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Learn how to identify Art Deco furniture

There is a trend for striking interiors by furniture with organic patterns and natural designs and muted colors , often with the chrome finish. These interiors and furniture are always appearing on TV, at the Oscars and in the most recent fashion magazines. You may be thinking what I should call this fashion? What can my home appear like this? It’s simple…the style type is Art Deco furniture.

Art Deco is a decorative art style that is often applied to furniture and architecture, interior design as well as everyday household things. The incorporation of Art Deco custom furniture into your interior is an excellent method to achieve the elegance and sophistication you desire. Confusion of Art Nouveau, Modernism and Bauhaus designs with Art Deco designs is pretty typical. There’s no need to fret because we’re here to explain the distinct characteristics of Art Deco and guide you through its origins as a classic and demonstrating how to differentiate art deco from other styles.


Principal Characteristics that define Art Deco Design

Art Deco design is one-of-a-kind and incorporates geometric shapes typically resembling futuristic sleek forms. The first thing to note is that Art Deco furniture designs are typically meticulously designed by using exotic woods, material and lacquer. The technique of craftsmanship includes the inlays of exotic woods, like Macassar Ebony, Zebrawood or rosewood. Then, the piece is coated with lacquer, usually using Japanese lacquer, to create sparkling shine. After the finalization, amazing geometric designs like patterns with zigzags and animal shapes such as sunburst, star, and floral patterns emerge.

These exquisitely designed pieces will bring visual appeal and luxury to any room. Based on the design of the artist the additional ornaments are usually included, like inlays of ivory or mother-of-pearl. The inlay was usually set on an end table, sideboard as well as a dining table or dressing table. Another striking feature of the style is the use of shagreen, such as snake skin, shark or zebra on furniture, seating , and typical household items. In the case of Art Deco seating, standard elements are fur and snake skin, animal hide upholstery the yellow or chrome zinc-plated steel, lacquered or veneered wood and geometric curvatures. There are various types of seating, including dining room chairs, lounge chairs, arm chairs and dining room chairs.

An iconic example can be found in one of the most famous examples is French Club chair; this chair is upholstered and has the base of stainless steel and can substitute the standard arm rests with either straight or aerodynamic curves. Numerous accent pieces, such as radios, clocks, and other items of the common household are also produced with Art Deco design. The primary features to be spotted on the Art Deco pieces are Bakelite semi-circles and sleek lines, and muted color palettes comprised of green, red and yellow. They also have orange, yellow as well as black and white tints. Fun information about Bakelite is that it’s the first synthetic plastic. It was invented by Leo Hendrik A. Beakeland who was born in Yonkers, New York. The fascination with Bakelite began because of its stiffness in the form of heat, electrical resistance and. It’s important to be aware (in case you’re in search of the authentic piece of antique) that authentic Bakelite is durable and strong with a smooth and scratch-resistant surface.


There is a trend of dramatic interiors by furniture with abstract patterns, organic patterns and muted hues often with chrome finishes. These interiors and furniture appear regularly on the television, during the Oscars as well as in the newest fashion magazines. You may be thinking what is this fashion? How can my house be like that? It’s simple…the name of this design fashion is Art Deco furniture. Art Deco is a decorative art style that is often applied to furniture architectural, interior design, as well as everyday household objects. The incorporation of Art Deco custom furniture into your interiors is an amazing method of capturing the essence of glamour and luxury. Confusion of Art Nouveau, Modernism and Bauhaus designs with Art Deco designs is pretty typical. Don’t worry about it because we’re here to explain Art Deco’s distinctive features and guide you through its iconic roots and showing how to differentiate Art Deco from other styles.

Principal Characteristics in Art Deco Design

Art Deco design is one-of-a-kind and incorporates geometric shapes typically resembling futuristic sleek forms. In the beginning, Art Deco furniture designs are typically meticulously designed by using exotic woods, material and lacquer. The technique of craftsmanship is based on inlays of exotic woods , such for Macassar Ebony, Zebrawood or rosewood. In the second step, the piece gets coated with lacquer, usually using Japanese lacquer, which gives off an amazing high-gloss. After the finalization, amazing geometric designs like animals, zigzags, star sunburst, flower patterns and sunburst are created. These exquisitely designed pieces will bring visual appeal and elegance to any room.

Based on the vision of the designer Extra embellishments are usually added, including inlays of ivory or mother-of-pearl. This type of inlay is typically set on an end table, sideboard or dining table, or a dressing table. Another attractive feature of the style is the inclusion of shagreen like snake skin, shark or zebra on seating, furniture and other household objects. In the case of Art Deco seating, standard elements are fur and animal hide leather, serpent skin upholstery yellow or chrome-plated stainless steel, lacquered or veneered wood, and geometric curves. The types of seating are dining room chairs, lounge chairs, and arm chairs.

