Designer Desire: Tamara de Lempicka

Mosaic of Tamara de Lempicka artworks | H is for Home

Tamara de Lempicka has been a favourite artist of ours for years. Her work isn’t from our usual era – mid century modern – it’s straight out of the Art Deco and Jazz age.

de Lempicka’s work depicts her glamorous life and that of the time in which she lived. She came from a wealthy Polish family and lived a bohemian life, socialising with aristocrats and Hollywood film stars. She married a baron, had affairs with both men and women and travelled extensively, fleeing the Russian Revolution and then World War II.

Her painting style developed and changed throughout her career however, it’s her work from the 20s & 30s that’s our favourite. Portraits of fashionable flappers, open-topped sports cars, cubist skyscrapers. Her execution of  fabric – the folds, the ruffles, the shadows – is outstanding!

A range of affordable prints and other decorative objects using her artworks  can be found online. There are also lots of books about her paintings and her long and fascinating life.

Tamara de Lempicka painting a portrait of her first husband Tadeusz Lempicki, c.1928credit

Additional image credits:

Pinterest | Wikiart

Art Deco tea set

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chrome Art Deco tea set with black bakelite handles & knobs comprises tea pot, hot water pot, milk jug and sugar bowl

We don’t often pick up Art Deco, but we liked the square, modernist form of this tea set – the four pieces are like a group of 1930s skyscrapers.

chrome Art Deco tea set with black bakelite handles & knobs comprises tea pot, hot water pot, milk jug and sugar bowl

The architectural reference doesn’t end there – the black Bakelite edge detailing is also very pillar-like…

chrome Art Deco tea set with black bakelite handles & knobs comprises tea pot, hot water pot, milk jug and sugar bowl

…and after a bit of elbow grease the dull metal finish was transformed into the shiny, reflective, window-like chrome.

Deco Chair

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Different views of an antique art deco armchair

We don’t pick up much Art Deco stuff, but couldn’t resist this little reading/smoking Deco chair when we saw it at auction recently. As we often say, the era doesn’t matter as long as the design or vintage appeal is there.

It’s such a great shape to start with – classic Art Deco. Made from oak with leatherette to the back – it has various shelves & compartments to the sides for reading glasses, magazines, drinks, cigarettes, pipe etc. It’s in lovely original condition and even retains its original green Bakelite ashtray. It came with the Welsh wool seat cushion – this didn’t start life with the chair, but we like the mix of period styles and think they look great together.

We’ve just listed it on eBay if you like it too.

Take a seat!

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vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

We’re super-pleased with this purchase we made on Thursday. We’ve been on the hunt for a club chair for some time…

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

…then not only did we get a club chair, we got two club chairs… and a matching 2-seater sofa!!

It’s an original 1930s Art Deco suite, re-upholstered in the 1960s in a tan leatherette. Fantastic shape, comfortable with lovely stud detailing.

And a little extra… the lady who sold it says it was re-covered in the same leatherette as was used for Concorde. We’re trying to track down some old photos from the plane or Concorde airport lounge interior.

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

Fudge approves – and has made himself very much at home!

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

It’s found a home in our top floor bedroom/lounge. We spent the entire day re-arranging everything to accommodate it.

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

It was worth it though… there’ll be many books read in these chairs…  cups of tea /glasses of wine drunk, crackling fires watched.  We love it already!