Minimalism Makes Way for Art Deco Home Decor: Discover the Revival of a Classic Style

This article is all about art deco in 2024 home decor. If you’re at all familiar with interior design, then you know Athena Calderone of EyeSwoon. Her Brooklyn home has graced many magazines, and her neutral white palette, and love of marble, brass hardware and antique vessels started a movement towards earthy minimalism. Every design swing she takes ends up as a commercial success. However, Athena’s latest design project, her historic Tribeca apartment, is a happy divergence from her more modern spaces as she embarks in art deco style.

Athena Calderone Tribeca Home
Source: @Eyeswoon

Calderone’s 1930s apartment is brimming with art deco delights: dark wood wall panels, original chevron wood flooring, tiled fireplaces, and leaded glass windows. With this design project in the limelight, art deco design will surely have a resurgence in interior design trends in the upcoming months. Those influential in the design space like Michael Bargo, Colin King and Christiane Lemieux have already showcased art deco inspiration on their feeds. In contrast to the white, minimal spaces we’ve come to know in design, moodier spaces with decorative elements are warmly welcomed.

Art Deco Historic Interior
Source: Instagram

What is Art Deco? 

Art deco is short for the French word “arts décoratifs”, a design style that began in France in the early 1900s and had its peak in the 1930’s. The design style incorporates art, interiors and architecture categorized by the highly detailed and repetitive patterns of sleek, stylized geometry. Another important feature of Art Deco is highlighting luxe quality materials like wood, brass, crystal and glass. Continue on to read more about the key elements of art deco design. 

Art Deco Design Elements

Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes play a large part in art deco design. Shapes with hard angles like triangles, trapezoids and squares in repeating patterns can be featured in furniture, decor and throughout decorative motifs. Look for geometric patterns in furniture, wallpaper and textiles. 

Pastel Colors

Miami Beach is an area that is famously known for art deco architecture that is uniquely its own. As many of the historic buildings were built in the 1930s, the height of the art deco style, many buildings are in bold pastel colors, with large curves and stylized, decorative motifs. In American art deco, pastel colors became a hallmark; used in much of the new architecture of the time. Homes and buildings in pastel hues have since become iconic hallmarks of Art Deco design.

Art Deco Building Windows
Source: Inhabit

Ornate Wood Paneling

Ornate decoration is a unique feature of Art Deco that continues even onto the walls. Decorative walls can feature traditional joinery techniques and decorative wood inlay creating unique patterns. The wall in the above image features straw marquetry, a technique developed by the famous designer of that time, Jean-Michell Frank. The secret to art deco design lies in the tiny details. 

Ornate Wood Floor Patterns

Just as ornate wood-paneled walls are a hallmark of Art Deco design, patterned wood flooring is also a key element that is never neglected in art deco interiors. Wood patterns like chevron, herringbone, versailles and basket styles can be found in the wood flooring, adding touches of design to areas that are often overlooked.

Michael Bargo Interiors The Row Wood Floors
Source: Tumgik
Green Tile Bathroom
Source: Instagram

Incorporating Colorful Tiles

Colorful tile in a bathroom is a beautiful way to pay homage to Art Deco. Try using colorful tiles in pastel colors to make unique patterns. Opting for pastel hues like teal or pink can also turn your space into a place of retro charm while adding a modern twist. 

Geometrical Entryways

Doorways with curved geometry showcase a beautiful balance of proportions that feel playful and modern. A doorway with a sophisticated arch and playful geometric cutouts like the above door adds a touch of whimsy and playfulness to an entryway, making it stand out as a unique architectural feature. 

Art Deco Doorway
Source: Instagram
Art Deco Lighting Chairish
Source: Chairish

Seashell Motifs

Of all the motifs commonly featured in Art Deco, seashell and ocean-related motifs are a clear favorite. Seashell patterns with ribbing and scalloped edges appear frequently in art deco designs. Pieces of furniture, lamps, mirrors, trays and decorative objects can all have seashell motifs. Look for these designs in home decor or within architectural elements. 

Art Deco Folded Screen Dividers

One interior decor element that originated from Art Deco design are decorative folded screen dividers. Inspired by Asian culture and design,  these decorative screen dividers were placed in art decor salons. These screen dividers serve not only as functional partitions to create distinct living spaces or privacy within larger rooms but also as artful decor pieces that add personality and added design to a space. These divider screens can be crafted from a variety of materials such as wood, metal, or paper, and they often feature intricate geometric patterns, bold colors, and luxurious embellishments, echoing the opulence of the Art Deco movement. 

