Tag Archives: 1920s Design

Art Deco Buffets: Classic Art Deco Style

Art Deco Buffet 18-33A while ago I wrote about how to identify Art Deco furniture and decorative items in my post: What is the Art Deco Style of Antiques?   We recently had a container shipped from France with some beautiful antique Art Deco buffets and they are such fine examples of Art Deco, I’m using those pieces to show you more details of the style.

As a reminder, the Art Deco style was popular in the 1920s and 1930s, reflecting the modern thinking of the Jazz Age and a new taste for sleek and streamlined furniture and architecture.

Prominent and well-defined curves and lines are key elements of the style. This curvy 1920 Art Deco buffet (right, item 18-33) is a fabulous example, 

Art Deco Buffet 18-25The hotels of Miami’s South Beach and Manhattan’s iconic Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building are great examples of Art Deco architecture. Applied decoration is also important to the Art Deco look, including stylized floral designs, sunbursts, and geometrics.

This 1920 buffet (item 18-25) from our recent shipment creates a striking architectural silhouette with the curved posts supporting the upper hutch. Elegant floral carvings across the doors add a decorative accent, as do the dramatic metal handles. It is simply impossible to ignore the attention-grabbing allure of an authentic Art Deco buffet. Although the style is streamlined, it is not shy!

Art Deco Buffet Antique 18-38Part of the sleek appeal of Art Deco furniture lies in the use of glossy and shiny materials, including glass, mirror, lacquered finishes and metals. That reflective edge creates much of the glamor we associate with Art Deco. It always looks ready for a party! This walnut buffet dating to 1920 (item 18-38) has plenty of gloss in the mirror-backed upper hutch with a glass door. The mirror panel in the center of the buffet behind the posts reflects light too, above the impressive red/black/grey marble counter. Shine up your chrome cocktail shaker and dress up in your finest Roaring Twenties outfit!

French Art Deco Buffet 18-35Marble had been used in architecture since ancient times, of course, but when Art Deco furniture makers started using it, it added that opulence we expect of Art Deco. It is luxurious, but in a very modern way. This French Art Deco buffet (item 18-35) boasts three slabs of black marble as counters in addition to the mirrored back and glass-front cabinet. By now, you’ll recognize that the bold linear design on the cabinet front, topped by carved exotic foliage, is typical of the Art Deco style.

Marble on Art Deco Buffet 18-35Here’s a close-up of the black marble, so you can see how attractive the pattern is against the curving carved posts.

To see more of the exceptional design details from this era, take a look at all our antique Art Deco Buffets. It’s is appropriate that they are French buffets because Art Deco was named after the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs held in Paris in 1925. This event showcased many of the exciting new designs.

You might also enjoy my post about our customer Betty in Florida who bought an Art Deco buffet for her unusual vintage home!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Decorating with Mirrored Furniture

Ambella Home Voranado tableLast week, as the latest in our series of client decor spotlights, I showed you photos of Nellie V.’s home in San Diego, CA, with the Ambella Home mirrored accent table that she bought from us. Looking at the pictures of this elegant and dramatic table made me want to write more about the mirrored furniture trend!

Often you’ll see mirrored furniture in a Hollywood Regency style room, evoking Hollywood’s glamorous golden era of the 1920s and 1930s. Shiny finishes, including lacquer, gilding and (yes!) mirrors are typical of the luxurious Hollywood Regency look.

Currey Mirrored ConsoleFor example, this new Currey & Co mirrored console table features a traditional Greek key pattern on the legs, but the streamlined geometry also reminds me of Art Deco. The wrought iron table has a gleaming silver leaf and antique mirror finish and the simple lines let the shine do the talking!

Why decorate with mirrored furniture? Well, a room full of mirrored pieces would be too much dazzle (Hello, Liberace!) but a single accent piece creates a stunning focal point.

antiqued mirrored credenzaThe mirror also adds light to the room, or makes the most of every speck of light that you have. In daylight, it makes the room look brighter. If you enjoy candlelight, then the mirroring will reflect the warm glow for a romantic atmosphere. This Currey & Co credenza boasts antiqued mirroring on the doors – perfect with the faded walnut and gold highlights.

