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How to create an art deco feel with tiling

Last Updated Oct 28, 2016 · Written by Kat Tate

Some trends never go out of style, and art deco has to be one of them. Bold, dramatic, elegant and alluring, art deco ticks all the design boxes – and can be incorporated in any way and in any space you wish.

Take tiles. Without spending a fortune, you can inject the flair and pizazz of the roaring 20s and 30s – in the kitchen, bathroom, even outdoors. And if you have a fairly neutral colour scheme, a classy geometric print will add depth and intrigue.

If we’ve piqued your interest, read on for a handy guide to creating an art deco look with tiles. It’s easy, affordable, and bound to add a little suaveness to your pad.

What is art deco?

First, let’s get an understanding of what art deco actually is. There are thousands of tiles out there, so knowing exactly what to look for will help narrow your search.

Art deco is an architectural style that emerged in the 1920s and 30s. In an era punctuated by wars on either side, art deco added some much-needed vibrancy, playfulness, pizazz.

Also known as ‘style moderne’, art deco was also seen in jewellery, furniture and furnishings, fashion, and design. An abbreviation of the French phrase ‘Arts Décoratifs’, art deco signalled a new era in design – with modern lines, precise craftsmanship, and luxury materials.

It soon spread all over the world – from Europe, to the United States, Russia, Africa, Asia, even New Zealand.


Art deco in the home

There’s a lot to love about art deco in the contemporary home. It oozes a zest for life, for flair, for expression. Suave and chic, it adds a little luxury, a little glam, to any area of the home.

So what should you look for?

Holistically, art deco combines a few different elements. Strong colours, bold patterns, symmetry, as well as curves in shapes such as fans and semi-circles.

Geometric patterns are a clear hallmark of art deco design. We’re talking strong, clear masculine lines with no delicate details. Sharp angles, clear curves, and exciting contrasts – like black on white.

It’s also about gloss. Reflective surfaces like glass, metal, lacquer, and high-gloss paint and tiles reflect the light, for a ritzy, glitzy allure. Mirrors also add sheen and a little lavishness.

Symmetry is another staple of art deco design. There’s a squareness, an order, a balance to arrangements. But don’t be shy to add a little curvature too, some roundedness, to soften the symmetry.


Creating art deco perfection with tiles

Given that art deco weighs heavily on pattern, it’s no surprise that tiles are a wonderful way to capture the style. A tiler can help you choose tiles that ooze art deco chic.

Whether you opt for a hint of glitz, or go all out with a tile scheme that is quintessentially 1920s, it’s easy to make your mark.

Here’s how:

Black and white

A sleek, black and white tile arrangement is the perfect nod to art deco. And there are seemingly billions of black and white tiles you can choose from – and arrange in geometric patterns to capture the era. See in the photo below how the floor tiles combine to create a fan effect. The curves are balanced by the straight lines of the contemporary bath, sink, and vanity. While the ornate mirrors and lights look right at home in this art deco dream.


Simply square

If you like the classic black and white look, a simple square tile does the trick. It’s equally art deco and modern, and can be worked in the bathroom, kitchen, or even a hallway or living space – like this photo.


Glitz and glamour

Art deco is all about ornate elegance. Like the gold border tiles in this bathroom, curving around the walls, balancing sharp lines with a suave shimmery pattern. Mosaics are actually a brilliant idea for creating an art deco tile scheme.


Get the look

Now you’ve seen art deco tiles in action, we hope you’re inspired to create your own sophisticated space. Chat to a tiler to start your roaring 20s dream home.

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