Art Deco style is a style of contradictions and extremes. It is unsurprising then, to note that Art Deco architectural styles zigzag, classical and streamlined moderne were typically represented on buildings considered being within the public sphere. However, Art Deco architecture was hardly represented in the constructions on the exteriors of private residences; most art deco applications in private homes were in the interiors. Most private homes looked very traditional; colonial style house and the Tudor style homes were very popular. Particularly popular was the type of Tudor known as the “Stockbroker Tudor.” This type was aptly named because it adhered to the Art Deco manifesto of opulent luxury. The interiors of the so-called Stockbroker Tudor featured the dark paneled walls, marble floors, and ornamental flourishes throughout.
In the late 1930’s, the streamlined moderne style was a favorite choice among public buildings since it gave the subject a futuristic look. However, in applications of private homes, most homeowners tended to shy away from streamline moderne. To the average person, streamlined moderne looked too uncomfortable and unapproachable. Only the ultra hip, wealthy clients of privately commissioned designers, or architects themselves favored streamline moderne for their private residences.
However, the interiors of homes were at the mercy of the Art Deco enamored people who lived in them. Art Deco furniture, art, and household goods were indications that the influences of the public sphere invaded the private one. The American public’s fascination with ancient civilizations and all things exotic led to decors that were as eclectic as they were generous in the displaying of popular motifs. All things Egyptian, Chinese, and Moroccan fascinated popular culture and these influences found their ways into the sanctity of the American home.
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