Ambella Home Casablanca chest mirrored A piece of mirrored furniture also creates the illusion of more space as it reflects the room back to you. If carefully placed, it can conjure up quite a magical effect! A mirrored chest of drawers against a wall makes a small room look bigger as it tricks the eye into thinking that the floor extends further than it does. The Morrocan style of this Ambella Home mirrored chest of drawers proves the point and also shows that mirrored furniture doesn’t have to be a Bling Fest!

Currey Kramer Drinks TableFor another subtle mirrored accent, this Kramer drinks table by Currey & Co combines modernity with classical symmetry. The antiqued mirror top sits sleekly on the warm bronze gold finished tapered pedestal.

As a general tip, I’ve talked before about the research on the value of buying better quality furniture. When you’re buying mirrored pieces it’s even more important to buy high quality furniture. Solid pieces with a decent weight and high-quality mirrored detail creates a look of luxe. But a mirrored accent piece that is cheap, tinny, and poorly made can appear more garish than glitzy.

Finally, this Solana mirrored bed made by Hooker Furniture shows that mirrored accents can really work with any style. The refined rustic bed features a decorative mirrored panel headboard with curvy, almost Art Nouveau detail. It would be the focal point of any bedroom.

Solana mirrored bed by Hooker Furniture Have you taken a shine to mirrored furniture? Tell us about it here on this blog or on our Facebook page!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Great Gatsby Style

I haven’t seen the new movie The Great Gatsby yet. (Greg and I are busy catching up after our 2900 Mile Road Trip to Boston to deliver antique furniture!)

But I’m enjoying all the buzz about the 1920s Great Gatsby style in the movie, from the chic flapper clothes to the period 1920s interiors. It looks like the costumes and sets are fantastic and of course we love seeing the vintage decor. Here’s Leonardo DiCaprio playing Jay Gatsby in his lavish mansion.

Those cascades of elegant white flowers are so wonderful, but he doesn’t look very happy about it, does he? I suppose he’s got more to worry about than his floral arrangements. I’m convinced those pretty pastel French macaroons are the same ones I wrote about in my post about how to hold a tea party with a recipe for Macarons Aux Amandes. Perhaps he’s resisting all those tasty treats for fear of messing up his pristine suit!

Daisy from The Great Gatsby would love this blue and white 1920s Delft ginger jar! If you’re looking to add a touch of Great Gatsby style to your home, I think Daisy Buchanan (played in the movie by Carey Mulligan) would have loved this large antique Delft ceramic ginger jar, dating to the 1920s. The graceful and sophisticated blue and white floral pattern is perfect for Daisy, as she so often wore white and surrounded herself with fresh white decor. If you take the lid off the jar, it would make a great ornamental vase to display a flourish of blossoms, too, as in the Jay Gatsby photo above.

 

 

Great Gatsby style 1920 Art Deco wall clock with grape carvings for your champagne lifestyle!Tom Buchanan (played by Joel Edgerton) might opt for this 1920s French Art Deco wall clock. He – and wine lovers today – would appreciate the grape carvings on the corners of the clock. Tom would see the grapes as a sly joke, as everyone in The Great Gatsby spends a lot of time partying with champagne, despite the fact that the story is set during the Prohibition era! The 22 inch high Art Deco clock is also just a superb example of Great Gatsby style.

 

Great Gatsby style: Jay Gatsby might like this 1920 French Renaissance-style oak buffet with plenty of space for bootleg liquorJay Gatsby always chose the best of everything, so I think he’d like this distinctive 1920 French Renaissance-style oak buffet. It’s more than eight feet tall, so there’s plenty of room for Mr Gatsby’s bootleg liquor and fancy glassware and china, and discreet drawer space for his secret documents that he doesn’t want the world to see! He’d appreciate the refined details, especially the pair of carved courtiers or princes on the upper doors, and the distinctive leaves and fruit embellishing the lower doors. As Gatsby so much enjoyed being the gracious host at his ‘roaring twenties’ parties, the sideboard would be an ideal piece of furniture for his 1920s home!

