One of the most prominent styles found in interior design in the 1930's was milk glass globe chandeliers and milk glass globe accents in lighting. While Mid-century Modern technically covers the architecture, interior design, and visual arts from 1933-1965, the Art Deco movement best defines the style of the 1930's.
The Art Deco era modernized the classical design styles and class-based social strata that dominated the late 19th-century and early 20th-century--Chippendale, Queen Anne and Victoriana were obliterated by geometric patterns, curved silhouettes, creamy pastel colors and rich jewel tones.
Original Art Deco furniture and interior architecture
Historically, this was a time marked by fluctuating economies and a downfall of the established class divide in between the wealthy and poor. With the change in prosperity came much more people being able to invest in their home design. Purchases once only available to the elite became accessible to the rest of the populace.
WWII caused hundreds of thousands of Europeans to relocate to the U.S., fusing cultures and creative ideas. Trends were also largely influenced by popular films and the now fully-fledged fashion industry.
Left: Inside of Hari's Hairdressers salon which is still decorated with original Art Deco lighting, furniture and installations. Right: A snapshot of a 1930's lobby decorated extravagantly with the Art Deco style
Decorating with Art Deco Influence
A single outstanding piece will set the tone among well-chosen colors, contrasting pillows, and a few tropical plants. Curiously, most photos of famously designed rooms include large round lamps.
Pictured here is Sketch restaurant in London, decorated with all the glamour of a 1930's parlor
The Alba chandelier merges old world 1930's Art Deco grace with more contemporary accents. The dual finish features acid black metal and satin brass--making this the perfect piece for a transitional home that doesn't want to commit to one metal palette.
Eight arms stretch from the fixture’s 23.5-inch warm brass stem. Each arm supports a milky white glass globe with an arched connection from the arm to the globe’s lamp.
Art Deco light fixtures engage guests, and serve as a conversational piece. They're particularly popular for modern dining rooms, home offices and family rooms. They typically have a low profile, so it adds space to the room.
The Lamont Pendant shown hanging in a break room designed by Jennifer Welch
Art Deco will forever be remembered and celebrated as a fusion of art, function, technology, and social value. It crossed lines of what was thought to be "tasteful" and forged new territory that eventually evolved into Modern styling as we know it. The influence continues to live on in modern design interpretations, and the teaching, philosophy, and psychology of design across the globe.