The roaring '20s gave us more than just bobbed haircuts and sequined garb. The era paved the way for art deco style. It's a modern design movement characterized by geometric shapes, exotic influences, and extravagant flair. We traded in the modest elements of Victorian style for large-scale installations that inspired a lot more drama at home — furniture grew bigger and the luster of metallic accent pieces followed suit. Today, the aesthetic has evolved into a dynamic one that marries the contemporary with old-world charm. Think velvet upholstery, dramatic lighting, and a saturated mix of colors.
Not sure where to begin? Read on for eight art deco living room ideas that'll transport you back in time.
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1. Allow lighting to take center stage.
Consider an art deco living room your opportunity to make a statement. Forego the standard floor lamp for a dramatic pendant or chandelier above the coffee table, like this lofty space styled by Fantastic Frank. Here, bigger is almost always better, and whether that speaks to size or luster, is entirely up to you.
2. Be heavy-handed with color pairings.
While traditionally grounded in neutrals, art deco style has since evolved to include bolder combos. This seating area from The Siren Hotel lives as proof. Deep reds blend with blush and mustard yellow hues, championing jewel tones that are a chromatic force to be reckoned with. Deck your space out with a little fringe detailing and tie the look together with a sleek coffee table.
3. Add a reflective element.
Fireplace mantel or not, every art deco living room deserves a statement mirror. Be it gilded or elaborately framed, the more ornate it is, the better. Grab a full-length floor version to visually expand your space or prop a smaller one on top of a bar cart for added glam.
4. Pick a choice fabric and run with it.
Consider velvet the official/unofficial textile of the art deco aesthetic. Think beyond the sofa and outfit your space with deep lounge chairs and flat-top ottomans — in lieu of coffee tables — upholstered with the luxe fabric. Bonus points for using fearless shades like this emerald green.
Get the look: Jonathan Adler Ether Chair in Rialto Emerald, $1,750
5. Mix and match metallics.
Art deco isn't always about achieving peak maximalism, but it is about taking risks, namely when it comes to mixing metal finishes. A polished chrome chandelier will effortlessly reflect its surroundings, mirroring tones from neighboring fixtures and even upholstery. Set the finish near a brushed brass side table and watch your living room fill with warmth.
Get the look: Anthropologie Clustered Droplet Chandelier, $1,198
6. Experiment with abstract shapes.
Geometric forms are a staple of art deco design, and when it comes to living room decor, they're more than just an inspiration for the coffee table frame. Go beyond the expected and integrate the motifs by way of patterned rugs or an abstract wall mural like the oversize arches in pink, green, and gold seen here.
Get the look: Rebel Walls Arch Deco, $5.50 per square foot
7. Shake up traditional furniture silhouettes.
An art deco living room has plenty to say, and the silhouette of the sofa is one way to go about it. Invest in a piece with a dramatic curve and offset its intensity with an angular coffee table, preferably one that comes in a solid build.
8. Let the art do the talking.
Naturally, the opulence of art deco style eventually trickles down to the art itself. Follow the lead of this space captured by Sylvie Li and line the walls with large-scale pieces to create an eye-catching backdrop that ties the various decorative elements of the room together.
Get the look: "It Caused a Ripple" by Jennifer Daily, $100 - $154