How to Add Art Deco Style Into Your Living Room
The living room is a comfy, cosy oasis for everything from relaxing with your loved ones to bingeing the latest must-watch TV series. But, it’s not just defined by what goes on within its four walls – the style you choose to adorn your living room is hugely important, and as one of the most central rooms in the home, should really reflect your own unique point of view.
Bright and eclectic yet elegant, Art Deco style is unparalleled in the living room, where there’s inherently lots of contrast – such as the sharp, chic lines of a coffee table paired with a gorgeously overstuffed sofa. So, if your living room is in need of an Art Deco makeover, there are a number of tips and tricks that’ll help you do this timeless style justice whilst keeping it aligned with your own tastes. Keep reading for our ultimate guide to creating an envy-worthy Art Deco living room…
What is Art Deco style?
Luxurious and bold, Art Deco interior design is the perfect curation of glamorous furniture and decor that, when all paired together, create stylistic harmony in a very over-the-top way. Art Deco style isn’t for the faint of heart, but rather, those of us who want to make a statement and live in a Gatsby-esque paradise. It’s been a go-to for close to a century, and in the right home, presents an unmissable opportunity to play with colours, textures and materials, and to let your uniqueness shine.
Art Deco originated in France around the 1850s, but didn’t gain popularity until 1925, when it was front-and-centre at a Parisian exhibition that catapulted it to fame overnight. In the following years, it dipped in and out of style, until it had a resurgence in the 1960s that has sustained itself to this day. Elegant but never understated, and just a little eccentric, Art Deco is now found in homes all across the globe – and for very good reason.
Art Deco feeling like it just ‘clicks’? Here are 12 of our expert-approved tips for designing the Art Deco living room of your dreams.
1. Try bold, bright tones
Art Deco isn’t subtle, so leave your inhibitions at the door. While it’s totally possible to keep things neutral, colour is pretty central to this style, so if you’re up for it, bright tones will be your besties. The trick here is to select two to three colours and employ the 60/30/10 rule. Where you’d usually have a neutral like white or beige take up 60 per cent of the room, this is your chance to go a little more… shall we say, opinionated, with a bolder colour like pink, bright blue or olive green. The world really is your oyster! Then, select two more colours and incorporate them into the room a little more sparingly, with one encompassing around 30 per cent of the room, and the other the remaining 10.
Favourite colours of this iconic era and aesthetic include gold, royal blue, purple, green, red and pink. If in doubt, opt for jewel tones, which will be easy to pair together seamlessly, and are also popular choices for furniture pieces like sofas and armchairs.
2. Or opt for elegant with a twist
If colour is just not up your alley, there’s a way to create an Art Deco haven without going too overboard. Your colour of choice here – the 60 per cent – should be cream, which is very reflective of 1920s style, and has a warm base that makes it easy to style other colours. Gold is super central to Art Deco, so incorporate that for your 30 per cent, and then choose your favourite subtle hue for your accents (the final 10). While Art Deco really is rooted in bold and bright colours, it’s still very possible to make this style pop in your living room if you select the right colours. If you don’t like gold? Well, this might not be the style for you…
3. Find your statement sofa
A simple way to make a luxurious and eye-catching statement in your living room is with an Art Deco sofa. Typically, lounges in this style will have geometric curves and might be made of an opulent fabric such as velvet or leather. If you’re going all-out with colour, the sofa is also a great opportunity to incorporate a bright hue that fits with your preselected palette. When you’ve found a piece that catches your eye, style it with contrasting patterned throw pillows to really reinforce that mix and match feel.
Our go-to Art Deco lounge right now is the Frank 3 Seater Sofa in stunning olive green. With its rounded cushions and sturdy frame, it blends the Art Deco aesthetic with mid century modern for a piece that’ll be timeless and can transcend styles. If you’re more inclined towards neutrals, the Seta 4 Seater Sofa with Chaise in soft, almond spice-coloured velvet is the perfect pick.
4. Add an armchair (or two!)
If you’re planning on entertaining or have a big family at home, you’ll want to include some additional seating to fit everyone comfortably. Armchairs also present a great way to diversify your style and include other shapes, materials and colours you enjoy – the more eclectic the better, in true Art Deco fashion. Pick out two identical armchairs, or add even more variety with a couple of mismatched pieces – perhaps even an ottoman .
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we can’t go past the beautiful Lisette Armchair . Its gold frame and geometric shape are the ideal manifestation of Art Deco style. Another fan-favourite is the Ada Swivel Accent Chair , which embodies the lush curves of this aesthetic, and is available in a range of colours and fabrics, including a variety of stunning velvets.
5. Keep surfaces sharp
Where seating is curvy and cool, other Art Deco furniture pieces tend to trend towards the sharp, sleek and chic. Create this contrast through the surfaces in your living room, such as the coffee table , side tables , and entertainment unit . There are no rules when it comes to material, but glass and metal are absolutely go-tos here if they pique your interest – there’s nothing that screams Art Deco more than lavish lashings of gold. Wood is another popular choice, but try to stay away from super-light tones that feel more Scandinavian than anything. Instead, lean into the crossover between Art Deco and mid century with medium-to-dark toned woods and finishes that incorporate gold or brass accents.
For an ultimately Art Deco entertainment unit, Hertz will be your best bet, with a subtly patterned dark wood base and brass finishings in the geometric shape that typifies this aesthetic.
