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Design History: Celebrating 100 Years of Art Deco Design

Art Deco is an iconic design style that showed up on the scene in the early 1900s. A bit over-the-top, it’s known for its use of luxurious materials and geometric patterns. This style originated in France (one more reason to love it), then spread throughout Europe and America in the 1920s. And that’s when this style became an icon.

art deco design

Art Deco combines modern styles with high-end craftsmanship and luxurious materials. It celebrates symmetry and rectilinear forms through vertical lines, streamlined surfaces, and stepped and jagged geometry. Much more than just an interior design style, Art Deco influenced the design of whole buildings, as well as automobiles, jewelry, fashion, and so much more. There are some beautiful and iconic examples of Art Deco architecture—including famous edifices like the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, and the Bullocks Wilshire building in LA.

The entrance to the Strand Palace Hotel, designed by Oliver P. Bernard in 1930.

What influenced the Art Deco design movement?

The 1920s was a decade of opulence and advancement. The United States economy was booming, technological advances were on the rise, and culture was in the throes of the jazz age. Art Deco reflected the luxury, wealth, and excess of the 1920s. (Think: The Great Gatsby.)

As America moved into the Great Depression after the market crash in 1929, the movement became a symbol of hope for the future. During this era, Hollywood films exemplified the Art Deco style and continued to strengthen its associations with wealth, luxury, and the prosperous future.

In the United States, Art Deco style was mostly used in civic and public buildings, as you can see from some of our favorites above. Meanwhile, residential land owners were slower to invest in new styles, so you won’t see this style as much in residential buildings.

Art Deco declined as a trend around the time of WWII, as Americans favored practicality and reserve over opulence and excess. And the postwar era continued to support more practical, everyday designs, which ultimately lead toward the Mid-Century Modern design movement.

Image source Architectural Digest

Art Deco in the 80s

The 1980s was another period of wealth in America, and Art Deco reemerged as a popular design style. During the 80s, there was a love for gold and luxurious (or at least luxurious-looking) materials, as well as the reinterpretation of Art Deco patterns. This showed up in architecture and interior design, but in 80s fashion and jewelry you can also see the geometric and angular designs of 1920s Art Deco.

Art Deco Today

Today, we continue to see our culture pulling from the past for design inspiration and mixing in different eras in an eclectic way. With that, we’re seeing another embrace of Art Deco-inspired geometric patterns. Because who doesn’t love a bit of glamour and luxury in their lives?? There’s also a rise in investing in higher-quality or more unique materials in furniture, like marble and burl wood—and gold accents are everywhere.

It seems fitting that Art Deco is a popular style once again, as we’re now passing the 100-year mark of its original debut. And, as we enter another decade, we can’t help but wonder if it will it be as roaring in the 2020s as it was in the 1920s? Who knows. But one thing is for sure: Art Deco style is here to stay.

art deco style

Art Deco – Design Movement to Design Trend

art deco styleYou may or may not follow – or be a fan of – trends, but they probably show up in your life (or your Instagram feed) in some way. No matter how you felt about millennial pink, or whether you’re backing the mcm trend (obsession) years later, trends play a role in how we choose to decorate our homes.

Interior design trends, like any trend, evolve organically, and tend to follow patterns. To scope out which trends are on the horizon, the Modsy style team travels every year to the Las Vegas Market. There, they scour the market to find new furniture, retailers, and looks we love for the upcoming season.

Read this Next: 5 Decor Trends to Try This Fall

The trip to Vegas this year gave us an early look at one of the biggest trends for fall 2018. Move over farmhouse chic, because Art Deco is the new trend on the block.

Ready to meet the Art Deco style? Read on to learn more about the design movement that started it all and how to get the look in your home today!

art deco styleArt Deco, a Brief History

If you don’t know what exactly “art deco” is, don’t worry – you’ve likely seen it somewhere before (the lavish interiors of the Great Gatsby, for example). A style that’s all about luxury and drama, Art Deco gives us all that and more, always in an unexpected way.

The Art Deco movement originated in the 1920s and 1930s. Beginning in France, the style paired newly developed materials with luxurious ones – think ivory, mahogany, and shagreen alongside chrome and plate-glass.

With the dawn of Art Deco, furniture and decor moved beyond just function and transformed into sculptures that mimicked architecture. It was all about smooth and streamlined surfaces, vertical lines, and geometric patterns such as zigzags, chevrons, and starbursts.

In the 1930s, the style gained popularity in America as the look was associated more and more with technology and the future. Art Deco artists and architects celebrated the idea of modern life through their use of new materials and emphasis on luxury.


art deco style

art deco style

Art Deco as a Trend

If you follow trends you know that they tend to repeat themselves. As such, it’s not surprising that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a re-emergence of Art Deco. Most recently, the style enjoyed a revival in the 80s, which involved a lot of black marble and brass.

Both of these elements are now back in fashion, but we’re also seeing new elements unique to 2018.

So what does the Art Deco style look like today? In furniture, we’re seeing a lot pieces with sculptural lines, both curved and geometric. In rugs, wallpaper, and upholstery, geometric patterns echoing some of the great Art Deco designs are plentiful. Rather than whitewashed woods, which were popular with the Farmhouse Chic look, 2018’s Art Deco favors burl woods with their rich, grainy patterns.

art deco styleTry The Art Deco Trend in Your Space

Overall the Art Deco style is all about high contrast and dramatic spaces. If you’re ready to try the trend, look for furniture in rich materials, like velvets, leathers, marbles, and concrete. Finish it off with accents in chrome or brass, and don’t be afraid to incorporate statement pieces with fringe, decorative inlay, or smoked glass.

What Modsy styles make the best match for Art Decor interiors? We’d say Less is More Chic, the Chic Collector, and Industrial Chic will all have a great time with art deco!

 

Want to try some Art Deco style in your room?