Art Deco or Arts and Crafts? How to make the most out of your period property
PUBLISHED: 14:27 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:27 25 January 2019
Whatever style it is, a period property can make a wonderful home – but how do you honour the fashion of times past?
“Fashion and styles come and go and the Art Deco style, also called style modern movement, was just that,” says Tim Stephens of Humberts. “Restoring and refurbishing in Art Deco style today for your own use is admirable and can be exciting; but as a developer, it’s possibly a gamble as the style does not appeal to everyone.
“The fashion originated in the 1920s and developed into a major style in western Europe and the United States during the 1930s. The movement revolved around strong geometric shapes, bold colours and strong contrasts. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress. It was not just for the elite. By the 1930s, mass production meant that everyone could live in the deco style.
“Travel became popular. African safaris were all the rage and animal skins, ivory, mother of pearl, and tortoiseshell began to appear in the home. After Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered, Egyptian pyramids and sphinxes adorned everything.
“Styles included chrome, glass, shiny fabrics, mirrors and mirror tiles; stylised images included aeroplanes, cars, cruise liners, skyscrapers and included motifs such as shells, sunrises and flowers. There is always a theatrical emphasis – highly polished wood and glossy black lacquer mixed with satin and furs.
“Taking a step back to the Art Deco era is nostalgic; taking the same concept forward and adopting now the same principles of luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress can be seen in six new houses proposed at Octagon Park in Little Plumstead. Here, boldness, light and cheap to run, are the mantras and fashion of tomorrow.”
The Arts and Crafts movement, which was popular in the mid-19th Century, was all about individuality – and it’s one which is also gaining favour today.
William Mullan, of Strutt and Parker, explains: “The Arts and Crafts movement embraced architecture as a way to revive craftsmanship and individuality. With a design ethos that embraces locally-sourced goods and long lasting solid construction, it’s no wonder that Arts and Crafts homes are becoming more fashionable than ever – especially those requiring updating. The Arts and Crafts style often combine the charm of a traditional country cottage with the size and proportions of a more generous property creating an opportunity to improve and create a wonderful family home whilst retaining the character and features of the Arts and Crafts movement.
“When looking looking to restore or renovate an Arts and Crafts style house it is very important to consider the benefits and opportunities as well as the challenges and obstacles:
“The layout – some modern buyers might find the rooms on the smaller side, however, this might create an opportunity to expand rooms and create a more ‘open plan’ feel.
“Light – with smaller windows and overhanging roofs, the interiors can be on the darker side but this might present an opportunity to expand the windows and create a lighter feel.
“Listed properties – many of the best examples are listed, so if you’re planning any work or repairs you’ll have to do so in the original style and as Arts and Crafts home were built using traditional methods, this could be costly.
“Features of the Arts and Crafts period – when renovating an Arts and Crafts style house it is vital to retain as much character as possible like original fireplaces, exposed beams and other interiors of this style such as original wall paper etc.
“Arts & Crafts style houses often engender good interest and can be a fantastic opportunity to create a wonderful family home. If you are considering selling please feel free to call Strutt and Parker on 01603 617431.”