Selecting Colors for Art Deco Interiors


A Brief History of Art Deco Colors:

There are 3 color schemes that will be sure to give you an Art Deco look regardless of weather you go with furnishings, art or accessories. The Art Deco style look in your family room, bedroom, bathroom or kitchen even if you own a restaurant or retail store can take on a great theme of the roaring 1920s! All of these three color schemes became very popular in 3 different regions of the US back in the mid 1920s and remained popular until the 1940s. These 3 color schemes orginate from Florida, New York and South West (mainly New Mexico and Arizona) with influences from the cultures of adjacent countries. Although, I would have to say, Miami is still the big winner in popoularity for those tropical Art Deco colors.

Tropicana color scheme: Miami

This one is the most popular of Art Deco colors; think pastel but bolder, stronger colors. Great examples are: Mint green, banana yellow, salmon pink, turquoise blue, lilac. They are all good choices. A walk through the streets in Miami’s South Beach, FL with the Caribbean, Cuban culture strongly speaks this color scheme. Just one click on the world’s oldest Art Deco historical preservation non-profit organization, Miami Design Preservation League and you will see probably the most popular Art Deco color scheme. In my travels, I found the color scheme remains popular throughout the Caribbean and Latin American, but the color scheme applied to Art Deco architecture is probably the most prominent in Miami, FL than anywhere else.

Monochrome: New York City

A look back to the ‘flapper girl’ period of the 1920s, and imagine the New York Skyline from that era. There are many of the zig-zag design buildings in New York and even Los Angeles. Cool grays, white and black. Just think about black lacquer and metal. You get the picture! If this monotone is too stark for you try mixing this color scheme with a touch of the tropical scheme for accessories or even a set of dining chairs. Black or even charcoal color will look very dramatic mixed with a touch of the Tropicana Caribbean scheme and will make those tropical colors even bolder.

Pueblo Deco: New Mexico and Arizona

The authors of a book well represents this style is called, Pueblo Decoby Marcus Whiffen and Carla Breeze recorded this architecture in their 1984 book. The book has very good photos. It became popular a little later than the other 2 color schemes and is indigenous to the Southwest specifically Arizona and New Mexico and looks great in a Pueblo and a rustic Spanish style home. The strong primary colors like royal blue and reds originate from the Native American culture with many Navajo motifs.

Art Deco Decorating Tips:

Start with paint! Go for a couple of accent walls in two different colors. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find fabrics and carpet depending on current trends in the tropical color schemes. But the beauty of selecting paint is any color is custom and ready available to you, easily changed, and not to mention cheap!


Art Deco Tropical Colors

Art Deco Interior Rendering by MsDesign1-Sarah Sherter
Art Deco Interior Rendering by MsDesign1-Sarah Sherter | Source
Tropical Art Deco Motif nr St Ignatius Church, Chicago
Tropical Art Deco Motif nr St Ignatius Church, Chicago | Source
Tropical Pastel Color scheme - Miami, FL
Tropical Pastel Color scheme - Miami, FL | Source

Monochromatic Art Deco Colors

White Mana Diner New Jersey, NJ
White Mana Diner New Jersey, NJ | Source
Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles ceiling detail at entrance
Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles ceiling detail at entrance | Source

Pueble Deco: Art Deco influence in American Indian culture

Gate nr KiMo Theatre, Alburquerque, NM
Gate nr KiMo Theatre, Alburquerque, NM | Source
The Pueblo Deco influence of the SouthWest, KiMo Theatre - Alburquerque, NM
The Pueblo Deco influence of the SouthWest, KiMo Theatre - Alburquerque, NM | Source

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