Art Deco was a glamorous and dramatic design style that flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. It influenced architecture, interior design, fashion, and visual arts. Art Deco style is characterized by sleek, streamlined forms, geometric patterns, rich colors, and luxurious materials like chromium, steel, glossy lacquer, inlaid wood, and black glass.
If you want to bring some Art Deco drama into your home, dressing one or more rooms in this style can create a bold, sophisticated look. Here are 8 tips for decorating rooms with Art Deco flair:
Choose Striking Wall Colors
Don’t be shy with paint colors when going for an Art Deco aesthetic. Deep, saturated hues create drama and elegance. Consider using:
- Black or charcoal gray
- Jewel tones like emerald, ruby, sapphire
- Metallic paints like silver, gold, copper
- Glossy lacquer in red, pink, purple
Paint ceilings, walls, moldings, and trim to make a bold color statement. For extra flair, use two complementary colors on walls and trim or paint a geometric pattern.
Incorporate Geometric Patterns
Geometric shapes and linear designs are hallmarks of Art Deco style. Look for ways to integrate them into your room:
- Stencil a geometric pattern onto walls or ceilings. Use metallic paint for an eye-catching look.
- Choose area rugs with graphic, angular patterns.
- Upholster furniture in fabric with geometric motifs.
- Frame prints, posters, or photographs with wide, angular mats.
- Arrange books vertically on shelves to create lines and rectangles.
- Add throw pillows in a Deco pattern.
Repeating shapes like circles, zigzags, chevrons, and sunbursts will give your room a sleek, streamlined look.
Select Streamlined Furniture
The furniture shapes popular in the Art Deco era were simple and streamlined. Avoid ornate, carved pieces and instead look for:
- Low, square armchairs and sofas with straight lines
- Rectangular dining tables with tapered legs
- Cabinetry with glossy fronts and chrome hardware
- Slender floor lamps or sconces
- Benches and stools with rounded edges and tapered legs
Go for glossy lacquer, mirror, glass, chrome, and leather upholstery rather than tufted fabrics and wood carvings.
Add Mirror and Glass
Shiny surfaces catch the light beautifully and have a sleek, modern look. Incorporate mirrors and glass into your Deco design:
- Hang a large, rectangular mirror on the wall for drama
- Choose glass-topped nesting tables and console tables
- Display collectibles in a glass-fronted curio cabinet or books in a glass-doored bookcase
- Go for clear glass lampshades rather than fabric
- Pick glass vases and candleholders
Look for beveled edges and angled shapes when selecting glass décor.
Use Metallics and Glossy Lacquer
The sleek look of chromium and other metals was widely used in 1920s-30s design. Bring in metallics like:
- Chrome, nickel, or silver table lamps, floor lamps, sconces
- A chrome and glass coffee table or bar cart
- Metallic accents on cabinets, furniture, or light fixtures
- Silver serving pieces and decorative bowls
Black or colored glossy lacquer furniture also evokes Art Deco style. The shiny finish and streamlined shapes create a striking, upscale look.
Add Graphic Art Prints
Art Deco design took inspiration from contemporary art movements like Cubism and Art Nouveau. Hang graphic art prints that align with the strong lines and geometric shapes of Deco:
- Black and white architectural drawings or cityscapes
- Botanical prints in stylized shapes
- Paintings with abstract shapes and lines
- Vintage travel and transportation posters
Black rectangular or square frames keep the focus on bold graphics.
Create Drama with Lighting
From chandeliers to wall sconces, lighting plays an important role in Art Deco rooms.
- Choose slender floor lamps in glossy black or chrome.
- Pick table lamps with stacked globe shades or curved ceramics.
- Hang a statement semi-flush or pendant light over dining tables.
- Install sconces with round or linear details.
- Use accent lighting to create pools of light throughout the space.
Spotlight architectural details, artwork, collections and furnishings with strategic lighting placements.
