Art Deco 101: Everything You Need to Know

Art Deco Furniture

Art Deco furniture is characterized by its muted colors, shiny metal accents, eccentric shapes, and polished finishes. This style originated in France in the 1920’s and then spread to the US and Europe in the early 1930’s. Art Deco style can still be found integrated into contemporary furniture and design today, often as an accent piece or to create a focal point.

Contemporary Cable 10 Drawer Dresser

Contemporary Cable 10 Drawer Dresser #2

Keaton Upholstered Bed by Copeland Furniture

Keaton Upholstered Bed

Contour One Drawer Enclosed Shelf Nightstand

Contour One Drawer Enclosed Shelf Nightstand

Contour Bed by Copeland Furniture

Contour One Drawer Enclosed Shelf Nightstand

What is Art Deco Design?

Shaker Writing Desk

Our Contemporary Cable Collection kicks wood furniture up a notch by embellishing the pieces with sleek, metallic cables giving the collection a distinct art deco influence.

Art Deco, also known Style Moderne, represented elegance, luxury, and wealth in its prime. Here are some of the defining characteristics of Art Deco design:

  • Geometric: Utilizes basic shapes, clean lines, and representational forms to create ornate patterns
  • Metallic: Shiny metallic accents are often used—especially gold and silver colored metals
  • Repetitious: Unvaried repetition of elements and symmetry
  • Polished: Sleek, glossy finishes
  • Curvy: Furniture later in the era embraced “S” curves, “C” curves, and the waterfall style

The History of Art Deco

Art Deco furniture originated in France in the early 1920’s as a response to the threat that French manufacturer’s felt with the growing popularity of Germany’ clean and simple styles, particularly Biedermeier.

Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925

The Salon of the Hotel du Collectionneur at the 1925 Paris International Exposition of Decorative Arts, designed by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933]. Photo by SiefkinDR, CC BY-SA 4.0 (Source)

Art Deco, or Style Moderne, got its name from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925. This was the first time that the Art Deco style was exhibited and many designers that helped define the style attended—Paul Follot, the duo Sue & Mare, and Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann.

Eventually this modern style would later give way to Mid-Century Modern.

Art Deco vs Mid Century Modern

Axis Counter Stools display a mix of Mid Century and Art Deco design influence

Our soaped ash Axis Counter Chairs lend themselves well to this mixed art deco/mid century modern kitchen design.

Because art deco design philosophies had such a significant impact on the furniture designs of the mid 20th century, it is commonly asked what the difference is between the two styles.

Art deco and mid century modern both utilize machine-cut shapes and rounded designs, they both incorporate a breadth of different materials, and they’re both known as being timeless in their appearance.

Art deco tends to incorporate more flash- gold and silver metals, intricate carvings, and elaborate stitching and upholstery. On the other hand, mid century modern furniture introduced more solid colors, glass, plastic, marble, and other materials, and more simple designs.

Indeed, influences from each are often seen unified together in one interior.

Shop Art Deco Furniture Collections

With contemporary styling churning out more minimalistic interiors, it is rare to come across someone who opts entirely for the ornate styling of Art Deco furniture and accessories these days.

However, Art Deco pieces do have elements that have once again found the spotlight—geometric shapes, luxe metallics, and clean lines—so it isn’t uncommon to see bits of Art Deco influence sprinkled through contemporary design. After all, they are an easy way to add intrigue to a space while keeping the design looking sleek and elegant.

We've spotlighted some of our Art Deco inspired furniture collections below:

Contour Collection by Copeland Furniture

Contour

Contemporary Cable Collection

Cable

Keaton Bedroom Furniture by Copeland

Keaton

Mansfield Collection by Copeland Furniture

Mansfield

Modern American Furniture

Modern American

What's Different About Vermont Woods Studios?

  • All our furniture and home decor is handcrafted in Vermont. We strive to offer you the highest quality products on the market while supporting the American economy and sustainable business practices
  • We have excellent customer testimonials both here on our site and on third-party review sites like Yelp, Sitejabber, Facebook and Google+
  • We offer a lifetime guarantee on all our furniture, and free, white-glove shipping on orders over $3,500
  • You can easily customize your furniture online or by giving us a call
  • As wood furniture makers, we're passionate about forest conservation. All our hardwoods are locally sourced and sustainably harvested, and we plant 10 trees for every order.
  • Our customers are helping to save forest-dwelling species from extinction. Now how many other furniture companies can say that?

Join us in Furnishing a Greener World.

Learn More About Art Deco Furniture on Our Blog



Our Wood

Learn more about our wood types on our wood page, or use the links below to read about specific types:

Cherry Wood

Cherry

Maple Wood

Maple

Oak Wood

Oak

Ash Wood

Ash