Where sidelights were impractical, a single fixture over the mirror became the next best thing for illuminating personal grooming. One popular design was the organic shape of a turtle’s shell morphed into a stylized, softly angular, geometric form that was open on the bottom (where the turtle was flat). This design afforded bathers a direct light just above the mirror. Shades were usually made of milk glass and sometimes had black or colored lines decorating their edges. Turtle shades were incredibly popular owing to their versatility. Because they could be installed horizontally with their opening facing the floor or vertically to face the wall, they could also be used as sidelights. This flexibility gave homeowners several decorative options for lighting bathing areas.
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Say yes to a statement mirrorGo large and create an entrance with impact and drama by choosing a stylish sunburst mirror that epitomises the Art Deco era. If you’re unsure in which direction to take your hallway, a mirror can often be a good starting point to inform the whole scheme.
Will you choose the OTT glamour of bronze, opt for a classic fantail design or perhaps veer towards the industrial with a carriage mirror?
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The basic light for any bathroom in the early electric era was a central, ceiling-mounted fixture, and round ceiling fixtures throwing off bright overhead light were a common sight by the 1930s. Lights designed in repeating circle shapes, with cut motifs of decorative ribs, catered to the decade’s fascination with geometric shapes, and their ceiling-hugging designs kept them unobtrusive and aerodynamic. Shades could be made of both clear glass and milk glass, and the mounting was usually a shiny chrome, or in the case of the old advertisement shown on page 36, genuine chromium plate.
A central heating and cooling system using “aspiration” technology to warm and cool homes evenly and quietly with flexible small ducts that weave through ceilings, walls, and even floors.
Fan shades were another shape popular for sidelight designs because they exaggerated the chevron pattern so integral to the Deco movement. Often, the fans repeated themselves like ripples formed in water by a skipping stone. Because fans were open at the top and sometimes the bottom, too, they offered the benefits of indirect light via a beam that bounced off of the walls and then onto the person in front of the mirror.
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The 1920’s Schoolhouse pendant light from Mullan LightingDiscover one geometric pattern
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Introduce chevronsAlthough the chevron dates back as far as 1800 BC, sharp geometric lines became increasingly popular in the 1930s and this strong zigzag design rose to prominence. Consider echoing this classic Deco motif by laying wood parquet flooring or tiles in a chevron formation.
An upholstered bench seat in a monochrome chevron pattern is another great way to introduce this bold look. Alternatively, go for a chic chevron runner or choose to wallpaper one wall. For a subtler approach, add small shots of this distinctive pattern to your hallway through cushions and lampshades.
Love Art Deco style? Discover how to get the look in your bedroom
Consider covingParticularly effective with high ceilings and to add interest to a new-build property, coving with three or more straight lines will create a stunning stepped ceiling effect. Just think of the beautiful ceilings of classic Art Deco cinemas, and you’ll instantly envisage a dramatic sense of occasion.
TELL US…We’d love to hear your ideas for Art Deco hallways. Share your tips and photos in the Comments below.
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By the 1930s, the prosaic built-in tub was often elaborated into a high-style, partially enclosed niche or recessed shower compartment. Because these compartments created a cavelike environment and frequently had a lower ceiling than the rest of the bathroom, they called for their own ceiling light. Sometimes these lights were regular ceiling fixtures, but they could also incorporate a heat lamp for sun-ray comfort.
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Introducing Art Deco interior to your home is never hard, especially when you know what all of it entails. You may not do every aspect of it in a single day, but after a week or more, the beauty created by Art Deco lighting should all come together. Always be flexible enough and wise to note what falls where, when and why it does so.
Look to the roaring 1920s to create a welcome with added wow
Tagsterms:Linda Svendsenart decoDemetra AposporosbathroomsPeriod LightingOld-House JournalOHJ November/December 2006
Since Art Deco interior designs are back, the number of people eager to try the various antique-inspired decorative lighting in their homes is growing by the day. The buzz generated by this arts and design movement isn’t by mere hype. It features perhaps the best touches of French, Egyptian and Mediterranean culture with, of course, a slight geometric pattern and a plethora of colours. For those who understand its importance today, bringing the 1930s – 1940s retro look is a no-brainer. However, if you are spoilt for choice, the following tips will help you.
