Fun, escapism and optimism – never were these attributes better captured in design than in the period between the two world wars, which has come to be known as the art deco era.
Having just left behind the terrors of the First World War, Europe and America were ready to dance, party and forget; to listen to jazz music and throw themselves into ‘cocktails and laughter’ as Noel Coward put it. What emerged was a creative outpouring with a buoyant spirit that stretched from art deco’s birthplace in Paris to cities around the world. The design movement was unstoppable, quickly adopting the sleek lines and metal sheen of the fast-developing aeronautical industry and embracing the glamour and escapism of Hollywood.
Defined by speed, dynamism and luxury, why not entice yourself to invest in some sleek art deco pieces with these seven easy decorating ideas?
Keep your look cool and sophisticated with a moody grey decor to let rich wood, glass and marble materials sing out
Make a walnut display cabinet work in your home today by using a strong backdrop of wallpaper. Allow space inside to curate a collection of old and new glassware, sculpture and objects
Wallpaper ‘Side Car’ in ‘Onyx’ (FP409004), £184 per roll, Pierre Frey. Figured walnut display cabinet, £1,375, Regent Antiques. Inside cabinet: Perfume bottle used for flowers, £850 for three, Guinevere. ‘Victoire’ head sculpture, £740; ‘Mustang’ vase, £585, both Lalique. Josef Lorenzl ‘Bella’ bronze figure, £2,950; antique Lalique ‘Cytise’ small vase, £1,250, both Jeroen Markies. Century Hotel model, £195, Chisel & Mouse. ‘Futura’ malachite black vase, £198, Jonathan Adler. Epstein art deco side chair (one of a pair), £2,450 (for the pair), Jeroen Markies
Throw a cocktail party with panache. Load an Asian-influenced bamboo trolley with Ziggurat glassware and shakers with gold accents
Vintage-style drinks trolley, £375, Out There Interiors. Curtain made in ‘Quartz Velvet’ in ‘Rose’ (ZREV331611), £107 per m, Zoffany. On drinks trolley: antique mirrored vase, £280, Alfies Antique Market. Palda or Posselt deco engraved and enamelled decanter, £325; Val St Lambert deco smokey plum decanter with shot glasses, £455, both Richard Hoppé. Barbell barware set, £198; ‘Malachite’ ice bucket, £198; ‘Malachite’ and ‘Newport’ decanters, £198 each; ‘Malachite’ glass, £25, all Jonathan Adler. 20th-century glass bowl vase, £120, Alfies Antique Market. Czechoslovakian stepped wine glasses, £480, Gazelles of Lyndhurst
Pick luxurious maple wood pieces in a classic art deco cloud design to take centre stage in your dining space. Decorate with wallpaper in small areas using light tones to keep the scheme fresh
A grand headboard with adjoining cabinets stands handsomely against exotic animal prints. Velvet-covered furniture and sensuous silk bed linen enhance the feeling of unabashed opulence
Wallpaper ‘The Duke’ in ‘Panther’ (LW057/007), £61.95 per roll, Linwood. Walls painted in ‘Purbeck Stone’ Estate Emulsion paint, £39.50 per 2.5l, Farrow & Ball. Headboard with bedside cabinets by Epstein, £1,900, The Design Gallery. ‘Primrose’ double divan bed base in Linwood ‘Omega’ velvet in ‘Brass’, £995; mattress, £545, both Button & Sprung. On bed: ‘Portico’ duvet cover and two pillows, £90, Christy. Silk pillows, £55 for two, Soak & Sleep. Square cushion and bolster made in ‘Quartz Velvet’ in ‘Rose’ (ZREV331611), £107 per m; piped in ‘Birodo’ in ‘Smoke’ (ZEDO332415), £78, both Zoffany. Rear cushion covered in ‘Indra’ (J895F-07), £57, Jane Churchill. Piped as before. ‘Jindrich Halabala’ armchair (one of a pair), £1,575 (for a pair), The Old Cinema. ‘Desert Sand’ rug, £9,056.50, Tufenkian. Ottoman, £185, The Dormy House. Ottoman upholstered in ‘Walter’ in ‘Usine’ (F3109001), £220.80 per m, Pierre Frey. On bedside cabinet: antique Lalique ‘Cytise’ vase, £1,250, Jeroen Markies. Art deco shagreen and tortoiseshell box, £1,500, Guinevere
Create a Gatsby-style look with an embroidered screen and a sunburst motif mirror. Add accents of dove, charcoal and silver with delicate shell pink for an elegant look