Discover the Timeless Trend of Art Deco Design, Art and Decor

Photograph made from a period glass negative of friends out on the town, circa 1928-1930. ©2023PrescottVoice

The Art Deco period! It is a style that collectors and designers have marveled at for decades.

From architecture to furniture, lighting and artwork, and clothing design, there is nothing that the Art Deco movement didn’t influence in some way regarding design.

Let’s dive into the history of Art Deco and explore how you can incorporate this sensational decor into your home.

We’ll uncover its unique characteristics and discover famous examples from around the world.

From modern takes on classic designs to traditional motifs, learn more about how you can embrace this timeless trend for yourself.

The Unique Characteristics of Art Deco Design

Art Deco is an iconic art form and design style originating in the 1920s. It was showcased at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, France, from April to October 1925.

Characterized by bold colors, geometric shapes, and sleek lines, Art Deco was embraced by architects around the world for its modernist aesthetic.

The influential Art Deco style elements were was used to create intricate patterns or mosaics that served as decoration on walls or furniture pieces.

Many buildings constructed during this era featured curved corners, which gave them a more streamlined look than traditional architecture had before it.

French Art Deco Atelier Petitot Chandelier. ©2023PrescottVoice

The color palette associated with Art Deco is also quite distinct, typically featuring bright shades such as reds, blues, and yellows alongside black accents for contrast.

This vibrant combination was often seen on furniture pieces like sofas or armchairs but could also be found adorning walls through wallpaper designs or painted murals depicting abstract scenes or landscapes inspired by nature’s beauty.

Chrome plating and glass were commonly used materials in Art Deco decor, as they could give objects a glossy sheen and reflect light beautifully.

Stone sculptures crafted from marble or granite added texture to any space while providing structural support when needed.

These components combined create an unforgettable aesthetic that continues to be admired today.

During the Art Deco period, electric lights became increasingly popular among designers who wanted their interiors illuminated without taking away from their carefully crafted ambiance. Art Deco chandeliers were the answer.

1928 Lincoln Mfg. Co. Art Deco Wall Sconce

With both classic designs reminiscent of earlier eras such as Egyptian art up to modernist architect Le Corbusier’s experiments involving glass art – there’s no denying how influential these fixtures have been over time.

My husband and I purchased a 1928 historic home in downtown Prescott in 2017. It required extensive renovation. We decided early on in the renovation process that we would add elements that were true to the age of the home.

I collect period glass photographic negatives from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods, so I scanned a few of the negatives, and enhanced them with color. I located some period frames, and these great art pieces now decorate my home.

At auction, I purchased two beautiful Atelier Petitot French Art Deco chandeliers with opalescent Ezan shades for less than $200. I can’t believe I got them for this price. The chandeliers needed to be rewired, which was not easy. I suspect this is why no one bid more.

French Art Deco French Atelier Petitot Chandelier. ©2023PrescottVoice

Other than rewiring, the chandeliers are in mint condition. My brilliant husband made short work of the rewiring process. These beauties now make a grand statement in my home. They are stunning when lit at night.

I also purchased a number of Art Deco wall sconces.

Art Deco Wall Sconce. ©2023PrescottVoice

Countless characteristics define what makes Art Deco so unique. All these elements come together flawlessly, creating an atmosphere unlike anything today.

To further explore how to use this decorative aesthetic, let’s now look at how you can incorporate Art Deco into your

Key Takeaway: Art Deco is a renowned style of art and design, featuring bright colors, geometric forms, clean lines, and chrome plating. It has become a timeless classic due to its vibrant color palettes, intricate patterns or mosaics on walls or furniture pieces, crafted from marble or granite – all elements that combine to make a unique atmosphere.

Discover How to Incorporate Art Deco Into Your Home

For decades, Art Deco has been a hot style.

The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, a global display of design held in Paris, birthed the ever-enduring Art Deco style in the 1920s and 30s.

Art Deco was a reaction to the previous Art Nouveau movement, which focused on natural forms and organic shapes, like the vase pictured below. In contrast, Art Deco celebrated modernity with geometric patterns, streamlined designs, and bold colors.

A lovely Artwas  Nouveau Vase was purchased at auction. ©2023PrescottVoice

From incorporating bold colors to choosing the right furniture, discover how you can bring art deco into your home.

When designing the renovation of my Deco-period home, I looked at historic and famous examples of art deco architecture for inspiration.

Key Takeaway: Art Deco emerged in the 1920s and 30s as a modern design movement that diverged from Art Nouveau’s focus on natural forms. This style is characterized by geometric patterns, sleek shapes, and vivid colors – making it an iconic look for decades to come.

Famous Examples of Art Deco Architecture

Art Deco reached its peak between World War I and II, but its influence can still be seen today.

