Birth of the style was in 20-30s of the 20 century.
Oh, how many laurels has this style gained! In my practice there was not a single customer who would a little not mention Art deco. Any interior starts: «And may it be in the Art deco style!» After careful analysis of my knowledge about the style, as a rule, the interior sounds with different notes.
Let’s sort it out!
Art deco – is a bourgeois style but not philistine. Classic, but not antique. It combined traditions of Rome (Empire), Greece, China and Japan. Art deco partly continued the tradition of the modernist style, however, it was influenced by manner of the Cubists’ handling with surfaces and their technique of using colour, as well as folk American art and design of rapidly developing at that time car and aircraft construction.
A characteristic feature of an interior in the Art deco style became lack of common composition, and replacing it with a sum of separate components, grouping of “stylish things”. Not accidentally many of these interiors were called “collector's pavilion”, “artist’s atelier”, they were created with glamour of the 1920-ies. The style of expensive hotels, restaurants and that is why it is sometimes called «the Ritz style».
Art deco is a song of luxury and efficiency. Elements of asceticism and minimalism are irrelevant. Fantasy, exoticism, theatricality, excitement – these are the key nouns to describe atmosphere, which this interior creates.
Colour scheme of an interior should not be too bright. Colour of material used should not be modified, because naturalness of its colour will once again highlight naturalness of the whole environment. This means colours scheme should be the following: brown, black, red, yellow, white, ivory. Although in these times other variants of colour schemes may occur. For example, typically use of more than 3 colours, despite the traditional rules of design, looks surprisingly organic and impressive.
1. The most successful colour solution is a combination of ivory, varied brown tones and all shades of gold.
2. On the background of chess contrast of black and white expressive inclusions of red and gold, chrome interior items.
3. There are variations on a theme: purple (indigo), white, black.
Interior designers in the Art deco style skillfully use features and texture of different materials ranging from wood (array of maple, ash, rose wood), plastic, concrete, glass and steel, aluminium, and ending with the most expensive and exotic materials: ivory, bronze, silver, marble, ceramics, porcelain, crystals, mirror glass, mother of pearl, enamel; natural fabrics (wool, silk) ; expensive leather (snake, crocodile, shagreen leather, and also lizards and even shark); exotic wood (palm, amaranth, red, black – ebony wood, rosewood, coconut, bamboo, Sequoia).
Also it is appropriate chrome of parts (handles, legs, armrests etc.) for all types of home equipment.
Art deco is easily recognized by a fanciful combination of twisting lines and geometric shapes: smooth, rounded corners and clear vertical lines, by “separated” forms, abundance of circles and semicircles, and also zigzags and triangles.
The style implies usage in an interior of the Eastern motifs and also mix of elements of Egyptian, African and Chinese culture, antiques and paintings of the early 20th century, giving special preference to cubism and the works of the masters of post-impressionism.
In such interior are appropriate images of huge bright flowers (dahlias, daisies, zinnias, especially roses), extremely far from natural (real), a variety of fantastic dragons, peacocks, shells, dark women.
Art deco is based on geometry and symmetry, this also applies to forms of furniture, and decor.
Walls may be covered with wallpapers or decorate by Venetian plaster, and also paint. Painting on walls should be geometrically precise, it is possible to choose from an abundance of broken lines or vertical stripes, cubic patterns or zigzags, floral patterns (bouquets are heavy and thick, blossoming by climbing plants, decorated with goatskin).
Floor may be covered with laminate or parquet, both light and dark shades, parquet with unusual patterns of geometric shapes or straight lines with image of circle and triangle, elements in the form of the sun and of zigzags between them is used. Floor may be coated by natural stone or marble, cover with braided rugs in the style of the cubists of the early 20th century.
Ceiling may be silk stretching or coloured. Doors are most often made of dark (red) wood with chrome handles.
Window frames may be wooden and metal, they are often left open or cover by semitransparent draperies of light fabric. Art deco is characterized by large windows and plenty of sunlight. Lighting in Art Deco plays not the last role. It is soft, most often with use of matte glass, sometimes of stained glass. All kinds of lamps and lanterns, torcheres and chandeliers in the form of a bowl with lots of horns, shining in a ceiling, from which the light is never direct, but ambient. Light sources are located symmetrically throughout the room and often in pairs.
Furniture is characterized by combination in one subject of several geometric shapes (circle, oval, rectangle). For manufacture of furniture a mix of different materials is used: aluminum, stainless steel, glass, ivory, leather, enamel, plastic, natural wood (preferably light). Wooden parts are covered with carvings in the Empire style or Oriental ornaments with floral elements.
As upholstery material velvet is used, but more frequently it is leather, not only soft, but also case furniture is finished with it.
One of paradoxes of the Art deco style is a combination of chrome parts (handles, legs, arms) with decoration of bamboo, coconut and other natural materials. Also furniture in the Art deco style is characterized by an abundance of glass surfaces, leather, metal and wrought barriers.
It is desirable that decorative pattern on furniture is in harmony with walls patterns of a room. The main highlight lies in a silhouette – curved backs of chairs combine with elegant contours of tables and cabinets, smooth roundness of sofas enlivened by gleaming chrome surfaces. Exactly to this style creation of the first streamlined chairs and armchairs made of steel tubes belongs to. A bar looks very impressive, lined with mirrors, reflecting Bohemia of the Art deco style.
Accessories in the Art deco style are expensive and luxurious: ceramic vases, porcelain, stone and glass statuettes, crystal chandeliers, sets of Bohemian crystal, fans from bamboo, forged candle holders, wrought grids and and furniture parts, heavy frames for mirrors and paintings, bronze and glass accessories, fountains, podiums. Wonderfully fit with marble countertops and rich velvet draperies. Also the interior is decorated with gorgeous tablecloths, rugs and lots of cushions on sofas and armchairs, various lampshades and murals on walls.
And a bathroom in the Art deco style implies abundance of steel, marble, glass in it.
Walls are preferably glossy, ivory, with ethnic black or brown zigzags, leopard patterns or like snakeskin — ceramics is the most suitable material for this. It may be embossed and depict abstract, but repetitive drawings. Geometric mosaic will perfectly fit this style.
Floor should amaze with monumentality and originality: large marble tiles in black and white colour, rectangular and free shape, laid in intricate geometric patterns. A checkerboard floor in a room is made from ceramic black and white tiles.
Ceiling in a bathroom should not be burdened with dramatic black patterns: embossed tiles with geometric designs, bright, but not glossy is a worthy solution.
Painted light ceiling may be placed into an original frame – ceiling cornice with ornament matching patterns on walls. Even just a painted ceiling will be effectively decorated with the chandelier in stainless or chromed steel.
Certainly, a bathroom in the Art deco style should be equipped with special bathroom fixtures, and the main requirement to it – convenience and modern innovations.
Massive, streamlined, with curved lines bath made from steel or acrylic is the best option.
A sink with suitable rounded corners matches a bathroom. Octagonal form of a bidet or toilet is a significant difference of the style. Faucets, taps, shower hose should ideally be from stainless or chromed steel.
You are welcome to read the full article on the personal website of the author – designer Tatiana Antonchenko: https://3dproject.by/a34064-stil-art-deko.html
Specially for the International Association VATIKAM (Paris, France),