Three years ago, I published the post The ART of DECOrating in the 1920s and 30s which was triggered by several events in winter 2013 where I stumbled across the classy Art Deco style in a movie (The Great Gatsby), in a novel (Z - The life of Zelda Fitzgerald), in an exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW (Sydney Moderns) and in an antique shop in Bangalore. I ended up buying a beautifully crafted Art Deco side table. The iconic decorating style of the 1920s and 30s seemed to pop up everywhere.
Last weekend, I visited The Sydney Fair, a showcase of antique furniture, lighting, sculpture, art, jewellery, silver, glass, ceramics and fashion, which ran the fourth year in Sydney. The show was dominated by Art Deco furniture, lighting and accessories and proof that Art Deco is still one of the most popular design styles in the 20th century.
As I had received an invitation from the organisers, I decided to head to Moore Park on Saturday afternoon to spend a couple of hours at the fair and to see what it was all about. Last year, I had missed it. I was also hoping to find a nice standing light for our living room.
My wish was granted, as within the first 15 minutes in the exhibition, I fell in love with a 1930s Deco standing light with a ball-shaped glass shade decorated with Saturn rings. It only took one photograph and calling my husband, and I was the proud owner of a classic piece to decorate our home.
Here you go: this is my new 1930s standing light, now gracing our living room.
In this post, I want to share five steps how to mix and match the Art Deco style into your existing interior to create a truly unique home.
Step 1: Research
As with every new venture, I always recommend doing some research first. Use online tools, such as Pinterest and houzz, to gather inspirational images of Art Deco interiors, furniture, colours and accessories. Browse your local antique shop or design centre to hunt for fabulous finds. Find out about exhibitions or fairs in your city. Borrow or purchase reference books celebrating the iconic design style.
Step 2: Decide on a feature piece
Start with one hero piece. This is, of course, easier if you have a piece in mind that you would like to replace or add. Otherwise, make sure that you have or make space for a new piece before you head to the shops. You don’t want to clutter your home with furniture that does not fit. Consider a side table or coffee table or a couple of occasional chairs (versatile pieces for apartments) complementing your living room. A lovely sideboard or display cabinet for your dining area could be perfect feature pieces as well.
Step 3: Introduce a geometrical pattern
Find fabric with a geometrical pattern and introduce it into your home by reupholstering an existing chair, an ottoman, or having some curtains made. You could also have the fabric mounted onto a frame and display it as artwork on your wall. Alternatively, look for accessories or trays with Art Deco patterns.
Step 4: Display Art Deco art
Browse your local Art Gallery shop or antique dealer for Art Deco prints. Buy several and create a gallery-style Art Deco display on a feature wall. Alternatively, decide to go with one larger piece. I recently found a beautiful print of a 1930s painting celebrating the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The colours worked perfectly with my living room colours. The framed print now takes pride of place above our fireplace.
Step 5: Finish with stylish accessories
Art Deco lighting is an easy way to introduce a stylish piece into your home. There is a huge selection of desk lights, standing lights, table lamps and pendants. Forget the downlight in your living room and create a soft and inviting ambience with a beautiful standing light or table lamp. Decorate your bookshelf or sofa table with a vase or sculpture from the Deco period. Invest in an Art Deco tea pot and cups to enjoy your favourite tea in style.
German Art Deco chairs upholstered in an elegant material.
Opalescent glass dishes from France, ca. 1900. Aren't they beautiful?
I hope you feel inspired by these beautiful images! If you would like some assistance with creating a unique interior or sourcing Art Deco pieces, contact me to book your initial consultation.
This original German cookies jar from WMF was one of my favourite pieces. Price tag: $1,700.