1920s house style is commonly referred to as Art Deco or Art Moderne. This style emerged in the 1920s and was adapted from popular design elements used in commercial buildings at the time. Here are some characteristics of the Art Deco and Art Moderne style homes:
If you’re looking to decorate or renovate a 1920s home, incorporating elements of the Art Deco or Art Moderne style can add a unique and interesting touch to your space.
The Art Deco style and its unique characteristics
The Art Deco style emerged during the 1920s and 1930s, and it was characterized by its sleek, geometric forms, bold colors, and use of innovative materials. The style was named after the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, which took place in Paris in 1925.
Some of the unique characteristics of Art Deco homes include:
- Use of bright colors, such as black, white, and chrome
- Decorative motifs inspired by ancient cultures, such as Egyptian, Mayan, and Aztec
- Symmetrical facades with streamlined shapes, such as zigzags, sunbursts, and chevrons
- Use of innovative materials, such as glass blocks, chrome, and bakelite
- Incorporation of modern technology, such as elevators, air conditioning, and electric lighting
Art Deco homes were often associated with luxury and glamour, and they were favored by the wealthy elite and Hollywood celebrities. However, the style also had its critics, who saw it as superficial and decadent.
The rise of Modernistic homes in the 1920s
The 1920s saw a boom in home construction, as people moved from rural areas to urban centers in search of job opportunities. This led to a demand for affordable and efficient housing, which inspired the development of new building techniques and materials.
The modernistic style emerged as a response to this changing landscape, offering a simplified and streamlined aesthetic that emphasized function over ornamentation. The style was characterized by a focus on clean lines, flat roofs, and asymmetrical compositions.
Some of the key features of Modernistic homes include:
- Use of new materials, such as steel framing, concrete, and asbestos
- Emphasis on horizontal lines, with flat or low-pitched roofs
- Simplified facades with minimal ornamentation
- Integration of indoor and outdoor spaces, such as through the use of terraces and balconies
Modernistic homes were favored by middle-class families who wanted affordable and efficient homes that reflected the modern age. The style became increasingly popular throughout the 1930s and 1940s, as people embraced the simplicity and functionality of the design.
The adaptation of commercial designs in residential architecture
One of the key influences on the development of 1920s house styles was the commercial architecture of the time, particularly the skyscrapers that dominated the urban landscape. Architects and designers were inspired by the sleek, modern forms of these buildings, and sought to adapt their design principles to residential architecture.
The result was a fusion of commercial and residential design, which incorporated elements of Art Deco and Modernistic styles in equal measure. Many early Art Deco homes were modeled after commercial buildings, and featured distinctive geometric patterns and decorative motifs.
Similarly, Modernistic homes often incorporated industrial materials and construction methods, such as steel framing and concrete floors. The style also emphasized efficiency and functionality, with streamlined layouts and modern amenities such as built-in furniture and kitchen appliances.
The influence of Art Deco in the interior design of homes
Art Deco style was not limited to the exterior of homes. It also had a significant influence on the interior design of homes during the 1920s.
Some of the key features of Art Deco interiors include:
- Bold colors, such as black, white, and metallics
- Use of exotic materials, such as zebra skin, mother-of-pearl, and lacquer
- Geometric patterns, such as chevrons, zigzags, and sunbursts
- Stylized images of ancient cultures, such as Egyptian hieroglyphics and Mayan glyphs
- Elegant and luxurious furniture, such as mirrored cabinets and upholstered armchairs
Art Deco interiors were designed to create a sense of opulence and extravagance, with a focus on high-quality materials and craftsmanship. They were often associated with high society and reflected the glamour and excess of the era.
Introducing Art Moderne style in the late 1920s
As the Art Deco and Modernistic styles continued to evolve, a new style emerged in the late 1920s: Art Moderne. This style was characterized by its streamlined forms, curved lines, and use of new materials such as glass and chrome.
Some of the key features of Art Moderne homes include:
- Smooth and rounded facades, inspired by ships and airplanes
- Innovative materials, such as glass blocks, polished chrome, and Vitrolite glass
- Curved walls, windows, and staircases
- Metallic finishes, such as brushed nickel and shiny stainless steel
- Incorporation of modern technology, such as built-in appliances and central heating
Art Moderne homes were often associated with the optimism and progress of the era, and were favored by upwardly-mobile families who wanted to embrace the future.
Examples of iconic Art Deco and Art Moderne houses
There are many examples of iconic 1920s house styles that still inspire designers and homeowners today. Some of the most well-known examples include:
- The Ennis House in Los Angeles, a stunning example of Art Deco architecture with intricate geometric patterns and a distinctive Mayan-inspired facade
- The Lovell House in Los Angeles, a pioneering example of early Modernistic design, with a striking horizontal layout and integrated indoor and outdoor spaces
- The Schindler House in West Hollywood, a collaboration between architects Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra that embraced the principles of both Art Deco and Modernistic design
- The Miami Beach Architectural District, which features numerous examples of Art Deco and Art Moderne hotels and residences, with their distinctive pastel colors and streamlined forms
These homes and buildings have become cultural landmarks, recognized for their innovative design and enduring style.
The enduring popularity of 1920s house styles
Despite being nearly a century old, 1920s house styles continue to capture the imagination of designers, architects, and homeowners. Their sleek and streamlined forms, innovative materials, and bold use of color remain influential in contemporary design.
Many homeowners today seek to incorporate elements of Art Deco and Modernistic design in their homes, whether through the use of vintage furniture and decorative objects, or by integrating modern interpretations of these styles in new construction.
Incorporating 1920s house style into modern home design
If you’re looking to incorporate 1920s house style into your modern home design, there are plenty of ways to do so. Here are a few ideas:
- Choose furniture with clean lines and geometric patterns
- Use bold color combinations, such as black and white, or navy and gold
- Incorporate metallic finishes, such as brushed nickel or polished chrome
- Add Art Deco-inspired accessories, such as a mirrored tray or a beveled glass mirror
- Experiment with new materials, such as concrete countertops or exposed steel beams
Whether you’re a fan of the glamour and excess of Art Deco, or the clean simplicity of Modernistic design, there’s no denying the enduring appeal of 1920s house styles. By incorporating elements of these styles into your modern home design, you can create a space that is both timeless and contemporary.