Contrary to what many of the DYI / home remodeling shows would have you believe, the period associated with Art Deco was not a world of only black and white. This was a period of lime-green, lemon-yellow, vermillion, purples, magenta, turquois, etc.. It also wasn’t merely industrial and chrome furniture.
My “deco” room started by painting the walls in horizontal stripes of three different shade of a soft lavender / grey color with the ceiling being a lighter shade of the same color family and ended by painting all the trim work a semi-gloss pure white. Because I have standard height ceilings, I felt evenly spaced stripes might be overwhelming. Instead, I marked up 42″ from the floor then divided this lower stripe in half measuring up from the top of the base board. If you decide to try stripes, there are many excellent online instructions. I can only tell you to measure carefully, have a good level and be prepared to use lots of painter’s tape.
Oh, if you try this, don’t be alarmed if initially you think the room looks like an Easter egg!
I improvised the look of chrome trim (which priced out at over $700.00 – eek!) by purchasing inexpensive 1/2 round molding and 1″ marine grade Mylar tape (available online). After attaching the 1/2 round to the walls (covering the line where two colors meet) I carefully and slowly work the tape over the 1/2 round. It wasn’t difficult to do but it took a bit of time and patience. Total cost to do my room? Under $100.00.
I wanted platinum colored drapes to add a masculine touch and balance out color of the room. Luckily, I sew and was able to make them (silk, fully interlined and black-out backed) for a cost of just over $600.00. I know that sounds like a lot, but custom drapes priced out at over $1600.00 (double eek!). Okay, not every one sews, so, when purchasing, buy the best quality you can afford and protect your investment by making sure they are lined and/or backed. The under-curtains were purchased at a discount drapery store to add a bit of softness and texture. For those who are purists, I know the mini-blinds are not period but it is a first floor bedroom and privacy is an issue.
I found this complete (11 pieces), 1932 bedroom set on an online auction site for $500.00 (thank you, Mrs. Whithersole’s son). The rich walnut wood tones soften the industrial “chrome” trim and provides a counterbalance to the solid colored draperies. I like it for its warmth, masculine lines and maroon Bakelite handles accented in brass. The veneer is book matched, straight cut walnut in a chevron pattern accented with panels of burled wood. Even the vanity has a more masculine quality than most and serves as my full length mirror. Nothing beats the quality and construction of this set; it was made to last – and it has!
The artwork over the bed are color copies of six originals prints I purchased at a Paris flea market for about $6.00 each. The other two are also copies but copied from a modern fashion calendar. Can you tell the difference?
Color copying is your friend. It preserves the originals and I can easily replace the displayed ones if they become damaged. I made the matching “period” matting by color copying a vintage reverse glass picture frame (adjusting it for the size to fit the frame), cutting out the center and using this in lieu of matt board. I like the way it ties all the prints together and it was more affordable than buying and having matt board cut.
The crowning glory of my room, in my opinion, is my ceiling light. Also purchased on an online auction site, the six sides are heavy, pierced metal in a platinum finish with a canopy of frosted glass panels. It took the two of us (thank you, Anthony) to attach the shade as it weights around 12 lbs. and is held up by six individual spire-like fittings at the top. Awkward to install, but worth it. A close runner up for favorite room accessory is my sunburst floor lamp purchased at Stoudt’s in Adamstown, Pa.
I like to display grouped family photos (always a “must” to bring a room to life) and the rest of the décor is mostly vintage with some “inspired” contemporary pieces that I acquired over the years. Of note are the vanity accents, waste paper basket, and silverware box. With the exception of the waste paper basket, many of these items can be somewhat easily found on your own Freakin’ Tiquen’ adventures.
I am rather proud of how the room turned out and hope you like it, too. If you ever create a deco room, I hope you can use some of my ideas to help you express your “deco”-rating side.
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