Very few styles of design have lived up to the momentum and popularity of Art Deco. Forget what you think about the Great Gatsby era—this timeless style has been around for almost 100 years for good reason. In part four of our 2019 Home Trends Series, we’re covering Art Deco furniture and interior design elements. Count on us to teach you a brief history of the style, help you pinpoint defining features of Art Deco-inspired pieces, and share a few of our favorite modern incorporations of the timeless trend.
Art Deco design elements peaked in popularity between the first and second World Wars. According to Study.com, the infamous Art Deco was first introduced at a “large decorative arts exhibition” in France 1925. Even the name “Art Deco” is short for the French term “Arts Décoratifs” according to Wikipedia. The trend exploded across Europe and eventually made its way to the United States and across the world.
The Art Deco style focused on several defining characteristics: Bold colors, geometric shapes, luxurious materials, and high contrast. Over time, elements like lacquered wood, exotic upholstery, and chrome or aluminum accents emerged. It was not uncommon to have a sharkskin leather chair or ivory detailing in a dresser when Art Deco furniture was taking shape. In the beginning, Art Deco was seen as a symbol of wealth.
Today, the shapes, colors, and patterns for the Art Deco era have remained popular. Geometric patterns and high contrast designs can be traced back to inspiration from the 1920s and 1930s. However, you won’t find the same luxurious materials. Exotic furs have been traded for faux furs, mahogany and other rare woods have been swapped for more affordable options. Nevertheless, the look of Art Deco furniture has hardly disappeared. Keep reading to find out what to look for to pinpoint the classic style of design.
Spot Art Deco Elements Like a Pro
Do you know what Art Deco looks like? Not to worry, we’ll help you pick out the elements like an expert. From wood to upholstery, and from pretty patterns to accent metals, there are many different aspects of the style.
Shiny surfaces were an immensely popular element of Art Deco style, particularly shiny wood. Designers would polish off their coffee tables, statement pieces, and even bedroom furniture in layers of resin to create a hard, glossy finish. This process also helped preserve the wood, since many woodworkers and designers chose rare woods for their pieces.
The Passages Chest above is a modern take on the Art Deco wood lacquering trend. The shiny finish pays tribute to the high gloss trend. Light reflects beautifully off the black chest of drawers.
Glitz and glam was also a part of the roaring twenties and the Art Deco era. Sparkles, mirrors, glamorous hardware, and other shiny details were common in dressers, nightstands, and decorative pieces. This was one of the many ways Art Deco resembled wealth and appreciation for fine details.
Our Lila Bedroom Set features the same beautiful sparkles and crystal designs you would expect in an original Art Deco bedroom set. Pick up the Lila in a 3-piece set (bed, dresser, and mirror) or 5-piece set (bed, dresser, mirror, chest of drawers, and nightstand) in Queen or King.
Scallops, curves, and bends are popular among Art Deco accent chairs and sofas. Crescent couches, seashell scalloped chairs, and other abstract curvy shapes grew in popularity during this era.
One round chair that mimics the classic style is the Groovy Smoke Swivel Chair. The high contrast accent pillow with cream and brown swirls is similar to fan patterns of the Art Deco era. The barrel chair is a modern interpretation of the round furniture look.
From dresser hardware to accent chair legs, chrome became a staple of Art Deco design. Lamps, clocks, and tabletop decor were commonly made of chrome or aluminum. The metal look is a bold contrast to the jewel tones and wood features of the other prominent pieces.
We love how the Gyro 3 Piece Table Set for pays tribute to the round chrome design from the 1920s and 1930s. This three piece coffee set features glass table tops and chrome bases. The ring metal framework creates an “x” design that’s finished with a third ring at the base of each table. The coffee table comes with two matching side tables.
Triangles and overlapping fan shapes featuring two or three colors define Art Deco patterns. In the classic form, you’ll find combinations of black and gold, white and gold, and black and white. Emerald green, navy blue, and other jewel tones are also common.
During the Art Deco period, mirrored chests and vanities with unique shapes grew in popularity. Some styles were covered entirely in mirrored pieces, while others incorporated the reflective detail as an accent. Shiny furniture with mirror-like properties is still around today.
Bedrooms sets like the Windsor Silver Bedroom Set borrows the reflective property of the mirrored furniture trend. This set is covered in a shiny metallic finish that bounces light all around the room. Plus, the faux crystal hardware and wood carved detailing reinstate the love for glamorous embellishments during the 1920s and 1930s.
Though modern day Art Deco pieces aren’t made of the exotic and luxurious materials as they once were, it’s clear the trend is still prominent today. Here are some of our favorite ways to add Art Deco furniture to your home:
- Choose accent pieces with smooth, clean lines. Try a simple coffee table set with minimal framing and emphasis on the shape.
- Play with geometric patterns that feature an accent metal. Wall art, accent walls, or decorative ceiling patterns featuring one color and one metal shade are easy ways to pay tribute to the era.
- Add round furniture to your living space. A simple barrel chair accent chair or storage ottoman will add a unique element to your living room.
- Try a shiny bedroom set. It’s easy to achieve the lacquered wood or mirrored furniture look with a variety of bedroom sets at American Freight.
Shop the Timeless Style
Art Deco furniture made big waves in the interior design industry in the 1920s that still has a huge influence today. Did you know you can shop the style at American Freight Furniture and Mattress? Visit your local store to browse the trends from this post. From chrome table lamps like the Crystal Chandelier Table Lamp to scalloped furniture like the Factory Select Sofa and Loveseat, it’s easy to add the classic style to your home. Click here to find a location nearest you.
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2019 Home Trends