Recently screened „The Great Gatsby” movie has enjoyed great success not only due to the impeccable actors’ performance and its interesting storyline. The action setting has also significantly contributed to its triumph. The year 1922 is the time when an exceptional style was dynamically developing. We are talking about Art Deco, which is very often dubbed “the miracle of interior design”. It was created between 1919 and 1939, in opposition to dynamic Art Nouveau (secession). Exclusive, rich and at the same time well balanced — this is how Art Deco can be summarised. It was loved by almost everybody in the 20th c. The rich used this style to make their villas more stunning and the poor tried to feel what luxury was thanks to Art Deco.

The name of the style comes from French term “art décoratif “, meaning: decorative art. Art Deco is all about interior decoration inspired by art, both literally and metaphorically. It is an eclectic trend that combines different artistic currents, such as Fauvism and Cubism, embracing technology and usefulness.

Except for obvious aesthetic values, its task was to discipline rebellious secession forms by locking them up in geometrical space and creating subtle atmosphere.

WHERE TO START? Preferably from defining the space. The point is not to get confused while arranging the design. Let us determine what effect we want to accomplish and what we have available. In Art Deco spaciousness is vital, but functional use of space is also important. This style makes use of geometrical solutions and does not like chaos. We should make sure that different pieces of furniture will not clash with each other. Let us place them in fixed order. When decorating a small room, we need to use minimal and necessary amount of furniture and other decorations.

MAIN COLOURS OF THE STYLE. The colour palette in art deco is based on fauvist paintings. This French style used grey, white, brown and black, but most importantly — deep colours, such as pink, red, blue and green. It is good to take some risk and play with colours while decorating the space. The most attractive are so called dissonant colour combinations, for example manipulating the effect, reversing the colours and distorting the reality. Let us not forget about gold and silver — symbols of good taste and luxury.

DECORATIONS ON FLAT SURFACES: FLOORS AND WALLS. Sometimes the stylization of flat surfaces is omitted in various interior design guides. It is a mistake, especially when we deal with Art Deco. Here, walls and floors play an important role because it is impossible to create this challenging stylization only with furniture and accessories. Flat surfaces take up most of the space in any place, thus we should focus our attention on them. The synonym of elegant home is a shiny floor. If we have panels, we need to polish them delicately, in such a way that they reflect the lamp light, similarly, when we use floor tiles. However, if we do not want to forgo carpets and rugs, we should use high quality materials with geometric or delicate, floral motifs.

Our walls in Art Deco style cannot remain empty or monochromatic. We need to decorate them with geometric figures or interesting wall murals, inspired by the great art.

WHAT TYPE OF FURNITURE? Their elegance and high quality are the most important characteristics. Selected furniture does not need to be small and minimalistic, although it would fit this style too. We can choose richly ornamented sofas and armchairs inspired by the royal throne. They should be decorated in regular, geometricized or nature-inspired patterns. As regards the materials from which elements of the interior are made, the most popular are wood, glass and aluminium. Exclusive character is obtained by using exotic types of wood, for instance Brazil nut trees or rosewood.

THE POWER OF DECORATIONS. There would be no Art Deco without decorations! Heavy, crystal chandeliers ornamented wall lights, decorative curtain rods and long curtains hung on them — they are the most important elements. In beautiful vases fresh flowers are obligatory, but when they are not available we can use ostrich feathers instead. Decorations, as well as furniture, should be of high quality.