Art Deco is a beautiful and iconic interior design style from the early 20th century that can completely transform a space in a way that guests, family members and of course, you, will appreciate. The luxurious elements of Art Deco furniture and design are characterized by a variety of choices, including geometric patterns, symmetry, metallic finish, visual drama and bold colors that stand out in your home. This extravagant interior design style is one that’s visually impressive and fun, but it’s difficult to pull off effectively due to the glamorous appearance of much art deco furniture and designs. So how do you create an Art Deco look for your space effectively? Just follow these simple guidelines.

Sitting area with silver mural walls and blue built-in bench seating, art deco touches
Design by Mendelson Group / Photo by Eric Piasecki

Invest in Geometric Patterns

One of the most prominent features of Art Deco is its use of geometric patterns and shapes. This means choosing items that boast designs like grids, squares, circles and other easily noticeable shapes that when paired together give a similar appearance to the abstract art of the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s. Zigzag patterns and triangles are especially popular in Art Deco and can be seen in everything from wallpaper to upholstery, so go bold with your designs and patterns and don’t be afraid to do something a little more extravagant than you’re used to.

Art Deco inspired office with exptic wood art deco desk, teal drapes, and dramatice round brass modernist mirror hung over the fireplace
Design by Mendelson Group / Photo by Eric Piasecki

Mix Your Patterns

Mixing your patterns is something that is relatively taboo in the world of modern fashion, but it’s an almost mandatory element of Art Deco. In addition to the use of zigzags and triangles, you’ll want to incorporate contrasting elements like circles and squares that help to highlight the other geometric patterns in your home. Don’t invest too much in one type of pattern over another and allow yourself to get creative when adding other patterns to your space. This can be a benefit at times, as you won’t need to find identical furniture pieces to match things together — a boldly patterned Art Deco couch can be paired with a dresser that looks completely different.

Utilize High Contrast

Similar to the patterns of Art Deco, one other staple is to use high-contrasting colors. This is especially evident with the use of black and white in Art Deco spaces. Alternating colors make a great basis upon which to build and having two colors that rival for attention — while a third color accents the room — is a great way to create visual intrigue while prioritizing Art Deco design in your home. This unique interior design style often opts for moody and deep tones, so don’t be afraid to try swapping out black for dark blue or dark green.

Custom art deco end table with a dramatic cone lamp and sky blue velvet sofa
Design by Mendelson Group / Photo by Eric Piasecki

Opt for Streamlined Shapes

If Art Deco prioritizes the geometric, then this should be apparent in the physical dimensions of your furniture as well. Straight lines and streamlined curves are especially popular. Symmetry is also an important aspect of this design style. Consider investing in a loveseat or lounge chair that prioritizes straight lines or a rug that’s a perfect circle. Geometric shapes like ovals, squares, rectangles and circles should be prioritized when investing in furniture and creating contrast between these shapes is a quick way to portray this design style in your home. 

Art Deco dining room with gallery wall and white and chrome cantilever dining chairs
Design by Eleven Interiors / Photo by Greg Premru

Add Unique Artwork

Art Deco isn’t just about contrast and geometry, of course! Bold artwork is also important to the Art Deco style — after all, art is in the name. Prominently-placed artwork that utilizes high-contrast hues and sculptural elements help to show off this sleek look and can be a great conversation starter in your home. Abstract art is great for this purpose, and the art itself can also be used to integrate accent colors that match other existing elements in your home.

Art Deco Pied-a-Terre with wall desk
Design by Eleven Interiors / Photo by Greg Premru

Use Notable Accents

While black, white and geometric might be popular choices for Art Deco furnishing, trapezoids, curves and bright accent colors help to bring everything together. You can add just one or two of these items to a space and they will tie the design together in an effective way. Consider using a uniquely-shaped coffee table, console table or other element that stands out to utilize accents, and don’t be afraid to go bold when it comes to the color of your sofa, loveseat, lounge chairs or rugs. 

Contrast Natural Elements with Sleek Metals

If there’s a recurring theme in Art Deco, it’s contrast. The elements and style choices we’ve talked about so far use a lot of geometric patterns and ideas, but by adding a few natural elements into your home, you can accent effectively and create a lively centerpiece that will grab everyone’s attention. This could be a bright green accent color, leafy plants or artwork with a natural aesthetic. This is a good way to finish off an Art Deco space — design your room and add your furniture and accents and determine where you could add some more lively elements that might help accent the preexisting pieces.

Art Deco living room with beige Art Deco club chairs
Design by Eleven Interiors / Photo by Greg Premru

Let a Little Light In

Art Deco is particularly fond of metallic, sleek and shiny materials, and by utilizing open windows that shine light brightly into a room, you can create reflections and glamor that easily brightens things up and casts reflections across the room. Consider mirrors, marble furniture and metal supports to pull off this look effectively.

Choose Natural, Authentic Materials

From marble and granite to teakwood and mahogany, Art Deco makes use of natural materials effectively to show off high-quality furniture and aesthetics that give off a look of elegance, glamor and luxury. By using authentic materials, you can tie everything together in an effective way that will wow anyone walking into your room. While finding authentic materials might normally be difficult to do, you can invest in vintage and antique furniture items from Chairish that omit the expensive price tags of modern-day equivalents for fair pricing due to our gently used and expertly curated selection.

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Lead image design by Mendelson Group / Photo by Eric Piasecki


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January 22, 2023

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