Reorient design supervised an interior design renovation at Dessewffy Street 47, a protected Art Deco apartment building in Budapest. This post continues from our previous entry titled Historic building interior design renovation which outlines our research process.

By the time our interior design project started in 2018, the Art Deco style was approaching somewhere near a 100 year anniversary. So it was not surprising to see a resurgence in Art Deco styled contemporary furniture and décor items available on the market at this time.

This recent revival in Art Deco inspired design is often called ‘Neo Deco’, or ‘Deco Revival’. The movement is not just limited to decor & interiors, arguably this trend was rekindled with architecture. The ME Hotel in London was completed in 2013 and is an excellent example of Neo-Deco design.

Me Hotel, London by Foster & Partners
Photo credit: Foster & Partners

Broadly speaking Art Deco interior design flourished between 1910 and 1940. As it was a global movement the exact dates will depend on which historian you read, and which parts of the world they are writing about. Our first steps in designing any interior are to research the existing building and understand it’s historic context.

“Art Deco represents an era which was challenging traditionally accepted forms of beauty and style. Works designed in this style tend to be geometric, symmetrical, streamlined, often simple, and pleasing to the eye. Their intention was to create a sleek and anti-traditional elegance that symbolised wealth and sophistication.”

Art Deco or Neo Deco?

Good antique shops will sell original Art Deco period furniture, which will give an authentic Art Deco feature to your interior design. However these antiques are likely to be extremely costly as typically they are rare and have been restored at great expense. Conversely items still in need of restoration can be very fragile.

Reproduction of the ‘Barcelona Chair’ by Mies van de Rohe, 1929. An example of an Art Deco furniture ‘design classic’.
Image Credit: moDecor Furniture Pvt Ltd. (Creative Commons license).

Reproductions of design classics are a halfway house; they are neither the original, and not really new. Of course they will be in brand new condition and less expensive than the originals. Although I like the designs in themselves, I generally find the use of design classics in interiors to be an overpriced cliché! Why? Because in the end everyone buys exactly the same old designs! Although design classics never go out of style, by definition that means they can never really be in-style either. Much of the time it’s the same furniture now being used in the lobby of a corporate bank. They are safe bet, but perhaps not so interesting.

Of preferred choice is to use freshly designed Neo Deco feature furniture. So for inspiration Reorient Design visited the Casa Décor 2018, an annual interior design exposition in Madrid. Design shows are always great for inspiration! During our visit we noticed that velour upholstered cocktail chairs had made a big comeback.

Art Deco Revival cocktail chair in teal velour, left.

Originally cocktail chairs were designed for Art Deco style interiors and made popular in 1950s hotel lobby bars and cocktail lounges. With these freshly designed feature furniture pieces we can create a new Art Deco feeling without breaking our budget!

Try out Neo Deco feature furniture!

Of course feature furniture pieces will usually be a little more costly than simpler, less luxurious designs. However in terms of budget, they represent excellent value for money. This is because these Neo Deco feature pieces can lend their style to your other surrounding furniture items. It’s a little bit like adding spices to your cooking, you only need a small amount to flavour to the entire dish! So the interior design tip here is to use feature furniture pieces sparingly and compliment them with other more neutral contemporary design pieces.

Dessewffy Street 47 Airbnb Serviced Apartment by Reorient Design

“It’s a little bit like adding spices to your cooking, you only need a small amount to flavour to the entire dish! The interior design tip here is to use feature furniture pieces sparingly and compliment them with other more neutral contemporary design pieces.”

Chair detail at Dessewffy Street 47 Airbnb Serviced Apartment by Reorient Design

Our idea is not to re-create a historic Art Deco interior design – that era has passed and design now has to consider modern lifestyles. However the building itself is still historic and so the floorplan and proportions remain largely true to the original Art Deco design. Our aspiration is to create an interior which is in harmony with the art deco historic building, but also embraces the modern lifestyles of the present day occupiers.

Where to find a Neo Deco chair!

We have collected some links to Art Deco inspired chairs which you might want to use for your own projects! Importantly we can offer our readers a 5% discount on any products from Kave home! Use the discount code: ‘AFFPRO5‘ at checkout.

“We can offer our readers a 5% discount on any products from Kave Home, using the discount code: ‘AFFPRO5‘ at checkout.”

Another option for your art deco interior design project is to find an original art deco piece from an antique furniture shop. Luckily there are many in Budapest selling original and restored Art Deco chairs. Feel free to contact us if you would like to find out more.

Living Room at Dessewffy Utca 47 Airbnb Serviced Apartment by Reorient Design

Above we see a modern modular sofa in grey designed by Tom Dixon, paired with an Art Deco inspired cocktail chair in teal velour. Our approach is to conduct the majority of the refurbishment in a contemporary modern style, but reference the original building style with matching feature furniture and decor items.

