Archives for category: Art Deco

Give your workspace some love with metallic and pastel-hued office accessories.


Beautiful, luxe deco-style packaging – and killer cheekbones – with Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Sculpt and Bronze.


Nouveau riche unleashed with Charlotte Tilbury’s Bar of Gold.


Glam Vintage Lash Designer mascara by Art Deco. Metallic silver packaging with pinstripes: classic and stylish for a more subdued Deco-look product.


Sleek black packaging but the Deco’s on the inside. Aztec-embossed Stila All Day 3D Wet-to-Set Eyeshadow in Daybreak. A sophisticated trio of shades perfect for re-creating the 20s look.


Velvet Rope lipstick in Bratpack by Lipstick Queen. An embossed scarlet lipstick encased in gold. The case is reminiscent of a New York City skyscraper, with the added touch of a square stand on the inner tube, placing the lipstick on a plinth. Unabashed glamour.

The Art Deco Imperial Hotel in Prague was built between 1913 and 1914 by architect Jaroslav Benedikt. The hotel became very popular until German soldiers also took a liking to it during WW2. After the War, however, it regained its popularity amongst nationals and tourists.

As well as Art Deco, The Imperial has Art Nouveau elements inside, which is synonymous with Prague, for example, mosaic work in the entry. Whilst the entrance is rather beautiful, the same cannot be said for the exterior of the building, which is very grey and dare I say it, a bit ugly. It is, however, a listed building, thanks to its age and history. The hotel was recently restored six years ago and remains true to its heritage.

The lobby and hallways are quite decadent, and have decorative touches, such as gold edging on wall corners, and harlequin mirrors. The hotel boasts high ceilings and heavy wooden doors, which look fantastic, but in reality were irritating when other guests let them go, causing a noisy bang.

I slept in the Deluxe Room (cheapest option) which was very relaxing and quite elegant. The bed was grand and comfortable, with giant pillows. I particularly liked the Deco furniture and the art work. There was perhaps a little too much gilt, but overall it worked well with the style.

The bathroom was lovely but had an issue: the bath, whilst huge and comfortable (it had a built-in bath pillow), was very high and climbing in and out of it to use the adjoined shower was quite perilous at times, especially as I slipped once on the way out.

Staff were friendly and polite, although I didn’t require a lot of help, other than to inquire about the bus back to the airport. I didn’t eat in the restaurant, although I wish I had; the food I ate in other establishments was less than satisfactory.

Overall I enjoyed my stay and would return were I to visit Prague in future. For a five-star hotel, however, I would have liked some more complementary items, such as free mineral water, in-room wi-fi (the hotel lists free wi-fi, but there is no free wi-fi access in your room), a larger selection of tea and coffee options, and a re-labelling of their television channels (some of the few English-speaking channels were missing).

Despite this, the hotel is good value for money and in a decent location. It was generally quiet (I stayed during the week) and I slept very well. The room was relaxing and comfortable, as well as stylish, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a base to explore Prague.

NB Be aware that hotels in Prague require you to pay a tax to the city (about £4) when checking out, on top of your bill.

-Books from Amazon
-Fur coat from Debenhams
-Make-up bag from ASOS
-Mascara from Space NK
-Notebook from Smythson
-Lipstick and Mac Palette from House of Fraser
-Body oil and Bobbi Brown make-up from John Lewis

In a post a few weeks ago entitled Tableau Books, I mentioned compiling a post on Art Deco titles. Here are a few that I have selected, complete with images from the books themselves.

Art Deco: 1910-1939 (V&A) (ed. Charlotte Benton et al)
Art Deco was inspired by many things, including Mayan and Aztec temples, ancient Egypt, Japanese lacquerwork, and Native American and Navajo culture. It was also influenced by more recent styles such as Dutch and German Expressionism.

This is a large and comprehensive title of over 400 pages, published by the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is both text and image heavy, and features chapters on Egyptomania; European Glass; British Art Deco Ceramics; Art Deco Jewellery; Art Deco and Hollywood Film; and Art Deco in South Africa, to name but a few. I would recommend this to anyone with a love of all things Deco, in particular those who are also interested in social history. You may need to pick this up second hand as I believe it is no longer in print.

