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Roar the '20s through your home

Designer Betsy Helmuth recommends making a mirror a

Designer Betsy Helmuth recommends making a mirror a focal point in a room. (Betsy Helmuth) Credit: Designer Betsy Helmuth recommends making a mirror a focal point in a room. (Betsy Helmuth)

The debut of “The Great Gatsby” in theaters last weekend has fans of the Roaring ’20s rushing to theaters to gush over the glamour of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous novel, now turned movie.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan are gorgeous, but let’s face it, we all want to bask in the glory of the era.

Our interior design experts predict the art deco décor of the jazz age will catch on like wildfire, and offered amNewYork readers some tips on how to bring the shiny, geometric style into their homes.


Lindsay Hair, an interior designer in Chelsea, said scalloped geometrics like pyramids, diamonds, and starburst were popular in the 1920s. Think of the Chrysler Building.

“Probably one of the hallmarks of art deco is the round, kind of Spanish motif,” she said. “It’s very over the top, it’s a very layered look, it would not be minimalist at all.”

A good place to incorporate the theme is in a chandelier, like those from Currey & Company, Hair said. “Definitely, you’re looking at a lot of very strong metal with crystal,” she said, “coming in with motifs that are scalloped, very textured.”

Betsy Helmuth, of Affordable Interior Design, who recently decorated a client’s room in art deco, said mirrors were often used as the focal point of a room.

“Get a big mirror or a statement mirror that has some faceting to it or some beveled geometric components,” she suggested, adding that Z Gallerie, West Elm and Ikea offer a lot of furniture that have mirrors on the doors or table tops.
Nature elements such as feathers, leaves and shells incorporated into the geometric shapes were also a popular style, both designers said.


Art deco is also all about luscious textures and gloss.

“From the leather to the satin to the finishes to the lacquer of the metal, everything was shiny, everything had a sparkle to it, so when you turn on the lights, everything has a richness and glow,” Helmuth said.

The shine and gloss displayed wealth during the ’20s time period, she explained, like what would be considered “bling” today.

However, while it may not be realistic to all-out transform the home, Helmuth and Hair both said incorporating small elements into the design of a room will be a popular trend in the coming months. Helmuth recommended using satin sheets or curtains, like those from Restoration Hardware, lots of leather, velvet and high-gloss metals.

Hair said malachite, an opaque-green coppery mineral, is a great design to go for in wallpaper or trinkets when searching for that look.

“It’s decadent, it’s luxurious, the colors are very strong, there’s a reference to marble,” she explained.

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