The style owes its name to the first major exhibition of decorative arts to be held after World War I: L’Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925. The stands and pavilons at this event were dominated by the work of interior designers, among which the most famous were Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann and the couturier Paul Poiret. The supreme elegance of the custom-made interiors at the event set an example for interior designers all over the world. Inspired by these innovative aesthetic ideas, artists, designers, craftsmen, rug weavers and manufacturers from across Europe and America produced a wide range of modern pioneering patterns that delivered a dramatic change of style to furnishings in general, and early 20th century rugs and carpets in particular. The excellent public to the elegance of the custom-made interiors at the expo paved the way for interior designers to follow suit.
Aside from interior designers, other craftsmen, artists, and manufacturers all over Europe and America began to incorporate the innovative aesthetic ideas of Art Deco in their works. At this time, dramatic changes in styles and patterns began to appear in furnishings and other decorative products. While the fad died a natural death in the 1940s, it came bouncing back in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. This modern art style is captivating because of its combination of versatility, luxury, function and cacophony of colors.
The aim of the new generation of interior designers was to create a new, purely French style, rooted in the classical tradition. New life was infused into this traditional repertoire, combining trelliswork and chequered patterning with a fresh approach to drawing floral motifs, including the so-called tightly budded „Cubist” rose. The pastel shades and undulating curves characteristic for Art Nouveau were abandoned in favor of brightly colored floral patterns and medallion compositions, frequently in the new form of wreaths and floral swags, posies and baskets, motifs that have been used in carpet patterns for centuries.
Today, Deco rugs are highly sought after by designers. The patterns and palette of art deco rugs complement a wide variety of 20th century furniture and decorative objects. This style is characterized by streamlined artwork such as clean lines and curves as well as bright colors, as opposed to the traditional intricate lines, ornate curves, and dark colors of the past.