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Article: Art Deco Interior Design: 15+ Techniques Art Deco Design Ideas

Art Deco Interior Design: 15+ Techniques Art Deco Design Ideas

Written by Henry Phan Update
4th of july sale

Despite the ever-evolving landscape of modern design, there's a magnetic pull towards the timeless charm of vintage interior styles like Art Deco. Originating in the 1920s and 1930s, Art Deco has maintained its allure, captivating enthusiasts across generations.

But what is it about this style that continues to captivate? Is there an inherent charm and uniqueness that set it apart? Let's embark on a journey with Rowabi as we explore the exciting world of Art Deco interior design, uncovering its enduring appeal and intricate details.

Introduction to art deco interior design

Firstly, we'll delve into the definition and historical journey of this style to understand its evolving beauty over time, as well as how it has transformed to become more splendid and applicable in this modern era.

What is art deco interior design?

Art Deco interior design encompasses a distinctive blend of geometric shapes, stylized curves, and luxurious materials like marble, velvet, brass, and chrome, as well as bold colors and metallic finishes. Originating from France, Art Deco extends beyond interior design to encompass architecture, paintings, and fashion.

art deco emanates luxury and authority with its lavish style
Art Deco exudes a sense of opulence and power with its luxurious aesthetic. Source: House Beautiful (1)

Despite its seemingly chaotic appearance, Art Deco adheres to subtle design rules that govern its composition, striking a curious balance between traditional and modern elements. This design style evokes splendor, glitz, and rich decor reminiscent of the lavish homes and apartments of Hollywood's elite from the early 20th century.

History and origin

The history and origin of Art Deco interior design can be traced back to the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris. This event introduced "Art Deco," characterized by geometric shapes, stylized curves, and luxurious materials such as marble, velvet, and bold colors with metallic finishes.

Art Deco emerged as a departure from the preceding Art Nouveau movement, emphasizing modernity, elegance, and functionality. It quickly gained popularity in Europe and the United States during the 1920s and 1930s, influencing not only interior design but also fashion, architecture, and automotive design.

Despite facing challenges such as the Great Depression and World War II, Art Deco persisted and left a lasting impact on design. Its popularity waned in the 1950s with the rise of midcentury modern design, but today, Art Deco is experiencing a revival. Contemporary interpretations blend its opulent past with modern sensibilities, sparking renewed interest in period pieces.

Differences between art deco and art Nouveau

Art Nouveau and Art Deco are distinct art and design movements that emerged during different periods in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Art Nouveau, prevalent from the 1890s to the early 1910s, is defined by its embrace of organic and natural forms, featuring flowing lines, floral motifs, and asymmetrical shapes. It stood in contrast to the academic and historicist art of the 19th century, aiming to integrate art into everyday life through architecture, interior design, and decorative arts.

In contrast, Art Deco emerged in the 1920s and 1930s with a focus on geometric shapes, clean lines, and modern materials like chrome and glass. This movement symbolized luxury, glamour, and progress, reflecting the influence of the machine age and rapid industrialization of the era.

Examples of art deco interior design

Historic art deco interiors: are characterized by elaborate geometric patterns in wallpaper, flooring, and textiles, along with the use of luxurious materials like marble, lacquered wood, brass, and chrome. Furniture and architectural details often feature sunburst motifs and stepped forms, complemented by exotic materials such as ebony, ivory, and sharkskin.

the hotel epitomizes art deco opulence boasting ornate chandeliers and sumptuous furnishings
The hotel epitomizes Art Deco luxury with its ornate chandeliers, intricate tiling, and plush leather and velvet furnishings. Source: Claridge’s (2)

Claridge's hotel in london is renowned for its stunning Art Deco interior design, which epitomizes the elegance and luxury of the era. The hotel's Art Deco style is evident throughout its public spaces and suites, showcasing a blend of geometric patterns, opulent materials, and sophisticated details.

Modern art deco interiors: maintain these defining characteristics while integrating contemporary elements and a fresh color palette.

gold tones prevail complemented by clean lines and contemporary elements
The predominant use of gold tones is modernized with sleek, simplified lines and contemporary touches. Source: Architectural Digest (3)

  • Art Deco living rooms may boast plush velvet sofas, mirrored surfaces, and striking color contrasts.
  • Art Deco dining rooms often showcase geometrically patterned rugs, sleek dining tables, and sophisticated lighting fixtures.
  • Bedrooms designed in Art Deco style may incorporate lacquered furniture and geometrically patterned wallpaper to create a glamorous ambiance, complemented by stylish accessories.
  • Art Deco bathrooms may feature black and white tile work, geometric mirrors, and sleek fixtures.

Characteristics of art deco interior

Among various interior design styles, Art Deco stands out for its uniquely distinctive characteristics. It combines bold colors, luxurious materials, and elegant shapes.

