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Art Deco Kitchen Design Ideas & How To Get The Look

Have you ever visited a vintage posh hotel downtown and wondered at its gold seashell wallpaper, colourful carpeting, and mirrored walls?

These are all prime examples of Art Deco as it appeared in its heyday. Could you imagine introducing these elements into your kitchen?

In this post, I’ll explain what Art Deco is, how it can be used in kitchen design and whether it’s a look that’s still in style.

Let’s get into it!

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What Is Art Deco Kitchen Design

Art Deco, a design style that gained prominence in the early 20th century, first emerged in Parisian architecture and interior design.

Unlike the Victorian and Edwardian eras, which favoured ornate and cluttered interiors, Art Deco is characterized by bold shapes, streamlined patterns, and a focus on modern simplicity.

A quintessential example of Art Deco architecture is the Chrysler Building in New York City, renowned for its striking geometric design.

In contemporary kitchens, Art Deco is experiencing a resurgence, manifesting through large geometric floor tiles, splashback patterns, and cabinetry that echoes the design in lighting fixtures and serving ware.

The colour palette in Art Deco design is bold yet cohesive, ensuring every element from knobs to windowpanes aligns with the overall style.

While it may appear simple, it’s a deliberate orchestration of various elements that come together to form a cohesive and visually striking environment.

Key elements of Art Deco kitchen design include:

  • Bold Colours: A defined, vibrant colour scheme that adds character and depth to the kitchen.

  • Circular and Rounded Shapes: These soften the typical bold lines, providing a balanced aesthetic.

  • Rich and Indulgent Textures: Luxurious materials and finishes that convey a sense of elegance and opulence.

  • Simplification and Stylization of Shapes: Streamlined forms that emphasize functionality while retaining visual appeal.

  • Geometric Shapes: The use of distinct geometric patterns is fundamental in creating the look.

  • Order, Colour, and Geometry: A harmonious blend that defines the space with precision and symmetry.

  • Repetitive Patterns: These create a sense of rhythm and coherence in the kitchen’s design.
Art Deco Kitchen design black and white kitchen
Source: Deavita

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How To Create An Art Deco Kitchen Design

Embarking on an Art Deco kitchen design is a journey into combining functionality with artistic flair.

There is more to it than just updating appliances or countertops.

This style requires a holistic approach, focusing on several essential elements that together create a cohesive and striking environment

Geometric Shapes

Art Deco Kitchen Design Blakes London
Image – Blakes London

Art Deco is characterized by its use of distinct geometric shapes. Choose a shape that resonates with you – be it squares, rectangles, triangles, ovals, or hexagons.

This shape will become a recurring motif in your kitchen, influencing everything from flooring and cabinetry to dishes and lighting.

Whether it’s a subtle presence or a bold pattern on your wallpaper mirrored in light fixtures, these shapes are fundamental in creating this aesthetic.

Elegant Lighting and Metallic Accents

Art Deco Style Wall Lighting

In Art Deco design, lighting is more than just functional; it’s a central decorative element.

Chandeliers, sconces, and pendant lights in this style typically feature bold geometric patterns, layered glass, and intricate metalwork, transforming them into art pieces that capture the era’s luxurious essence.

When choosing lighting, opt for designs that blend angular shapes with curved forms, and consider materials like frosted glass and sculptural metals to add depth and visual interest.

Metallic accents are also crucial in achieving the Art Deco look. Finishes in chrome, brass, stainless steel, or even gold and silver can be used in hardware and fixtures, lending a touch of elegance and glamour.

These metallic elements should not only complement the colour scheme but also interact with light in the kitchen, enhancing brightness and creating a more spacious feel. Polished surfaces reflect light, while satin or brushed finishes offer a subtler, sophisticated sheen.

Bold Colours or Monochrome

Art Deco isn’t shy about colour. While it often employs a limited colour palette, it doesn’t always mean white on white.

Imagine your kitchen in deep greens, rich reds, or elegant greys. If opting for multiple colours, maintain a balance in their usage to avoid overwhelming the space.

Alternatively, a black and white monochrome theme can also effectively capture the same spirit, offering a classic and striking contrast.

Rich And Indulgent Textures

Tap and countertop Rich And Indulgent Textures

In an Art Deco kitchen, every element makes a statement.

Choose materials that exude luxury – think of naturally-grained woods, polished or textured countertops, and accents in gold or brass.

The idea is to limit the number of different materials but choose those that showcase quality and sophistication, ensuring that elements like luxurious countertops and custom cabinetry stand out.

Reflective surfaces like mirrored finishes or glossy backsplashes can also add to the opulence.

Symmetry

At first glance, an Art Deco kitchen might strike you as uniquely fresh.

