Art Deco Furniture Styles – Artistic Expression at its Finest
History of Art Deco Style Furniture
The history of Art Deco furniture styles dates to the years between World War I and World War II. The Art Deco rage began in Europe during the 1920s and the popularity of the style reached the United States during the late 1920s and the 1930s where it became a well-liked eclectic artistic style.
When the Art Deco artistic movement was introduced in Paris, France in 1925 at the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts, it was an instant hit, and the Americans who attended the event brought the style back home and began to incorporate the Art Deco technique into American motifs of all types.
Not only did the Art Deco style influence furniture, but it also inspired architecture, fashion, jewelry, entertainment, and art.
Although the Art Deco era is most commonly known for fantastic architectural feats, such as the Empire State and Chrysler buildings in New York City, the furniture industry was heavily influenced by its stylish and modern design elements.
Characteristics of the Art Deco Style
Art Deco style furniture typically has specific characteristics and is made with particular materials. For example, it is common for art deco furniture to include stainless steel, chrome, glass, and aluminum. It also commonly features inlaid wood, lacquer, and shagreen (shark or ray hide). Original Art Deco furniture pieces sometimes contained the furs and skins of exotic animals such as zebra skin and different types of leathers. Besides the use of rare animals in Art Deco furniture, exceptional and sometimes unusual woods were also utilized. Furniture designers often stained woods to highlight the grain so that finished furniture pieces would have an unusual yet fantastic texture.
The style also incorporates different types of embellishments, geometric shapes such as triangles and lightning bolts, sleek sweeping curves, zigzags, mirrors, and sunbursts. Art Deco style furniture also features symmetrical lines, angels and balanced step patterns
The Rise and Fall of Art Deco Furniture’s Popularity
During the Art Deco era, the style of vintage furniture in the United States represented a sense of strength and hopefulness during a period of economic hardship. The bright colors used in many Art Deco style furniture pieces were meant to bring happiness and cheerfulness to the citizens of the world who were enduring the effects of the Great Depression. The Art Deco style remained an inspiration and a source of hope and strength during a difficult period of time.
The Art Deco style remained a popular design choice for many years, but its prominence began to decline as the United States entered into World War II and the country’s focus turned from the economic hardships of the Great Depression to a new era.
The height of the Art Deco period lasted from the mid-1920s through the 1930s, but the style became popular once again in the 1960s and again in the 1980s. While all styles and designs cycle in their popularity levels over time, Art Deco is an artistic technique that will never lose its importance and brilliance. The style represents a period of time in American history that stands for strength, endurance, and hope for a better future.
Original Art Deco furniture styles and pieces can be found in antique shops and for sale by owner, and prices vary from affordable to expensive depending on the quality. While some vintage items are in excellent condition, many pieces need restoration. However, there are several current-day stores that sell new furniture pieces that represent the older Art Deco style. While brand new pieces do not come with a true historical background, they do add a particular look, style and personality to any room or space.