Art deco first rose to prominence in the 1920s and 30s, and has made a recurrence in the past couple of years especially with the popular movie The Great Gatsby, an adaptation of the 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This design style is a unique modern style that is favors symmetry and is elegant. There are a few elements to think about if you are considering using this design style.


This is a very important element for this style. You will see a lot of shiny and lacquered finishes such as on wood and metal accents. This helps add an added elegance. These textures are great when played against linen fabrics, which are coarser. Mirrors, which were commonly used in that time period, are also great choices for their shiny finish. Reflective pieces add light and help to open up a room.

Motifs and Shapes

One of the defining elements that separate art deco from other movements is the use of geometric motifs and symmetry. Look to sunbursts, triangular pieces like those that appear on the Empire State Building, and scallops. The motifs will combine a geometrical shape, often straight lines and right angles, with the occasional curve. This combination helped to provide balance between both extremes. Try this by emphasizing wood detailing with vertical ridges in a wall molding against a contrasting furniture piece with a curved back or neck, such as a sofa or chair. Another area to add curvature is in lampshades or lighting.

Due to the presence of geometry in theist me period, parquet floors are a great choice to consider. You can use an engineered or hardwood option with a finish of your choice to help complete the look. Our Design Associates at FCI of Madison generally suggest a medium to dark stained wood to anchor everything. Parquet floors can be made in a mosaic pattern to follow common art deco motifs like sunbursts and scallops, or you can try a more traditional pattern such as a basket or herringbone layout. If you are wary of committing to a parquet floor, consider a geometric rug. This will help to protect the wood underneath while adding a bit of deco to your life.

Art deco is often categorized as very stylish and changed modern design with the use of its materials. The materials were able to be made thanks to the improvements in technology. That may be why the rise of machine and industry are so closely associated with this time period.

Consider this style to create an elegant and sophisticated space in your home.