Art-deco in the 1920s and 30s came at a time when elegance and affluence were at the height of fashion; when premium-quality craftsmanship was the ONLY choice and cutting corners with cheap, flimsy copies wasn’t even considered an option.
Modernist styles from across the globe united to celebrate art and innovation. Effervescent, yet sophisticated, the old-world glamour of the Art Deco movement is hard not to like.
Drawing inspiration from far and wide, the style influenced all things design, finding its way into fashion, jewellery and cars, sprawling seaside homes, skyscrapers, public buildings, cinemas, theatres and ships. The style was boldly modern, using geometric shapes, clean lines, metallic pops, luxe fabrics, bold colour and exotic materials.
Ensure yesterday complements today
Examples of Art Deco architecture are plentiful in Sydney and across Australia, showcasing the curves and geometric detailing of the day and adding a sense of history and character to the area it’s in. The beauty of the style is that it suits any location – leafy inner-city, along the coast, high in the hills or deep in the country.
White walls contrast beautifully with inky-black accents to ensure a modern freshness is paired with today’s lifestyle. Vast open living flowing to shady alfresco areas complement modern indoor/outdoor lifestyles. Colour pops up in the form of soft furnishings, metallic fittings and pendant lights, large geometric, lineal or abstract artwork, patterned tiles and sculptures.
The stars of the show are geometric shapes, curves and clean lines. Squares, triangles, parallel bands and sunburst motifs in the form of decorative ceiling mouldings, fireplaces, cornices, and leadlight windows. Doors and windows are typically framed in black for a sophisticated contrast to the crisp white simplicity of rendered walls. Spaces are voluminous and bathed in natural light to showcase classic detailing such as opulent brass and crystal chandeliers.
Geometric shapes appear in everything from doors, tiles, wallpaper, bedheads, to table lamps and cabinet handles. A monochrome backdrop of white and black sets off pops of rich colour – that are far from meek and mild, yet are sophisticated and elegant. Furnishings and metals like chrome, brass, bronze and brushed steel are both practical and decorative. Nothing is over-done but the air of glamour is hard to ignore.
Keep it simple
It would be wonderful to have the ability to step back in time to the era itself. And while so many of the design elements remain strikingly beautiful today, you probably don’t want an exact replica of a 1920s era home now in the 2020s. The idea is to adopt and incorporate certain understated elements of the style into your home to complement today’s modern design, not completely take it over.