This feeling often stems from the symmetrical arrangement of elements. It’s not just about having matching sets of items, but about creating a balanced presentation.

The symmetry in its design is more conceptual, where each element, from the shape of the table to the colour of the mosaic tiles, contributes to a harmonious and orderly design. 

Accessories

Art Deco lighting

The precision of Art Deco design extends to the smallest details.

Choosing accessories is as critical as selecting major elements like cabinets. In iconic Art Deco homes, the coherence of style is evident, with every item from dishes to light fixtures selected to complement the overall design.

As such, your kitchen should be fully outfitted from the start, with every accessory chosen to reinforce the style.

It’s important to love every aspect of your chosen design, as these elements will define the space for years to come.

For this reason, you need to be absolutely in love with this design style before you even begin.

Advantages of an Art Deco Kitchen

  • Timeless Elegance: Art Deco is renowned for its timeless glamour and sophistication, giving your kitchen a look that transcends trends.

  • Unique Design Elements: This style incorporates unique geometric shapes, bold lines, and ornate details, offering a distinctive aesthetic that sets your kitchen apart.

  • Luxurious Feel: It often uses rich materials and colours, like gold, chrome, and deep hues, creating a sense of luxury and opulence.

  • Versatile Color Palette: The style’s colour scheme ranges from bold and dramatic to soft and neutral, allowing for versatility in matching your personal taste and home decor.

  • Historical Appeal: It has a rich history, and incorporating it into your home can create a sense of connection to the past and appreciation for historical design movements.

  • Functional Elegance: While being stylish, it doesn’t compromise on functionality, ensuring that your kitchen remains practical and easy to use.

  • Creative Expression: This style allows for creative expression through the use of various textures, patterns, and decorative accents.

  • Cohesive Theme: It can easily be integrated into a broader Art Deco theme throughout the home, creating a cohesive and harmonious interior design.

  • Living in a Functional Piece of Art: Living in a space that is both functional and artistically designed offers a unique and enriching experience.

Disadvantages of an Art Deco Kitchen

  • Cost: Art Deco design often involves high-quality materials and intricate details, which can lead to higher costs in both materials and craftsmanship.

  • Style Specificity: The distinct style of Art Deco may not blend well with other home decor styles, potentially limiting design coherence throughout the home.

  • Trends and Timelessness: While Art Deco is considered timeless by some, its distinctive look may not align with current trends, potentially dating the space in the eyes of some viewers.

  • Maintenance: Some of the luxurious materials and finishes used in its design, like marble or high-gloss surfaces, can require more maintenance and care.

  • Space Requirements: Designs can include large, bold elements which might not be suitable for smaller kitchens, as they can overwhelm the space.

  • Limited Market Appeal: When it comes time to sell your home, it may only appeal to a niche market, potentially affecting resale value or time on the market.

  • Over-Styling Risk: There’s a risk of overdoing the decorative elements, leading to a cluttered or overly ornate space that might feel less functional.

  • Colour Scheme Limitations: The typical colour palettes, while elegant, might not suit everyone’s tastes and can be challenging to alter without a complete redesign.

  • Renovation Complexity: Modifying or renovating an Art Deco space can be complex and costly, especially if you’re trying to preserve original elements or match specific styles.

  • Functionality vs. Style: Balancing the functional needs of a modern kitchen with the aesthetic elements can sometimes be challenging, potentially leading to compromises in functionality.

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Is Art Deco Out Of Style?

Everything old is new again!

While trends in interior design are always evolving, Art Deco has remained a timeless choice for many homeowners.

Art Deco hit its stride in the 1930s and 1940s but quickly died away in the 50s. Mid-century design slimmed down its brash yet elegant elements and opted for a less fussy home design trend.

However, I don’t believe Art Deco style is necessarily “out of style,” but its popularity can vary over time.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence in its interest, partly due to its unique blend of modernity and luxury. This style can be particularly appealing for those looking to add a touch of glamour and sophistication to their kitchen.

However, whether Art Deco is the right choice for your kitchen redesign depends on personal preferences and the overall style of your home.

It’s a distinctive look that may not blend well with every architectural style or personal taste. For those who appreciate its characteristic patterns, bold colours, and vintage elegance, it can be a stunning and timeless choice.

In interior design, it’s often less about whether a style is in or out of fashion and more about whether it suits your personal taste and the character of your home.

If you love it, go for it!

Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Everything you need to know about Art Deco when it comes to kitchen design.

A bold, beautiful and detail-oriented style. Art Deco is a strong interior design look and one that requires some careful thought and planning to pull off successfully.

So, will you go Art Deco with your new kitchen design project?

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Author

Michael from Kitchinsider.com

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.