Janice Issitt                    Life and Style

travel, interiors, photography, home, crafts, personal style

3 Sep 2015

Get the Art Deco look

Over the next few weeks I'm going to feature some ideas about how to style in different decades using colour to bring the look together.

Im starting with the 1920s/1930s, and focusing on Art Deco, I will move onto the 40s/50s, 60s and 70s  in the coming weeks. My mission is to find things that you can buy from high street or online stores if you don't have the time and cash to find the original vintage item. While Im all for buying second hand, antique and original, it's not always possible to find those things and whether you have the original or a modern copy, you will still need to hone the style with your colour choices. Certain decades speak in specific colours and it's my aim here to condense these looks for you.

So, starting with Art Deco, we are looking at Black with either gold, pink or green as seen below. Its always Black and something, lots of black ..

This first moodboard is featuring pink and black combinations, here we have a selection of original Deco fabrics and bathroom mixed with items from the House Of Fraser Biba range and the Linea Lustre set of Martini glasses. Farrow and Ball Calamine is in the right hue for this period pink, its slightly salmon and dusky.

This pink seems to work particularly well in bathrooms, although I don't suppose you are lucky enough to still have an original Art Deco bathroom in your home. Adding the pink black and gold with touches of green can help you get that feel of decadence while you sip martinis in the bath. Biba have a good selection of towels for your Deco bathroom as well as perfume and toiletry bottles.

The second board features the green and black combination which I feel sums up the Art Deco look completely.

This board features a classic Deco ceiling Lamp from House Of Fraser called Tiffany New York Ceiling Pendant.  They also have black glasses (Linea Black Ghost glassware), and the gold mirror (Biba). This black and green combination works well in a dining room. The clock is from Wayfair (I shall be featuring this online store with my retro fifties look) their website is here.

glassware from
The Art Deco period ran from the mid 1920's, the term is attributed to Le Corbusier, he of the iconic chaise in black leather and chrome, and he used it describe an exhibition of 'art and industrial' in 1925.

To get you in the mood, think about what was happening around this time, it was the great age of shipping. Ocean Liners were the big thing and if you look at Deco buildings you will see that they resemble ships, with port hole windows and railings in tiers.

The latest Great Gatsby film by Baz Luhrmann will certainly get you in the right spirit of that age, Liberated ladies free from the shackles of corsets, smoking, cocktails, stylish fast cars and hedonism for those wealthy enough to be the beautiful people. 

Farrow and Ball make two colours which closely resemble the hue of pink and green synonymous with that age. Calamine Pink and Arsenic Green, they also have several shades of Black. 

Last year as part of my Painters In Residence season for Chalk Paint maker Annie Sloan I did my take on Art Deco when I made over this original piece of furniture. Can you believe I bought this cupboard and chair for 11 pounds! The Chalk Paint colour Graphite is ideal for your black wall or furniture and Annie Sloan also sells Brass Leaf for adding those Gold highlights. On this cupboard the green was Florence with dark wax. I used a crackle glaze on the doors to age the colour Florence and try to tone it to the right hue for the period. 

I added a twist to the chair with this Van Asch fabric

There was a great revival for the Art Deco period in the seventies, I can't quite find where exactly this stemmed from. There was 'Bonnie and Clyde' the film in 68 featuring the acheingly beautiful Faye Dunnaway and the not too shabby Warren Beaty. In 1976 we had a brilliant child version of the gangster and moll story in "Bugsy Malone" with a fabulous performance by the 13 year old Jodie Foster. 1974 also brought us the first film of The Great Gatsby with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow

But for me the most important thing was the move of Biba to the Big Biba store in an old department store building on Kensington High Street in 1974. This was the most amazing shop of all time, it would take me all year to explain how every detail was perfect from the ground floor right up to the roof garden with flamingos. I visited the store by bunking off school with a friend and using our dinner money saved up for the train fare. A major influence on me was not only the awareness of style and styling but the images produced to advertise the shop by my hero Sarah Moon, still an influential photographer. It may have been 1975 ish but I can close my eyes and feel how it was to be in that shop, I would give anything to be transported back to that time but with more money in my purse.

More recently the originator of Biba, Barbara Hulanicki has put her Biba brand-name to a range of products for House of Fraser. Lots of items from clothes to homeware. You could literally decorate yourself and your house with all the items from her range, so if Hollywood glamour is for you then head down to House Of Fraser.  

Art Deco is a great style to refer to if you are decorating for a man who doesn't like floral but does like antiques and vintage. The shapes are more masculine and the colour range is pretty sexy and bachelor style, much like Gatsby himself. 

This style mixes well with industrial as it brings gloss to this rough beaten style. Thinking about textures and keeping them in balance, all shiny and hard or all wooly and furry, neither is particularly appealing, but mix them up in equal portions and you are onto something. 

For the House Of Fraser glassware please click here for the link. They sell everything from the Biba range too, from clothes to towels. Perfect for party styling with a theme, maybe have a Gatsby style Christmas party, how very chic that would be.

For all things Farrow & Ball click here where you can find stockists or order online.

For the complete Biba range click here and for Annie Sloan Chalk Paints click here 

All the above can also be found on my Pinterest board and the links on there will also take you to the source.  
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