Art Deco Architecture by Patricia Bayer
One of two books I own on Deco by Patricia Bayer. The first focuses on architecture, and covers everything from offices, factories, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, shops and even churches. It features Deco architecture from all over the globe, from the streamlined modernism of the Bauhaus (1926) school in Dessau to the highly-embellished opulence of the Radiator Building (1924) in New York City.

Art Deco architecture first appeared in France, closely followed by the United States, where Manhattan became home to the two most famous Deco structures in the world: the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, built in 1930 and 1931 respectively. The author describes Art Deco architecture as ‘an architecture of ornament, geometry, energy, retrospection, optimism, colour, texture, light and at times symbolism.’

Art Deco Interiors by Patricia Bayer
For some people, their interest in Art Deco does not extend beyond architecture. I am not one of these people. Be it furniture, lightning, bathtubs or fireplaces, Deco interior design holds as strong an interest as the exteriors.

Art Deco design was like nothing seen before, which must have been very exciting. It radiates glamour and elegance: opulent design, a unique and vibrant colour palette, decorative motifs, shiny metals. Some of the interiors look futuristic even now, almost 100 years later.

This book is full of photographs old and new, with a decent amount of background information. Featuring interiors from homes, offices, public transport, hotel lobbies and film sets, it provides a detailed history of the Art Deco interior style. It offers both a look in to the past and inspiration for your own home.

Asmara: The Frozen City by Stefan Boness
I suppose when we think of cities associated with Art Deco, London, New York and Miami come to mind, closely followed by Chicago and Detroit. Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, isn’t exactly the first.

Asmara: The Frozen City is a small hardback book featuring photographs of exterior and interior architecture. Many of the buildings in the city are distinctively Deco but with an Italian flair. They were built at huge expense between 1934 and 1940 by Italian architects, led by Mussolini. The city has remained untouched since then, hence the book’s title.

Not all of the area is Deco, but it is certainly Modernist with Futurist influences (this was after all an Italian operation). Whilst not yet a UNESCO site, Asmara has been under a preservation order since 2001.

Miami Beach Deco by Steven Brooke
Another small hardback book featuring photographs of the iconic ice-white stuccoed buildings of Miami Beach, adorned with pastel embellishments. Notable architects were Henry Hohauser, L. Murray Dixon, Anton Skislewicz and Albert Anis.

The Deco buildings in Miami had fallen in to disrepair by the 1970s and it took a pioneering lady named Barbara Capitman to save them. Her campaign led to the beginning of the Miami Beach Architectural Historical District, which seeks to preserve the area and provide information to the public. Miami is also home to the oldest Art Deco Society in the world, founded in 1976.


This half moon lamp is – believe it or not – from Marks and Spencer. I bought two (one for each bedside table) in 2011 but they have since re-appeared on the M&S website. They are very sturdy, well-made lamps (chromed steel) and give a warm glow, which is bright enough to read at night but not blindingly so. They come in both table and ceiling form.


The black lacquer jewellery box was a Christmas present a couple of years ago. It was from the shop Past Times, which sadly fell into administration earlier in the year. Past Times had an art deco section both in store and on their website, so it’s a shame they went out the game.

It’s a fairly large box, with two layers and different sized compartments inside. I especially like the geometric metal clasp on the front.

My boyfriend bought me the notebook for my birthday a couple of years back. It is by Paperblanks, and the cover features an imprint of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first page draft of The Great Gatsby, in gold ink. I haven’t used it yet but when I do, I’ll make sure it’s for something worthwhile (ie not shopping lists).

Until I have the space for a cocktail cabinet or a bar cart, I make do with a bar in a cupboard. It might not be the most glamorous option but it’s a lot more fun than out of date tins.




Bar ware: Champagne saucers; Martini glasses; Luminarc Octime tumblers; copper-coloured mirror tray; Egyptian-inspired green and gold glass, which holds bar tools; Boston shaker.

Bottles seen in shot: Hendrick’s Gin; Steenberg’s Rose Water; Monin Violet Syrup.

NB I have owned most of these things for a long time, which is why I have omitted the stores I purchased them from. I hope the photograph(s) provides some inspiration.

