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Art Deco Style Explained, Plus Inspiration

By Ted Ryan

Art Deco Style Explained, Plus Inspiration

It’s the roaring 20s for a new century, so it’s only fitting that Art Deco is back in style. Centering luxury and streamlined symmetry, Art Deco is an extravagant design style that makes any room look like it’s ready for a Gatsby-style celebration.

Influences of the Art Deco movement can be found throughout interior design, from architectural elements to the finishing touches. Find out everything you need to know about Art Deco style to introduce this boldly hopeful style in your home.

Sample the Style

Our Art Deco favorites include Ceramic color samples in Evergreen, Tusk, Painted Sky, Raven, White Wash, Desert Bloom, Lichen, and Bora Bora

Art Deco Tile Colors

What is Art Deco Style?

Art Deco is an interior design style that emerged alongside Art Deco architecture in the early 20th century. Among the most famous Art Deco buildings is the Chrysler Building in New York City. In simple terms, Art Deco style consists of symmetrical geometric shapes made with expensive materials, though Art Deco experienced several phases and shifts in principles.

Zigzags, chevron, herringbone, and sunbursts are common patterns in Art Deco. Architecturally, stepped lines, arches, and tall windows, and ceilings are distinctly Deco. Elements of nature like animal prints feature prominently. Gold foil, brass, chrome, mirrors, and marble are all quintessential materials in Art Deco design.

Art Deco bath

Tile Shown: Star and Cross Mini in Tempest, Star and Cross in Basalt, 2x8 in Tempest // Image: Claire Thomas

Art Deco was one of the first styles to incorporate electrical lighting into DNA and fixtures are designed to be adored. Ornate sconces, curving streamlined neon and fanning glass chandeliers are all textbook Art Deco.

House Beautiful Concept House: Noz Design Fireplace Tiles

Tile Shown: Desert Bloom, Ember, Mandarin, Tomato Red in 8x8, Fallow in a custom motif, and Grange in a custom motif // Design: Noz Design // Image: David Patterson Photography

Art Deco was an expression of optimism and futurism. The original Art Deco designers were influenced by Art Nouveau, the Bauhaus, Cubism, and modern design as well as native American and Egyptian art and architecture.

Camille Kurtz: Tri-Color Kitchen Transformation

Tile Shown: Dust Storm 2 x 8 // Design + Image: Camille Kurtz

Art Deco interiors feature bold, symmetrical motifs, whether that means the positioning of the windows, the shape of molding, or the placement of furniture. Drapes, rugs, and Art Deco furniture feature luxurious fabrics like silk, satin, and velvet, in rare colors and exotic patterns.

History of Art Deco Style

Art Deco first appeared at the Exposition Internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes, a World’s Fair in Paris, France from April to October 1925. The fair was meant to showcase a new style of architectural, interior, furniture, glass, and jewelry design called style moderne. Style moderne, later coined Art Deco, quickly swept across Europe and North America, popular for its avant-garde and exceedingly optimistic themes.

Anne Sage: Desert Art Deco Bathroom

Tile Shown: Sand Dune in 1 x 6, Adobe in 6 x 12 // Design: Anne Sage // Image: Monica Wang

Following the onset of the great depression, Art Deco shifted to a more practical and less ornamental design style. This streamlining resulted in the creation of streamline moderne, an architectural style influenced by industrial design and scientific progress. Smooth, curving aerodynamic shapes define the style, symbolizing speed, and efficiency.

Art Deco dropped off at the outset of World War II but has reappeared in recent decades. From the revitalization of Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District and Downtown Los Angeles to the sensibilities of today’s top interior designers, a rediscovered appreciation for this daringly progressive design style is ready for a new era of grandeur.

Art Deco Bathroom Design

Elegant archways, a curved corner mirror, and flared sconces grace this Art Deco bathroom.

Custom Arched Art Deco Bath

Tile Shown: Alpaca in 2 x 4, Alpaca in 1 x 6, Tusk in 1 x 6 // Design: Wendi Ellen Sue Architecture // Image: Sen Creative

Another arched Deco bathroom features soft beige and pink tones, common colors of the period. Points for brass fixtures and globe shade sconces.

Anne Sage: Desert Art Deco Bathroom

Tile Shown: Sand Dune in 1 x 6, Adobe in 6 x 12 // Design: Anne Sage // Image: Monica Wang

Bold black and white checkerboard tile is quintessential Art Deco. A clawfoot tub with curved lines and ornate feet plus curved mirror and stylish glass sconces tie the style together.

Block Shop x Fireclay Tile: Squiggle & Glass Art Deco Bath

Tile Shown: Raven in 2 x 8, Carolina Wren Gloss in 4 x 4, Squiggle in Charcoal Motif

Checkerboard, check. Soft pinks, check. Rounded mirror with symmetrical stepped brass frame, check. It doesn’t take much to bring beautiful Art Deco style to your bathroom. Also, note the marbled glass sconce and streamline moderne jewelry box. Tres bon!

Art Deco Checkerboard Bathroom at Myrial Restaurant

Tile Shown: Red Rock in 8 x 8, Antique in 8 x 8, Tumbleweed in 2 x 8 // Design + Image: Madelynn Furlong

The ornate sconces steal the show in the showy Art Deco powder room. Echoed by the dramatic wallpaper, brass accents plus the Cardamom and Mist checkerboard floor makes this bathroom undeniably Deco.

Claire Thomas: Art Deco Powder Room

Tile Shown: Mist in 3 x 3, Cardamom in 3 x 3, Mist 2 x 8 // Design + Image: Claire Thomas

Zigzagged Hexite Tile in contrasting colors, curved brass mirrors, and plenty of decorative marble hit Deco notes in this Transitional bathroom.

Earthy Hexite Bathroom

Tile Shown: Hexite in Cardamom and Amalfi Coast // Design: Bethany Fay Designs // Image: Open House Photography

Ready for the Roaring 2020s? Sample our favorite Art Deco shades.

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