Design Styles

Design Styles: A Fabulous Era of Art Deco Furniture Design and Decorative Arts (Part 3)

Art Deco Furniture and Decorative Arts had a profound impact on the way people lived in the 1920’s – 1940’s.   It is still a source of design inspiration today.  This is part 3 of my series on Art Deco design style.

Remember the parlor in the Great Gatsby movie?  It was full of Art Deco treasures from the shimmering chandelier to the patterned rug.Great Gatsby movie set design

Art Deco was an era of opulence and artistic innovation in furniture and interior design.  New furniture styles created redefined how people lived in the modern age.  The design of ordinary items such as a table, railing, screen, door, or chair became extraordinary, functional works of art during the Art Deco period.

Art Deco design drew it’s inspiration from 4 major sources:

–  Mathematical geometric shapes inspired new forms and shapes in furniture design.

–  Foreign travel, primitive and exotic object found in to Travel to Africa, Middle East, Ancient Egypt, Mexico, and Greece brought about the trade of primitive arts and exotic objects around the world.

–  Discovery of antiquities in the Egyptian pyramids created great interest in all things pyramids and they became a strong source of design inspiration.

–  Birth of industrial machines and materials particularly steel, aluminum and glass.

Ornate details  bold colors and patterns, geometric shapes and animal prints were common details of Art Deco design.

Let’s take a look at the major elements of Art Deco decorative arts and furniture design.


Art-deco-desk-ebony Jacques-Emile RuhlmannEbony wood desk by Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann

Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann ebony chairEbony wood chair by Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann

Ornate Inlaid wood chest Art Deco

Intricate inlay wood chest made from exotic woods and ebony.

Exotic Materials such as animal skins, ivory, mother of pearl,  tortoiseshell, inlaid wood, glass and steel were being used for the first time in furnishings and decorative arts.

Black leather Art Deco chairs

Black leather Art Deco chairs

Automobile era influences included rounded corners, streamlined and geometrical forms and the use of metal and chrome

Art deco chair - Great Gatsby

Chair with aluminum legs and great geometry

Barcelona daybed was designed in 1930 by Ludwig Mies van der RoheBarcelona daybed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1930

Raymond Subes Art Deco metal tableRaymond Subes Art Deco metal table

Raymond Subes Art Deco Iron gate 1930's

Ornate decorative items using aluminum, steel and iron often had  with stepped forms and sweeping curves like this gate and the Gatsby screen below.
Great-gatsby-architectural door

Love for the vertical – stepped vertical ornamentation

          Art Deco Aquatic Life Mirror by Bernard Fischer

Art Deco Aquatic Life Mirror by Bernard Fischer

Pierre Patout Art Deco armchairs 1934Pierre Patout embellished Art Deco armchairs 1934


Christopher Guy Art Deco inspired chair


Popular themes in Art Deco were trapezoidal as seen in this chair, zigzags, geometrical and jumbled shapes.

Art Deco iron table - Raymond Subes Maison Dominique



Raymond Subes Art Deco iron table

Raymond Subes Art Deco iron table with trapezoid legs

Discovery of King Tut’s Tomb in 1922 – horizontal influences, the sunburst, pyramid like roofs the ziggurat or, use of 3s.

1931 C J Weinstein Art Deco Frosted Glass Starburst Chandelier |

1931 C J Weinstein Art Deco Frosted Glass Starburst Chandelier Crystalline and faceted forms of decorative cubism and futurism.

1931 C J Weinstein Art Deco Frosted Glass Starburst Chandelier |

NY, NY wallpaper inspired by Empire State Building by Detroit Wallpaper

Cubism – Pablo Picasso, reducing images to basic geometric shapes, and simplistic colors, exagerated muted colors, clean lines,

There’s so much I love about the Art Deco designs.  How about you?

Cartier diamond panther ring Art Deco

Cartier diamond panther ring Art Deco


Want to learn more?  You can read my other posts on Art Deco Architecture and Art Deco Art Master Erte’ by clicking the the links.

Until next time …

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