Monday 21 January 2019

Putting on the glitz

Nothing recreates the Art Deco look more than black and gold combinations on interior pieces and prints;
Nothing recreates the Art Deco look more than black and gold combinations on interior pieces and prints;
Newgate Clock, €54.95,
Black/Gold Tubes Side Table, €1,435,
Cedar Lounge Candle, €19.99,
Black and Gold Table Runner, €40,
Deeson, set of two side tables, €249,

Anna Shelswell-white

If you want to see whether the Art Deco look is for you, go and see Goodbye Christopher Robin - it plays out against a backdrop of stunning interiors from the period.

Without a doubt there has been a re-emergence of this style recently. In September, Dublin's Gate Theatre staged a production of The Great Gatsby that immersed audiences in one of Jay's soirees, proving that nostalgia for the 1920s is hanging around long after the 2013 movie adaptation. It was inevitable that this opulence was going to permeate to the high street and into our homes.

Short for Arts Décoratifs, the Art Deco style embraces the rich colours and decadent details that reached the height of popularity in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

"The features of Art Deco that I like to celebrate in a design are the combination of high quality craftsmanship and materials, artistic centrepieces, and beautiful detailing," says Iosaf Bennis of IBE Design (, the design firm based on Dublin's Wicklow Street. "That means in practice that I develop the room's interior architecture to frame the Art Deco design elements, so they fit naturally within the space. I also try to ensure modern functional expectations are fully realised within the Art Deco fitted furniture layout and details. Taking this approach allows the best stylistic features of Art Deco to shine without feeling out of place or just a pastiche styling effort," says Iosaf.

The look is characterised by geometric shapes, rich materials and a variation of precious metals. When it comes to colour, no two hues are associated with the movement more than black and gold. Gold instantly lifts a room, while black balances out the shine and gives the perfect contrast. Gold finishes also bounce light around the room. When accompanied by darker tones, the look is daring and dramatic.

But introducing black and gold isn't the only way to convey a high-end look: "We use fine quality materials such as onyx marbles, exotic timber veneers, highly-polished colour lacquer, mirror-polished steel, Lalique glass and stained-glass windows," adds Iosaf.

It doesn't have to cost a bomb either. Though it might seem like a look that requires a big investment, if you're a dedicated follower of trends the switch should be just as pain-free and easy as any other.

"While a truly authentic Art Deco interior can often require a large budget, a similar style can be achieved on lower budgets by being clever in use of styling elements, colours and materials," says Iosaf.

A glance at high street stores such as Marks & Spencer and H&M Home proves Art Deco is back, as a flurry of black and gold combos make their way in to their latest autumn/winter ranges.

Add a dash of the look by accessorising with table runners, candles or cushions, or splash out with side tables and other pieces that take on the style, colour and form of Art Deco, and you'll be doing the Charleston in no time.

Anna Shelswell-White is editor of House and Home magazine

Newgate clock, €54.95

Keep things analogue to hark back to the era;

Black/Gold Tubes side table, €1,435

Elegant simplicity;

Cedar Lounge candle, €19.99

Smaller touches of black and gold are a great place to start, while keeping a room cosy for winter;

Black and gold table runner, €40

Add opulence to your table with geometric motifs beloved of the Art Deco decades;

Deeson, set of two side tables, €249

A touch of gold on simple designs instantly lifts a space;

Sunday Independent

Editors Choice

Also in Life