6. Mix up your materials
Speaking of materials, it’s imperative that you create a little whimsy in the space with a range of different textures. For instance, if you’ve opted for a classic and chic Art Deco coffee table in glass and gold, try to switch it up for your side tables. Creating this visual interest – a keep ‘em guessing kind of approach – is integral to doing no-holds-barred Art Deco interior design justice. Translate this same guideline to your choice of decor and homewares down the track, always trying to diversify your textures and materials for an interesting look.
Sets like the Memphis Coffee Table Set make this task super easy, pairing two different textures (dark wood and black marble) together in a way that’s contrasting yet feels harmonious and very aligned with Art Deco style.
7. Find patterns you love
Patterns are super central to Art Deco, and the rule is truly ‘the more, the merrier’. Flipping through an Art Deco design book, you’ll likely see five or more different patterns in one space, and somehow, they all mesh together perfectly despite being very contrasting aesthetically. So, it’s important to go all-out with patterns that you really adore the look and feel of if you want to bring Art Deco into your space. This could be in a big, splashy way – think patterned sofa – or something a little more understated, through throw cushions , rugs, and even your furniture items.
A couple of our favourite patterned items that’d be ideal neighbours in your living room are the Baroque Coffee Table , the Jordan Pale Silver Geo Textured Rug , and the Thomas Entertainment Unit . Baroque blends marble and gold in a way that’s Art Deco to a tee, whereas the Jordan Rug adds tonnes of texture to the room, and plays with a subtle and timeless pattern. Thomas is an eye-catching way to pull focus in the space, with a wood pattern that’s ultra-luxe up close.
8. Create grandeur with gold
If you haven’t yet heard – we’re just a little passionate about this point – gold is so crucial to establishing Art Deco flair in your home. Think back to The Great Gatsby, which is set smack-bang in the middle of the same time period, and you’ll recall lots of lovely, lavish gold around, especially in geometric patterns. So, you’ll be wise to take any opportunity you can to add some gold into your space, through furniture and decor items. Brass is also a popular (and stylist-approved!) choice if you like something that looks more lived-in.
If gold furniture is to your taste, brighten things up with an Art Deco side table in the right hue and material. The Cushla Side Table is absolutely unbeatable, with its curvy and cool style and a luxurious marble tabletop. You can also incorporate lots of gold through your accessories, including Art Deco lighting , candlesticks, vases, trays, trinkets and more.
9. Incorporate shapes
Geometry is more than just a universally-despised high school subject – it’s a huge facet of design, and in particular, Art Deco design, so it’ll serve you well to get acquainted. Geometric furniture items that really play with exaggerated shapes, including half-circles, circles, squares, diamonds, and rectangles, will give your living room a little edge. Once again, more is better when it comes to this aesthetic, so source a variety of furniture pieces in different shapes to amp things up in the living room.
An Art Deco floor lamp like the Leo Arc Floor Lamp in black is an easy yet stunning way to include a geometric shape. The deep bell curve of the lamp’s arm and the rounded shade really get to the heart of this style. Another Art Deco lamp we love is the Ornis Table Lamp , with its brass base and dynamic rectangular shade that together create a standout classic look.
10. Play with perspective
Chances are, you’ll never walk into an Art Deco room without spotting at least one mirror. There’s a reason this style loves its own reflection so much – mirrors not only broaden and deepen an area by creating perspective and a faux sense of spaciousness, but they also play right into one of Art Deco’s favourite materials, glass. So, whether you opt for a small mirror resting on a surface, or an extravagant floor length beauty, purchasing a mirror will not be remiss.
To identify an Art Deco mirror, look for funky shapes such as ovals and rectangles with rounded corners. Another facet that’ll really give off that Art Deco flair is a brass or gold frame around the mirror – plus, it’ll tie everything in your living room together.
11. Get decorating
Art Deco decor is truly unique, featuring elegant construction and design that meshes surprisingly well with an air of whimsy. When you reach this stage of the decorating process, take time to firstly consider the kinds of things you love to use as decor, as well as the functional items you can’t live without. Then, it’s all about giving them an Art Deco shakeup, with pops of colour, bright metals, geometric accents, and contrasting patterns.
A trick here is to style the living room how you usually would with items you already have, and then select key pieces that can be swapped out for Art Deco-inspired elements. There’s no need to reinvent every single wheel in the space, but rather, establish this style quite boldly with just a few important pieces. If you’re feeling stuck, Art Deco style translates beautifully to pieces that can be found in gold and brass, such as candle holders, trinket trays, photo frames, and even plant pots. Swap out a couple of items and bring in new gold accents to ramp up the Art Deco vibes. Another must-have is an Art Deco rug in an eye-catching pattern. Think super geometric and you’re sure to discover the perfect piece to elevate your living room.
12. Finish with art
The final step in the process of creating a stunning Art Deco living room is to add those last little touches. Wall art is a must in any home, and can be configured in a number of ways to ensure it’s renter-friendly if necessary – try command hooks, or alternatively, prop your favourite framed artwork up on surfaces like your entertainment unit. Art Deco paintings span a huge range of subjects and styles, so the world really is your oyster – just be sure to think big, and consider core elements like shape, contrast, and colour. The Mosaic Print is a great example of this style in action, as is the Sorbet Print , or the Vector Triptych for something more neutral.
While some may find Art Deco style a tad gaudy, for the right home – and the right household – it’s an incredible, eye-catching (if not jaw-dropping…) way to make a statement with colour, texture and shape. Bring this bright, bold and ultimately, super fun style into your living room by following our experts’ tips. When it’s time to add some new pieces to establish this style, discover Brosa’s comprehensive range of Art Deco furniture and homewares, and shop your favourite pieces with Australia-wide delivery and flexible payment options.