Glitz, glamour, The Great Gatsby… there’s no arguing that the Art Deco period was one of the most stylish design eras to date. Nevertheless, when it comes to home décor, you can risk having too much of a good thing – and the last thing you want is for your home to look as if it’s one flapper short of a period film set.
Contemporary Takes On An Art Deco Armchair
So how do you inject your living space with just the right amount of Art Deco flair? We reckon a chair is the perfect choice – big enough to make a statement but not so big that it takes over the whole room, whilst also being a practical choice for everyday life. Here are four of our favourite Art Deco style chairs from our collection, all of which boast eye-catching nods to the era.
The Bold And The Beautiful
If there’s one thing to be said for Art Deco design, it’s that it was certainly not afraid of a splash of colour… many splashes, in fact! Unsurprisingly for an era characterised by lavish opulence, bold and vibrant colours were the palette du jour, with deep saturated hues and rich jewel shades ruling the roost. Don’t be scared about adding big colours to your space – it doesn’t have to look like a rainbow exploded in your living room. Try utilising rich tones in just one or two items, as impact-making statement pieces, or as accent colours to spice up more muted palettes. There’s nothing wrong with neutrals either; instead just amp them to the max – think deep dark tobacco brown rather than pale beige, or full-on jet black rather than dove grey.
Our Cannes Armchair is the perfect piece to add a pop of colour to your living space. With a plush design that harks back to decadent smoking lounges, this Art Deco style armchair features gently rounded lines, curved wooden legs and big buxom proportions ideal for lounging in. Opt for deep rich colours to add a dash of Art Deco elegance to proceedings; intense vivid finishes like Vagabond Mustard, Old Saddle Black or Antique Tobacco leather, or Revival Velvet Teal or Navy will all bring on the bold in style.
Puttin’ On The Glitz
Art Deco design had some definite magpie qualities, with burnished metallic finishes proving particularly popular in the era. Gold, silver, copper, brass, chrome… you name it, if it was shiny, it was in! However, if you feel that all-metal furniture pieces are just a little too ostentatious for your tastes, opt for items that boast sleek metallic accents or subtle shimmering trims to add a sprinkle of Art Deco glitz without going overboard.
One ideal example of this is our Bastille Armchair. Its black leather upholstery is wrapped with eye-catching brass studding detail, plus sophisticated brass feet to match, which add just the right dose of Roaring Twenties glamour – and contrasting dark colours against shiny metallics is practically an Art Deco signature in itself. The leather has been carefully sanded by hand too, giving it a super-tactile, soft, suede-like effect. This natural distressed look ensures that Bastille will wear its years with pride, ageing into a fabulously well-loved and lived-in style.
Geometric Lines Galore
Art Deco’s bold geometric lines are believed to have been a reaction to the intricate florals from the preceding Art Nouveau era. Strong, simple, self-assured shapes are hallmarks of the period, with striking angular and curved patterns making their mark in a big way. If you want to avoid looking like your home belongs in an Art Deco design museum, it’s best to showcase these elements with care; one of the easiest ways of doing this is to add some quirky accent pieces, like cushions, rugs or mirrors.
Even better is to have those smaller features echo and enhance the lines found in the furniture around them – for instance, our Wall Street Armchair. Keeping its own upholstery to a simple block colour allows its strong, sweeping lines to really steal the spotlight; its thick-set, angular frame showcases those bold shapes even more, whilst also adding the elegant metallic highlights that the Art Deco aesthetic was so fond of. Factor in ultra-comfortable, thick cushioning in supple, hand-softened leather and you have the perfect reinterpretation of an Art Deco armchair for the modern day – essentially, all of the good stuff, but without feeling like too much of a throwback either.
Large And In Charge
Whilst recent design periods have embraced a spirit of minimalism, the Art Deco aesthetic was all about living large. Whilst that feeling of extravagance can definitely be evidenced in the vibrant colours and glitz and glamour that we’ve already mentioned, it can also more simply be referenced in the actual size of objects – and basically, it’s a case of the bigger the better!
As opposed to the stripped-back aesthetic of say, mid-century Scandinavian design, Art Deco pieces typically embrace weighty, oversized proportions and lush, sumptuous curves – all of which can be seen in our Mentor Chair. Even if your space is on the smaller side, you’ll be surprised at the impact that having just one larger piece can make on the overall ambience of a room. We’ve amped up the traditional shape of a classic wingback chair to feature bigger, bolder proportions, plus added details like woven leather on its interior back and seat, giving it a further sense of luxury and textural richness. The rest of the chair has been upholstered in contrasting smooth leather – available in either Destroyed Black or Destroyed Raw finishes – which also juxtaposes beautifully with Mentor’s rustic oak legs.