What makes Art Deco furniture style and how it developed.
What makes the Art Deco furniture style so popular and how it developed.

The original Art Deco furniture style was created and established in France and Austria around 1925 to about 1940. The Art Deco style was inspired by the Art Nouveau and in contrast to the Bauhaus in Germany, since the material used and its effect in the space had a significant role.


Origin and development

At the turn of the century (1900), Art Déco was more of an art style. Over the years, it quickly became the stylistic idiom for a part of design history and referred to the design in many areas such as pictures, furniture, lamps, clothes, jewelery and architecture. The Art Déco was a development in the midst of the general departure of the Classical Modernism, in which the artistic combination of form and elegance, the preciousness of materials, the intensity of the colors and the sensuality was in the foreground. Much of it was already present in the Art Nouveau style.

Key characteristics of the style

Characteristic of the Art Deco furniture style are the flat and stylized representations of floral and organic motifs. The striking impression is particularly important. The lack of naturalness and shade gives the modern impression. The aim of Art Déco is to emphasize the elegance of the basic form and the value of the materials in the simplest possible way.

A bedroom design by Paolo Castelli from Italy at Imm Cologne 2017.

The name “Art Deco” indicates the priority of the decorative elements. Clean lines in combination with the effect of gold and silver, mirrors or marble in its pure form are as significant for the Art Deco style as glossy surfaces in piano lacquer look. Decadence à la “The Great Gatsby” or opulence and lightness as in the “Golden Twenties” must not be missing in Art Deco. The emerging new social class of rich industrialists and wealthy heirs created the need for property, which reflected personal financial stances.


Therefore, many typical Art Deco furniture pieces are the ones that have already been found in noble and royal houses, such as serving trolleys, console tables, side tables, opulent mirrors and dressing tables. But also representative desks and lounge furniture such as the chaise lounge or the ottoman.

The Art Deco furniture style and its color palette from the years 1920 - 1940.

Popular motifs were fans or lines. Home textiles were mainly velvet or shimmering finely woven fabrics such as satin. Even wallpaper with large patterns / floral motifs move back into the foreground in Art Deco.

Above all, the patterns in Art Deco style have fan shapes or lines. Here is a sample card.

The quality of the material was just as important to the generation of Art Deco as its origin. It had to be marble and onyx from Italy, exotic dark woods from overseas, tiles from Spain and Portugal and rugs from the Orient. The result is a furniture style that is characterized by quality and a lot of handicraft. But the same applies to the design of the pieces – decadence and opulence, luxury and wealth should be the signal effect. Even safes were elaborately designed during this time and displayed in the house.

Well-known companies that have dedicated themselves to Art Deco furniture style are e. g. Paolo Castelli from Italy, which we first met at Imm Cologne in 2018 or Hamilton Conte from France. Please read our article about highlights of Maison & Objet 2019 for more impressions.


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