Guardian Building Detroit - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

One of my favorite buildings in Detroit is the Art Deco wonderland known as the Guardian Building. Its gorgeous colors, shapes and soaring murals are a feast for the eyes and a great inspiration for adding Art Deco pieces to my own home. In this second installment of Going Retro, we’ll leave behind the ornate Victorian style and move to the streamlined, yet no less elegant, Art Deco style.

After the Great War ended, art and prosperity were abundant. With advancements in technology and machinery, life was easier, and the style changed to reflect this new era. This spread quickly to home furnishings, where people moved from the cluttered knickknacks of the Victorian era and embraced a more minimalist look, achieved with plenty of metallic colors and geometric shapes.

Living Room Ideas

Though bare, neutral walls fit in with the Art Deco look, consider spicing up a wall or the entire room with more of the gorgeous Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper, or consider a border on painted walls. Go for a funky, chunky sofa or chair.

Tables are a perfect, stylish accent – you could go for a sleek rectangular coffee table, or a round end table with a modern feel. Paired with tables, rugs are a great way to add a touch of vintage feel – here’s a welcome mat reminiscent of the Paris Metro in the same gorgeous font. This colorful rug showcases the geometric shapes popular in the style.

Mirrors are an easy, affordable showcase for your style. The popular diamond shape and copper finish of this pair add sparkle to your wall. Throw pillows are another affordable, fashionable piece, and you can add even more interest on a budget with wall art. This New Yorker cover from is a perfect accompanying piece to your living room. Picasso was also a popular inspiration of the era.

Kitchen Ideas

If you’ve got a bar in the kitchen, add some Deco-inspired bar stools. Draw the eye up with a beautiful light fixture. If you’ve got a generous budget, an Art Deco backsplash can make, well, a splash. Linoleum was huge – check this out for inspiration!

This coffee tray has a great geometric pattern, reminiscent of the Chrysler Building in NYC, as do these fun potholders. Spice up your next dinner party with these bold cloth napkins (or go all out and make your own from vintage fabric!). This little soap and sponge dish from ModCloth is a charming addition.

Bathroom Ideas

An Art Deco bathroom calls to mind old Hollywood glamour. Check out Pinterest for inspiration. A sleek sink pairs perfectly with jazzy faucets. Add a beautiful mirror and some lights so you can see your glamorous self!

Fluffy towels with a subtle pattern add a luxurious spa feel, and they’ll look great on one of these towel racks. This bold shower curtain, or this more understated white one, completes the picture!

Bedroom Ideas

Here’s yet another opportunity for glamour, whether you want to live like a vintage starlet or just have a cozy, quiet oasis. Check auction sites or Craigslist for genuine antique bedroom sets made of gorgeous wood, or go for slightly more modern-feeling furniture.

For your nightstands or dressers, try this pair of sleek, simple lamps. If you’ve got hardwood floors, keep your toes warm in the mornings with this intricate wool rug. No Art Deco bedroom would be complete without a beautiful dressing table, and you can add an affordable touch with this retro-modern set of bedding.

Is your home perfect for this sleek, sophisticated style? Did I miss anything? Share in the comments below!


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