Unraveling the Influence of Art Deco on Office Furniture Aesthetics
Workplace Inspiration

Unraveling the Influence of Art Deco on Office Furniture Aesthetics

|Feb 24, 2024

Wherever you look around in the inside of a modern office, you'll find Art Deco furniture that brings a layer of modernity and sophistication to the workplace. What many people don't realize is that these types of products take inspiration from a style that came about after World War 1, symbolizing prosperity and optimism.

In this guide, we will go over the origins of Art Deco and how the style continues to impact office furniture aesthetics. Keep reading until the end, as we will also cover how you can incorporate Art Deco furniture in your home office. 

Let's get started! 

A Glimpse into Art Deco

During the 1920s, a movement in the decorative arts and architecture spread across Western Europe and the United States. The inspiration behind the emerging style dates back to a specialized exhibition held in Paris in 1925. 

Art Deco started gaining popularity for its elegant take on products. It injected a good dose of modernism into fashion, something that was unheard of in the industry at the time. Optimism, economic prosperity, and the desire for luxury after World War I fueled this aesthetic innovation. 

Unlike many other styles, Art Deco didn't confine itself to one creative sphere. Clean shapes, expensive materials, and a fascination with the modernity of the machine became a priority for designers. This aesthetic innovation spread across not only architecture and fashion but also furniture. 

While Art Deco went out of style in the 1960s, it saw a renewed interest and continues to be a source of inspiration for many furniture designers, architects, and others in the 21st century. 

Over the years, Art Deco has transformed and evolved. Modern designers are adding unique elements to the style, bringing new life into it. Some workplaces prefer the industrial look, while others often opt for spaces that exude luxury. Let's quickly go over this aesthetic innovation and its influence on furniture.

A Glimpse into Art Deco

The Elegance of Geometric Shapes

Over the years, the spread of modernity played a key role in embracing geometric shapes. People started seeking out products with clean lines and sleek designs. This need for pleasing aesthetics led to the demand for Art Deco furniture. 

Modern Art Deco furniture features unique characteristics, such as angular lines and symmetrical patterns. Designers focus on squares, triangles, rectangles, and circles and experiment with geometric shapes to bring visual coherence to their products. 

The aesthetic movement also had a transformational impact on the office environment. Companies started craving clean spaces with visually pleasing art deco furniture to spark creativity and keep employees motivated.

An Art Deco office chair, for example, boasts geometric patterns with sleek arms, while an Art Deco office desk features a sleek design and streamlined surfaces infused with chrome or brass. The designers incorporated modern materials and styles into traditional craftsmanship to create a sense of structure in the workplace. 

If you closely examine the standing desk setup, you'll notice that it prioritizes position, comfort, and clutter-free space. It boasts a sense of organization and visual cohesiveness, characteristics that companies highly value.

The Elegance of Geometric Shapes

Luxurious Materials as the Essence

After World War 1, when many economies across the globe started flourishing, people began craving opulence and luxury. Whether it was perfumery or furniture designing, there was a rising demand for exotic materials from all over the world.

Due to their grain patterns and deep finishes, companies started investing in Art Deco wooden furniture made from Macassar ebony and Zebrawood. An office slowly turned from a boring and dull environment to a space that embraced luxury and opulence.

The aesthetic innovation was not limited to exotic woods. Since this style is all about modernity, designers started using other materials when creating products.

While vintage Art Deco furniture boasts mahogany, modern Art Deco furniture also uses exotic woods but with metal accents. These could be brass, stainless steel, or even chrome. This brings a lot of style to the office environment.

Art Deco extends outside of the work environment. If you examine a modern home office setup, for example, you'll notice a sleek stainless steel or metal sit-stand desk with an ergonomic chair and aesthetically pleasing workstation accessories. 

Whether it's French Art Deco furniture or any iconic Art Deco furniture, it's important to understand that the materials used and the metallic embellishments incorporated are not just for glamor but are also functional. All of these provide comfort and structural support to the piece, ensuring durability and aesthetic appeal.

Luxurious Materials as the Essence

Attention to Minute Details

Whether in a home or office, traditional furniture is functional, but it lacks the design aesthetics that can help uplift an environment.

On the other hand, modern Art Deco furniture pushed designers to embrace traditional craftsmanship while incorporating intricate inlays, gorgeous patterns, and other stylish elements.

One of the key things that set Art Deco apart from other styles is the attention to minute details. Whether it is a door handle or desk accessories, designers focus on adding a layer of sophistication through sleek lines, clean shapes, and other design elements.

Attention to Minute Details

A Vibrant Color Palette

The transformation of this aesthetic innovation over the years is truly remarkable.

While vintage Art Deco furniture exhibited a single-tone color, modern Art Deco furniture does not shy away from embracing bold and contrasting hues. This vibrant color palette instantly catches the viewer's attention, luring them with its quirky charm. 

Rich and deep tones, like emerald green or ruby red, for example, were paired with neutral shades for an alluring appeal. By pairing contrasting hues, designers are able to create upholstery, carpets and rugs, and wall coverings that can lift up the mood in an office environment. 