Cocktail chair and bespoke TV console table
Dessewffy Utca 47 Airbnb Serviced Apartment by Reorient Design

In the image above we created our own design for a TV console table inspired by the Art Deco cubist style of a Czech Architect Pavel Janak. Janak’s design work also inspired our other custom made furniture designs, which we will discuss further later.

Now we have discussed the idea of complimenting Art Deco inspired furniture pieces with Contemporary modern furniture. In the next sections we consider designing new Neo-Deco furniture.

Using Art Deco Design motifs

The Madrid Casa Décor show also gave us inspiration for Art Deco interior design motifs. For instance you will notice in the use of geometric zig-zag patterns in the photo below.

Egyptian archaeological excavations led to inspiring discoveries at the time that Art Deco became popular. This zigzag motif is an Egyptian symbol for water. These motifs became commonplace as Art Deco drew inspiration from Egyptian styles. This bold use of diagonal geometry was unconventional when it was first introduced. However the zig-zag motif became most famously expressed on the crown cupola of the Chrysler building in Manhattan, New York.

Chrysler Building Cupola
Photo credit: postdlf (Creative Commons GNU license)

Both the Chrysler building and our apartment at Dessewffy Utca 47 were completed in 1930! We decided to adopt this popular Art Deco interior design zig zag motif in the design of our bed headboards.

Although the the zig zag motif is clearly visible, our arrangement of colours does not emphasise the motif. That is to say, we allowed some flexibility in the way we applied our Art Deco rules. Remember we are not trying to make a historically accurate art deco interior design!

Symmetry mirrors the pattern and colours, and this orders the room.

Instead we allow our designs to be inspired by Art Deco, but keep them open to other contemporary influences also. So finally we played with three contemporary colours to soften the zig zag motif. This breaks apart the large scale of the headboard and gives visual depth to the design.

“If you are interested in custom made furniture items for your project, get in touch with your query. We offer a full design & production service & delivery to anywhere within the EU.”

Importantly the fabrics are washable, stain proof and fire resistant to meet EU regulations. They are also available in a wide range of colour options. You may notice here our custom designed bedside table, the ‘Kádár kocka’ (Cooper Cube) which we will discuss later on.

Where to find Neo Deco Furnishings and Décor Items?

Bespoke made headboards are comparatively costly and so another option might be to use decor items. Wallpapers with Deco motifs can deliver a very bold geometric feeling. Art and historic photos themed around the Art Deco era, can add another layer of visual storytelling. Also typical of Art Deco interior design is the use of gold / brass coloured trims and details. Certainly these can give a touch of elegance and sophistication to your interior design.

More bespoke furniture design inspired by Art Deco

Art Deco is a wide and varied interior design style. When designing a Neo Deco item, narrowing down a specific design interest is a good first step. A number of years ago on a visit to Prague, I came across the work of Czech Architect Pavel Janak. He designed a crystalline form ceramic box in 1911 from cubist and art deco ideas. Certainly these elegant black structures are Art Deco, but they are also modern and minimal. I have been curious to experiment with these thin black lines structurally, in a similar way to hairpin table legs.

The description on modernista website reads: “Crystalline box – no other object captures the spirit of Janák’s early cubist works better than this crystal-inspired box. Probably produced as a one-off, the box is a complex composition of angles, sharp points and folded planes. The thin black lines complete the dynamic sculpture and distract from its basic function as a box.”

“What could otherwise be a basic rectilinear box, has been faceted into a perfect gem-like form of facets and skinny lines. Personally I find the geometries very inspiring and elegant.

Consequently we designed the bedside table design, the RC0218 ‘Kádár kocka’ (Cooper Cube) to try and capture a similar dynamism inspired by Pavel Janak.

The Kádár kocka is available with various granite and marble coloured table tops

“More than just performing a simple function, furniture can become an elegant sculptural form offering sophistication to any room.”

Kádár kocka Bedside table with Calacatta Marble top

Similarly we have been influenced by angular lines of Janak in our TV Console design ‘Kádár Pad’ (Cooper Bench) . We used a grid made from a Art Deco zig-zag design motif when designing these table forms.

It’s much better for the eyes to have a light on when watching the tv. For this reason we integrated indirect ambient lighting into the TV console.

You will notice the apartment is designed with a diagonal axis leading to the outdoor balcony terrace. The table geometry is designed harmoniously to work with this axis.

Art Deco Interior Design Inspired Collection

To conclude this post, we have collated our Neo Deco inspired furniture and interior décor items into one collection. We hope you will find some inspiration and furniture items for your own Neo Deco interior design!

We offer our blog readers an exclusive 5% off any products from Kavehome. Click on the photographs below and for any Kavehome products be sure to use the discount code: ‘AFFPRO5′ at checkout!

We can offer our readers a 5% discount on products from Kave Home. Use the discount code: AFFPRO5 at checkout.

This blog entry concludes a two part post about historic building interior design renovation. We hope you enjoyed reading this post and like our design approach. If you would like to discuss your historic art deco interior design project with us, please contact us here!

This article contains sponsored product placements.

Special thanks to Majestic_Variation13 for proof reading this post!