Here are a few examples:

  • New York City’s Chrysler Building, designed by architect Le Corbusier,
  • The Eiffel Tower in Paris,
  • La Samaritaine department store boasting glasswork from French designer René Lalique,
  • and Radio City Music Hall in New York City flaunting designs from American artist Norman Bel Geddes.

All these masterpieces encapsulate the signature characteristics of Art Deco: geometric shapes, vibrant colors, lavish materials such as marble or glass art, and hints at ancient Egyptian art forms blended with traditional elements borrowed from other styles like Art Nouveau.

Eiffel Tower

Many influential artists contributed greatly to the floursignificantlyArt Deco movement during this period.

Furniture designer Jean-Michel Frank created minimalist pieces with sharp lines, and Elsie de Wolfe was renowned for her bold color combinations.

Sculptor Raymond Hood added sleek curves to his works, while graphic designer Paul Poiret’s advertising campaigns featured vibrant cubist illustrations.

Painter Tamara de Lempicka captured glamour and grace in her portraits through vivid brushstrokes, and photographer Man Ray experimented with light effects to generate surreal images. All these contributions demonstrate how crucial their roles were in shaping our understanding of the traditional art deco style today.

Today’s designers continue to find inspiration from these iconic figures when it comes time to add some pizzazz to a room or building.

Ornate chandeliers, unique wall murals featuring motifs from Ancient Greek sculpture, and abstracted geometries reminiscent of Cubism all provide endless possibilities for incorporating classic elements into your own home décor.

Photograph made from a period glass negative. Teenage girl posing in her geometric Art Deco period dress. ©2023PrescottVoice

By examining Art Deco architecture, we can understand the lifestyles and occupations of those who came before us.

Moving on to modern takes on this classic style, let’s explore some more contemporary designs inspired by Art Deco.

Key Takeaway: Art Deco, a visual arts style that flourished between World War I and II, is characterized by geometric shapes, bold colors, luxurious materials like marble or glass art, and hints at ancient Egyptian motifs. It has been further developed over the years by influential artists such as Jean-Michel Frank and Elsie de Wolfe, who created iconic pieces of furniture with sharp lines blended with traditional elements borrowed from other styles like Art Nouveau. Today’s designers continue to be inspired by these classic designs when it comes time for decorating.

Get Inspired by Modern Takes on Art Deco Design

Designers today are transforming the art deco style to create a fresh, modern aesthetic.

Art deco, boasting its distinctive mix of geometric forms, vivid hues, and opulent fabrics, has been a source of creativity for artists over the years.

These new creations, ranging from vintage furniture to up-to-date art pieces, offer an aura of grandeur and refinement for any interior.

One popular way modern designers reinvent art deco is by incorporating more natural elements into their designs.

Blending traditional motifs with organic textures like wood and stone creates beautiful pieces with an old-world charm and a modern edge.

Example of Art Dearchitecturalartchitectural design.

For example, gorgeous tables made from reclaimed wood with intricate inlays reminiscent of classic art deco patterns can be found. Or add large wall hangings featuring abstract interpretations of the iconic zigzag lines in many vintage pieces.

Contemporary designers often take cues from nature and classic palettes used in traditional art deco interiors when it comes to color schemes.

Think muted tones like cream or taupe mixed with vibrant shades such as emerald green or deep navy blue for an eye-catching look that will never go out of style.

And oh, how about the metallics used in Art Deco design? Gold, silver, and japanned bronze. So glam with subtle hints of luxury that make a statement without being flashy or over-the-top.

When it comes to Art Deco, there’s something for everyone. Whether you opt for one showstopping piece or several smaller ones arranged together strategically – you can create your own unique design aesthetic inspired by this timeless trendsetter. Lighting fixtures from sleek sconces to ornate chandeliers dripping with crystals add sparkle and dramatic effect to living spaces.

Key Takeaway: Modern designers are taking the art deco style and giving it a modern spin by incorporating natural elements, muted tones, metallics, and lighting fixtures. This trendsetter of timeless elegance can add sparkle to any home or office space with showstopping pieces that will never go out of fashion.


Originating in the 1920s, Art Deco decor has since evolved and been interpreted in various ways throughout history.

It’s an iconic style that continues to influence design today.

Whether you want to embrace it fully or just add subtle touches of Art Deco into your home, understanding the history of Art Deco decor is key for creating beautiful spaces with timeless appeal.

What is your favorite design period? Art Deco? Art Nouveau? Arts & Crafts? We would love to hear from you.

About the author

Hi, I'm Teri Franks, the voice behind Prescott Voice. I've spent years immersing myself in all that Prescott has to offer, and I love sharing the unique stories and experiences I've discovered. When I'm not writing, you'll find me exploring Prescott's trails or tasting our local cuisine. I believe that the vibrant lifestyle here in Prescott inspires us to live a healthier, happier life. Come join me on this exciting journey as we explore Prescott together.

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