One of the most famous examples can be found in The French Club chair; this chair is upholstered and has an stainless steel base, and replaces the standard arm rests with either flat or aerodynamic curves. A variety of accent pieces like radios, clocks, and other items of the common household are also produced with Art Deco design. The primary features to be spotted among the Art Deco pieces are Bakelite semi-circles, sleek lines, and muted color palettes comprised of green, red as well as yellow, orange as well as black and white tints. An interesting detail about Bakelite is that it’s the first synthetic material, invented by Leo Hendrik Arthur B√©akeland who was born in Yonkers, New York. The fascination for Bakelite began due to its strength in the form of heat, electrical resistance and. It’s crucial to be aware (in case you’re in search of authentic antique pieces) that genuine Bakelite is durable and strong with a smooth resistant to scratches.

Origin and development

Art Deco (or streamline moderne which is often called) was initially referred to as Art Decoratifs. The style of design got the “Art Deco” name following its participation in the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes that was held at Paris around 1925. It was the Art Deco period peaked in popularity in the middle of the 20th century and then it spread throughout Europe in the Unites States through the beginning in World War II. In revealing the details of the origins of Art Deco and its success, the style emerged in France just prior to the start of the first World War as a result of the commercial debacle of Art Nuevo.

The Societe des Artistes Decorateurs, formed in Paris in 1900, was a group of professionals French designers that developed Art Deco by experimenting with innovative designs and construction. In a clever strategy to boost French designs — especially since French manufacturers were worried about rising manufacturing companies The French government backed the association’s Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. But due to WWI at its peak it was decided to postpone the event between 1915 and 1925. This decision eventually let designers reflect on the conflict and the rise of industrialization.

To counter this, designs referred to nature and freedom and drew the inspiration of African, East Asian and Egyptian designs and materials. When The 1925 Exposition was completed it became a big hit! A number of French interior and furniture designers were instant success including Emile-Jacques-Ruhlmann as well as the late Le Corbusier as well as Elieen Gray. Designers from all over the world were inspired by the original Art Deco style and created their own versions. Paul Theodore Frankl is an example of an Austrian-American designer who created the first American-style model of Art Deco.

Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann:

Ruglmann was among the most influential French furniture designers of his time in the Art Deco period. Ruhlmann’s main design element included the usage of woods of Africa and Brazil like shark skin shagreen, rosewood amboyna burl, and Macassar ebony , with ivory inlays. The furniture of Ruhlman was simple geometric forms, contrasting the dark and light woods as well as adornments and an edging of lacquer. The furniture and cabinets of Ruhlman were on display during the 1925 Exposition and his designs were seen as an outstanding accomplishment for French style.

Elieen Gray:

She is renowned for her timeless designs and for her role as a leading female furniture designer and architect of the 20th century Gray introduced a new perspective on Art Deco. Gray’s furniture was displayed during the Salon des Artistes Decorateurs in 1913, with the E. 1027 model and later together with Le Corbusier’s designs in his Esprit Nouveau pavilion during the 1925 Exposition. The exhibit of creative and innovative designs earned her the title of being a pioneering maker in the field of Art Deco furniture. Gray utilized her knowledge of the Japanese lacquer technique she had learned from Seizo Sugawara who was who was a Japanese artist and lacquer expert along with Egyptian as well as East Asian patterns. Gray would also use natural forms and human figures like animal and floral designs as seen within the “Dragons” Armchair. Gray is a perfect model of a designer that helped to transition Art Deco in Modernism after the Second World War. Gray expanded her utilization of tubular stainless steel as well as incorporated minimalistic ideas. She employed the monochrome palette and incorporated geometric forms.

Le Corbusier:

Le Corbusier’s legacy can be described as one of the most creative designers and architects. In spite of Le Corbusier’s status as a Modernist the artist began his path to Modernism in his Art Deco period. Le Corbusier presented his minimalist Art Deco Interior “Nouveau pavilion”L’Esprit” in 1925 at the Exposition where he displayed unadorned spacious spaces, with minimalist versions of the famous Art Deco sideboard. Le Corbusier focused on form and function, over aesthetics that revolutionized Art Deco and transitioned the transition from the style to modernism. The work of Le Corbusier emphasized simple, unadorned forms with a monochromatic palette of colors and the utilization of open spaces that were furnished with little -an important distinction from Art Deco (Art Moderne) and Modernism.

Paul Theodore’Frankl’:

It is believed that the American Art Deco design is due the style to Paul Theodore Frankl, who was the main person to create Art Deco as the American style of Art Deco. Frankl began his career as a designer in New York City and began modeling French Art Deco based on American style. In the year 1925 Frankl designed a set of lacquered geometric furnishings known as “Skyscraper furniture.” The collection utilized Skyscrapers to symbolize of America’s success in commerce and business. Frankl utilized simplicity, plain surfaces, linear forms that were continuous and geometric shapes that were stacked on top of one the other.

Find out how to spot Art Deco furniture

Art Deco is consistently reemerging in modern culture. It can be seen in interior design, architecture as well as in everyday household items. Some examples are the Chrysler building as well as Nick Carraway’s living space in the 2013 version of The Great Gatsby. With the variety of styles of design one of the best ways to determine art deco is by observing its form, color and patterns. To begin take note for these distinctive characteristics:

Geometric patterns that have rectilinear forms
Symmetry
The naturalistic designs; blend of wood, upholstery and stainless steel

You can find the original vintage or cost-effective modification, Art Deco furniture is an elegant way to bring the glamour, retro and style to your living space.