If you’re thinking of redesigning your bathroom and you’re looking for high impact inspiration, look no further than Art Deco. The striking beauty of this early 20th century art and architecture trend, popularised by The Great Gatsby, Poirot and even Downton Abbey, lends itself perfectly to adding some glamour and opulence to your bathroom.
Much favoured in the 1920s and 1930s, Art Deco was an influential art and design movement that first emerged in France after World War I and quickly spread to other countries. The movement takes its cue from French, Mediterranean and Egyptian cultures to create an innovative and distinctive aesthetic that combines rich colours, bold geometrics and lavish ornamentation to stunning effect. For fascinating background information on the Art Deco design movement, visit the Victoria and Albert Museum here.
Art Deco can take a wide variety of forms and interpretations, but if you are keen to incorporate some of its iconic elements into your bathroom design, these are the 3 key elements you should concentrate on, according to Mike James who has been working with a range of art deco inspirations recently, including these, in conjunction with the Bathroom Discount Centre Ltd.
1.Strong geometric shapes
Squares, circles, triangles – in fact any strong shape – were very much part of the aesthetic, and eye-catching rectilinear and curvilinear forms can be introduced anywhere in the bathroom. Washbasins and accessories with hard, angular lines and long pedestals are typical of the Art Deco movement. Think further and consider bevelled edge glass doors on wall cabinets or mirrors, sweeping curves or stepped details on furniture or bathroom accessories.
What about a statement bath – perhaps a freestanding roll top bath with ball and claw feet to use as an elegant and opulent centrepiece for the room? A vintage, geometric shaped mirror with a matching light fixture? From elaborate bath taps and unique basin taps to toilet seats, cupboard handles and bathroom storage, it’s the emphasis on bold geometric shapes that will give your bathroom that opulent retro feel.
2.Light and sparkle
Shiny, high gloss surfaces were all the rage in the 1920s and 30s, as the perfect contrast to the bold geometric lines that typified the movement. Popular materials used included glass, mirror, polished chrome and brass.
Install high gloss surfaces in your bathroom via shiny sanitaryware, wall and floor tiles. How about glass fronted or lacquered bathroom cabinets to help bounce the light around the room? Large beautiful Art Deco mirrors will provide plenty of reflection and accentuate the geometric patterns.
Choose high polish chrome or brass taps and other bathroom fixtures in unashamedly Art Deco designs to really add the finishing touch to your bathroom. Glass shower doors or shelving will help you to continue the theme, and don’t forget to source gorgeous geometric light fittings or even fit a vintage crystal chandelier!
3.Bold colours and patterns
Art Deco colours are strong and uncompromising. During the 1920s and 1930s, monochrome palettes and high contrast colours embodied all that was modern design. Red, green, yellow, green, but also neutrals, were used in combination with a black and white palette for high visual drama.
For bathrooms, angular high gloss Metro black and white wall tiles would be an excellent choice. Add interest with strong patterns, perhaps with a flamboyant Manhattan border, or iconic Rennie Mackintosh tile motifs?
During the period, the advent of travel and tourism to exotic places provided access to new materials, fabrics and finishes that could be incorporated into your bathroom as quirky touches. African safaris were becoming popular and animal skins, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, ivory and exotic woods were increasingly used in home interiors. After the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, Egyptian patterns and motifs were everywhere.
Thus imbued with the sophisticated metropolitan vibe embodied by, among others, New York’s Chrysler Building and Claridge’s in London, the end result will be a bathroom to wow the senses. For old style glamour and lavish luxury, an Art Deco inspired bathroom is hard to beat!