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Luxury, Hedonism & Decadence: The Legacy Of Art Deco

by UKDC Editorial Team

Category Tags

Interior Design | Inspiration

UKDC Editorial Team
Creativity is something
that unites us all.

Following the stuffiness and limitations of the Victorian era and the austerity of the First World War, Art Deco painted the world in gold, jade and crystal, covered it in fur and gave it a newer, sleeker hairstyle.

Maison Valentina Luxury Bathroom

Art Deco was an art and design movement that originated in France in the 1920s and quickly spread to the rest of the world. It encompassed painting, sculpture, architecture, fashion, jewellery, ceramics, interior design and furniture. This movement was a reaction against the stuffiness of the Victorian era and the frugality of the First World War.


The name originally came from an exhibition held in Paris in 1925 called Exposition Internationale des Artes Decoratifs and thus a movement was born. The lines were sleek and elegant, modern and sophisticated and symbolised the luxury and decadence of the time.

“The lines were sleek and elegant, modern and sophisticated and symbolised the luxury and decadence of the time.”


Ornaments and furniture followed geometric forms and patterns, the materials used were often expensive, and mixed modern man-made substances, such as glass and plastic, with natural material such as polished wood, metals, jade and crystal.

Chrysler Building elevator


Art Deco was a celebration of modernity and thus encompassed symbols of the new era - the Chrysler building and many other iconic New York skyscrapers being the archetypal examples of Art Deco architecture. The movement was also influenced by the facilitation of travel that came with the Industrial Revolution. Egyptian, Chinese and even Indian motifs made regular appearances in the iconic designs.

TIME Magazine-Chrysler Building


Furniture designers such as Jacques Ruhlmann and Maurice Dufrene created limited edition pieces that fetch high prices today.

Designers such as Donald Deskey studied in France and brought Art Deco motifs to his famous interiors for the Rockefeller Centre and Radio City Music Hall.

Jacques Ruhlmann website

And in the UK the likes of Raymond Hood, Robert Atkinson and Charles Holden brought a taste of Art Deco to London, Holden famously designing many of the London Underground buildings in this distinctive style.


Recently this luxurious movement has seen somewhat of a renaissance. Modern designers who are embracing Art Deco motifs are London based interior design company Oliver Burns, British lighting designer Lee Broom, and the gorgeously decadent Brabbu.