But what exactly defines this interior style, and how do these elements contribute to and manifest in design? Let's delve into these aspects in the following section:

explore the defining traits of art deco interior design
Learn about the key characteristics that define Art Deco interior design style. Source: Decor Aid (4)

Extravagant materials

  • Art Deco interior design is renowned for its lavish use of materials that exude luxury and opulence.
  • Each material serves a unique function: marble adds a sense of movement and drama with its varied veining, brass, and chrome provide a metallic sheen, and woods like ebony offer rich dark tones that convey elegance and refinement.

Recurring art deco patterns

  • Geometric patterns are a hallmark of Art Deco design, characterized by bold lines, symmetrical shapes, and intricate motifs. These patterns can be found in various elements of interior design, such as wallpaper, flooring, textiles, and architectural details.
  • Common examples include zigzags, chevrons, sunbursts, and fan motifs, all of which create striking visual effects.

Striking color choices

  • Art Deco interiors often feature bold color schemes with rich jewel tones like emerald green, sapphire blue, ruby red, and deep purple.
  • These deeply saturated colors add luxury, depth, and richness to the room. Opt for tones with deep saturation to achieve this opulent look.

Plush, elegant textiles

  • Plush, elegant textiles are key in Art Deco interiors, prioritizing soft and refined finishes like velvet, silk, and satin. Using these fabrics in sofas, chairs, and curtains adds elegance and sophistication.
  • Thoughtful mixing and matching of these materials ensure a cohesive and harmonious design.

Eye-catching furniture and flooring

  • As a style that embraces vibrancy and uniqueness, Art Deco furniture is recognized for its sleek and streamlined designs, characterized by angular shapes, curved forms, and intricate geometric details.
  • Opting for furniture pieces that stand out, such as low-slung sofas, armchairs with rounded backs, and tables with innovative shapes, enhances the distinctiveness of the interior. Flooring choices often include polished hardwood, marble, or geometric-patterned tiles to complement the overall aesthetic.

Accessories and lighting

  • In all styles, not just Art Deco, lighting and accessories are crucial focal points that contribute to the overall ambiance of the room. This is especially important when your furniture alone may not fully express the desired style.
  • For instance, in styles that emphasize intricate detailing like Art Deco, decorative objects such as sculptures, vases, and figurines can make a significant impact. Lighting fixtures play a pivotal role as well, with Art Deco chandeliers, sconces, and table lamps adding a touch of glamour.

Essential furniture items for achieving an Art Deco look

Furniture pieces are pivotal in achieving the desired Art Deco ambiance in your home. Here's a curated list of essential and signature furniture items that are crucial for infusing your space with the distinctive Art Deco style:

Console table

  • The console table is a fundamental piece in the art of interior decoration. For Art Deco-inspired spaces, opt for tables crafted from polished wood, marble, or lacquered finishes, as these materials easily evoke a sense of luxury.
  • With Art Deco, you'll find a plethora of options in terms of shapes and designs, including geometric patterns or intricate inlaid details on the surface. To enhance the look, consider selecting tables with mirrored surfaces or metallic detailing to add visual interest and sophistication.

explore the defining traits of art deco interior design
The console table with rounded edges creates a beautiful focal point. Source: Brownrigg (5)

Sideboard or buffet

  • This furniture piece stands out because it's commonly used in styles like Art Deco, known for their intricate designs. Opt for sideboards or buffets featuring stepped forms, geometric patterns, and luxurious finishes.
  • Similar to the console table, natural wood is often the best material choice. In the dining room, the sideboard can showcase decorative objects like sculptures, vases, or art deco-inspired tableware. Plus, it provides plenty of storage for dining essentials such as serving dishes, glassware, and table linens.

Light fixtures

  • In Art Deco interiors, lighting is crucial for creating a glamorous vibe. Statement pieces like chandeliers, pendant lights, and wall sconces are essential. Choose fixtures with bold designs, such as geometric shapes or intricate patterns, and opt for metallic finishes like brass, chrome, or gold to add a touch of luxury.

the linea pendant light epitomizes versatile art deco illumination
The Linea Pendant Light is a quintessential example of Art Deco lighting that's both versatile and easy to incorporate. Source: Rowabi

  • The Linea Pendant Light is a standout piece worth considering. It combines modernity with intricate sophistication, featuring various geometric shapes intricately assembled. Crafted from brass and iron, it blends elegance with versatility, making it easy to complement any interior design scheme.

Sofa or couch

  • When searching for a sofa, you'll encounter a plethora of options. In reality, all you need are streamlined designs upholstered in sumptuous fabrics such as velvet or leather; the rest is up to your color preferences.
  • Look for pieces that feature characteristic Art Deco elements like curved arms, tufted backs, and tapered legs.

