What is Art Deco Interior Design? A Guide to The 1920s

What is Art Deco Interior Design? A Guide to The 1920s

Posted On June 4, 2024

When you think of the Roaring Twenties, you probably picture flapper girls dancing about in speakeasy jazz bars or lavish Great Gatsby-esque parties that defined the era. But outside of that glamorous lifestyle, the 1920s gave design lovers everywhere one of the most iconic aesthetic and architectural styles in history—Art Deco.

From New York City buildings to the sophisticated interior design of many modern luxury apartments, Art Deco’s zigzags, geometric patterns, and striking hues have influenced vintage and contemporary design. In this guide, we’re taking a closer look at this historic, decadent, and instantly recognizable style and how you can translate it to your space today.

Art Deco in the Roaring Twenties: A Quick History Lesson

Art Deco is a design style and aesthetic movement for its bold, geometric shapes and curves, jewel tones, and opulent, metallic touches. The style was named after the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, which was held in Paris in 1925. It was there that plenty of budding young artists and designers showcased their work, embracing then-modern, innovative design trends that are the most distinctive elements of Art Deco today. Not long after, Art Deco blew up and took the design world by storm.

In the US, Art Deco became symbolic of the free-spiritedness, exuberance, and luxury that people craved (and the rich ate up) in the post-war prohibition era of the twenties and early thirties. It became an immensely popular architectural style as well, having inspired iconic New York City buildings like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State. Before you knew it, Art Deco was everywhere—from trendy jazz bars to the walls within old-money mansions.

Nearly a century after the birth of Art Deco, the design style is making a comeback in modern times. As people’s interest in design expands, the nostalgic, dramatic, and eye-catching style from a bygone era, known as Art Deco, continues to garner love. Art Deco epitomizes the glamor of the twenties but has seamlessly transitioned into the 21st century, particularly in interior design.

What is Art Deco Interior Design? Five Key Characteristics

Because Art Deco is so distinctive, it’s easy to spot the architectural designs and iconic geometric patterns it’s inspired over the centuries. But how does this style translate to modern spaces? What is Art Deco interior design? Here are four key characteristics that define this style.

Geometric, Symmetrical Patterns 

Art Deco interior design thrives on geometric patterns, whether it’s simple, repetitive triangles on a wall or dazzling chevrons on a modern rug. Elements, like stepped curves and sunbursts, add an interesting touch by adding a bit of nostalgia to a modern room. These patterns and shapes don’t just add boldness and personality to spaces, but provide a sense of order to them as well.

Luxurious Materials

Luxury and opulence are key pillars of the Art Deco movement. So, it’s only fitting that this interior design style is also defined by plush, decadent materials that recreate the lavish lifestyle people basked in during the twenties. Think marble floors, mirrors covering entire walls, lacquered furniture, velvet upholstery, swanky lighting, and unapologetic accents of gold everywhere. This interior design style is not just luxurious—it’s dramatic, too.

Rich, Bold Hues

Another element of Art Deco interior design that adds to the drama is rich, vibrant colors. Elegant jewel tones like ruby red and emerald green create a sophisticated air in any art deco space, especially when paired with gold or bronze accents. These color combinations create a bold feel to a room while maintaining that sleek and regal chicness Art Deco is known for.

Accent Furniture That Makes a Statement

Accent pieces in interior design can be defined as furniture meant to stand out against a space’s overall concept. And what is art deco interior design but a playground for bold pieces that make a statement? Modern art deco spaces need luxurious accent pieces to turn the drama and flair up a notch. These can be anything from exotic art pieces to blindingly gold chandeliers.

What Rugs Go Well with Modern Art Deco Interior Design?

Whether it’s for a luxurious corner office or an art deco interior design living room, a rug is an excellent accent piece to elevate your space and give it a Roaring Twenties touch. Here are some rugs that will work with this lush, ornate design style that’s making a comeback today.

Geometric Rugs

One of the most popular rug patterns in the modern world is geometric rugs. While these striking rugs are often used as accent pieces of sleek, minimalist, contemporary homes, the symmetry and bold shapes in their design make them even more perfect for art deco-inspired spaces. To bring out that Roaring Twenties feel in your space, look for geometric rugs with classic Art Deco patterns, like chevrons and sunbursts.

Vintage Rugs

Evoke a sense of nostalgia in your art deco space by dressing it up with vintage, distressed rugs that match the vibe. These timeless rugs add a warmer, more bohemian touch to your space that still screams the 1920s, even if they don’t have the structure and clean lines of geometric rugs. One look at these rugs, and anyone in your space will feel like they’ve been transported to a bygone era.

Rugs with Vibrant Colors

Art Deco is known for its rich jewel tones. So, if you’re going for a glamorous twenties atmosphere for your space, go for ones with more color. Red and gold rugs would be perfect for Art Deco-inspired spaces. They are classic hues that are very distinctively Art Deco and add tons of flair and drama to any space.

Bring Twenties Glam to Your Space with Art Deco Elements

Art Deco’s geometric shapes, repetitive patterns, and indulgent details make it a striking design style dripping in luxury and history. If you want your modern space to ooze the glamor and drama of the twenties, Art Deco interior design will work perfectly for you. Get more design inspiration to turn this dream space into a reality when you visit Cyrus Artisan Rugs’ blog!