Art Deco is best defined by its geometric patterns and towering appearance, both in its skyscrapers and its home décor. The artistic movement it was created by continues to have an impact on design and fashion to this day, both as a clear influence on retro aesthetic and its more subtle effects on even Boho style and minimalism.
The Origin of Art Deco
Born in the 1920s and fully adopted into US culture in the 1930s, the Art Deco movement perfectly captured the optimism of a developing industrial world. By showcasing machine-like perfection and symmetry with bold and metallic colors, this retro design trend still has elements that we associate with futuristic fashion today.
Originating in Paris at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (the origin of the name “Art Deco” as well), artists and designers took modernism into a rich and luxurious world built on streamlined decadence. Though the trend fell out of fashion after the Great Depression, the ‘60s and ‘70s re-implemented Art Deco elements and we continue to do so today.
What Makes a Design Art Deco?
Art Deco influence is easy to spot. Clean lines, symmetry, and height are part of Art Deco’s precision, while bold colors, silvers, and golds create a sense of grandeur. The most iconic elements of Art Deco design, however, are the repeating geometric patterns. Most of these patterns, occurring originally on wallpaper, architecture, clothes, and even poster design are made up of bold, straight lines, diamonds, and triangles. True Art Deco, perhaps unlike the exclusively machinist recreation of it, sometimes used patterns from nature as well. Fan leaves, feathers, and scalloping all have their place in Art Deco, borrowed from Art Nouveau.
Why We Associate Art Deco With Vintage Luxe
The roaring twenties sat right between two world wars, with a generation of partiers and workers both watching technological advancement at a breakneck pace. There is still magic in imagining the grand celebrations in rooms lined with gold and architecture that matched the daring personality of the people who built it.
Art Deco is romanticized in part due to novels like The Great Gatsby and films like Midnight in Paris, which show us extreme beauty and give many nostalgias for a time we didn’t even live through. With seemingly infinite glitter, sparkle, gold, and impact, Art Deco continues to be an example of what luxury looks like today.
Bringing Geometric Patterns Into the Home
Incorporating Art Deco inspiration into the home is the perfect choice for well-defined and confident personalities, as well as for fans of a retro feel. Even small implementations can create a sophisticated old-school sense, displaying your love for art history and the romanticized Mid-Atlantic life.
Geometric patterns are also a shockingly quick way to provide a room with a more professional feel, even when the patterns are only used as small accents. Angular patterns with a specific emphasis on triangles have been trendy for the last few years as a sign of design confidence and modernism. For those looking to bring Art Deco into the home, it will be a grand adventure marrying the 1920s to the 2020s in your décor.
A Modern Geometric Look
One of the simplest ways to bring an Art Deco vibe into the home is to rely on small geometrical décor. Angular shelving and triangle-pattern rugs communicate the sharp, on-point message of Art Deco without claiming a commanding presence over your room. Vintage posters inspired by the Art Deco era also possess a classy worldliness that looks great in any home. Keeping retro elements limited retains a modern look in the home, great for decorators concerned about overwhelming guests.
Patterns of Another Era
A bolder approach to implementing Art Deco is to fully embrace patterns from the movement. Wallpaper is one of the best places to use repeating patterns, particular diamonds, and scalloping that match the era. Opting for geometric wallpaper designs brings the same grand height to your room that Art Deco interiors are known for. Geometric fabrics can also be for the upholstery to accent a room with a hint of luxury.
Great Design Themes To Pair With Geometric Design
Due to how harsh gold geometric designs are, bringing them into an existing design theme can be intimidating. However, tips and tricks from the Art Deco movement will help you pair sharp elements with the rest of your home.
To help the eye cope with the loudness of repeating patterns, designers can rely on monochrome furniture and solid color objects to give the viewer respite. Focusing the patterns upwards, such as set above chair rail molding, and keeping solid objects down below will tell guests to sit down and enjoy the view looking upwards around your magnificent room. Soft textures like velvet and flocking also contrast geometric design without losing the luxury of Art Deco patterns.
The Color Scheme of Art Deco
As discussed previously, the color scheme of Art Deco revolves around luxe metallics and bold colors, but there are two distinct directions to go with color if you want to replicate Art Deco in your home.
The modern take on Art Deco relies heavily on gold and black to create powerful, stark visual contrast. Rooms that bring that nostalgic feel of Art Deco the way we envision it often pair dark walls and furniture with pops of gold, glass, and art. Additional colors do not stray far, sticking to deep navy blues, grays, and wood tones.
If you want a home that is more historically minded, color will play a much bigger role in your design. Where black is the most commanding color when we imagine Art Deco, it was primarily reserved to accent and define the gold (which truly was everywhere). Jade, sea, and Paris greens all made an appearance beside gold fixtures, along with muted deep reds, oranges, and blues. Pink and mauve elements were also standard, bringing balance to the jewel tones.
Looking back to design trends of the past can not only inspire us but can also explain the fascinating changes and choices we make in fashion and design today. The geometric patterns which define Art Deco still suggest its elegance to today’s audience, providing an adult backdrop to a room laden with gold accents and powerful, confident choices. If you are looking to bring further beauty and sophistication into your home, look no further for inspiration than the impressive imagery of the Art Deco movement.