ALMOST 100 YEARS ON, ART DECO IS BACK IN VOGUE
Some design trends are over in a season while others are so low key, they become part of the furniture — think millennial pink — and then there are others that are such a slow burn they appear to creep up on us.
That’s how the revival of Art Deco style has run. After a spectacular start with the release of Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby in 2013, this style has distilled into a growing love of brass and black as the perfect design partners.
Popular across Europe, the US and Australia from 1925-40, the block style and stucco finishes of Art Deco was the perfect vehicle for the new skyscrapers and apartment buildings of the time.
Individual Art Deco residences were rare but it translated well into furniture, with detailed use of timber veneers, metals such as chrome and brass and geometric shapes that drew on ancient Egypt for inspiration.
Falling in love again
In some ways the renewed love affair with Art Deco style is a natural progression of design trends in recent years, from the triumphant return of brass through to the rhythm of chevron-patterned textiles, bold wallpapers and even round mirrors.
This season though, designers have embraced the era with gusto, with both Graham & Brown and Mokum Textiles releasing Art Deco wallpaper and fabric ranges which, except for innovations in technology, could have been straight from the 1920s.
Designer of the Mokum Textiles range, Catherine Martin, is also responsible for a range of vintage-style rugs for Designer Rugs as well as being the set designer on The Great Gatsby. But she’s not the only one falling in love with this design style.
Retailers such as James Said, Pottery Barn and Beacon Lighting are picking up on style references such as geometric chandeliers, bevelled mirrors and patterned metal framing.
Putting on the Ritz
The key to locking in on this style without drifting into a time warp is to tap into the spirit of Art Deco rather than slavishly recreating it.
If you’re comfortable with darker tones, mix a black and gold Art Decostyle wallpaper with a caramel coloured contemporary lounge. If pastels are more your thing, chrome, mint green and soft pink are a winning combination, teamed with a bevelled mirror.
Finish with a little Gatsby glamour with the addition of a drinks trolley.
The key to locking in on this style is to tap into the spirit of Art Deco rather than slavishly recreating it
Wallpaper and textiles from Graham and Brown are the perfect backdrop for this reboot of Art Deco style. A contemporary rug keeps the look firmly in the 21st century.
Designer Catherine Martin’s range for Designer Rugs includes the jewel-like Night Bird pattern.
Keep the style references simple with some new stationery like the Mirror ‘Waves’ range from Officeworks.
A bottle opener from The Designer Hunter is classic Art Deco.
Even pastels can be glamorous when teamed with black and brass in this space by James Said. Textured wallpaper stops it from looking cold.
Catherine Martin has just released Metropolis, a range of fabrics and wallpapers for Mokum Textiles, channelling the heyday of Art Deco style.
Glass as a refractive material was a strong focus in Art Deco. The Waldorf 6 light medium chandelier from Beacon Lighting teams it with golden tones.
The Stella coffee table from Oz Design Furniture (above) and the Tristan bar cart from Pottery Barn (top) have echoes of Art Deco lines.