Made popular in the 1920s and 1930s, the elegance and glamour of art deco design can be resurrected in your home today. Art deco swept the interior design world in Europe and the United States beginning in the mid-1920s. Signature elements of the design include distinct geometric shapes, shine and a bold reflection of world culture and modernism.
The famous art deco buildings of Miami are standout examples of this design, but there is much more to this style than those structures and pastel colors. The lavishness and sleek glory of the art deco lifestyle highlights contrast and drama at its finest.
Designing your living room in art deco style makes a statement in all areas of the room.
In many ways the art deco living room begins with the floors. Linoleum tiles, lacquered wood, or polished parquet wood is the base for the rest of the room. Today, linoleum and parquet wood get a bad reputation for being cheap or ugly because of inexpensive peel-and-stick options available at big-box stores. That is not the case with these floors.
The materials that make up the art deco floor are made of high quality products that are durable with a heavy sheen. Linoleum tiles or wood pieces are arranged in patterns to create interest in the room. Checkered or border patterns are good tile options. Classic black-and-white tiles can work well with this style. Wood patterns can be alternating dark and light squares or planks, the traditional herringbone pattern, or any number of other patterns. Large area rugs with outstanding geometric shapes, Egyptian zigzags, or sunbursts often secure the room or delineate areas of the living space. Circular rugs can break up the angles of the rest of the room.
Although any color can work with this style, there are a couple sure ways to go when choosing a color palette. Choosing a mellow cream or beige as the main color allows for bolder accessories or pops of brighter color throughout the room. Neutral color families also work well with lacquered wood and wood inlaid furniture. Bold wall colors tend to go well with metallic furniture and accessories.
A few large pieces of furniture will easily fill an art deco living room. A large, streamlined sofa or loveseat flanked by comfortable yet sleek chairs will provide the seating for the room. A side table or coffee table, also in a glossy design, can be used to enhance the seating area. Glass, metal or unadorned wood make perfect tables for this room. Mirrored armoires can add a little luxury to the room and hide modern televisions and media players.
Selecting accessories is easy and fun when you use your floors, color palette and furniture as a guide. Silver and chrome provide the shine that is indicative of the art deco style. Window treatments are downplayed with this type of décor. Simple drapes, cornice boxes or solid colored valances can act as accents for the windows. Leaving windows uncovered also works for this style. Fabrics should be solid colors or include some of the patterns mentioned earlier. Pillows and throws are places to use some of those pops of bold colors. Use framed movie posters, magazine covers, original artwork of the era, or art that channels its heyday to echo historic aspects of art deco design. Mirrored or shiny boxes can top tables or shelves alongside small statues.
Seek Out Art Deco Treasures
Making the old new again is the key to this style. Art deco originated at a time when artifacts of exotic cultures were being discovered and brought to Europe and the United States. Archeological finds provided inspiration for this style. Think of those Egyptian zigzags or the South American stucco influence of Miami’s buildings. Visit antique stores, collectors or consignment furniture stores for international vintage pieces to add to your living room as focal points. These art and sculptural finds paired with the right furniture will create a perfect art deco setting.
The art deco style of today is still reminiscent of a certain swagger of times gone by. It’s not lacey or romantic. When you incorporate art deco elements into your interior design, the result can be a style that is amazingly bold and sharp-angled, simple yet very sophisticated.