Art Deco (short for Arts Décoratifs) was a major design style of the 1920s and 1930s but has made a huge comeback recently, revamped to feel fresh and new. In its original aesthetic Art Deco was an unashamedly exuberant maximalist style. Sophisticated and glamorous it had a focus on luxury and opulence. The modern Art Deco bedroom continues the visual drama but the addition of contemporary elements gives the style new life. Here’s how to integrate Art Deco style into your bedroom. Discover how to master this glamorous look and add a dose of sumptuous, timeless elegance (or is it decadence?) to your boudoir.
Signature elements of Art Deco style
1. Hotel luxe vibes
With the French roots of this style, it’s no surprise that many of the contemporary beautiful examples of Art Deco interior design are found in Paris. If there’s anywhere you should look for inspo, it’s these updated modern Art Deco-styled hotels, which capture the new look just perfectly. Check out establishments like the Grand Hôtel de Bachaumont, Hotel Bienvenue, Hotel Doisy, Hotel Saint-Marc, Hotel Panache and the La Planque Hotel. The Henrietta Hotel in London is also in the same style. Many of these have been designed by French Dorothée Meilichzon, who seems to be the go-to interior designer for contemporary European Art Deco hotels.
So what are some of the trademark elements these modern Art Deco bedrooms share?
2. Bold and beautiful
The overriding ethos is ‘more is more’ with Art Deco. It’s a style characterised by strong, unfussy, statement-making visual drama. The keyword is “bold” but also think maximalist, outrageously over-the-top, lavish, opulent and glam. It’s all about exuberance and visual drama.
3. Luxurious materials
Lavish materials are in abundance in the Art Deco bedroom. You’ll see lots of velvet and other luxe fabrics, as well as plenty of shiny metals (especially brass, copper, gold and chrome). There should be plenty of beautiful stone like marble and timbers like walnut wood. Natural materials like cane are often present. Cane was already popular in the décor style preceding Art Deco, namely Art Nouveau. But its popularity was really solidified with Art Deco and it’s currently wildly trending again. Rare woods, leather and hide are also well suited to the style. Metallic inlays and smoked glass also bring the Art Deco flavour. The combo of brass and glass is a quintessential Art Deco one that always looks sleek and glamorous.
For floors, a plush carpet adds to the deluxe feel—if your bedroom carpet needs an upgrade, why not have a chat with an expert in carpet laying? Or you can find an expert in floorboards, if you want to explore your flooring options.
4. Atmospheric lighting
Lighting is super important to this decorating style. Ideally, you’ll have oversized, sculptural, statement lighting made of glass, especially crystal. Fittings should be brass, gold-tone or chrome. Be brave and choose extravagant, deluxe, oversized light fixtures, like unique metal chandeliers and sculptural pendant lights. It’s a simple way to amp up the visual drama of your Art Deco bedroom and make the requisite big, bold statement. Often seen at bedsides: little retro globe lights or fluted glass sconces.
But with modern Art Deco style, you’re not limited to period pieces. A killer modern light fixture works beautifully and adds a contemporary twist.
5. Playing with scale
Furniture is often larger scale than usual. For example, Art Deco bedheads are typically oversized and extended. Contrast them with tiny, delicate light fittings and miniature artworks.
6. Bold shapes and forms
Bold geometric shapes and forms are de rigeur. Look for sharp angles and bold lines for your Art Deco bedroom furniture. On the other hand, shapes can be curvaceous yet still streamlined and stylised. There’s a lot of Art Deco love for sensuously curved, bold, exaggerated bedframes in particular. On the other hand, shapes may also be curvaceous yet still streamlined and stylised.
7. Graphic bedframes and headboards
There’s nothing basic about an Art Deco bed—the more elaborate and sculptural the bedhead, the better. Look for dramatic upholstered bedframes with unusual cut-outs and built-in sculptural light fittings. Graphic, rounded shapes like scallop edges are wonderful for creating a focal point in a room. Velvet is popular but is in danger of being overdone in bedrooms right now. But an oversized, extended velvet bed is certainly your neverfail, go-to instant Art Deco bedroom piece. Or, try a brass canopy bed. Intricately crafted cane headboards with woven inserts were popular, especially with a contrasting black trim.
