Posted on | September 2, 2011 | 10 Comments
When you’re thinking about decorating in the Art Deco style, the best thing I can recommend is to look at the best of the original ideas that ultimately inspired the many “knock off” ideas you will see when doing an internet search on the subject. I am illustrating some beautiful original (albeit idealized) interiors to study, all of them French and photographed at the pivotal 1925 Paris exposition. In these you will see so many of the details that inspired much of the architecture, interior and furniture design that we have come to recognize decades later as being “Art Deco”. Hopefully these photographs will help you to find some of the key ingredients you can use to “spin off” of in creating your fantasy Jazz Age interior.
Clean lines, reflective surfaces, and some bold design elements like the rug here are often found in these original Art Deco-styled settings. Sconce lighting, wall mirrors and elegant sculptural figures are also frequent elements.
Again, these rooms were meant to inspire and to present the latest ideas when it came to Modern interior design, so don’t feel bad if you don’t have a grand entry way like this one… But there is some good inspiration here. The mirrored wall, the console table against it, and that coved and “stepped” ceiling might all be incorporated in an Art Deco room design. Note Edgar Brandt’s iron masterpiece L’Oasis folding screen there on the right… so why not incorporate an ornamental folding screen in your room also?
You almost expect Claudette Colbert to walk into this room at any moment. Light and graceful furniture, rich wall treatments and lots of filtered light in this room. Maybe you’re noticing too that not all Art Deco rooms were devoid of pattern or ornament. That is where designers in the Art Deco style in many applications parted company with some of those in the Modern movement who believed that “Ornament is crime”, (it’s not, by the way).
Oh, and speaking of ornament,
Bam! How about this grand “stair hall” designed by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann. Fluted walls, delicate iron railings and a playing of dark and light contrasts, (even on the piano keys). And that amazing ceiling treatment! Here’s a detail of the wall treatment hard to see in that last photo:
This wall treatment incidentally was the inspiration for our “Cyclos” wallpaper. Notice too the sandblasted pattern above the window(?)
So there are just a few sources for Art Deco inspiration. I will be posting more, along with some contemporary takes on the style, so please stay tuned.
If you have any great Art Deco rooms you’ve seen please send a snap of them along to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share them.