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Home Living Styles – Part 7 – Art Deco

Although the term Art Deco wasn’t used until after the 60s, the name derives from the world fair held in Paris in 1925, Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes .

The inspiration for Art Deco is considered to bring a whole new look to fashion and interiors with decoration and eclectic influences derived from the primal arts of Aztec Mexico, Egypt and Africa as well as the powerful images of the ‘new’ high tech age of radio and skyscrapers. The style makes use of angular, balanced geometric shapes, a good example is the classic skyline of the 1930, the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building.

Art Deco interiors are streamlined, geometric which often includes curved fronted furniture, mirrors, chrome hardware and glass. This style began as a Modernist repose in opposition to the Art Nouveau style with its elaborate flowing natural forms and imagery of the female form.

To create an Art Deco interior materials to include are inlaid wood, lacquer, aluminium, stainless steel, even zebra skins and tortoiseshell. The design elements should have zigzagged, chevron and stepped patterns, sweeping curves and lines along with sunburst shapes. Interiors should verge on opulence as was often featured in public buildings of the time, such as cinemas, theatres and ocean liners. However, due to the introduction of mass production Art Deco interiors where not solely for the wealthy.

Today genuine Art Deco furniture is highly sought after, more especially if they are Eileen Gray or Mackintosh. Glass and jewellery designed by René Lalique and china made by Clarice Cliff can also be expensive.

Remembering that the 1920s was the age of discovery can help you achieve this style of interior designs think along the lines of the Titanic, the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb and film stars such as Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The Charleston and the Tango were the dance crazes of the day!

Achieve the look by including furniture in strong streamlined shapes, polished parquet flooring or lino, black and white chequered-board tiles. Fabrics for curtains should remain plain or geometric patterns in oyster and pale cream colours. Curtains were hung from Swish curtain tracks styles which were hidden behind pelmets. Highlight your room with cushions in the same styles of fabrics, you should also include one in plain black! With the host of curtain material online it’s easy to find suitable fabrics with an Art Deco geometric patterns and colours. Add wall art featuring Bugatti cars to give your room the finishing touches!

This weeks posts have covered a varied selection of interior design ideas including loft apartments, country manor and modern rustic to give you a feel for some of the styles which are timeless classics.

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