A century of Art Deco
Photography By Valerie Wilcox
As we move into this new decade, we celebrate a century of Art Deco – the dazzling trend that sparked intrigue and imagination across the world. Through the use of metallic details, bold geometrics and a touch of flair, we will show you how to inject this century-strong motif in every and any room in your home.
Art Deco was a movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in 1920s Paris. This non-traditional design style featured gleaming finishes, striking patterns and a repetition of elements. We associate abstract motifs, representational forms and geometric ornamentation with this style, along with streamlined materials like concrete, glass, mirror and metal. The emotional response to Art Deco was immediate, evoking a sense of sophistication, luxury and modernity.
From the Chrysler Building in New York City to the Aldred Building in Montreal, some of North America’s most intriguing buildings reign from this period. Today, we’re excited to see a resurgence of this subtle drama within interior design.
Art Deco makes a statement without being overdecorated, and what better place to make a statement than your front entry? The foyer is the first and last space you see upon entering and leaving your home, and the perfect opportunity to create a lasting impression.
Go bold with a large angular console accented with metal legs, and add simple structural decor pieces on top. Further enhance this area with a glamorous oversized mirror. Mirrors are a great way to make any space appear larger, brighter and more grand – à la Roaring ’20s.
The living room is a great place to bring The Jazz Age into your home. Whether you go floor-to-ceiling Art Deco or choose to incorporate the style with smaller elements, like accessories, there are plenty of opportunities to elevate this space.
Shy away from romantic florals and pastel hues, opting instead for bold patterns and strong colours. Monochromatic schemes are typical of the Art Deco style, and rich hues like royal blue and charcoal grey pair perfectly with on-theme metals like chrome and bronze. Incorporate motifs in subtle or impactful ways, from striped throw pillows to dramatic diamond-shaped wallpaper. Embrace the iconic Art Deco fan shape in your accessories or try a ziggurat-patterned area carpet.
Find furnishings with defined lines, but let your seating feel comfortable and lush by using extravagant fabrics like velvet that will make your company ooh and aah.
Kitchen & dinning room
Continue to focus on streamlined shapes and sleek materials as you enter your kitchen and dining areas.
Create a striking kitchen design through the use of dark, rich woods and add polished stainless-steel hardware for a hint of glitz. If you’d like to incorporate colour, go for backsplash tile or kitchen appliances in saturated tones like mustard yellow, dark raspberry or teal.
In your dining room, gear towards distinctive, rectilinear furniture and reflect the glamour of the ’20s through the use of mirror. You could hang a starburst mirror, add an antiqued mirror buffet or go floor-toceiling mirror on one full wall. Finally, go bold with your lighting and choose an opulent chandelier that will awe your dinner-party guests.
Moving into the bedroom, the Art Deco style can prevail without feeling too masculine. While distinguished woods and strong colours are on-theme, they can be balanced with soft, white linens and lamp shades.
The addition of throw pillows will augment the look and feel of your bed, whether you choose contrasting patterns or solid colours in luxe upholstery-like silk. To further create a lavish bedroom, layer a plush sheepskin rug over a high-pile area carpet.
The Art Deco style helps to bring decadent detail and order to small spaces like washrooms and powder rooms. Cover every wall of this space with a dramatic graphic wallpaper, hang a shapely mirror and add eye-catching light sconces.
Dare to bring the sophisticated allure of the 1920s to your home in 2020. Incorporating rich colours, reflective materials, intricate details and bold geometries will add tasteful panache to any space.
Paige Johnston is a Canadian designer and strategist based in New York City. She collaborates and works often with Isabelle Boba, Interior Designer and Founder of LUX Design. paigeajohnston.com & luxdesign.ca