The media has been filled with the joys of Art Deco recently due to the release of the Great Gatsby. It just so happens that I went to an amazing Art Deco house and antiques fair a couple of weeks ago so I thought I’d share it with you. You never know, it may wake a love of all things Art Deco in you.
Eltham Palace, in South East London, was originally the child hood home of Henry VIII. The remains of this home can still be seen but the wealthy Courtauld family built a house next to the remains of Eltham Palace and it’s among the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in England. This juxtaposition of architectural styles make this a unique place to visit and very inspiring at that. And what better place to have an Art Deco fair? Basically, my ideal afternoon.
Art Deco style began in the 1920’s in France. It flourished in the 1930’s and 40’s and emerged from the interwar period when industrialisation was transforming culture (can you tell I’m a History teacher?!). The new machinery and materials of that era influenced the movement to develop; gone were the organic motifs of the its predecessor Art Nouveau, to be replaced by symmetry and geometric shapes. The style is often characterised by rich colours, luxury, glamour, lavish ornamentation and bold geometric shapes.
I love some Art Deco pieces but there are others that I hate. However, I love eclecticism so it’s all about picking and choosing what you like from a certain era and more often than not it will blend well with other pieces whether they be Victorian, mid-century or contemporary.
Have a look for yourselves and decide whether you love or hate…
This the 1930’s addition to the building, built by the Courthalds. To the right is the remains of the Great Hall, which formed part of the childhood home of Henry VIII.
LOVE. This was my favourite part of the building. I love the space, light, simple shapes and muted colours against the white.
HATE. Wood panelling is a classic feature of Art Deco style. Would I want it in my own home? Probably not.
HATE. To me, at first glance, this all looks disgusting. But you can always find inspiration if you’re willing to look for it. The symmetry and structure of this room appeals and this is something that can be copied easily.
HATE. Totally disgusting. But what about the shape of the bath? There’s always inspiration lurking.
After we’d been into the house we went to the antiques fair that was being held in the Great Hall. The Palace hosts these fairs twice a year (next one is in Septemeber). Have a look at some of the things I spotted…
The Medieval Great Hall.
LOVE. This would work perfectly on a mid-century coffee table or sideboard.
HATE. I’m really not keen on the Art Deco figurines, especially the face plaques.
LOVE. This chair (a snip at £4500) would fit in with any interior.
LOVE. I very nearly bought this. The footstool folds under the chair and becomes a conventional arm chair.
LOVE. This geometric mirror is typical of the Art Deco style. This particular mirror is simpler than than the average and could slip into many different interiors.
LOVE. I want this sewing box bad!
LOVE. Art Deco Burleigh tea cup – my only purchase of the afternoon. I totally adore Art Deco crockery.
What about you? Love or hate?