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Vintage or New – Art Deco Seating is Hot

Today many of our current seating designs are adapted from Art Deco versions.  These are the usable pieces which in their simplest recreations or vintage finds (love 1stdibs for these) bring a sense of comfort and ease to our everyday living.   Many Art Deco seating styles fit easily with most interior styles.  When looking for a new sofa or seating for everyday use,  Art Deco has a lot to offer.

Art Deco came into being in the 1920’s, after Art Nouveau.  Plant and nature based themes were replaced with industrial, streamlined and linear symmetry.  It was a contemporary interpretation of patterns and styles from the Aztec and Egyptian forms.  Modern, decorative and useful were a consistent theme.  Art Deco furniture was a revolution.  Though much of it carried obvious stylized details, many pieces were more simple and understated.


This set of 12 Emile Jacques Ruhlmann chairs sold in December 2010 for $986,500 via Sotheby’s.  A similar set of six of these chairs recently sold at the Sotheby’s Important 20th Century Design auction in June 2011 for $206,500 including buyer’s premium.  Uh hello, the value is beyond just the design it is in the usability.  This chair could sit in almost any decor.  It is timeless and user friendly.

Of course I’m not promoting one sell the house to pay for furniture!  Many of these styles are abundant today either brand new or affordable vintage versions.

The sleek lines and rounded corners are fashionable today.  Designers like to joke about how there really is no new chair, they are always a reinvention of something from the past.

This is not to say an old design can’t be improved upon as this club chair from Donghia shows.  Notice how the area behind one’s legs is angled?  What often ruins upholstery?  The backs of shoes where they rub against the chair.  Genius.  I can also vouch this higher back and canted seat is both supportive and comfortable.

This 1930’s Art Deco armchair style is a little more in line of what many think of for Art Deco.  It is a bargain right now from Antiqueria Tribeca via 1stdibs.  Art Deco had generous detail in terms of styling but one only had to look at a chair to know it was going to be comfortable.  These were some of the first real club or lounge chairs.  People were over the dainty Victorian stuff and tired of the goopy ornamentation.

The thing about Art Deco in terms of furnishings is the offerings are livable.  Modern, user friendly and no doubt, timeless.  They are designs which make sense, not just for the sake of design.  Take a look around your home, you might be surprised what furnishings you already own which are Art Deco inspired.

If you need more on Art Deco, Decopix has a fabulous site of Art Deco Architecture (building porn). 🙂

Sources:  Emile Jacques Ruhlmann website, 3 Restoration Hardware, 6 Donghia, and 7 1stdibs.


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