Dining table

  • Search for dining tables adorned with geometric lines, mirrored surfaces, or metallic accents to encapsulate the essence of Art Deco style.
  • Complement the dining table with upholstered dining chairs crafted from coordinating fabrics like velvet or leather to elevate both comfort and style.

pair a straightforward dining table with patterned chairs for a touch of sophistication
For a simple dining table, you can pair it with chairs that have patterns. Source: CSF Hungary (6)

15+ techniques to perfect the Art Deco aesthetic

Here, we present a comprehensive guide to mastering the iconic Art Deco style in interior design. Let's explore what it takes to help you achieve this authentic and timeless style.

Incorporate built-in elements

Built-in elements are commonly used in Art Deco designs for their practicality and aesthetic appeal. Typically, this approach involves creating built-in bookcases, cabinets, or seating areas to maximize space utilization.

why install room dividing archways when built in bookshelves offer a stylish alternative
Why bother creating an archway to separate rooms when you already have a built-in bookshelf?. Source: Garlic n Ginger (7)

Similarly, architectural features like alcoves, niches, or window seats can be integrated into the design to enhance visual interest and character.

Careful consideration should be given to selecting colors that seamlessly blend with the rest of the furniture, ensuring a cohesive and harmonious look throughout the space.

Embrace brass accents

Finishes are key in capturing the essence of Art Deco, adding luster and texture with luxurious materials. Brass, a hallmark of the era, can be used in hardware, lighting fixtures, or decorative details like flatware.

art deco aficionados favor the rich luxurious appeal of brass accents
Art Deco enthusiasts often favor the luxurious golden hue of brass. Source: House Beautiful (8)

This subtle shimmer imparts a sense of refinement and elegance reminiscent of the 1920s.

Experiment with tile designs

Often overlooked, intricate details like tiling can fully embody the Art Deco style. Choose tiles with geometric shapes like hexagons, diamonds, or chevrons to echo the era's design language. Incorporating bold blues, vibrant yellows, or rich greens captures the essence of Art Deco while maintaining a modern flair.

Elevate with velvet textures

Velvet is a quintessential fabric for any Art Deco-inspired home, exuding a luxurious vibe sought after by many. Furniture pieces upholstered in velvet, offered in rich hues like royal blue or hunter green, serve as striking focal points, whether as a sofa or headboard.

To achieve a cohesive Art Deco look, complement velvet furnishings with gold accents on nearby end tables or nightstands.

velvet chairs complement golden furniture enhancing harmony
Placing velvet chairs alongside golden furniture enhances overall harmony and cohesion. Source: Pinterest (9)

Introduce arched forms

Incorporating arched forms is a simple yet effective way to accentuate the Art Deco aesthetic, which revolves around shapes and geometry, often inspired by architectural elements. Opt for wall mirrors or paintings featuring graceful curves, finished in brass or gold for added elegance.

Additionally, consider integrating rounded accent chairs or vintage-style sofas with curved backs to enhance the overall Art Deco ambiance.

an arched mirror creates a captivating focal point
A striking arched mirror can serve as a captivating focal point. Source: Lassco (10)

Emphasize geometric patterns

To truly capture the essence of Art Deco interior design, emphasize geometric patterns throughout your decor. Seek out home accents such as vases, light fixtures, bookends, and tabletop sculptures that showcase a variety of shapes, including trapezoids, triangles, circles, squares, and more.

These geometric patterns help to bring a sense of order and balance to the room, complementing the vibrant colors and unique shapes of other elements.

Enhance the bar area

For a luxurious space, whether it's in a home or a restaurant, investing in a high-quality bar area is enough to speak volumes about the sophistication of the host. Especially in Art Deco settings, you can opt for materials like marble, mirrored surfaces, and polished metals to set the tone.

Choose rich wood tones or soothing shades of blue for a visually appealing backdrop. Use cocktail shakers, decanters, and ornate glassware with Art Deco patterns to serve guests. Provide comfortable seating like plush bar stools upholstered in velvet or leather to encourage relaxation and socializing.

a home bar area is ideal for entertaining guests
A home bar area is the perfect spot to entertain friends and family whenever they come over. Source: Mark Taylor Design (11)

Maintain a cohesive theme

When discussing the Art Deco interior design style, it's important to balance vibrant colors and diverse patterns with a cohesive theme or color scheme to avoid overwhelming or visually cluttered spaces.

One approach is to opt for a monochromatic palette featuring deeper shades of greens or blues, which not only creates a calming atmosphere but also allows for subtle variations within the color scheme.

this color scheme highlights art deco elegance
This color scheme highlights the elegance of Art Deco while maintaining a harmonious visual appeal. Source: Edward George London (12)

Indulge in luxurious color palettes

In the Art Deco interior design style, luxury extends beyond just black and gold. While these colors are iconic, incorporating rich, moody tones like blue, purple, or green adds depth and elegance to your space.

