In the US it was widely popular during the '30s as seen in many of our public buildings from railway stations to movie theaters to diners. Borrowing the lines and features of passenger ships, many feature portholes and rounded surfaces. Horizontal decorative lines in groups of three are common features. Wide overhangs called eyebrows could often be found above windows and doorways. Stylized organic features (plants, birds & sunbursts) borrowed from Egyptian hieroglyphs grace many building interiors.
Zigzag designs and strong bold colors were everywhere. The ziggurat or terraced step outline of buildings and towers (think the Empire State Building) gave a nod to Egypt and its tombs. Some of the best preserved examples of Art Deco architecture are in the Miami Beach area. I was in heaven as I snapped away many of the iconic buildings and interiors.
I found this great example in Cayucous, CA...
and this one in Cambria, CA
We stayed in this beauty - Nelson, BC
What about the interior??? Here are some major indicators... Again organic stylized motifs, bright colors, zigzag lines, graceful curved lines of the furniture offer a counterpoint to geometric shaped motifs. Geometrics are prominent, often layered, or repeated. The skyscraper shape is popular in accessories. Woods are polished to a high gloss or lacquered in black and intermixed with shiny metals.
Fan shapes were popular
round mirrors were common
mirrored surfaces on furniture and accessories,
Black was a predominate color
Black and pale green was a common color palette
gold and glam combined with grey - love
With "The Great Gatsby" and "Gangster Squad" hitting the big screen, our love of old Hollywood glam, the Roaring 20s, and Art Deco is renewed...we will be seeing the design world adding many of these influences to spaces soon. Look for them - I know I'm excited, I hope you are too.
images via Houzz, Laura Ashley, and my own.