Do you enjoy the Great Gatsby style of home decor and dressing? Have you seen the movie? I’d love to hear what you think – tell us in the comments below!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

What is the Art Deco Style of Antiques?

As an antiques dealer, I am often asked how I determine the approximate age of an antique or vintage item. While the true answer to that question is from the experience gained through many years of directly handling antique and vintage items, one aspect of any determination of age is the aesthetic style or design of the item in question. And to this end, the Art Deco style of antiques is one of the easiest styles to recognize.

Prior to World War I, the Art Nouveau style reigned the aesthetic world from 1890 to 1914, with an emphasis on lavish, free-flowing designs, which focused on organic motifs. However, by the time World War I ended in 1918, people around the world had experienced a sobering loss of innocence that profoundly affected our global consciousness, and which, of course, was reflected in the art and design of the 1920s and 1930s.

Consumers were no longer interested in the elaborate carvings and extravagant nature of Victorian and Revival design styles after WWI, but instead demanded a new modern style based on simplicity and a streamlined design, such as the Set of 6 Antique Art Deco Dining Chairs above. At the same time, consumers were fascinated by new technologies that were recently introduced to the world: the radio, the television, the automobile, the airplane, and architectural wonders known skyscrapers, such as the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in New York City.

Ever wonder how the name of this modern, streamlined aesthetic originated? It all began at The International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Art (Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes) that was held in Paris in May of 1925 to showcase the new, modern, and functional design of France. Forty three years later in 1968, a museum exhibition was held of many pieces from the 1925 Paris Exposition, and that is when the term Art Deco was first used to describe this exuberant style, firmly rooted in the promise of the future.

Early Art Deco style of the 1920s uses dynamic, sweeping curves, which give the feeling of velocity and speed, and the aerodynamic design of airplanes and automobiles. The Art Deco style at its heart is the celebration of the Age of Machines, of the optimism of spirit that announced the future had already arrived, and it had been carried on the wings of technology.

This disconnection with the past was also expressed by the Flappers, young women who rebelled against societal norms, in the Roaring Twenties. These women shocked society by taking off their girdles, cutting their hair short, and then smoking, drinking, and dancing all night long in the Jazz clubs. This radical break in tradition required a bold, new, and dramatic style, and Art Deco design was recognized as the “bee’s knees” and the “cat’s pyjamas.”

As the Art Deco style progressed through the 1930s, emphasis shifted away from sweeping curves, switching instead to a focus on rectilinear lines and geometric shapes. These geometric shapes were often fractionated, reflecting the Cubist influence of the contemporary artist, Pablo Picasso.

Key attributes of the Art Deco style are the use of geometric shapes, zigzags, trapezoids, chevron and starburst patterns, as well as the stylized use of flowers and animals such as gazelles and birds. The Antique Art Deco Buffet and the Antique Art Deco Vanity above show the focus on a rectilinear design in combination with stylized flowers, as does the Antique Art Deco Chandelier below.  Notice the sunburst design combined with stylized lettering on the Antique Art Deco Crucifix below.

A dramatic and bold color palette was favored in Art Deco design.  Bright yellow, red, orange, green, and blue were used abundantly, especially in the joyful dishware line called Fiestaware in the United States.

After the stock market crash of 1929 when unemployment reached 25% in the US, inexpensive Art Deco products in cheery colors were still in demand as they helped boost sagging spirits, while the focus on technology and the future promised better things to come.

Art Deco designs took center stage at The World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933, and again in 1939 in New York City. The most prominent architects of the Art Deco era include the streamlined designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and the father of the steel and glass Bauhaus movement, Walter Gropius. In furniture design, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jules LeLeu ruled the day, while outstanding glassware was designed by Rene Lalique, whose style was inexpensively reproduced and later became known as Depression Glass.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the vibrant Art Deco style of antiques, and that you agree it is quite easy to recognize.

Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques blog!

Aimee

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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