Interior Design: What is the Art Deco Style?

Updated November 2, 2022
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Art Deco is a popular aesthetic reminiscent of the decorative style between 1919 and 1939. At the time, it was crafted to represent wealth and elegance as this decor often used striking lines, gilded details, and sleek features. However, it also demonstrates the extravagance of the Roaring Twenties. It’s easy to incorporate this style into your home if you know what to look for!

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A Brief Art Deco History

The Roaring Twenties were a time of spending beyond your means but looking darn good doing it. Fashion took off, interior design changed radically, and, for the first time, it seemed that anyone could live luxuriously. Modern technology took off; it seemed that something new was being produced every day. Not to mention, women were liberated for the first time as they gained the right to vote via the 19th Amendment. This notion of modernity also ushered in the glamorous aesthetic we know today as Art Deco.

The American World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933 and New York in 1939 featured Art Deco designs, which launched the style across the country and beyond. Hollywood embraced the aesthetic, where traces of the era can still be seen today. The best-known examples of Art Deco style are skyscrapers, clean lines, strong curves, bold geometric shapes, rich color, and sometimes lavish ornamentation featuring gold and chrome. 

The Art Deco aesthetic fell off after the second World War due to its gaudy feeling after the world experienced a somber period of unrest. Metals were salvaged during wartime rather than decorating buildings and interiors. After WWII, innovation found ways of making production cheaper, eliminating the luxury-feel of Art Deco. Slowly, the aesthetic morphed into Mid-Century Modern with cleaner lines, less decadence, and more practicality. Bauhaus was the prominent design influence moving from the 1940s to the 1960s. 

art deco furniture

Modern Applications of Art Deco Style

Think Broadway! Think fast cars! Think skyscrapers! Think “The Great Gatsby”! There are so many ways to embrace Art Deco as your own. Try out a deep, rich color scheme of emerald, purple, or navy blue with gold or chrome accents. Embrace mahogany wood featuring lavish details. 

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Bar Carts

Bar carts are often an easy Art Deco feature. Pick a gold bar cart with strong angles and perhaps doors that open up. Then decorate with a drink-making set, angular glasses, and maybe a framed print of a vintage 1920’s magazine.


Wall Decor

Another easy option is in your wall decor. Framed artwork is always a great choice, but there are also plenty of pieces that can be found at your local affordable interior design store, such as HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, and Target. Keep strong geometric features in mind, such as triangles and chevrons. 


Statement Wallpaper

It’s also easy to incorporate Art Deco into your home by using a statement wallpaper. Designers of the time used walls of ritzy designs to emphasize furniture and their color palettes. If you don’t want to commit to wallpaper, there are plenty of easy peel-and-stick paper options at Target and Walmart that fit the Art Deco aesthetic.


It’s so easy to incorporate styles from the past into your modern home. The Art Deco era is an aesthetic that can be flexible and combined with lots of different styles, which can’t be said for every interior design style. If you need more inspiration, look up modern Art Deco interior design on Pinterest.

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