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Art Deco Inspiration from the Wiltern Theater and beyond

Art Deco, the style that first emerged in France in the earlier part of the 20th Century is back in a major way. Art Deco combines styles from around the globe (Mayan, Ancient Egyptian and Chinese influences are often very apparent) with geometric shapes, bright colors, and cubism, among other things. Over the weekend I went to a concert at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles and I tripped out at the beauty of the architecture, colors and finishes.

The Wiltern Theatre is an Art Deco landmark at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles, (thus the name Wil-tern). Surprisingly I had never been there, and while the concerts themselves that I went to see were pretty kickass (No Age and The Voidz were playing) the theater itself stole my heart. Originally built in 1931, the Wiltern was designed by architect Stiles O. Clements of Morgan, Walls & Clements, the city’s oldest architectural firm. In 1981 architect Brenda Levin restored the theater.

The colors, shapes and mood conveyed by the art on the ceiling were simply spectacular — but the water fountain, housed in that niche with the scalloped edges might just have been the most inspiring detail to me.

I’ve pulled some of the colors from the theater that I’m sure will influence my current design work :

And here are some furniture pieces that can be found on 1st Dibs that will also be inspiring future designs I’m working on for 2020. (word of caution the prices are not for the faint of heart…)

1.) sofa

2.) desk set with lamp

3.) sunburst mirror

4.) arched Rug 

5.) rectangular rug

6.) lounge chairs with Josef Frank fabric

What do you think? Have you been seeing Art Deco inspired pieces pop up lately?

Alternative Text Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

5 responses to “Art Deco Inspiration from the Wiltern Theater and beyond”

  1. Sarah says:

    Brenda Levin is my hero for restoring so many architectural gems in Los Angeles. There’s a great book on her firm’s work I got from the library a few years back. Union Station is still my all-time fave (have you seen the old Harvey Room restaurant is now a functioning bar?? Talk about colors and geometry!!), the Oviatt Building and Cicada Reataurant, the Chapman marketplace in Koreatown…all Levin. I work down the street from the Wiltern and still haven’t been. I’m hoping they offer tours!

  2. Rusty says:

    So great to see some regular new content…I’m loving it!!
    Thank you! :)
    That Art Deco is do colorful! Art Deco in Australia tends to be mostly white, not totally, but mostly, when it is part of a building. Ceramics, furniture, light fittings, etc. do have color.
    Our house has duch interesting ornate ceilings; ranging from Victorian to Federation and incuding a touch of (what was the first foray into) Art Deco ALL IN ONE. It’s so unusual, when the ceiling restorer came while we were restoring the house, he was gobsmacked at the range of bits n bobs combined into two of the ceilings (entry and formal living room).
    I later found out that the house wss ‘special’ when it was builf and likely that the builder used things he’d collected over the years and put them into this house.
    It IS unique. An Australian Craftsman, Spanish ingluence (rare here, unlike in the USA) with no additions apart from a menagerie of various outbuildings and we’re only the 3rd owners!
    Gee, does it dound like we’re chuffed to be the current custodians of this little gem?! Lovin’ it!

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  4. State of art in so many ways. I absolutely love how all colors and patterns are interconnected. Endless inspiration!

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