Art Deco style in decor, architecture, and industrial design is an early 20th-century fashion that, to this day, still resonates with those seeking a uniquely luxurious and artistic look.

Modern, luxuriously exotic, and eclectic with an emphasis on streamlined geometry, neutral finishes, and bold color, Art Deco style emerged in pre-World War I France. One of the most important landmark creative projects was the Cubist House, designed by a group of artists in 1912, Salpre-Worldomne, Paris.

The decorative style continued to capture the hearts and imaginations of people worldwide during the 1920s-1940s. Art Deco details in historic homes are still prized today, and decorative items are much sought after for their high design, finish and modernist lines. You can source vintage or replica Art Deco items like lamps, wallpapers and more in vintage shops and online.

Follow our guide to achieving an updated contemporary Art Deco elegance. Curate elements from this historic style: add geometric patterns, ornate lighting, streamlined furnishings, art, and touches of luxury to achieve this look.

In this gorgeous entry hall designed by Kelly Werstler, we see a mixture of Art Deco, Hollywood Regency and the chic smoky and black tones trending these days.

art deco style

Five Elements of Contemporary Art Deco Style

1. Trending: Geometry Rules

Symmetry is one of the most important elements of decorative features of Art Deco style, but with a creatively bold flair. Classic art deco homes incorporated various shapes in decor, including wallpaper, doorways, windows, grill work, lighting, carpets and more. While, in general, the curvilinear patterns of the previously popular style, Art Nouveau, focused on more natural patterns, Art Deco embraced the look of the “machine age” and used the dramatic flowing lines of Art Nouveau in tandem with high polish stainless steel and dramatic black lacquer furniture, punctuated by gorgeously overstated rich color fabrics, wallpapers and accessories.

This beautiful apartment takes these elements and offers an updated interpretation of Art Deco style.

art deco style

Using a wall of glass inlaid symmetrically, the white walls and rich Art Deco style indigo chairs, the designer creates an artistic space, using exotic materials such as marble and adding a deeply colored graphic geometric carpet. The mid-century style ceiling lamp adds an eclectic feel. Your approach does not have to be orthodox, you can mix and match!

One fabulous way to achieve the beauty of Art Deco style is to add boldly geometric wallpaper to a feature wall, bathroom or hallway. Contemporary designers and mass producers of wallpaper offer a range of Art Deco style inspired patterns.

2. Discover: A Combination of Materials– Artisan Made, Industrial + The Exotic

Art Deco style includes artisan made architectural features such as stained glass, inlaid panels, and lacquer. Some Art Deco style materials lean toward a classic modern industrial look and include aluminum, plastics, bakelite, chrome, and stainless steel. Velvet is another delightful favorite.

art deco style

Luxe Exotic additions include animal skin (these days more likely faux), veneer wood, inlaid pearl, faux ivory, unusual wood, lacquer, gold or silver elements, and rich materials for furnishings, such as velvet and silk.

3. Daring Style: Bold Patterns + Color

If you are looking for fun updated ways to add Art Deco style to your home, try bold colors. We love this amazing interior style by Rouge Absolu: creative brights paired with modernist touches. Some designers say not to mix styles, but while high streamlined creative modernism was a guiding principal of classic Art Deco, artistic flair and collections of exotic imports added an important opulence.

Rich warm colors add to the luxurious feel of an Art Deco Inspired interior. Colors that pop and wallpapers featuring bold geometric patterning bring a sense of theatrical beauty.

4. Elegant Glow: Ornate High Style Lighting

Whether a geometric glass and gold sconce or a crystal chandelier, lighting adds opulence and style to the Art Deco style interior.

This gorgeous kitchen remodel by Design Manifest combines modern amenities with rich materials such as glossy black, gold, marble, and ornate lighting.

5. Get Creative: Artwork

A classic Art Deco style home is completed by artwork, whether an imported sculpture, a modernist painting or a contemporary drawing, this adds to the feel of bohemian eclecticism and bold style. Today the same stands true, and when you want to add something special to your interior, posters are widely available of high design Art Deco style by the best of artists.

The importance of artists’ vision, innovation, and creativity should be noted. Famous art deco artists like fashion designer Erté is renowned for his graphic Art Deco design and illustrations, while the Russian avant-garde art movement produced abstract patterns for industrial design such as Liubov Popova’s fabric designs.

This pretty room features artwork and bold colors. Deep blues and warm corals are offset by gold, and the hand decorated room inspired by the 1930s look incorporates dark blues, gold details, original art, and antiques.

Living Room Art deco inspired via Gabriel Deeming Stylist + Kristin-Perers_via house and garden co uk

Images courtesy of Elle DecorCatherine Martin, MokumHome DepotKatie SchiebeckCatherine Martin, MokumHome DepotAndo StudioYork Wallcoverings + A-Street, William Garvey, Ando Studio, Eurofase, The Cohen CollectionDesign ManifestElegant LightingHouse and Garden, UK with Gabriel Deeming + Kristin-PerersThe Tate, LondonHarpers Bazaar,  William Garvey.


About The Author

Art+Design Consultant

Art historian by training, curator, writer and design lover. Principal of Art +Design Consulting. Lover of all things well made.