Pick the right furnitureNo fireplace? Then instead create a display area with a sleek console table, a sideboard with decorative inlaid panels or a glamorous black lacquered chest of drawers. Oversized twin lamps act as symmetrical anchors and will frame your favourite pieces and draw the eye inwards.
Why not use an embellished metallic tray to show off pretty glasses and decanters in the space in-between?Browse perfect furniture partners for your hallway
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Hand-sanded and hand-finished solid white oak, cherry, and mahogany cabinets, dressers, tables, chairs, beds, and armoires.
Streamline styling is related to Deco, but inspired by aerodynamic engineering, it stripped down ornamentation, played up fluid lines, and highlighted industrial materials such as shiny chrome accents. Sometimes polished aluminum, a material borrowed from the nascent airline industry, was used. While streamlined tubes were often enclosed to offer a diffused glow, they also could be open at the top to provide stronger ambient light. Various styles could have accents of concentric bands of chrome and sport elongated, decorative metal finials.
The Gadar Holophane wall light from Mullan LightingFinish your Art Deco style with suitable accessories
Fixtures installed above a mirror cast a spotlight on the person looking into it. Often, such mirror lights were the only source of illumination in bathrooms from the era.
Show off a little sparkleFor a staircase with Hollywood glamour, glass panels combined with polished chrome rails are the way to go. The beauty of glass panels is that they can be personalised with frosting and etching techniques.
And don’t forget the newell post, where you can really maximise the decadence factor with a bejewelled knob in crystal or coloured glass, or embellished with inlaid mother-of-pearl.
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Classic-style door hardware, engineered for new construction or historic renovation, lacquer-coated, solid brass, patterned after original antique hardware, passage, privacy, mortise lock, or dummy sets and cabinet hardware and accessories.
Lights flanking a mirror cut down on harsh shadows and offered optimum illumination for grooming. The shades here—called turtles because of their resemblance to the critter—could also be mounted facing the wall, and often sat on brackets made of porcelain that featured convenient, built-in electrical outlets. (Photo from Bungalow Details: Interior)
Much like any décor, Art Deco lighting involves setting up one hero piece that is used to complement the others. You won’t possibly fancy the emanating confusion rushing for one or more decorative lights. If you would like to design your home interiors basing on classic pieces such as the 1920’s Schoolhouse Pendant light, you must ensure that your tools co-relate with it.
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Always hopping on one leg to tie your shoelaces in the morning? Perhaps a bench, chair or stool in the hall would help
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Improved task lighting in bathrooms was of growing interest during the Deco era, and the prime focus was the lavatory mirror used for shaving and make-up. The recommended solution for a shadowless reflection was to mount matching fixtures at either side of the mirror. The iconic Deco-era example is the streamlined tube, which reflected the nation’s growing fascination with speed fueled by the early days of commercial passenger flight and the popularity of rail travel.
Another ceiling option was a simple globe set into an Art Deco-influenced base bearing a heavy, repeating geometric pattern full of the chevrons and sunrise themes so closely connected with the style. While the base was ornate, the light was also understated thanks to low-profile dimensions and a pairing with a simple milk glass globe. Original bases were most likely made of brass or chrome, but modern lighting companies offer these light fixtures in a range of finishes, as well as a selection of globes that feature additional geometric details, such as concentric circles ridged into the glass or repeating raised squares.
The popular idea of putting showers or tubs into their own alcove made it necessary to install a second ceiling light in those areas.
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The late 1920s witnessed a shift in thinking on the ideal bathroom’s design, transforming an austere white space into one that was blooming in color.
You don’t have to be a home interiors expert to understand that Art Deco lighting helps introduce a stylish look in your home. Desk lights, table lamps, standing lights, and pendant lights offer a vast selection and will help you bring that ambience you always need. Adding a simple touch such as the sophisticated Comoro table lamp will add to the visual comfort of the Art Deco lighting. Now you can find the suitable accessories to enhance the room’s decorative lighting, including maybe drawing your ideas from those vintage designs. Teapots and furniture may top your list of these accessories too.
Another memorable sidelight design paid homage to the burgeoning skylines of the day with shades shaped like a building reaching for the sky. Molded of frosted glass and bearing a shade that was completely enclosed, these fixtures radiated a soft glow. The shades were usually three-tiered, often bearing vertical striations on each section—a form that mimics the famous Deco design of the Empire State Building. Original lights were mounted on porcelain brackets and sometimes color-matched to a bathroom’s tile work. Porcelain was considered particularly appropriate for use in bathrooms because it was non-porous, easy to clean, and therefore sanitary. Sometimes the brackets also harbored electrical outlets for plugging in the wide array of grooming appliances that were just being marketed.
