The Roots of Modern + Art Deco Decor in ‘Making America Modern’

Fun fact: Right after I finished college, I spent 8 weeks at grad school for interior design. In that short time, my instructors had me redo almost all my projects because I kept trying to turn them into history assignments, rather than design explorations. Needless to say, the program wasn’t the right fit (hence spending only 8 weeks in it!) but my love of history and design is still going strong today. I’m like a sponge for old photos of interiors, not only because I love to see how people lived in the past but also because they’re fantastic inspiration for decorating today! So the new book Making America Modern: Interior Design in the 1930’s is right up my alley. Not only is it a fascinating study in the hallmarks of modern and art deco decor, as well as how they came to be, but it’s also full of ideas for implementing a design style that’s very much trending today!

So many of the elements we’re seeing repeated in today’s most standout design projects have their roots in the interiors of the 1930’s. Think silhouettes like drum chairs and cube tables, finishes like burl wood and bakelite, and motifs like repeating circles and half-circles. Even much of 1980’s style, which has made a major comeback in the past couple years, actually resulted from an art deco revival in that decade. The book details the many cultural threads that came together to create the aesthetic milieu that was design int the 1930’s, along with tons of images that will have you saying, ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’ It’s a must for any design nerd’s library!

Shopping Guide: 1. Making America Modern Book 2. Round Brass Mirror 3. Swivel Drum Chair 4. Modern Landscape Illustration 5. Layered Enamel Trays 6. Brass Dome Table Lamp 7. Layered Mirror Sculpture 8. Wood Dresser with Brass Hardware