Minimalism is cool, but there’s something so gratifying about a little bit of opulence. Not that we’re trying to go full Rococo on our railroad apartment—although, do you—but we have been keeping an eye out for statement chairs and home decor that will make people wonder if we smoke golden-filtered Nat Sherman cigarettes, drink OJ from a crystal highball glass, and sleep with a bowler on. We’ve been itching for a little bit of Art Deco escapism.
You know Art Deco design, even if you don’t think you do. You can find it in the symmetric glamour of New York City’s Chrysler Building, Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory, and the drama of Lana Del Rey. The style first came to maturity in France in the 1920s, and gained international traction after the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, which ate up the aesthetic’s vision for the future: a society in which bold, graphic design took precedence, while making a nod to the features of grand civilizations past. Think, shellacked black coffee tables, geometric chandeliers, stark mirrors, and dark velvet sofas. Art Deco pulled inspiration from Cubism, Ancient Egypt, and industrialism that enticed folks with a sense of streamlined luxury fit for the Roaring Twenties and beyond.
So, how do you integrate Art Deco design into your own home decor? If you’re Jay Gatsby or RuPaul (peep the drag icon’s new Architectural Digest home video tour), you aim for something like this:
Art Deco has also seen many style iterations since its debut nearly a century ago. There are countless Art Deco-dedicated accounts on Instagram, and 65,000+ posts under the #ArtDecoInterior hashtag alone. When updated to fit a 1980s Miami energy, it can give Cocaine Decor-chic; with the dawn of Gen X coffee house aesthetics in the late-90s, it gave off a warmer, decidedly Frasurbane vibe. Classic Art Deco is absolutely black marble and gold inlay extravagance, but it can also be as understated as a plush beige couch and an industrial lamp:
Whether you’re new to Art Deco design or doing the Charleston in the club, we’re breaking down the best Art Deco interior design pieces and home accessories to level-up your pad.
The best Art Deco couches and seating
… For plotting, scheming, making out, and whatever else you need to do. Art Deco couches should look as if they’re skyscrapers that have been turned on their side, and provide a comfortable centerpiece for your living room no matter its size; this loveseat from Wayfair is the perfect sofa for a small space, because the curved form adds more visual interest and warmth than a classic rectangular couch.
This über comfy couch from Interior Define comes in various Art Deco jewel tones and velvet fabric options, including many scratch-proof fabrics that exasperated pet owners will appreciate. But it’s the piping on this throne that makes it feel even more Art Deco by drawing attention to its geometric silhouette.
Haven’t spent that tax return yet? Treat your peach to this Art Deco velvet throne, which would be great in a foyer, at the end of your bed, or on-hand as extra seating for guests.
Roll-out the bar cart
Whether you’re sipping a Sidecar or pounding down a glass of whole, vitamin D milk [smiles in Clockwork Orange], nothing says “Art Deco” more than a sleek bar cart. We have whipped up an entire VICE guide to building a bar cart from scratch, but these metallic bar carts from Amazon provide some classy, industrial bones for you to begin; they both look like hood ornaments from an oil baron’s 1927 car (very Art Deco).
Jay Gatsby (but with a septum piercing)
Combine your love for the 1920s and Bikini Kill with these highball glasses, whose studs make a nice nod to the graphic designs favored by Art Deco (as well as your punk roots). The set of four glasses has a 4.7-star average rating from over 400 reviews on Amazon, and customers say they look great next to wine glasses and won’t get damaged in the dishwasher.
Cop some Art Deco posters
Erté, René Lalique, that dude who made Tiffany lamps—there are so many Art Deco artists and designers to note as you prowl the internet for Art Decor prints and posters, but one of the best ways to bring nonchalant Art Deco style into your home is by Googling “Art Deco alcohol posters.” There’s just something about an old school beveragine advert that will always look great as kitchen or living room art, because vintage-style booze posters really pull their weight in terms of atmosphere. Just ask the Campari elf/Maurin Quina Le Puy gremlin.
Baz Luhrmann, come get your mirror
The best Art Deco mirrors should look like they belong on the cover of the Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby soundtrack. This bestseller from Amazon is a VICE staff favorite, and will make your home feel way less boring with its five-part mirror design.
Unfurl the graphic carpet
One of the easiest ways to cover the most ground (literally) when adopting a new aesthetic is to just bring in the right rug. West Elm’s “tiled” green and cream area rug is an elevated treat for the next time your shroom, while AllModern’s Sophia rug is an indoor-outdoor bestseller with a darker motif that says, “I own a platinum cane and a fleet of vintage cruise ships.”
Divide and conquer
Trying to break up a big studio space, or hide an unsightly corner of your apartment? Room dividers are a godsend for all of the above, and this wooden one features some of the starburst designs that Art Deco does so well.
The light at the end of the dock
Remember how The Great Gatsby ended? We’ll leave you to SparkNotes the drama, and offer up this emerald lamp as a hint; the jewel-toned Art Deco pendant is a more contemporary take on a classic Art Deco chandelier, only, your landlord won’t kill you for installing it, and your guests will enjoy the Main Character Syndrome experience under its gauzy green glow.
Now we just need a Rolls-Royce Phantom.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.