Mirrored furniture has become a fashionable trend in the workplace. Companies are now investing in furniture with mirrored surfaces or lacquered finishes, as it not only helps reflect light but also makes sure that the space feels much larger than it actually is.

A Vibrant Color Palette - Art Deco furniture

The Enduring Legacy of Art Deco in Modern Office Furniture

Furniture designers, such as Jacques Ruhlmann and Maurice Dufrène, played a major role in the rise of Art Deco furniture across the world in the 1930s and 1940s.

While the style has become whispers of the past, it continues to inspire modern-day designers to incorporate elements of luxury, modernity, and functionality in their furniture. They are bringing out pieces that not only feel nostalgic but also meet the contemporary demands of the consumer.

According to The Daily Guardian, interior design impacts well-being and productivity in the workplace. Today, designers are revisiting Art Deco and taking some elements from the style when creating furniture to cater to the needs of companies that are willing to spend a lot of money to bring sophistication to the office environment.

The Enduring Legacy of Art Deco in Modern Office Furniture

How to Incorporate Art Decor Office Furniture in Your Home Office?

If you're looking for the best desk setup tips for your home office, here are a couple of ways you can incorporate the iconic Art Deco furniture in your house: 

Keep It Simple

Old office spaces often felt restrictive. There were too many items and bulky furniture that would make the space feel cluttered. Traditional workplace setups were boring and, in most cases, adversely impacted employee productivity.

Over time, companies realized the importance of investing in their workforce and functional yet stylish furniture. They discovered that the best way to bring a modern look to an office environment was to keep it simple.

If you're looking for a modern space in your home where you can get your daily tasks done, you may want to consider keeping things simple. You can invest in a standing desk, which not only looks fantastic but also can help you move away from a sedentary lifestyle and its adverse impact on health.

Make sure to avoid chairs, desks, or things that have overly ornate design elements. This does not fall under the category of modern Art Deco furniture.

Straight lines and a sleek look without any overcomplication are the best ways to go about designing your home office workspace.

Keep It Simple

Think Minimal

Don't stuff your home office with tons of furniture and accessories. It can not only adversely impact the aesthetics of the space but can also make it challenging to work due to all of the clutter. A modern office should be clean and tidy with a lot of room to walk around. 

To ensure a modern workspace in your home, invest in Art Deco furniture and home office essentials. Only get the things that contribute positively to your work productivity. It can make the space airy and open, keeping the walkways clear of any obstructions. 

You can also hang your prized possessions on the walls. Make sure you don't clutter the wall with too many things, as it could move the attention away from the iconic Art Deco furniture in the room. 

There are many desk accessories or products that can help you keep things clean and minimal. Cable management solutions and multifunctional desks can bring a lot of functionality to the space. 

You can even consider an RGB desk setup to illuminate the room and set the mood for a relaxing evening after work.

Think Minimal

Choose Cool Colors

Traditional interiors focus on warm colors and light wood tones. This can give a comforting feel. While this is an excellent way to design your home office, you can also consider neutral and cool shades for a modern design.

Many people like to paint the walls bright, as some believe that it may spark productivity. While the studies conducted in the past have differing views on this topic, we highly recommend using neutral colors like gray, black, and white. These pair well with the tones of modern Art Deco furniture and make the space appear lighter and larger.

Add Statement Decor

Whether it's iconic Art Deco furniture or wall features, you should always incorporate bold elements in your home office to make a statement. This can give out an executive feel, which is critical to having a workplace mindset while carrying out your duties from the comfort of your house. 

There are many types of statement decor you can consider, some of which include the following: 

  • Large wall art
  • Metallic lamps
  • Sculptures
  • French Art Deco furniture

Modify Existing Furniture

If you have a desk, cabinet, or other furniture that you want to use in your new home office, you can also consider modifying it to look like modern Art Deco furniture.

It requires a bit of DIY skills, and if you're up for the task, inlay and painted features are a great way to go about this project. This can help you save a lot of money!

Modify Existing Furniture

Add Art Deco Elements

Some people have sofas or comfortable seats in their home office where they can retreat after a long day of work. If you're one of those individuals, you can purchase an Art Deco blanket or pillows and place it on the furniture for an inviting look. 

From flush mounts to lighting elements, wall features, and flooring, there are many different ways you can incorporate Art Deco into your home office. 

Add Art Deco Elements

Consider Art Deco Flooring

Besides modern and vintage Art Deco furniture, wall features, and lighting elements, you can also consider changing your flooring if you have the budget. 

Art Deco flooring comes in many different patterns and materials. From rare stones to luscious granite to exotic woods, there are many options available for professionals to choose from. 

It's important to consider your budget before researching the different possibilities. A well-designed workplace can motivate you to work harder and positively affect your productivity.

Final Thoughts

You can trace the origins of Art Deco back to the 1920s. However, it rose to prominence in the early 1930s and 1940s. Today, you'll see designers incorporating elements of this style with modernity in their products, which is not only visually pleasing but also leads to a functional workplace.

While Art Deco is a great style for your home office, choosing the elements carefully is essential, as overdoing it can adversely impact the way the workplace looks. It can also add a lot of clutter, which can be bad for your work.

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