Living room in art deco style and large windows.

10 Art Deco Interior Design Ideas For Your Home

Melissa Brock4-minute read
April 25, 2022

Who can forget the art deco influence of the 1920s or the vibrant neon of the ’80s? Art deco home interior design certainly favors an unforgettable eclectic, embellished style from the 1920s and 1930s. Art deco's geometric patterns, vivid colors and lavish ornamentation may blend with wood, brass and metal to create a distinctive style rooted in the visual arts.

Whether you pop this visually dramatic style into your whole home or limit it to just one room with strategic decorating, you can incorporate art deco using the 10 specific classic art deco elements we've outlined below.

What Is Art Deco Style?

What does art deco mean, exactly?

The opulent, often brightly colored art deco aesthetic features symmetrical, geometric and simple shapes from the early 20th century. The style evolved as a result of art styles of the 20th century, including cubism, constructivism and futurism. The trend spanned the "Roaring ‘20s" and the Great Depression of the early 1930s. By the end of World War II, the style had clashed with wartime restrictions and efforts to conserve – art deco house interiors may have been seen as "too over the top" or "too opulent." After the war, the more functional modernism style took its place.

You can find art deco architecture in buildings such as New York City’s Waldorf Astoria and Chrysler Building (both were built in the late 1920s and early 1930s) as well as the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, built in Los Angeles in the 1920s.

What Does Art Deco Mean In Interior Design?

When implementing this type of interior design, you marry modern and classic stylized motifs. For example, you may paint a room with dark paint and add a large, decorative mirror with art nouveau inspired lighting. Art deco style may incorporate elegant, decorative molding, geometric bathroom tiles or sleek aluminum stairway railings. Design elements could also include items like plastics, vita-glass, wood and reinforced concrete.

Some distinguishing characteristics include embellished and luxurious details such as:

  • Geometric or mixed patterns
  • Vibrant colors
  • Bold artwork with a unique or luxurious shape
  • Glamorous lighting
  • Metallics
  • Fluted details
  • Rich wood finishes

Any combination of paint, furniture, light fixtures or wall decor can incorporate art deco style as long as certain visual elements are realized, including no-fuss, glamorous elements and those that radiate luxurious visual twists.

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10 Design Elements For An Art Deco-Style House

Let's take a look at 10 common interior design motifs you can incorporate to add art deco style features to your home.

1. Vibrant Colors

Royal blue chair and painted wall in the corner of an art deco themed room.

Vibrant colors, such as red, bright yellow, jade, purple or cerulean blue, are an element of art deco interior design. You can also combine bright art deco colors with neutrals like tan or pair them with shiny metals on furniture, decor, wall paints and more. For example, you might place a jewel-toned chair with chrome legs and armrests in your living room.

2. Animal Prints

An animal print rug in an office with a fireplace.

Animal patterns are an element of art deco interior design. Common animal prints like leopard print, tiger stripes and even giraffe spots can add an art deco flourish to any room. You can incorporate animal prints into decor, artwork, rugs, blankets, lamps, headboards on beds, curtains and more.

3. Geometric Shapes

Geometric art deco wallpaper behind a wooden table and two black floor lamps.

Geometric patterns and shapes are a staple of art deco interior design. You can incorporate geometric patterns into furniture, carpeting, wallpaper, bedspreads and other features.

Geometric designs also apply to the shapes of furniture, like the shape of a mirror in a bathroom, an arched headboard or symmetrical nightstands in a bedroom. It might apply to large, bold black-and-white patterned floors or smaller tiles in geometric patterns. 

4. Bold Lighting

Pastel themed bedroom entryway with a bold, golden chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

Bold, dramatic and elegant light fixtures are a hallmark of the art deco style. The opulent, ornamental style typically features geometric shapes and symmetric forms using repetitive elements. Gold leaf, steel, polished bronze and chrome finishes can function together to complete faceted forms and detailed lighting (sometimes with glass panels obscuring the light bulb), faceted forms and detailed lighting create an art deco style in dining rooms to bathrooms. 

5. Strong Lines

Strong geometric patterned wallpaper in a dim home theater.

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Furnishings with strong lines, such as straight, zigzagged, vertical or jagged lines, are a staple of art deco interior design. Art deco architecture also features rows or columns, which draw the viewer's eye horizontally or vertically. You can incorporate these bold, strong vertical or horizontal lines into tables, chairs and accessories.

6. Mirrors

Art deco styled living room with large oval mirror above couch.

Art deco mirrors may feature beveled edges, engraved geometric designs, symmetrical patterns, sunbursts or figural characters or animals. Art deco mirrors can incorporate an art deco style aesthetic anywhere in your home, from bathrooms and bedrooms to hallways.

7. Metallic Accents

Brass faucets in a bathroom with green tiled wall.

Bold metallic accents are an element of art deco interior design, which can include brass, stainless steel or even glass. For example, you might consider adding a large statement mirror and decorative gold light fixtures on drawer knobs, handles and decor. You may choose to switch out your light switch covers and add register covers and outlets with ornate metallic pieces to tie the room together or add a large brass floor lamp.

8. Luxurious Materials

Luxurious art deco styled living room with fireplace and loveseats.

Luxurious materials like leather and velvet also form a backbone of art deco interior design. You can incorporate these materials in your home’s interior design through upholstered furniture and decor. Lavish fabrics and materials can give the appearance of wealth and class with a soft, livable and beautiful look. Try incorporating fabrics like velvet into your furniture pieces and curtains or add faux-fur pillows and throws to your couches and accent chairs.

9. Artwork And Sculptures

Tan wall with artwork and a cabinet with a sculpture.

Bold art deco home decor using artwork and sculptures can help create a striking look. For example, you may incorporate triangular- or trapezoidal-shaped geometric sculptures on side tables or hang chevron-patterned artwork on the walls.

10. Contrasting Colors And Patterns

Pink and blue art deco styled bedroom.

Contrasting different colors, shades, patterns and textures is an element of art deco. For example, you may design a room with both dark and light colors or layer zigzagged or chevron patterns in a dark/light color combination on a bedspread.

The Bottom Line

Now that you have the answer to "What is art deco style?" how will you incorporate this unique home design into your home? When you're adding art deco style to your house, consider thinking beyond geometric patterns – why not incorporate other designs, such as those that represent animals and sun rays?

Art deco doesn’t have to be literal. Today’s translation can mean taking care to leave no corner of your home unadorned in some small way.

Itching to decorate? Learn more about popular interior design trends for this year.

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Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock is a freelance writer and editor who writes about higher education, trading, investing, personal finance, cryptocurrency, mortgages and insurance. Melissa also writes SEO-driven blog copy for independent educational consultants and runs her website, College Money Tips, to help families navigate the college journey. She spent 12 years in the admission office at her alma mater.