In celebration of Art Deco style and Chinoiserie design

In celebration of Art Deco style and Chinoiserie design

Glamorous, luxurious, joyful and exuberant all go some way to summing up Art Deco style - one of our passions here at Wendy Morrison Design and a style we feel a great deal of connection with.

Characterised by rich colour, decadent detail and bold geometric pattern, Art Deco is synonymous with glamour, style and symmetrical order. All elements that work wonderfully well in interiors!

This style of visual arts and design originated in France in the 1910s, but really began to gain momentum after the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925. This exhibition gave Art Deco its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, and a global movement was born – one that still resonates with designers today.

We have a wonderful new Plumage green and gold colourway coming soon, which perfect fit into an art deco vibe

How the Art Deco movement grew in popularity

Art Deco developed a dedicated following in Europe and the United States in the 1920s and 30s, with a far-reaching influence on everything from fashion and jewellery to furniture and buildings. A modern style that introduced artistic flourishes to simple, everyday objects, the Art Deco era summed up the optimism and excitement of the 1920s and offered a sense of escapism during the harsh 1930s.

This idea of beauty in everyday objects still feels vital, combining modern design with craftsmanship and quality materials. There is an exuberance to Art Deco style that is also at the heart of our designs - a sense of joy to be found in our surroundings every day.
Chinoiserie, an equally exuberant style of decoration and another of our great loves and sources of inspiration, made a huge comeback in popularity during the Art Deco period of the 1930s too.

Coming soon, our beautiful Chinese Garden of Virtue runner.

The form and function of geometric shape

In keeping with its modern, often futuristic, outlook, Art Deco style plays with bold vertical lines and geometric shapes, including circles, squares, rectangles, arcs and triangles in repeat patterns. Sweeping curves, zigzags, chevron patterns, stepped shapes, sunbursts, which represent a new, modern age, and stylised wildlife all have their place within Art Deco design.

Our newest addition to the Wendy Morrison family, Vogue Deco, incorporates bold rectangular shapes with stylised cranes and floral blooms. The pinks, greens and golds exude glamour and luxury. Rainbow rug Arc en Ciel features a much bolder colour palette, but takes inspiration from Art Deco in the repeat ribbons of bright colour swirling across this design.

Plumage continues the idea of a repeat pattern with more rounded shapes in a design of semi-circles, one on top of another, reminiscent of the layered feathers of a peacock and equally hypnotic. We have a wonderful new Plumage green and gold colourway coming soon, which further enhances the Art Deco vibe.

Vogue Deco incorporates bold rectangular shapes with stylised cranes and floral blooms.

Introducing zigzags and herringbone

The wonderful zigzags of the herringbone pattern teamed with bright, bold colours of Herringbone Florals gives a nod to the statement rugs created by renowned American rug designer Walter Nichols during the Art Deco era. Bold blocks of colour ground the pattern, while gold-etched florals add a glorious touch of glamour.

Similarly, Shanghai Blossom features a multi-colour bold herringbone design with shimmering gold highlights in chrysanthemums, lotus flowers and peony roses. Sunburst brings to mind classic Art Deco imagery with her luxurious gold sun radiating golden shards skywards; warm neutral tones combine with dramatic gold details in a design bursting with life, vigour and vitality.

Sunburst with our Eternal Toile wallpaper and Eternal Toile hand-embroidered cushion

The influence of the natural world

Bold and beautiful stylised wildlife is a recognised Art Deco theme. A great source of inspiration for Wendy, the natural world sits at the heart of many of her designs. The mythical phoenix, the peacock, cranes, and exotic birds and wildlife all frequently take centre stage.

The peacock, representing re-growth, rejuvenation, honour and integrity, is also a symbol of love and beauty. Peacock Tree shows this dazzling bird in all its glory, with golden-green and aqua blue adding to her sense of luxury. Equally eye catching, Leopard Gold features the exotic big cat in gorgeous neutrals and golds, pacing through butterflies and foliage; simple, bold and beautiful.

Eternity combines soaring cranes, beautiful blooms and elements from the natural world in a vibrant show of pink, gold, aqua, purple and green. The delicate details also nod to Chinoiserie style, which made a resurgence during the Art Deco period. Cranes in Trees tells a dramatic story of longevity in bold red, gold and black.

Phoenix incorporates bold shapes and bright, jewel-like colours in a design inspired by the intricate art of Japanese embroidery. Sumptuous, dramatic and luxurious, this unique design has Art Deco philosophies at her heart.

Jardin de Orient in pink and gold combines striking gold floral silhouettes paired with bright, beautiful birds. The intricate gold frame which acts as a border adds a traditional Chinoiserie twist, combining two of Wendy’s favourite things in an elegant design with exquisite, luxurious details.

Jardin de Orient Pink & Gold sitting in harmony with our Mandela wallpaper. We love the pop of colour that the chair brings, tying in beautifully the birdie details from the rug and the wallpaper

Art Deco boosts popularity of Chinoiserie

Widespread in the 17th and 18th centuries before falling out of favour, Chinoiserie enjoyed a resurgence in popularity during the Art Deco period of the 1930s. Sharing a love of colour, glamour and striking design, it’s not hard to see why the renewed interest came about.

One of our favourite designs to take inspiration from the art of Chinoiserie is our beautiful Chinese Garden of Virtue, which gives a fresh twist to the lush garden scenery popular in this style.
Both Art Deco and Chinoiserie exude glamour, luxury and beauty, which is why these styles continue to inspire fresh, vibrant, new design today.

Back to Journal