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Browse our unique selection of light fixtures, designed and manufactured by Mullan Lighting in Ireland.
Art Deco was considered revolutionary because it turned its back on the vegetable and animal motifs found in traditional designs to embrace angular geometry and the machine age. The style grew out of two popular early 20th-century avant-garde movements: Cubist art and Bauhaus architecture, both of which were defined by sheer, faceted surfaces. When this ultra-modern thinking made the leap from art canvasses and buildings to furniture and industrial items, those angular lines softened to create the distinctive flowing geometric forms that became iconic of the 1930s. Deco’s exuberant take on design also came to embody a sense of optimism, something desperately needed by an American public stuck in a downtrodden decade.
Create an area of symmetryIf you have room for a fireplace, it’s the ideal way to bring in some classic Art Deco symmetry. Opt for identical wall sconces around a central mirror, and matching chairs on either side (high-backed Charles Rennie Mackintosh designs are a good choice; his Art Nouveau work fed directly into the development of Deco style).
Alternatively, consider twin occasional tables instead of chairs, featuring elegant metallic sculptures of the human form that so defined the era.
A rear addition gave one family a generous living area together with a work space that can be concealed out of hours
If you want to make a grand entrance, Art Deco is the way to go in the hallway. This enduring look – which you can explore in more detail in this previous Houzz story – exploded in the 1920s machine age along with jazz, skyscrapers and exotic holidays, spawning an aspirational and glamorous home style that is still highly sought-after and much copied today.
Get the full-on feel with marble flooring, sunburst mirrors, polished chrome and ornate styling, or cherry-pick the elements that will work in a more modest home.
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Opt for a show-stopping staircaseExtravagant spiral or helical staircases with ornate balusters were highly sought-after in the jazz age, as new technology in production widened the options available. Of course, not all of us are lucky enough to have a home with the proportions to take a stunning staircase like this, but elements of Art Deco design can be copied on a smaller scale, too.
For a classic Deco look, you can’t beat the combination of twisting wrought iron balusters with a polished walnut handrail.Be inspired by more beautiful curved staircases.
If you’re aiming to beautify a bathroom from the era between the wars, your first stop might be Paris—the 1925 Paris Exposition, that is. That famed exposition introduced Art Deco to the world through a wealth of cutting-edge modernist designs, and it was also the source of the name. Within a few years, Deco crossed the Atlantic to become the design imprimatur for American consumer goods throughout the 1930s. Its influence can be seen in creations as disparate as storefronts and theaters, furniture and packaging, and even such basic household fixtures as bathroom sinks and lights. And if what you specifically seek are lights, you’re in luck. What follows are a half-dozen authentic lighting styles appropriate for 1930s bathrooms, almost all of them available through today’s reproduction lighting companies.
A close relative, design-wise, to the turtle shape was a shell-shaped shade that moved way beyond Mother Nature. These shades exaggerated and softened a shell’s edges to play on the ideas of streamlining, and the fixtures could be installed above a mirror as either a single light or pair.
Everyone who loves exquisite home interiors inherently has one or multiple lovely ideas of geometric patterns. Using a piece of fabric with your preferred pattern, you can easily come up with a cutting-edge design that, when illuminated against a versatile antique piece such as the Gadar Holophane wall light, shines with elegance. You may just find a great piece, by perhaps re-upholstering an existing chair, an ottoman or anything charming.
Commission a stylish radiator coverWhile ornate black metal column radiators or polished chrome sharp-angled designs would suit the Art Deco look, you could also consider having a radiator cover created for the hallway to finish off the look.
Do your research and incorporate all the design details you most love about the era, or use another piece of furniture, such as a console table or chair, to inspire a cohesive look.
We could all use an extra room, so why not look to your loft and transform the space in your roof into something fabulous?
Ramp up detail on your flooringMarble floors were highly coveted and a hallmark of opulent 1920s style. In a large space, a central motif, such as a starburst or geometric-patterned border, can really break up the expanse and add interest.
See more elegantly carpeted staircases like this one in our photo section.
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