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Key Elements to Art Deco

We’ve all heard that history repeats itself, and in the case of the one hundred year old art deco design style, this is certainly true. Popularized in the roaring 20’s and staying relevant for three decades, this style was all about opulence, wealth and glamour. Now, in the roaring 2020’s, art deco is still a fun design style. Today’s post is all about the critical elements that make up this elegant style and how you can incorporate them into your own interior design.

Let’s start off with the basics. Art deco is made up of very specific style elements including prints and colors, materials and motifs. There’s a lot of room for creativity within these elements, and many different directions you can take. For example we created two different mood boards, one showing a more contemporary approach and one that is more traditional approach to art deco style. Let’s dive into the options and the key elements to art deco.

Contemporary/Modern Art Deco Moodboard Sources:

Double chair - Tulip Tete-A-Tete | Anthropologie

Sconce - Starburst Sconce | Anthropologie

Rug - Hand-Tufted Andie Rug | Anthropologie

Art Print - Christina Flowers Wall Art | Anthropologie

Wallpaper - DENZO II Wallpaper | Aspiring Walls

The Prints & Colors

Art deco is all about bold, rich colors. Popular accent colors include reds, yellows, blues and greens. Black, white and gold combine to make a luxurious color combo often associated with art deco. Animal prints were extremely popular during this time, especially shark, zebra and tiger skins. Adding a pop of animal print in the form of a settee or even some wall art is a great way to create the desired vibe. Bold, geometric patterns and abstract art is another sure sign of art deco. Common motifs included trapezoids, chevron stripes, and sunbursts.

The Materials

When it comes to materials, think lush and opulent. We’ve already mentioned animal skins, which were widely used when art deco first came to be, but luxurious velvets and leathers were also popular. Gold, chrome and glass hardware are a key piece to achieving the decadent art deco feel. Add a glass bureau with gold knobs or a bold colored velvet couch for a stunning statement piece. For flooring, parquet and herringbone floors are an iconic part of the art deco look. If you want something instantly recognizable, go for a black and white subway tile.

Traditional/Vintage Art Deco Moodboard Sources

Chandelier - Swirl Glass Natural Brass | High Fashion Home

Sofa - Hermes Leather Sofa | High Fashion Home

Console Tables - Chairish

Rug - Paul Klee, Silence of the Angel | Charish

Side Tables - 1stDibs

Lamp - Girl and German Shepherd Sculpture Table Lamp | 1stDibs

Art - Jean Harlow | 1st dibs

Now let’s talk about some essential elements to bring in if you are trying to create an art deco vibe in your own interior space:

Vintage Furniture

Big, luxurious pieces of furniture were staples of the art deco period. Investing in a special piece is a great way to bring the luxury, retro vibes into your house. Elaborate sideboards, armoires and wardrobes are an incredible addition, but you can also go for more simplistic furniture with sleek curves and smooth lines. Other unique options to consider include velvet wingback chairs and wooden furniture with inlaid art deco designs.


Incorporating glass is an important part of the art deco style, and mirrors are the easiest way to do this. Adding a large, full length mirror with an ornate gold or gilded frame is a classic option, but you can also include smaller mirrors throughout a room, or center the space around a mirrored coffee table.


Lighting is one of the most important elements of creating an indoor space and when choosing an art deco inspired light fixture, it’s best to consider clean, aerodynamic light fixtures, etched glass and chrome. Many art deco chandeliers use elaborate, fanned out shapes that conceal the lightbulb and add an elegant touch to any room.

So there you have it! The key elements to recreating the vintage art deco style. We’re dying to know—which one of our art deco inspired moodboards is your favorite?

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