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In the Spotlight: Art Deco | Location Agency Blog | 1st Option

In the Spotlight: Art Deco

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In the 20th Century, Art Deco was one of the most exciting, ground-breaking and influential design styles the world had ever seen and as so, still has a huge influence on interior design in the 21st century. As a design style, Art Deco is elegant, opulent, functional and modern and although it was actually first developed in the 1920’s it is still as popular as ever, this is why it can be perfect for any contemporary home. It’s adaptable nature means you can add Art Deco elements to any space, furnishings mix well with modern pieces and are abundantly found in antique markets, thrift shops and online. If you are looking to bring a touch of old school glamour and flair to your living space, then Art Deco style interiors may well be the way to go. 

Art Deco first came to prominence in the 1920’s in France with its name officially coming from the ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes’. Following this, the style became very popular and between 1925 and 1940, Art Deco started popping up all over the world. Its adaptability was one of the main reasons it became so popular as you could use it across all design disciplines.

The inspiration for the movement was very obvious, advances in technology meant that people were constantly trying to come up with the next big thing, smooth lines, shapes and patterns characterised the Art Deco aesthetic. Luxury was also at the heart of Art Deco and this was accentuated by the use of jewels, silver and ivory. The style was elegant, glamorous and functional and because of this has stood the test of time.

In the 21st century, interior design has seen a modern and updated take on Art Deco which is decidedly more playful and modern giving you a really standout look. Check out some top cues below to see how you can achieve the look in your own property. 

Opulent Materials 

Materials used today in Art Deco interior design are slick and often feature reflective elements for everyday glamour in the home. Think metallics like gold, silver, stainless steel or chrome. Metallics like the aforementioned lend any room an elegant and luxurious feel and can be utilised anywhere. Imagine a living room with a glass topped gold coffee table, stainless steel lamps and a geometric patterned rug in black and white. Another element often used in Art Deco design is glass, whether it be through mirrors, glass topped tables or sculptural pieces like a vase, glass adds a really elegant dimension to any room. While metals and glass are normally the first thought when it comes to Art Deco, wood can also be used giving the opulent feel needed. Dark woods such as ebony are often used for flooring and furnishings as they give off a real vibe of wealth. The idea here is to show off lofty extravagance as this was what Art Deco was all about in the 1920’s. 

Bold Furniture 

As with all elements of Art Deco interior design, furniture in the 1920’s was incredibly unique. Pieces in general were developed on the larger side of the scale, so with the progressive nature of interior design, in the 21st century, don’t be surprised to see imposing pieces of large furniture crafted from rich materials, such as ebony, that can take up considerable floor space. On the other side of the spectrum, Art Deco design also incorporates curvaceous furniture with smooth lines, bold colours and materials like pink velvet and the classic geometric symmetrical designs laid onto smaller pieces.

Use of Colour

When you initially think of Art Deco, perhaps Great Gatsby styles come to mind, a mix of black, white, silver and gold? However, deep jewel tones also have a big part to play in modern Art Deco design. Their rich and comforting nature as well as their deep hues, which is key for Art Deco interior design, make for the perfect blend between soft and opulent. This is in great contrast to the black and white you might initially think of. Jewel tones that work perfectly are bright and deep yellows, reds, blues, greens, pinks and purples accompanied by lighter colours like beige and cream to soften up your look. The use of softer colours in places like your bedroom and dining room will enable you to bring the room to life through the use of other elements. 


As touched on, you can’t have an art deco space without geometry displayed in some way or another. In the 1920’s production in geometric shapes represented the changing of the times and so shapes such as chevrons, zig zags and trapezoids were utilised to great effect. Sunbursts are also a great addition to an Art Deco room as they add an elegant edge, other elements that can achieve this are fan shaped mirrors as they provide perfect symmetry. 

Premium fabrics

The final element needed for a perfect Art Deco space is the use of premium fabrics, whether it be a solid colour or geometric design, quality fabrics are a must to achieve the opulent feel. All furnishings should be bold featuring block colours and accessorised with throws and cushions in geometric prints or vice versa. The key is to blend subtle and bold prints adding that touch of luxury to your room.