Art Deco refers to the bold, geometric style that first emerged in 1920s Europe and quickly spread around the world. Characterised by sleek lines, vibrant colours, lavish embellishments and a blend of influences from various eras and cultures, Art Deco made a dramatic statement. This decorative style impacted everything from architecture and interior design to fashion, jewellery, cars and graphic design.
Though Art Deco peaked in popularity in the Roaring Twenties and 1930s, its brilliant visual aesthetic never went out of style. Today, adding Art Deco flair to your life is a great way to surround yourself with glamour and nostalgia. Here are six creative ideas you can play around and have fun with.
Give your home a bold, geometric look with Art Deco furnishings and decor. Opt for sleek wood furniture with metallic accents. Choose rugs and lamps featuring striking geometric patterns in bold colours like black, gold and silver. Hang graphic art prints with strong lines and shapes evocative of the 1920s and 30s.
Accessorise with figurines, vases and clocks with the Art Deco aesthetic of streamlined forms and luxurious materials. Creating an Art Deco interior is all about embracing decadent geometry to make a dramatic decorative statement, so go wild.
Create Art Deco-inspired posters and flyers. Use bold, sans-serif fonts like Broadway or Kabel, which are great in art deco designs. Incorporate geometric shapes like zigzags, diamonds, chevrons, sunbursts and fountains. Stick to a minimal colour palette of black, metallics and bright accent shades like ruby red and sapphire blue. Promote an event or print motivational quotes and prints featuring iconic Deco design elements.
Host an immersive Art Deco-themed party. Ask guests to dress up in 1920s or 1930s-inspired fashion. Women can wear beaded flapper dresses, long strands of pearls, feather headbands and Mary Jane heels while men don dapper suits and fedoras.
Serve appetisers like devilled eggs and finger sandwiches on ornate glassware and trays. Play jazz music from greats like Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt to set the mood. Decorate with black and metallic balloons, streamers and confetti.
If you need more inspiration or want to design an incredibly lavish party, try watching the Great Gatsby; it is a masterpiece of styling from this era, and while it won’t be easy to organise a party like this, you can take some ideas from the way the movie is styled.
Art Deco Fashion
You may even want to expand your wardrobe with Art Deco-inspired fashion. Look for clothes featuring geometric prints, fringe, bold stripes, delicate beading and sequins. Thrift and consignment shops are great places to find quality vintage pieces. Accessorise your Deco ensemble with a long beaded necklace, mesh handbag, cloche hat or sequined headband. Try a sleek bias-cut gown, an A- line dress with a dropped waist or a snappy menswear-inspired pantsuit.
If you can’t find the pieces you like in second-hand shops or online stores like Vinted and eBay, have a go at making your own garments. Look for patterns or make your own from paper. Etsy is a good place to look for Art Deco patterns and accessories.
Antiques and Memorabilia
Collecting art deco antiques and memorabilia can be a fun hobby that allows you to own a piece of history. Searching flea markets, antique stores, and online auctions to find that perfect art deco item is exciting. An antique art deco radio with its smooth Bakelite case or a set of sleek chrome barware can make great conversation pieces.
Building a collection takes patience but is rewarding. Displaying your finds proudly in your home and educating yourself on each item’s origins connects you to the past art deco era in a tangible way. Pursuing this hobby can be both nostalgic and stylish.
Try your hand at a DIY Art Deco craft project; you can even get the kids involved. Make a decadent beaded necklace, embroider a velvet pillow with Deco motifs, or use stencils and paint to transform plain furniture with geometric patterns. Let your creativity run wild while exploring the style further through your own Art Deco creations.
Incorporating Art Deco into your life is an elegant way to surround yourself with beauty, nostalgia and timeless glamour. Whether you’re an artist, designer, history buff or simply appreciate good aesthetic, Art Deco has an exciting appeal. Use some of the ideas above to infuse a touch of the iconic 1920s/30s style into your everyday world.