What is Art Deco Lighting?

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history of art deco.

Although Art Deco originated in Paris during the late 1910’s, this design movement truly came to life in America, fuelled by the roaring twenties. A time of flapper skirts, jazz music and Gatsby-esc parties. Not only this, but the technology industry was booming and with this came a huge economic boost, paving the way for a new bold and flashy style. Gone were the days of light-hearted colours and floral prints. The 1920’s was all about bold, extravagant and flamboyant style; streamline curves, geometric shapes and sleek lines. This is of course, what we know today to be, Art Deco.

art deco architecture.

Traditional Art Deco design encapsulates early Hollywood glamour, inspiring some of the most famous architecture in NYC, such as, the Rockefeller Centre and the Chrysler Building. They both showcase customary Art Deco characteristics such as, streamline curves, geometric shapes, shiny materials and muted bold colours.

The Rockefeller Centre
The Eastern Columbia Lofts

art deco variations.

Today, there are many variations of Art Deco, with new takes and twists on the design evolving all the time. During the nineteen fifties, the architecture of Miami took an exciting and interesting turn that was most certainly Art Deco inspired. Rather than embracing the conventional muted colour scheme of brown, mustard and olive green, Miami were far more liberal with their colour choices and instead embraced a fun and vibrant look using pastel-colours.

Their use of geometric shapes and elongated curves was still in-keeping with the conventional Art Deco make-up. Although this look won’t be for everyone, it undoubtedly captures the summery, care-free and quirky essence of Miami!

conteporary art deco.

Understandably, you may not want your own home to be a rainbow of pastel-coloured hues- but that does not mean you cannot incorporate Art Deco into your home. Today, Art Deco aligns with contemporary and minimalist design. The underlying features of Art Deco remain, but they are finished with cleaner lines and more simple colour palettes, such as, neutral and earthy tones.

art deco lighting.

The lighting is a principle part of the Art Deco scheme. For ceiling fixtures, wall, table and floor lamps, anything that incorporates streamlines, zigzags, elongated curves and geometric designs would be considered Art Deco. The lamp bases are generally made of bronze, brass, gold, aluminium or chrome. The glass shades are customarily white, clear, frosted, or coloured.

If you are after an early Hollywood glamour Art Deco look, there are three key elements that will help you achieve this: colour, texture and pattern. For example, using bold, block colours as well as incorporating a traditional pattern (such as the seashell pattern). It is also important to consider the material of the lamp shade. Any material that exudes opulence and luxury is best, such as, silk or velvet. You may want to get creative with your pre-existing lamp shades by simply adding long fringe tassels or even beads to add an Art Deco fleur. As a rule of thumb, avoid any flowery or floral prints as Art Deco is generally characterised by solid colour.

Early Hollywood Influence:

Bold but muted colours, traditional seashell pattern.
Shiny, polished materials, luxurious.

Contemporary Minimalist X Art Deco:

Neutral colour tones with simple shapes.
Streamline and geometric shapes.

where to start.

If you are eager to bring some Art Deco into your home- lighting is a great place to start and arguably the most important! Art Deco lighting will give you a look that can be considered retro but also very current with minimalistic features. It’s bold and innovative yet warm and inviting all at the same time! Art Deco is perfect if you are looking to add a touch of sophistication and opulence to the simplicity that is fundamental in modern and contemporary design.