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Jazz up your living room with these Art Deco homeware

For all its understated elegance, minimalism can be boring. Black and white can be classy, but the eyes crave for variety. If all your parties at home have begun to feel like pajama parties, it’s time to try something bolder. Pick the aesthetic that’s minimalism’s polar opposite: the lavish Art Deco.

Originating in Paris in 1925 and flourishing throughout Europe and America in the 1930s, Art Deco is what happens when you mix together the severity of Bauhaus, the romance of Art Nouveau, the hard edges of Cubism, and the mannerisms of all other aesthetic movements of the early 20th century. Visually, Art Deco is a collage of seemingly unrelated elements: geometric shapes, motifs from varied cultures (Egyptian, Native American, Greek, etc), metal work, and objects from nature in simplified form. Famous works of Art Deco include the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings in New York City, Rene Lalique’s glass vases, Emil Ruhlmann’s sofas and dressing tables, Cassandre’s Pivolo ad, and Vogue magazine’s cover art during the 1920s and 1930s.

For many of us now, our most accessible references for the Art Deco style are the TV shows and movies. The Hotel Cortez in the series American Horror Story: Hotel displays most of Art Deco’s design tics. But to see a wider application of the aesthetic, watch the acclaimed 2013 period movie The Great Gatsby. From the opulent rugs on Jay Gatsby’s mansion floors to the turrets on the roof, the film’s production design is a lesson on Jazz Age lifestyle.

In this blog, we break down for you the principles of Art Deco; and using items from the pages of Elle Décor’s June 2017 issue, we show you how you can bring jazz to your living room:

1. Focus on bold.
Begin your living room redecorating plan by choosing a focus you can design around. It could be a painting, a sculpture, or a piece of furniture with a bold design. Art Deco furniture were known for designs that command attention, which is exactly what this aptly named Sheik cabinet by Matteo Cibic does. The repetitive pattern — in the Sheik, a champagne-glass pattern in resin inlay – is also a distinct Art Deco trait.

Living room wall decor Scarlet Splendour The Sheik Cabinet

Scarlet Splendour | The Sheik Cabinet – $8000.00
International shipping weight –  154kg
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2.  Angular is essential. While its predecessor Art Nouveau favored flowing lines reminiscent of plants, Art Deco emphasized geometric shapes, in celebration of the burgeoning industrialization in Europe and America. So furniture and accessories with angular lines, like the teakwood Aviara Lounge and ebony-and-walnut Geo Sculptures, won’t look out of place in a contemporary Art Deco living room.

Living room wall decor Restoration Hardware Aviara Lounge Chair

Restoration Hardware | Aviara Lounge Chair – $1695.00
International shipping weight – 169 kg
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Living room wall decor Restoration Hardware Aviara Lounge Chair

Arteriors Home | Geo Sculptures – $675.00
International shipping weight –  7kg
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3.  Exotic enlivens. The adaptation of motifs from foreign cultures is another Art Deco hallmark. Similarly, the zigzag design in this paper straw divider could have been inspired either by floor tiles from ancient Greece or traditional Chinese lattice window. On a more practical side, dividers are useful in creating mini hallways, a means to direct foot traffic, especially in open-plan rooms.

Living room wall decor The Mine Paper Straw Divider


The Mine | Paper Straw Divider – $97.99
International shipping weight –  18kg
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4. Metal adds shine. Art Deco’s fascination with industrialization also found an outlet in its copious use of metalwork. Add polish to your Art Deco living room with accessories in metal finishes, such as the Janet lamp and Clessidra table lamp; and the Gemma vase and Harris vessels.

Living room wall decor Arteriors Home Janet Lamp

Arteriors Home | Janet Lamp – $870.00
International shipping weight – 6kg
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Design Lush Clessidra Table Lamp
Design Lush | Clessidra Table Lamp – $1990.00
International shipping weight –  15kg
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Arteriors Home Gemma Vase
Arteriors Home | Gemma Vase – $360.00
International shipping weight –  2kg
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Arteriors Home Harris Vessels
Arteriors Home | Harris Vessels – $600.00
International shipping weight – 7.50kg
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5. Soften with scrolls. Temper the shine and hard edges of metalwork with flowing lines, like those in the Kendra Scott square filigree box and Bassani marble top entry table. Although enamored with the nascent automotive technology, Art Deco never left behind natural themes. It was common for furniture made during this period to have romantic touches similar to the filigree on the decorative Kendra Scott box and the curlicue legs of the Bassani table. The unconventional combination of materials – brass, mother-of-pearl, and lucite in the filigree box; and the steel and marble in the Bassani table – was also typical of Art Deco homeware.

Kendra Scott Square Filigree Box in Crackle White Pearl

Kendra Scott | Square Filigree Box in Crackle White Pearl – $195.00
International shipping weight –  1.50kg
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Horchow Bassani Marble-Top Entry Table

Horchow | Bassani Marble-Top Entry Table – $1499.25
International shipping weight – 129kg
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