Design Advice

French Art Deco: Finishing Touches


The overall feel of French Art Deco is minimalist, to say the least, and that’s especially true for art and decor. You won’t find a collection of antique pottery or stacks upon stacks of books squirreled away in a corner. This style has a casualness about it; that I-just-woke-up-like-this sort of feeling. Any objet d’art is a considered, deliberate addition that looks like it’s always belonged there. Though the rooms are simple and minimal, art and decor keep the space from feeling overall chilly or sparse. Sculptural, clean-lined accessories and eye-catching works of art are the pieces of choice. Luxe materials like honed marble, blown glass, and luminous metal add a polish and a finishing touch to each space. 

Vintage Portraits

The “just found at the flea” feel of a vintage oil portrait is the epitome of casual perfection. I love this little moment here with the raw carved pillars and a unique, sculptural table. The French nod to the classics paired with the graphic, deco accessories is exactly why this style feels timeless, yet still fresh. The scale is also especially important here; choose a portrait in which the subject does not overwhelm the frame and a piece that compliments the scale of the room.

Faraway Landscapes

There isn’t a lot of greenery by way of plants, overflowing vases of floral arrangements or indoor trees in this look. Enter: the landscape painting. Moody, subtle and lack-of-green-thumb approved, these 2-D pieces bring the outdoors in. Whether a lush meadow, bustling river or tranquil forest, a little bit of life is a welcome addition to any French Art Deco space.

Bold Graphics

Just as vintage oil paintings are that final touch to bring a hint of personality into a space - big, bold graphics are here to command attention and make a statement. These two spaces have very little going on in the way of overall decor; the artwork is doing all the talking. The lively splash of color in the chair in the dining room and the throw in the bedroom help to balance out the boldness in the art. 

Pairs of Accessories

Symmetry and balance are both overarching themes of this style, so it comes as no surprise that pairing accessories adds to the overall look. Paired vases, bowls, even symmetrical sofas or pieces of art are all right at home in a French Art Deco space. Whether two similar objects, like these olive vases or a pre-made pair, groupings of objects contribute to the overall feeling of symmetry in a room. 

Curated Accessories

As mentioned before, a restrained hand does not mean French Art Deco spaces are chilly and sparse. Bookshelves and alcoves still need to be filled, and even the most moderately minimalist spaces display prized objects to add a sense of life in a space. Restraint with color, thoughtful placement, and a curated collection makes all the difference. A lamp pretty enough to be a decor object, art snuck in as accessories, and a bowl disguised as a plant pot all combine to make these spaces feel lively and full, yet still considered and tasteful.



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