The Roaring Twenties were a time of both dramatic social and political change. Fashion, design and art were at an all-time high, and mass culture became a modern reality. For anyone who has seen Baz Luhrmann’s current version of The Great Gatsby, the opulence in dress and interior is apparent.
I’m thrilled that these design aesthetics have shown up in current interior trends, distinguished by sleek geometry, mirrored surfaces and streamlined shapes. You can see much of this in vintage Hollywood – it epitomizes the glamour of the silver screen. The 1920s was the era of the modern woman: smart, independent and glamorous. It was also really the first time interior designers became widely hired within the home. Think polished furniture, crystal lighting and silky fabrics to reflect your own Roaring 20s style.
Here are 8 essential interior decorating items to add a 1920s flair to your modern-woman-gone-flapper style.
1 – Mirrored Furnishings and Wall Art
The thing I really love about mirrors is that they can open up a smaller space. Consider a few pieces that are mirrored to add a real statement to a room. If you are feeling crafty, you can even make your own with this tutorial on how to make a mirrored mosaic table. http://www.bhg.com/decorating/makeovers/furniture/make-a-mosaic-mirrored-table/
2 – Art Deco Style Artwork
A lot of the artwork at the time was simple shapes and lines. Think block prints, cubism and product posters. For instance, this famous poster of a black cat was really an advertisement from a restaurant/club that still exists in Paris today. I also really love Erte’s costume design prints.
3 – Glossy/lacquered Furniture
Laquerware became hugely popular in the 1920s, since it gave a hard, streamlined finish to furniture. You’ve got to remember that at the time, people had their own, “new” look at what they considered to be futuristic and modern. Black became a really popular color, followed by red. For a really over the top look, consider a piece that is both lacquered AND mirrored. Make sure it really has a Deco look, though, because if you aren’t careful it can fall back into 1980s silliness.
4 – Glamorous lighting details
Its really all about the chandelier – and you can even see that below in the jewelry I highlighted. Think draped crystals and soft bulbs. I’m all about this crazy Swarovski thing from Period Lighting, but if you want something a little sleeker, try this piece by Restoration Hardware. Area lamps can run the gamut from Louis Tiffany inspired stained glass lamps to lamps that merge sculpture and functionality like this dancer lamp inspired by Erte’s prints available from Design Toscano.
5 – Geometric Shapes
Just take a look at the poster for Luhrmann’s movie to see the geometric shapes and hard lines that make up the Deco style. This is not to say that furniture shouldn’t be comfortable, but consider a geometric patterned wallpaper to accent one of the walls – I’ve suggested this beforehand in my posts and it can apply even here!
6 – Polished Metals
Its not really a big leap to go from the mirrors to polished metals. Deco artwork has a masculine feel to go along with the feminine opulence, so think of adding a sleek-lined silver pitcher to your dining table centerpiece.
7 – Glass Accessories
Who doesn’t love the sharp lines and fabulous shapes of Swarovski crystal? We’ve already talked about them regarding chandeliers and lighting, but take the look of glass onto your dining table with carnival glass goblets or onto your boudoir stand with a cut glass crystal perfume bottle? Don’t have a boudoir stand? Well, now is the best time to get one. Remember, think mirrors and lacquered wood!
Perhaps one of the most-coveted vintage items. Whether you live in a carefully-edited bachelor pad or a posh palace, bar carts are super stylish, practical and fun to decorate or entertain with. Looking for a bar cart I always have a selection in my etsy shop!
Looking to repaint? Here’s a good article on Gatsby-inspired colorways for your interiors. http://us.farrow-ball.com/the-great-gatsby/content/fcp-content
Also, I can’t help but show Tiffany’s new line of jewelry, for anyone who loves vintage and Deco style. Tiffany’s indeed has a legacy of glamour. Take a look at their Collection of 1920s Jewelry, designed specifically around the 1920s style and for the movie. My favorite is this pair of earrings, but you can also get Daisy’s hairpiece with detachable brooch for a cool $200K USA.
After all this, wondering how to put the look together? Here are some over-the-top photos of modern Deco interiors for you.