Perhaps the most important thing to note is Bethany’s advice on not going overboard with the trend. ” You don’t want your home to look like a movie set or that you are throwing a themed party. Keep things simple. Don’t overdo it with too many bold patterns and colours, as its starts to look chaotic very quickly.”
The best way to keep things fresh and not overly themed is to mix your art deco-inspired pieces with more contemporary furnishings. This is a great starting point if you’re afraid to dip your toes into the art deco era. Bethany also suggests to stick to a single colour pallet for the space and introduce key pieces with a deco flair, such as lighting or a beautiful armchair. “Then you can introduce a wallpaper or textile or a cushion for example, in an art deco print,” she says. “I particularly love Catherine Martins range of deco inspired textiles.”
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It was an era that influenced countless decades and still remains one of the most inspiring periods of design history. Art Deco design, furniture and architecture is all about opulence and glamour, using gilded detailing, rich textures and geometrics for a luxury, streamlined look which has managed to stay relevant since the late 1920s.
But perfecting that Art Deco look (without heading into naff territory) can be dangerous without the help of a professional stylist. We quizzed Bethany James of James Said about all things Art Deco, because let’s be honest, we could all do with a chandelier (or two!) in our living rooms.
Don’t mix too many colours or patternsI always start with a clean palette, and I try not to mix too many patterns or colours within one room. I tend to stick with one bold colour and then layer upon that. This often creates a high impact focal point. If I do add complementing colours, I wouldn’t usually use more than three. It’s the same with patterns; I will usually choose just one one and let it stand boldly alone.
Statement oversized lighting can do wondersLighting is almost always a pivotal element in my room design. I always encourage my clients to be brave with lighting. I love to layer up chandeliers into pairs, or even more. The look is unexpected and powerful. I prefer lighting to flow from room to room. It doesn’t necessarily need to match – and in some cases a mix of styles is best – but there should always be a material that connects them. This adds flow to a home as you walk through it. Of course lighting brings not only a physical styling aesthetic, but also mood that can be modified to suit the space.
Since appearing on this season on The Block, the art deco trend is firmly back on interior designer’s and home stylist’s radars. But, if we’ve learnt anything from our Blockheads, it’s that the trend is not always easy to pull this look off successfully.
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Layering is everythingLayering is not only a lot of fun, but it’s an excellent way to achieve Art Deco style. I start with larger key pieces and layer up a room from there. Artworks, mirrors, table lamps and objet d’art all help to build the glamour. I often hang mirrors in pairs for a boosted effect, as I love the way they reflect light from chandeliers. In fact the layering of reflective surfaces can make a room look larger and more inviting.
As the founder of James Said, an e-boutique that specialises in sourcing the best art deco-inspired pieces going, founder Bethany James-Best, knows a thing or two about the era. And with her background in interior design, and strong pension for old Hollywood glamour, there’s no one better to share tips on how to master the trend in your home. Here are her top three tips on how to master the Art Deco trend:
Mastering Art Deco style is all about perfect pieces and restraint in the right places.
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It’s all in the details It’s amazing what a transformation can be made with final styling. I love the impact of a well-sized palm or fiddle tree. Sometimes the beautiful green of a plant can be the only colour needed in a crisp black and white room. Coffee table books, crystal bowls, and candles tend to warm a highly styled room. With my final styling I take on the same philosophy as I do with my early furniture placement; with less oversized pieces being preferable over an array of accessories.
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Larger pieces of furniture are keyTo keep the lines clean I prefer to use minimal pieces of larger furniture rather than many smaller items. I find that too many small pieces can cause a space to feel chaotic, and although some Art Deco looks are all about delight in chaos I don’t think it works in all modern environments. This approach also offers an excellent way to make a small room appear larger, and ultimately it creates a more polished and relaxed feel to the overall finish.
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Don’t be afraid to mix metalsOne of my favourite palettes to work with is black, white, silver and gold. I usually match furniture with one metal, and then accessorise with the other. Mixing metals is a way to subtly add substance to a room’s look. It’s a clever way to give a room character without adding clutter or patterns.
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“Interior designer Catherine Martin has the most beautiful textiles, rugs and wallpapers,” says Bethany. “The Hyeres Chandelier (pictured above) is a personal favourite of mine too. This piece features distinctly deco curved lines but is finished in a contemporary manner, allowing it to work in all styles of home. It injects that personality and deco charm without feeling like an old antique.”