Modern Art Deco: The Glitz & Glam of the Roaring 20s is Back

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WORDS BY Kelsey Clark

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Published on December 10, 2021

Flapper dresses. Jazz music. Feathered headpieces. The 1920s aesthetic is in a word, iconic, from the fashion and design to the art and music. Despite prohibition, it represented freedom and decadence in the wake of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and (surprise, surprise) we’re experiencing a similar resurgence of all things grandiose today.

Case in point: the return of luxe and lavish accents in the design world, from all-marble-everything to rich color palettes and luxe materials. “We’re definitely seeing a subtle art deco-inspired renaissance,” says Havenly designer Brady Burke. “From bold geometric wallpaper to velvet tufted furniture, modern art deco is refined, elevated, and just glamorous enough.”

Ahead, Burke shares everything you need to know about past and present-day art deco, including how to add enchanting 1920s flair to your space.

art deco furniture

What Is Art Deco?

Art deco is a 1920s and 30s-era design movement that influenced everything from architecture, design, art, and fashion to automobiles, household goods, and everyday objects. Generally speaking, art deco is all about luxury and extravagance — the style paired modern, cutting-edge style with fine craftsmanship and luxe, over-the-top materials. It was heavily influenced by modern art and cubism and often featured geometric motifs. Think: the top of the Chrysler building in New York (built in 1928).

Today, art deco has seeped its way into modern design through the use of heavy lacquering, the application of gold leaf, metallic details, modernist artwork, angular lighting, and a resurgence of sharp and geometric motifs. Picture a jewel-toned room with velvet furniture, patterned wallpaper, brass accents, and ornate, angular mirrors.

modern art deco

Why We're Loving It

Don’t get us wrong — we love the curved furniture trend and the soft, sloping silhouettes that have been dominating the design world as of late. But with its bold lines, glam gold, and striking use of repeated pattern and geometric accents, we can’t help but love the glitz and grandeur of modern-day art deco. Paul McCobb’s line for CB2 is a great example of this updated aesthetic — it’s all about the angular furniture, fluted trim, subtle geometric pattern, and use of luxe materials like velvet, gold leaf, burlwood, and black marble. 

How to Add Art Deco Flair to Your Home

Of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to design. But if you’re trying to add a little 1920s-style flair to your space, consider leaning into a few of the following design elements:

  • A bold color palette, particularly jewel tones
  • Sculptural chandeliers
  • Dramatic wallpaper 
  • Thick drapes
  • Gilded, elongated mirrors
  • Tufted velvet sofas 
  • Scalloped velvet chairs 
  • Brass accents
  • Curvaceous and geometric patterns 
  • Luxe materials like burlwood and marble
art deco design

Looking to try the modern art deco look in your space? Our designers are standing by to help you concept your design and curate all the pieces you need to pull it off. Get started with our style quiz.

Words by Kelsey Clark