Art Deco Design Screen
Source: Instagram
Wall Sconces Art Deco
Source: Pinterest

Decorative Sconces

In the 1920’s, electricity in the home was still viewed as a luxury to many. And as electricity became more commonplace, decorative wall sconces with ornate designs also became more common. Not only for function, wall sconces became a decorated wall accent, almost like a piece of sculpture, and were commonly made of luxe materials like brass and stone. For example, these antique fan sconces by designer Albert Cheuret (1884-1966) showcase ornate bronze with alabaster stone panels. Add an Art Deco wall sconce to your walls for added ornamental beauty. 

Glass Blocks

Known for both their function and beauty, glass blocks are an art deco staple. Used inside and outside homes, glass blocks function by dividing spaces, and offering privacy without compromising on light. Glass blocks let in outside light while also adding a beautiful element of design to your home. Glass recycling typically carries tons of recycled glass blocks from past projects, making it the perfect DIY for your home. Use glass blocks instead of typical walls in bathrooms, living rooms, or anywhere you’d like more light. 

Glass Blocks
Source: Instagram

Sourcing New Art Deco Pieces 

Antique art deco objects are easy to source in antique shops or on online antique sellers like 1stDibs and Chairsish, but they can often be costly. Luckily, art deco design inspiration is infused into new, contemporary design. Read on below to find out how to get new pieces, inspired by art deco.

Mak Avario Oxblood Griscendre Web 2000x2000
Source: Beni Rugs

Athena Calderone’s Art Deco Rug Collection with Beni Rugs

Athena Calderone recently dropped a new brand collaboration launch with Beni Rugs on her socials. The beautiful rug designs are elegant and bold, inspired by Milanese window panes. The art deco rug collection features wool knotted rugs in deep jewel-tones like rust and navy with geometric patterns. Without feeling too loud or overpowering, these patterned rugs offer a touch of art deco flair that feels completely contemporary and approachable. 

Art Deco Furniture

Art Deco furniture like chairs or tables can be easily spotted with their geometric lines and curves. Like this dining room chair from Crate & Barrel, the uniquely formed wishbone chair with a U-shaped back and sumptuous green velvet is a design aficionado’s favorite, echoing classic art deco style. When shopping for new art deco furniture, pay special attention to the forms, as well as the luxe materials. 

Art Deco Lamp Rh Melange
Source: RH

Stylized Table Lamps

Table lamps with art deco forms like domes feel very art deco, especially with luxe materials like exotic alabaster stones. Even tiffany-style stained glass lamps like this one are also making a big comeback with beautiful stained glass in geometric patterns. Choose table lamps made of luxe, high-quality materials like glass, stone or brass with familiar vintage forms for easy art deco elegance. 

Crystal or Metal Vases

Flower vases are another decorative item that can showcase Art Deco design beautifully. Look out for glass, crystal, or brass vases with fluted designs for an Art Deco look. This one from Terrain is made both from glass and iron; making this urn-style shape appeal to anyone and feel eternally timeless.   

Art Deco Vases Glass Fluted
Source: Terrain
Art Deco Cocktail Picks
Source: Amazon

Cocktail Accessories

Cocktail accouterment and general barware accessories are where art deco design shines. Inspired by Gatsby-era 1920s elegance, cocktail accessories like picks and bar tools can be beautifully ornate as well as functional. Seek out barware accessories with ornate art deco patterns for a vintage look that will instantly elevate your home bar.

Art Deco Cocktail Glassware

In addition to your barware accessories, art deco-themed glassware for cocktails are abundant in the marketplace; perfect for serving stylish cocktails and mocktails. You can find a variety of glassware collections with etched glass patterns and geometric motifs that not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your drinks but also add a touch of vintage glamour to your special occassions. Whether you prefer coupes, martini glasses, or highball tumblers, there is a wide array of Art Deco-inspired options to impress any guest.

While minimalist and boho spaces have dominated in the design space over the last few years, highly stylized art deco designs are likely to make a resurgence soon. In contrast to the white, minimal spaces we’ve come to know in design, moodier spaces with decorative elements have been warmly welcomed and are a fun way to complement more minimalist, modern, or boho aesthetics. Art deco design, with its ornate motifs, geometric designs and pastel colors will always be a timeless, classic design era that continues to inspire.