lighting also. Glass ball or cube lamps with touches of chrome are hot right now. I really like the ones that look like a stack of glass orbs. The shade forces some light down this lucid column and it shimmers.

Speaking of shades, the interior design trend of late has been towards barrel shades. This goes for chandeliers as well as table lamps. A chandelier in a dining room might have one large barrel shade or multiple, smaller barrel shades – one for each candle. Whether large or small, barrel shades look modern and sophisticated!

Pale Palettes

For the last several years, neutral yet sophisticated color palettes have been popular. Based on what I’ve been seeing lately, this is still the case to a large degree.

One paint color combo that’s been very popular in particular is parchment or light tan colored walls with white trim. It’s a sharp combination! I liked it so much that I painted my own interior this way. It provides a sophisticated back drop that’s interesting to look at yet is easy to live with.

Another scheme that I’ve been seeing more of lately is soft, silvery blue for walls combined with white trim. This looks particular good with chrome and glass accenting as mentioned in the lighting section. A touch of black adds nice dimension to the scheme as well.

Warm and White

In the realm of kitchen design , warm wood surfaces remain and will probably always be popular for cabinetry. But as an alternative, white cabinetry would have to be classified as one of the interior design trends of today.

White kitchens look very clean and project a bit of a contemporary feel. Yet, the style of the cabinetry can be quite traditional in nature. And white cabinetry looks great with warm colored floors. This lends credence to the benefit of combining elements from different styles and different color temperatures for greater visual sophistication.

Stainless steel appliances and cabinetry hardware remain popular in kitchen design today, providing interesting metallic shimmer.

Tactile Emphasis

Interior design trends in the area of texture demonstrate the benefit of mixing different types of materials for a more sophisticated look.

I have noticed that in a restrained, contemporary environment for example, a shaggy area rug can be used to add just the right amount of textural variation to the streamlined surroundings.

Wicker style, woven storage bins and baskets are popular not only for their organizational benefits but for the visual texture they provide as well. Cane and wicker furniture is often mixed with more refined, upholstered pieces to nice effect.

Hydrangeas are popular for interior floral arrangements as they provide great visual texture against a refined background of furnishings. Sophisticated variation is the key, and designers are going for it big time.

Streamlined Views

A current interior design trend for windows seems to be less fabric and more emphasis on the architectural elements of the view. Handsome trim work is shown off in this way, and a lighter, more contemporary look emerges regardless of the overall room style. The space expands visually and feels more open.

Roman shades are popular when more privacy is needed. These look great tailored to fit neatly within the window frame to allow the architecture of the window to take center stage.

Finishing Touches

Handsome books are a key element among the interior design trends in accessories. Designers will often create stacks of them to display. On tables, on shelves, on the floor…stacks of books continue to be a hot finishing touch. In many cases I think the color and texture they provide for the design scheme is more important than their actual content.

On the walls, black and white photography continues to be a hot choice. It’s a great way to add your own personal touch or create the feeling of a gallery. Plus it adds some refreshing contemporary pizzazz to any room’s style.

Popular arrangements for wall art are a quadrant pattern or a linear pattern placed horizontally or vertically on the wall.

Patterns and Textures

“Embrace interior design pattern without breaking a sweat.”

Interior design pattern and texture are critical decorating elements. Incorporating them into a design scheme brings a greater level of interest and sophistication to the plan.

Many people freeze up at the thought of pattern mixing. If you understand the basics, though, this will be one fewer thing for you to worry about.

There are basically four types of pattern:

  • Geometric
  • Floral
  • Motif
  • Pictorial

Successfully mixing pattern also requires an understanding of scale and density. As you become familiar with these concepts you will be well on your way to creating beautiful design schemes that will wow your guests.

Geometric Pattern

I love stripes. This type of geometric pattern is decorative yet it can also serve the purpose of deceiving the eye. It’s a great space manipulation tool.

Vertical stripes make a surface appear taller – something to remember for low ceiling rooms. On the other hand, horizontal stripes create the sense of width.

Another example of geometric pattern is a check design. Checks are versatile and can fit within a wide range of settings both formal and casual.

A crisp, clean, tone-on-tone pattern could be perfect for upholstered dining room chairs in a formal setting. Conversely, a gingham check would be great for a casual, country house setting.

Floral Pattern

This is perhaps the easiest interior design pattern to recognize. As its name suggests, the focus is on flowers of all kinds. This may or may not be your personal favorite. Everyone has different tastes. Always go with what you like.

A floral pattern can definitely provide a softer touch to a design scheme. If you are using multiple floral patterns together in a design scheme the possibility exists for visual busy-ness. If you find this is the case, you can calm the action down with the addition of some geometric stripes or checks elsewhere in the design scheme as shown above. The striped window fabric, solid colored, bed pillows and the checked upholstery on the bench tone down the busy floral pattern on the coverlet. The overall effect looks balanced and pulled together.

A floral interior design pattern is especially useful for conveying a sense of historical or period style – like the elegant Swedish Gust avian look, for example. Floral patterns can be a great choice for a more laid back country style, too.

Written by : Interior Decorating

Written by : Laura Richter , last updated May 17, 201

Written by : Brittany Blake Interiors