Statement geometric metal bedframes are a surefire way to convey the Art Deco aesthetic. Sometimes, angular designs are reminiscent of a city skyline with skyscrapers. This evokes the classic Art Deco architectural style as seen in buildings like New York’s Empire State or the Chrysler Building.
Art Deco favours symmetry wherever possible, so think pairs of light fixtures and pairs of nightstands.
9. Rich colour palette
Colours in the Art Deco palette can be bold, striking jewel tones (like deep greens, plums or sapphire blue). Alternatively, you can go for muted pastels (like blush pink, creams and neutrals). Whether you go for sunset colours or pastels, add plenty of contrast. For example through graphic black and white accents, bright colour pops and sparkly metallics. Try Art Deco colourways like powder blues and pale greens contrasted with deep blue trim, or powder pink contrasted with clashing sunshine yellow accents.
I once read a description of Art Deco as “bold and gold” so another easy way to derive that look of glam luxury is to choose metallics in your textiles and gold-toned metal fixtures and bedframe. Stick to a limited palette of gold and black if you want to recreate that 1920s look. (You can find a bedroom painter here.)
Simple white bedding always works well with the vibrancy and drama of a modern Art Deco bedroom.
10. Paint your ceiling
If you paint your ceiling a darker colour than the walls, it will make it feel extra cosy too. It’s also a good chance to tie a colour scheme together beautifully.
11. Layered patterns
Texture on texture is the way to go, so don’t be afraid to mix plenty of patterns in. These can be geometric motifs, large scale botanical prints, solids, abstracts, nudes, trapezoids, chevrons and sunbursts. But definitely avoid dainty florals or plaids.
An easy way to add Art Deco flavour to your bedroom is to incorporate round shapes, especially scallops. A vintage timber headboard in a simple, scalloped/fan shape brings the classic look of Art Deco to your bedroom. Just couple it with vintage glass and brass wall sconces and keep the bedding very simple for a romantic, elegant look with oodles of 20s flair.
13. Leaf motifs
Fuse Art Deco with Boho by adding palm print wallpaper and being liberal with natural materials.
(Love Boho bedrooms? Find more inspo here.)
14. Adorned walls
Walls are often ornately decorated or extravagant, with a feature or adornment of some type, sometimes luxuriously quilted in fabric.
Set an elegant and glamorous tone for your bedroom with gorgeous, dimensional Art Deco wallpaper in geometric patterns. Wallpaper is very effective at creating an Art Deco vibe, especially if it’s geometrically patterned and in deep colourways with gold leaf detailing.
Or look for papers with nudes or animal prints. Nudes speak to the decadence and sensuality of the Art Deco style, and like animal figures, are often seen in this décor style.
15. Padded half walls
An upholstered half wall can act as an extended headboard for Art Deco flavours.
16. Ornate mirrors
This is also a big element of Art Deco. Antique finished or gilded mirrors are perfect, especially a massive leaning wall mirror. But modern mirrors can also be incorporated well. Look for fan, sunburst, arched or curved mirrors to instantly convey Art Deco.
17. Vintage décor
A modern Art Deco bedroom layers a mix of old and new, modern and vintage. Architectural salvage items, artworks and sculptures are popular décor items. A vintage brass floor lamp is ideal.
18. An abundance of geometric shapes
Especially triangles—look for triangular mirrors, triangle-patterned carpets, and corner cupboards.
19. Cubist flavours
Adding art to your bedroom? Look for contemporary artworks inspired by Cubism, which was a classic Deco style of art.
20. Mix up styles
The beauty of contemporary Art Deco style is that it combines so well with other décor styles, like Boho or mid-century. You might start with a bedroom with Art Deco flavours with an upholstered velvet bed, brass touches and bold symmetrical bedside lamps. But then add a mid-century vibe, such as with a ‘50s style chair.
21. Sunburst décor
Finally, a popular element of Art Deco style, sunburst designs on furniture and décor are a quick and easy way to incorporate some playfulness and character into the space. If you’re lucky you’ll find a gorgeous antiqued metal bed frame featuring a series of sunbursts.
And that’s a wrap on my guide to the Art Deco bedroom style today. Need a hand putting together your Art Deco bedroom? It’s super easy to find a local who will help you put together your Art Deco bedroom. There are Taskers who specialise in assembling: