Many styles and design trends seem to exist in an endless loop. From country chic and ultramodern minimalism to all-out eccentricity, it seems like just about everything has all been the rage at one time or another in our lives. Some have shorter lifespans than others (often a godsend), while others like art deco are always patiently waiting in the wings.
Will these timeless trends ever fade for good? We recently explored the answer to that question in regard to one of the Roaring Twenties’ most popular design movements.
The History of Art Deco
Similar to popular car styles that trend every few years, some great features of art deco just can’t be denied. High contrast, inundated colors, bold silhouettes, daring bursts of chrome and brass — all of these make for classic accents that never lose their appeal.
The movement was born in France just before World War I broke out. It was a time of opulence and indulgence on many levels, and it influenced virtually every aspect of life. Glamor, fantasy, fun, and lavishness inspired everything from the design of ocean liners and vacuum cleaners to the day’s music, theater, and literature. Fashion was playful and alluring, boasting an abundance of rich materials, brilliant colors, and geometric patterns.
Many of the most beautiful examples of art deco can be found on buildings from this period. Today, some of those buildings are even being restored to keep their defining features intact. For example, One Wall Street, constructed in 1929, is currently having its exterior restored by Macklowe Properties. Not only will the structure’s historical limescale veneer be restored through this process, but its celebrated Red Room will also be refurbished to its original art deco splendor, with its triple-height floor-to-ceiling mural by Hildreth Miere acting as its focal point.
Originally a bank designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1928, Hotel Gotham in Manchester UK is now the city’s most famous five-star hotel. It’s been pristinely maintained for nearly 100 years, and visitors come from all over the world to stare at its majestic, palace-like exterior and Wall Street-inspired art deco interiors. The hotel’s regal appearance has even earned it the nickname “King of King Street.”
The New Art Deco
Today’s art deco features a lot more dramatic disparity in the way of wall displays and furniture selections. The colors are deeper and surrounded by even more brass and chrome. Geometric patterns and fabrics from the past like velvet and fringed material are already making a big comeback. And since there’s no real indication that this trend is going away any time soon, we only expect to see more varying combos of concrete, inlay, marble, lacquer, and smoked glass in the coming years. Burlwood, a throwback to the 60s and 70s, is also likely to resurface to heighten the emotional response expected from art deco.
Looking to work art deco into your home? Start small by adding accents to a single room, or go full throttle and push all those dated midcentury furniture pieces into the garage.