7 tips on how to incorporate 1920’s interior design in your living room
By Alicia France
Throughout history interior design has drawn on influences from the fashion industry. What we see on the catwalk in Paris can be tracked as it makes it’s way into home décor. Valentino’s ready-wear collection this year includes modern takes on the resurgence of the beaded, opulent fashions of the 1920’s. Since the modern film based on the book “The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, we have seen the design world take inspiration from this vivacious decade. This trend isn’t stopping anytime soon, and the interior design world is entering a new “Golden Jazz Age” steeped in history from this decade. By adding the interior design tips listed below, your living space will dazzle you back to the Roaring 1920’s.
- It’s very black and white. The dramatic contrast in neutral was a bold move away from the Arts and Crafts, or naturalistic Art Nouveau trends, making a statement about a new type of sophisticated party lifestyle, highlighting the glamour of the jazz age. While today we see modern geometric forms in black and white in nearly every home-wares store, the current trends are leading us to more sophisticated versions of black and white patterns, the 1920’s classical, symmetrical and structured shapes and patterns, such as those found in the Art Deco buildings in Napier. Incorporate these shapes in contrasting colours by using custom pillows, a new sideboard with these Deco patterns or a metallic wallpaper with this dramatic effect.
- Urn your keep. The discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt in the early 1920’s sparked outrageously rapid design trends incorporating Egyptian motifs. This influenced all spheres of design, from hairstyles to home décor. Bring this touch of ancient Egypt into your deco living room by using urn-shaped vases, lamp bases or even within fabric designs, as was the trend in the 20’s.
- A little party never killed nobody. Wealthy home-owners in the prohibition era displayed their wealth during extravagant house parties through sumptuous textures. Silk, velvet, timber, tile, crystal, gold, mirrors, marble, porcelain were used extravagantly during this time. Not only did they use a wide array of materials, but the intricate ways in which they were applied caught the media attention. The rugs were delicately sculpted, gold was in-laid into exotic timbers, mitred mirrors covering every inch of sideboards, giant mosaic tile designs covering expansive living spaces. Add sophisticated textures in your living room with a custom hand-sculpted area rug, mirrored or gold-inlaid solid furniture, or even branch out with velvet armchairs or settee.
- Take a tip from Ford. The Ford was the most common car brand in the 1920’s, and it became increasingly common for most households to own one. While the shapes of the body and the seams on the backseat were influenced by popular design at the time, the designs were also influenced by the Model T itself. The rigid curves over the tyres of the Model T can be found in sofa arms, side tables, even architraves and entry gates from the 20’s. Look for these shapes in accessories and small furniture items in Antique shops to bring this 20’s trend in your home.
- Moving Pictures. With the film industry in full-swing, the drama of Hollywood sets found its way into grand homes in the 1920’s. Add touches of this glamour by puddling drapes on the ground, including exotic potted plants in your home or featuring a curved chaise lounge to create this dramatic effect.
- Circle in the Square. Another key feature from this era was their intentional juxtaposition of circular and angular geometric forms. Add an orb light on an angular fixture, a circular lampshade on a square base or a luxurious textile that includes both shapes.
- It’s a match! Since the 90’s, fashion and interior design trends have led us away from matching sets, creating eclectic yet cohesive looks. Set your home apart by being at the forefront of the move back to matching suite sets, designed and created specifically for the room the pieces will live in.
While all these elements seem overwhelming at first, start with one or two new piece to see how it works in the space. The key is balancing these dramatic designs with existing interiors, which can often be tricky. Not feeling pressure to complete your living room make-over in one go will help the slow transformation of the space, and produce the best result. However, once completed, don’t forget to throw a party that will crown your living room “the cats pyjamas”!