Art Deco Chairs: The Refined Seating of the Jazz Age

Pair of Art Deco Club Chairs, Walnut Veneer, Southern France circa 1925

Art Deco chairs are some of the most distinguished additions you can make to a modern home. Built around comfort and elegance, they aesthetically align with the geometric focus of contemporary design. As such, the collection of Art Deco Chairs available on Styylish can bring new life and focus to any room in your house.

If you read last week’s Buying Guide to Styylish Art Deco Furniture, you will already have familiarized yourself with some key Art Deco pieces in the Styylish collection. In today’s blog, we want to take a closer look at the chair in the context of the Art Deco period – its form, function, and versatility.

If you’re wanting to read more about the cultural history of the Art Deco period, check out our Introduction to Art Deco Style before venturing into the selections from our shop.

And if you’re in the market for chairs of a different period, antique Biedermeier Chairs, available in all kinds of shapes and combinations, can be remarkable additions to your home as well. Read up on them and browse the Styylish catalog for stimulating ideas.

Chairs in Context: Art Deco

What is an Art Deco Chair?

Art Deco, from the French Arts Décoratifs, literally meaning “decorative arts” is a period of design from the early 20th century, most heavily associated with the aesthetic of the 1920s. It traces its origin to the Art Nouveau, literally “new art,” period of the turn of the century, which was in turn inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement of the late 19th century.

Technology is essential to the development of Art Deco. Whereas the Arts & Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau explicitly rejected industrial technology in favor of hand-crafted art, Art Deco embraced it.

It represents the junction of two separate schools of thought. Good design requires careful craftsmanship and high-quality materials. At the same time, machines and industrial processes could be helpful in that endeavor.

Art Deco Vanity- closeup side- styylish
Art Deco design began to incorporate metal as well as wood

The embrace of industrial technology allowed Art Deco designers to use materials they could otherwise not have wielded. Metal began to join wood as a primary construction material. Geometric regularity and repetition, facilitated by machine processes, became a trademark feature of Art Deco.

Art Deco chairs embody all of those qualities. From shellac-finished, ebonized wood frames to heavily geometric patterns, they are distinct pieces, characterized by internal contrast. Colors, especially, are used to dramatic effect in Art Deco chairs. Colorful or light cushions might be contrasted by very dark frames, for instance.

What year is Art Deco furniture from?

Art Deco furniture developed in the 1920s (after World War I) and was a primary style of décor well into the 1930s. Particularly the urban landscapes of the United States became heavily associated with the style, emphasizing verticality and glamour.

Art Deco chairs conjure up that setting with creative designs and imposing shapes. It’s not difficult to imagine F. Scott Fitzgerald lounging in one of the club chairs below.

What woods are used in Art Deco furniture?

Art Deco Small Furniture, Black Lacquer, Mahogany, Nickel, France, circa 1930
Art Deco furniture often uses mahogany (brown) and ebonized, polished wood surfaces (shiny black)

Art Deco furniture, characterized by contrast, uses plenty of dark solid wood or ebonized wood. Mahogany was a popular choice for many Art Deco designers. Some pieces use light birch wood, however. Frequently, designers would ebonize and polish that kind of wood to create the recognizable visual dramatics of the style.

In all of the selections from the Styylish catalog, you will recognize those tendencies. They strike a spectator as elegant in a very modern way, without pretending to be from the future. Art Deco chairs were the avant-garde, but very much of their time. They embody the upward drive and lust for splendor that continues to showcase Art Deco as one of the most popular vintage periods, a century later.

Art Deco Chairs in the Styylish Catalog

Sets of Chairs

A set of Art Deco Chairs can provide a splash of character to a modern, understated wood table. By grouping chairs like these together in sets, you can create a dynamic dining space that seems both modern and historically weighted.

Set of Art Deco Chairs- styylish
Set of Six Art Deco chairs – available now on Styylish

This Group of Six Art Deco Chairs from France are marked by an aesthetic of distinct futurism. The upward thrust of each chair, which seems to shoot out and blossom into itself in height, recalls the geometry of Art Deco skyscraper lobbies – without all of the gold plating.

The shape of the backrest is denoted as “fan-shaped,” speaking to the surprising width that erupts from the chairs in an elegant fashion. The cushion is in “Zackenkrone”-style, a German Art Deco pattern that literally means “pronged crown”. It seems understated at first glance but teems with detail in repetition.

Art Deco Dining Chairs- group of chairs- alternating view- Styylish
Five striking Art Deco chairs – available now on Styylish

These Five Art Deco Dining Room Chairs, sold individually (or as a whole group), make perfect, high-contrast seating for a coffee table, game table, or small dining table. Their modern orange upholstery provides a splash of unexpected color to the black-and-white focus of Art Deco style. You could even acquire one as a striking accent chair.

Both sets make tasteful additions to a modern interior of muted colors, providing unexpected character and accents to any sort of home. Use them as dining chairs or however you see fit!

Armchairs

Set of Four Art Deco Club Chairs, Black Piano Lacquer, France, circa 1930
A marvelous set of four club chairs – available now on Styylish

The Art Deco armchairs available on Styylish can form the backbone of a living room seating arrangement, for instance. This Set of Four Art Deco Club Chairs certainly recalls the splendor of a First-Class cruise lounge and can be used to anchor an entire room in comfortable, deeply stylish furniture.

If you have two areas of your home in need of a pair of armchairs, consider splitting these four up, to create thematic links between various areas of your home!

Pair of Armchairs- Midcentury with pink upholstery- styylish
A pair of Art Deco armchairs – available now on Styylish

For a warmer, more traditional set, consider this Pair of Art Deco Armchairs, resplendent with a gorgeous pink upholstery that works in beautiful tandem with the polished, brown wood. They recall Art Nouveau qualities in their coloration and cushion design. Yet they also look ahead to the qualities of mid-century modern furniture.

Art Deco Armhairs, Walnut and Black Lacquer, France, circa 1930
A pair of Art Deco Armchairs – available now on Styylish

These Late Art Deco Lounge Chairs, on the other hand, do not feel like Art Nouveau pieces at all. Striking geometric patterns in muted colors make these definite exemplars of the Art Deco period, and ones fit for a library or home office with dark-wood shelves, for instance.

Art Deco Chairs: Versatile and Stylish

Art Deco Chairs fit beautifully into modern homes. They work to accent and uplift certain design traits we still embrace today. On the other hand, they are distinct enough, as original pieces, to breathe new life into your interior design concepts.

Browse the Styylish catalog today for even more inspiration. We promise you’ll find the perfect unique piece for your individual home.

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