These hues create a luxurious backdrop that beautifully complements the metallic accents typical of Art Deco design.

Select bold lighting fixtures

Bold lighting fixtures play a pivotal role in defining the atmosphere of your Art Deco room. They not only illuminate the space but also serve as captivating decorative accents.

Opt for statement pieces featuring striking geometric shapes like spheres or sleek, straight lines, reminiscent of the Art Deco era. Brass or gold finishes add a touch of essential sophistication and opulence.

To infuse a contemporary twist, looking for fixtures with multiple strong lines and spherical bulbs. You can check out the Bard Pendant Light from Rowabi, an exquisite blend of Art Deco allure and contemporary flair.

With its striking design, this pendant light perfectly enhances any space, infusing it with sophistication and style. Currently part of a collection modern light available for pre-order, you can enjoy a 30% discount on this timeless piece.

the bard pendant light blends modernity with timeless elegance
The Bard Pendant Light is the perfect combination of modernity and timeless elegance. Source: Rowabi

Accentuate with thick crown molding

Consider accentuating your space with thick crown molding, especially around doors and ceilings. While modern crown molding tends to be thin and understated, opting for thicker and more intricately designed molding reminiscent of the Art Deco era can make a significant impact on the overall aesthetic of a room.

crown molding is a staple in art deco design
Crown molding is a popular architectural feature in Art Deco design. Source: Elevate (13)

Embrace maximalism

In Art Deco design, "less is more" simply doesn't apply. Instead, it's all about embracing abundance and extravagance. Don’t hold back if you’re drawn to the lavishness and grandeur of the Art Deco era.

Incorporate sculptural lighting, opulent gold or gilded finishes, bold geometric shapes, and vibrant hues. In this style, there's no such thing as too much—more is definitely more!

Integrate patterns and prints

Incorporating patterns and prints is a simple yet effective way to apply the Art Deco style in your interior design. You can opt for prints with intricate details and whimsical motifs, or designs featuring long curves, sharp lines, and geometric shapes like circles.

wall patterns add vibrancy to the room
Adding patterns to the walls can indeed make the room feel more lively and dynamic. Source: Architectural Digest (14)

Incorporate ribbed or fluted textures

Incorporating ribbed or fluted textures is essential to achieving the distinctive Art Deco interior design style, as it adds depth and dimension to your space. These textures can be commonly found in decorative objects like vases, lighting fixtures, or built-in elements such as cabinets.

The presence of these fluted elements evokes a vintage feel, contributing to the overall nostalgic charm of Art Deco interiors.

fluted textures are prominent in this kitchen
Fluted textures are being extensively used in this kitchen. Source: The Spruce (15)

Seek inspiration from the 1920s era

To truly capture the essence of Art Deco style, it's crucial to draw inspiration from the vibrant energy of the 1920s era.

While original artwork from that time might be hard to come by, there are numerous prints and modern interpretations available that can evoke the same aesthetic.

Search for murals or artwork that prominently feature elements like bold lines, sweeping arches, and geometric shapes reminiscent of the Cubist movement.

Faqs: Art Decor Interior Design

Is Art Deco in style?

  • Yes, Art Deco remains a popular and influential design style known for its luxurious and sophisticated characteristics.

Common materials of Art Deco style?

  • Common materials in Art Deco design include marble, brass, chrome, lacquered wood, and exotic woods, which contribute to its opulent look. You can also use fabrics such as velvet, silk for the sofa, and chair.

Common motifs of Art Deco style?

  • Common motifs in Art Deco design include geometric shapes like zigzags, chevrons, sunbursts, and fan motifs, which are often repeated in architecture and decor.

Tourism's influence on Art Deco?

  • The rise of tourism in the early 20th century exposed people to diverse cultures and architectural styles, influencing the development of Art Deco with elements from Egyptian, African, and Asian design.

Modern interpretations of Art Deco?

  • Modern interpretations of Art Deco blend classic elements with contemporary trends, featuring sleek furniture, updated color palettes, and innovative materials while maintaining its glamour and sophistication.

What are the key design elements of Art Deco?

  • Key design elements of Art Deco encompass geometric shapes, bold lines, and symmetrical patterns. Luxurious materials like velvet and marble further enhance its opulent aesthetic

What are the main colors of Art Deco?

  • The main colors of Art Deco interiors typically include rich jewel tones such as emerald green, sapphire blue, ruby red, and deep purple, often paired with metallic accents.


So, we've covered the intriguing aspects of this captivating Art Deco interior design style. If you're someone passionate about art and uniqueness, why not try applying our methods to your own home?

Art Deco opens up endless possibilities for crafting captivating and refined spaces that stand the test of time.

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