Interior designers are looking to art deco to add modern elegance to their homes.
The star of the opening scene in Woody Allen’s latest film, Café Society, is undoubtedly the art deco house. Designed in 1930 by the Hollywood art director Cedric Gibbons for his wife, the actress Dolores del Río, the home in Santa Monica, California, looks strikingly modern.
Santo Loquasto, the film’s production designer, says: “Woody originally wrote it to be in the Cocoanut Grove [a popular Hollywood club in the Thirties], but that doesn’t exist any more, so we had to re-create something comparable. We decided on a party at someone’s house and the Dolores del Río house is exquisitely maintained. It perfectly sets the timescale for the movie as art deco, modern and glamorous.”
Art deco seems modern because it is; the style is increasingly influencing present-day interior designs. It ties in with the trend for a more tailored, formal style in our homes, a possible backlash against shabby chic. This made it surprisingly easy for the decorators working on the film to collect artefacts, according to Loquasto.
Had they been scouting for furniture in England they might have chosen the art deco-style chairs — white with elegant curved silver armrests — spotted in a recent makeover of a Belgravia home, close to Eaton Square in London, by the interior designer Maurizio.
Pellizzoni says: “I like to create a timeless look by choosing pieces from different periods and mixing them with new items. The art deco-style chairs are from Eichholtz, but I have found similar designs in the past at Ralph Lauren. The chairs have lovely clean lines and keep the style of the room very simple, which is what the clients wanted. In 2017 we will see a more sophisticated and elegant style brought into interiors,” he adds.
In the penthouse at Beau House, recently completed by the developer Dukelease, in Jermyn Street, St James’s in London, the interior design practice Oliver Burns has also mixed art deco items — such as Lalique’s Victoire car mascot paperweight, designed in 1928 — with modern-day furniture to create a refined style.
Aiveen Daly’s Chevron chairs are also key in bringing Twenties-style glamour to the penthouse. Daly, who supplies furniture and accessories to high-end interior designers such as Oliver Burns, Martin Kemp, Paul Smith and David Linley, has a style that is reminiscent of the Twenties and Thirties, with an emphasis on tight pleats, straight lines and beading. “A lot of our stuff is quite glamorous because we use craftspeople from the world of haute couture, particularly to do our embroidery and beading,” she says. “My inspiration is taken 100 per cent from the fashion world — I look at their techniques and colours and how they manipulate fabrics. I also look at archives and historical work, and I love Lanvin, from the Thirties, because it is innovative in its beadwork and embroidery.”
In Allen’s film, Café Society is a party destination for the rich and glamorous, people whose impeccable taste is not confined to the past and is very much in fashion today.