1930s Style Interior Decorating & Deco

Updated April 25, 2018

Interior design in the 1930s is chiefly characterised by Art Deco style, which itself is an amalgamation of many styles and influences. The look is both streamlined and modern, as well as opulent and luxurious.


The sumptuousness of Art Deco style was a reaction to the thrift and economy of World War I. The basis of the design movement began among the artists of Paris in the early 1900s. Not only did the modern style inform interior design, it also found places in both architecture and fashion all around the world.


Geometric shapes and mathematics were primary influences on the Art Deco style of the 1930s; symmetry was reflected in much of the interior design as well as the architecture. The eclecticism of the style was influenced by Neoclassicism, Futurism, cubism, Modernism and Constructivism. Ideas from polar opposites, such as archaeology and aviation, were also influences.


The streamlined, polished style is characterised by its use of motifs, such as the sunburst, fountain and ziggurat --- which looks something like a pyramid. These motifs were used on floors and walls. Wood furniture was typically lacquered and combined with brushed steel. Upholstery material, such as zebra skin, was often exotic.

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Based just outside Chicago, Meg Campbell has worked in the fitness industry since 1997. She’s been writing health-related articles since 2010, focusing primarily on diet and nutrition. Campbell divides her time between her hometown and Buenos Aires, Argentina.