The art deco style is a modern classic. Or maybe it would be more accurate to call it ‘classic modern’, since although it remains a relic of the jazz age, speakeasies, and old Hollywood, its influences are thoroughly modern. Emerging from the cultural landscape of postwar Europe and America, art deco takes its themes from innovation–brighter, bolder, and looking toward the future. Incorporated into your decor, this style can add a sense of modern sleekness while still holding on to some of the timelessness of the past. Modern, but not contemporary.
The name ‘art deco’ comes from an exhibition that was held in Pairs in 1925–The International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts–and is characterized by bright colors, bold lines, and geometric patterns. The style is meant to speak of luxury, culture, and innovation, as well as a willingness to embrace technology and the onward march of the progress. If I were to characterize it myself I would probably go with “retro space age.” Dimond Home Furniture has a great selection of art-deco inspired pieces to transport your design to the past, while simultaneously drawing on modern styles.
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Unlike the more organic styles of rococo or art nouveau, art deco is characterized by repeating patterns and industrial lines. Modern materials feature prominently, such as steel, glass, and chrome. Geometric shapes are popular–rectangles, polygons, chevrons, and sunbursts, to name a few. It is the style of the roaring 20’s, and therefore can bring a sense of modern decadence to a space. It calls to mind wealth and industry, but that doesn’t mean you can only make it work in an industrial space. It would look great balanced out with houseplants or a colorful rugs or draperies.
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Leaving behind the more natural themes of its influences–the curlicues and shell-like patterns of rococo, and the twining vines and branches of art nouveau–art deco embraces symmetry and draws more from artistic movements like functionalism, which insists that all its art be unadorned and functional in some way. But in no way does this mean that art deco is austere–it simply seeks to conjure images of industry and innovation. The order of civilization, rather than the chaotic motion of the natural world.
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See what I mean about not being austere? Art deco is all about boldness, blocks of color, and smooth lines. The fan shape is a common motif throughout the style, emerging in everything from art, to chairs, to mirrors. Classic art deco incorporated elements from ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian art, including the repeating motif of the sun. The Chrysler Building, Radio City Music Hall, and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées are all famous examples of this bold style.
Bringing a little flavor of art deco to your home can add a hint of class and timeless luxury, and Dimond Home Furniture has a great selection to choose from. They have many different pieces built along art deco schematics, with thick lines and industrial materials and symmetrical shapes. Their bookshelves in particular are favorites of mine. And if you aren’t ready to embrace the glass and gold, they also have more traditional pieces.
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Whether it’s with a couple vintage-inspired pieces, or a general motif of geometric shapes and modern materials, art deco is just a really bold, fun flavor to add to your home.