Layer in Luxe Fabrics
While upholstery favored leather and vinyl, Art Deco interiors often featured plush, ornate fabrics too. Layer in a touch of luxury:
- Drape velvet or brocade curtains atop sleek wood blinds.
- Toss jewel-toned velvet pillows on sleek leather sofas.
- Choose an ornate area rug with lustrous silk or viscose.
- Add gold threaded table linens and napkins.
Rich fabrics paired with lacquer, glass and metal create an opulent, glamorous look.
With its striking aesthetics and blend of sleek and ornate, Art Deco style makes a dramatic design statement. Use angular patterns, glossy materials, metallics, glass, and luxurious fabrics in your space for sensational results. Any room dressed in these Deco details is sure to impress.
Frequently Asked Questions About Decorating Rooms in Art Deco Style
Art Deco design creates a bold, glamorous look. If you’re considering decorating a room in this dramatic style, you likely have some questions. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about designing Art Deco rooms:
What are the key elements of Art Deco style?
Some hallmarks of Art Deco design include:
- Geometric shapes and patterns
- Streamlined, sleek furniture silhouettes
- Use of glass, mirror, chrome, lacquer, and metal
- Bold, saturated colors like black, jewel tones, and metallics
- Luxurious fabrics like velvet, silk, and brocade
- Graphic black and white art and prints
- Ornate lighting fixtures like sconces and chandeliers
What colors work well in an Art Deco room?
Deep, saturated hues create drama in a Deco space. Some great color choices include:
- Black or charcoal gray
- Jewel tones like sapphire, emerald, ruby
- Metallic paints like gold, silver, copper
- Glossy lacquer colors like red, purple, teal
You can use one rich color on the walls or mix complementary hues, like blue walls with gold accents.
What type of furniture works in an Art Deco room?
Look for streamlined, geometric furniture shapes with details like:
- Tapered legs
- Low squared arms
- Rectangular shapes
- Glossy lacquered or glass tops
- chrome or metal details
Avoid heavily carved wood pieces. Upholstery like leather and vinyl suits the sleek Deco look.
Should I use patterns in an Art Deco room?
Yes, patterns are an important part of the Art Deco aesthetic. Look for ways to incorporate geometric shapes and linear detailing:
- Diamond, zigzag, sunburst patterns
- Chevron or triangular patterns
- Scalloped edges and circular motifs
- Art Deco area rugs
- Patterned wallpaper, pillows or upholstery
- Stenciled patterns on walls or floors
Repeating shapes create movement and reinforce the streamlined style.
How can I add shine and texture?
Glossy, tactile surfaces create interest. Incorporate materials like:
- Polished metal light fixtures and furniture accents
- Mirrors, glass tabletops, and glass shelves
- Lacquered furniture or glossy paint finishes
- Velvet, silk, or brocade draperies and pillows
- Shimmering metallic throws and table linens
Visual texture from sleek and luxe materials takes the design to the next level.
Should I use artwork?
Yes, graphic prints align beautifully with Art Deco style. Look for:
- Black and white architectural drawings
- Stylized botanical and nature prints
- Abstract or Cubist-inspired paintings
- Art Deco posters and prints
- Vintage travel posters
Black frames keep the emphasis on bold graphics.
What about lighting fixtures?
From ornate chandeliers to sleek lamps, lighting plays an important role. Ideal options include:
- Slim floor lamps in glossy black or chrome
- Stacked globe table lamps
- Curved ceramic sconces
- Pendant lights over dining tables
- Sculptural chandeliers
Use both general and accent lighting for visual impact.
If you want to make a dramatic statement, Art Deco offers a glamorous, elegant interior design style. By using its signature sleek yet ornate aesthetic in any room, you can create a bold, sophisticated look. Layer in geometric patterns, rich colors, metallic accents, glass elements, and luxe fabrics for sensational results. With endless options for infusing Deco flair, you’re limited only by your imagination.