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This Art Deco inspired office nook features generous curves, warming saturated hues and graphic contrast for a space where creativity can flow.

It’s no secret that the iconic and highly memorable design movement of 20s Art Deco is having a popularity resurgence. Known for its bold hues, striking geometric patterns and simplistic but elegant forms, it’s epitomised by lively, colour-infused style and a daring to be different. Although traditional Art Deco style dictates symmetrical patterns and vertical lines it’s common for any brusque heaviness to be offset with curvaceous arches and asymmetrical detailing.

An Art Deco office nook

Art Deco moodboard

Art Deco moodboard

An Art Deco office nook

Mood board: Background in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Soothe, Resene Streetwise, Resene Yuma, Resene Merlot, Resene Sebedee and Resene Coral Tree and vase in Resene Indian Ink.  Paint: Wall in Resene Soothe, mural arch and lines in Resene Sebedee, mural circle in Resene Merlot, mural stripe (at far right) in Resene Coral Tree, other mural shapes (at left, top and bottom) in Resene Streetwise, floor in Resene Sea Fog, plant pot (with snake plant) in and tall rounded vase in Resene Soothe, tall angular vase in Resene Streetwise, plant pot in Resene Merlot, tiny vase in Resene Jaguar, desk in Resene Kilamanjaro, chairs in Resene Yuma, Resene Felix and Resene Silver Chalice, coat rack in Resene Silver Chalice and plant stand in Resene Alabaster.

The repetition of curves in this space is a major reason why it’s so visually appealing. From the featured arches on the back wall to the arched desk and the rounded clock and pendant light, these curved placements also entice your eye to move around the room in a clockwise fashion. Together, the various layered shapes on the feature wall create dimension and depth, but separately they also work to outline separate areas. The flamingo orange arch in Resene Sebedee defines the desk area within the larger space of the room. Using paint in this way is a clever strategy to implement when you need to magnify task-specific niches within open-plan living spaces. The painted circle in Resene Merlot provides the perfect perch for a clock to hang and easily draws the eye. The orange stripe below, painted in Resene Sebedee, creates the illusion of it sitting on a shelf.

Art Deco was considered glamorous, elegant, functional and modern. It was all about making a big statement – something that a feature wall such as this one achieves in spades. Traditional Art Deco colours are striking and bold with a lot of contrast. From deep yellows, reds, greens, blues and pinks mixed with silver, black and chrome, to softer beiges and creams, which are normally used in living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. But that doesn’t mean you can’t mix things up.

This study nook combines these two extremes of Art Deco colour style with the softer neutrals of Resene Sea Fog on the floorboards, Resene Soothe as the main base colour on the wall and Resene Yuma on the chair. Warmer, more saturated hues dominate the painted feature wall with Resene Streetwise (far left), Resene Sebedee (centre arch), Resene Merlot (circle) and Resene Coral Tree (far right stripe). Dark, striking contrast comes through in the desk, which is painted in dramatic Resene Kilamanjaro, as well as the small vase in Resene Indian Ink and box in Resene Streetwise.

Plants and nature were a frequently repeated motif in Art Deco design. Indoor plants can provide an injection of life into the space, as well as giving a nod to Art Deco’s past. Place them in pots or vases painted in colours from your mural to connect them back to the feature wall. For best results, pick one of your mural colours to be your ‘hero’ accent hue – in our case, Resene Streetwise – and use it in at least three places throughout your room on smaller pieces of furniture or decor. This helps the perceiver’s eye to move throughout the space, connecting the colours in their brain, so the space feels cohesive.

DIY arch table

A DIY arch table

You will need:

Step by step instructions:

  1. Start with your 120 x 40cm piece of MDF and draw a half circle at the end using the ‘pencil pin method’ to get a perfect curved shape.

  2. Using a jig saw, cut the round edge you have pencilled and sanded off edges.

  3. Measure 8cm from the edge of the curve back and make a mark.

  4. Attach the dowel with two 40mm counter-sink screws at the mark.

  5. Attach the 75 x 40cm piece of MDF to the flat edge of the tabletop with five 40mm counter sunk screws. Be sure all screws are sunk in far enough so that they will be below the surface of the wood. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe all surfaces and ensure your table is dust-free before moving on.

  6. Fill sunken screw holes with wood filler and allow to dry.

  7. Once dry, sand wood filler until surface is smooth and level then wipe with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust.

  8. Paint all surfaces of your table in Resene Quick Dry primer and allow it to dry completely before moving on.

  9. Paint your table by applying at least two topcoats of your desired colour in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel, allowing the first to dry before moving on to the second coat. For best results, allow the paint to cure completely before placing anything on your table.

Accessories: Clock from Shut the Front Door, lamp from The Warehouse, scarf from Bird and Knoll, shoes from Adidas, mug from Flo and Frankie, magazine holder and letter holder from Kmart, plants from Give Plants.


Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Project by Annick Larkin. 2021


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