Spotlight: Art Deco

Art Deco is a movement that was not just limited to interior design, but also influenced designs in buildings, fashion, jewelry, and art, among others. It began in the 1920s, in France, and spread across the globe. In the United States (and perhaps elsewhere, but we’ll stick to this geographical location since I’m most familiar with its timeline) it died out a bit during the 1940s and saw a resurgence around the 1960s.

It is during this timeframe that you’re probably most familiar with the term art deco. It can be described as elegant, functional, and modern. (“Modern” as seen from the perspective of someone who lived during this time. Now we would refer to this style as retro – that curvy and sleek looking décor that was popular in the Mid-century era.)

Art deco is weird. It’s ornamental and strange, often a bit outlandish and downright ugly. But it can be a cool design, especially if you have a room set up in this style – it’s very unique and eye catching. Although the materials are not limited to the following, you often see lots of aluminum, stainless steel, and chrome, along with Bakelite, inlaid wood, and just plastic in general.

The design is very geometrical and symmetrical. Curves were popular, but they’re less natural looking (which would be more along the lines of an Art Nouveau style). It’s more about solid colors than patterns, and most pieces are formed into shapes, rather than having patterns with shapes in them.

Although we could pull examples from several different types of media, I find that it’s much easier to see this style when looking at lamps. The ones you’ll find below are all from our own shop and can be described as art deco – elegant, modern, functional, geometrical, and symmetrical.

(Note: As with most things, defining an artistic movement is difficult and not at all straightforward. Some of these lamps are undoubtedly of this style, while others have simply just taken certain elements from it.)

Do you like the art deco style? Which one of those lamps jumps out at you the most?