Art deco began in Europe, particularly Paris, in the early years of the 20th century, but didn’t really take hold until after World War I. It reigned until the outbreak of World War II.
In this article
It was not just for the elite. By the 1930s, mass production meant that everyone could live in the deco style. Travel became popular. African safaris were all the rage and animal skins, ivory, mother of pearl, and tortoiseshell began to appear in the home. After Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered, Egyptian pyramids and sphinxes adorned everything.
- geometric and angular shapes
- chrome, glass, shiny fabrics, mirrors and mirror tiles
- stylised images of aeroplanes, cars, cruise liners, skyscrapers
- nature motifs – shells, sunrises, flowers
- theatrical contrasts – highly polished wood and glossy black lacquer mixed with satin and furs
- art nouveau – deco kept the nature motifs of its predecessor but