The following collection is a series of art cards depicting dreams, be it personal longings, aspirations from another era, or images with an otherworldly or ethereal quality.

{Design by Maurice Beck. Purchased from Alba, Oban}

A very deco card, showing a poster for the Flying Scotsman’s Cocktail Bar through the 20s and 30s. This is such a great image – dark and mysterious, and I love the design and typography. I reckon this ad would have worked on me.

{Photographer unknown. Purchased at M&S}

Driving Route 66 – and the Pacific Coast Highway – is on my bucket list. I am very drawn to the American road trip ideal (perhaps not the Hunter S. Thompson version): stopping at diners, random roadside attractions and seeing the ‘real’ America.

{Angi Sullins and Silas Toball. Purchased from Nirvana, South Ayrshire}

I find this image rather mystical, spiritual even. I am enamoured with the moon and could stare at it for hours.

I wonder what the cat is wishing for…

The accompanying envelope; it’s lovely when the envelope is just as beautiful as the card.

{Design by Flora McLachlan. Purchased at The Art Shop}

A ghostly fox in a shadowy forest, this brooding and atmospheric drawing is entitled ‘Moon Wood’.

{Photographer – Arthur George. Purchased from Waterstones}

One of my favourites – a photograph of Dreamland Cinema in Margate, built in 1935 by architects Iles Leathart & Grange.

Dreamland opened in 1921 and was an homage to American amusement parks such as Coney Island in Brooklyn. It spanned 16 acres and featured a zoo, miniature railway, and a 2000-capacity ballroom.

In more recent years Dreamland has not fared well, and a campaign called Save Dreamland was set up in 2003. The Dreamland Trust hopes to restore the interior of the cinema in the near future.

{Photograph by Paula Saving}

I can’t see how anyone could fail to be moved by a New York fairy tale winter scene, especially one in black and white (and green glitter on the trees). This card was part of a pack of Christmas cards I gave out a couple of years ago but I kept one as I liked them so much. It was a wish of mine for a long time to visit New York City, and it finally came true in April of this year. I had an amazing time and would go back in a second.

Brooklands: The Birthplace of British Motorsport and Aviation


Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, Surrey, encompasses various aviation and motoring exhibits, including a London Bus Museum.

It is probably best known for motor racing and features the first purpose-built motor racing circuit in the world, holding its first official race in July 1907. Unfortunately, the First World War put a stop to racing in 1914. After the war racing re-commenced but was halted yet again due to WW2. The last ever race was held in August 1939.

I have chosen to focus more on the aviation side of the Museum, in particular Concorde.

Brooklands designed, constructed and tested aircraft from the early 1900s and from 1910 was a training centre for pilots. The art deco ‘Aero Clubhouse’, designed by airport architect Graham Dawbarn, opened in 1932 (sadly I did not photograph this). In 1986 Brooklands closed its aviation factory.

{Delta Golf, with the Sultan of Oman’s VC-10 from the 1970s in the background}


Concorde G-BBDG (Delta Golf) 1974
-Only 20 Concorde planes were made, mainly flown by British Airways and Air France. Flights between London or Paris and New York (primary routes) took less than half the time of a regular jet.

-Delta Golf was the first aircraft in the world to fly 100 people at Mach 2 – twice the speed of sound at 1350 mph (2150 kph).

-The windows are very small – this was for safety reasons. Once in the air, the aluminium fuselage expanded by eight inches in length, so you may have found that your window had moved after take-off!

-The Flight Deck, fuselage sections and the tailfin of every Concorde were manufactured at Brooklands.

-Concorde ended flights in 2003 after nearly 27 years of commercial service. This was mainly due to costs.

Being on Concorde wasn’t nearly as glamorous as I had envisioned. It isn’t very spacious inside and compared to images of first class seating – or cabins even – for airlines nowadays such as Emirates, the interior was rather plain.

{Bedroom inside the Sultan’s VC-10. I think the teddy was part of a treasure hunt at the Museum}

{Seating area inside VC-10}

{An aubergine-coloured Mercedes, which appealed to me. Not sure if it belongs to the Museum but it was parked up in the grounds}

Entry to Brooklands Museum costs £10 for an adult. Tickets for Concorde are an additional £4
The Museum is open daily from 10am