Taking inspiration from a golden era, Claire Bingham looks at how you can apply Art Deco style to your interior design
Dark woods, chrome and jewel-toned velvets: the vogue for this lush new décor inspired by the Art Deco era is vanquishing the simplicity of Scandinavian interiors. Instead, the use of luxe materials such as marble and gold is on the up, as is the introduction of bold, graphic pattern.
Striking black-and-white chevron-tiled floors and marshmallow satins can add some cocktail party glamour to any home.
Here are some guidelines on pulling off Art Deco flair – without the luxury price tag that’s synonymous with the halcyon era.
To capture the 1930s zeitgeist in a modern interior, start by playing with geometric shapes. A triangular, hexagonal or zigzag-patterned floor looks really effective in a hallway or bathroom.
Of course, it doesn’t need to be marble – ceramic tiles will work just as well. The designer’s go-to for tile inspiration is Bert and May.
Next, go to town with curtains. Cover an entire wall (or two) in a bedroom with a beautiful pinch pleat surround. The decadent look will add more drama to a room and works brilliantly in place of a headboard. To avoid glamour overload, tone the look down with a pastel shade. Velvet is a lovely fabric as it comes in so many shades.
Art Deco loves nothing more than a springy, cantilevered chair. Following the lead of super-cool Milanese designer Dimore Studio, do as it did in Palazzo Fendi and pair an Alvar Aalto-inspired recliner (the poang armchair by Ikea is your friend here) with a spectacularly fringed chaise –the longer the fringe, the better.
Any fabric shop or haberdashery worth its salt will have a good selection of fringing, which can be easily tacked on to an existing ottoman or chair.
Paying homage to the tropical retro style that is Art Deco Miami, try the new Cole and Son Miami wallpaper. The chalky mint and rose sums up the pastel-coloured architecture and glamorous South Beach vibe. It’s kitsch, so combine with a house plant such as Monstera deliciosa and a gold palm tree chandelier such as this beauty from Graham and Green.
Mirrors are also a big deco thing. Large mirrored tiles look great in an alcove – preferably with an aged look if you can. Or look for slim, metal side tables that will provide pure dazzling lines in a room. The glint of metal contrasts nicely with all the matt velvet going on.
Art Deco is as much about attitude as it is about style. Art Deco design had a vision of elegance that was total. It affects every aspect of life.
With that in mind, choose an appropriate spirit guide to assist with the imagined styling of your home. Jean Harlow or Lee Miller? Glamourpuss or cool panache?
Whether your preference is for a toe-sinking chevron carpet and gorgeous, frilly satin chair, vs something more streamlined and moderately adorned, what both of these have in common is a desire to go back to elegant forms and beautiful materials.
The result? A luxurious and modern interior that, like Art Deco, will stand the test of time.
‘Living in Style: The New Art Deco’ by Claire Bingham (teNeues Media, £45) is available now