What is Art Deco?

Art Deco, a captivating art style that emerged in France on the cusp of World War I, transcended traditional boundaries and left an indelible mark on the visual arts, architecture, and design. Its influence permeated every facet of life, from the sleek lines of furniture to the exquisite craftsmanship of jewellery.

As this artistic movement crossed the Atlantic and captivated America in the early 1920s, it became synonymous with the vibrant spirit of the roaring twenties. The opulence and grandeur of Art Deco resonated with the era’s exuberance, embodying a sense of sophistication and celebration. However, with the onset of the economic depression in the early 1930s, the style gradually evolved into a more pragmatic and streamlined form, adapting to the changing times while retaining its distinct allure.

Rooted in the organic evolution of the Art Nouveau style, Art Deco shares many similarities with its predecessor. Both styles exhibit a penchant for rich ornamentation and intricate detailing. However, where Art Nouveau embraced flowing, natural curves, Art Deco boldly embraces strong geometric patterns and bold lines, creating a sense of dynamism and precision.

The evolution of Art Deco is evident in its material choices. Early manifestations often showcased the opulence of gold and silver, reflecting the prevailing taste for luxury. Later iterations, in response to shifting social and economic landscapes, adopted a more subdued palette with the prominent use of steel, chrome, and plastic. This shift marked a turning point in the history of architecture, laying the foundation for modernist principles and forging a new era of design.

Known for its bold geometric shapes, symmetrical lines, and ornate details, Art Deco represents a fusion of modernity and luxury. Among the remarkable architectural exemplars of this iconic style stands Du Cane Court, an exceptional residential building in Balham, London. Built in the 1930s, Du Cane Court showcases the quintessential elements of Art Deco, from its symmetrical façade adorned with geometric motifs to the elegant use of materials such as brick, metal, and glass. With its impressive scale, meticulous attention to detail, and a wealth of original features, Du Cane Court stands as a testament to the grandeur and enduring appeal of Art Deco architecture. It is an architectural gem that captures the spirit of an era and continues to mesmerise admirers with its timeless beauty.

Join us on a captivating journey through time as we delve into the world of Art Deco. Explore its intricate details, marvel at its geometric symphony, and uncover the echoes of a bygone era that still resonate in our modern aesthetic sensibilities. Step into the allure of Art Deco, where elegance, influence, and modernity converge in a symphony of artistry and craftsmanship.

Unveiling Mumbai’s Timeless Art Deco Treasures: Exploring the City’s UNESCO-Recognised Architectural Delights

Top 7 Art Deco Buildings in Mumbai: A Fascinating Journey into Architectural Elegance!

Delve into the architectural splendours of Mumbai, a city renowned for its vibrant cultural tapestry and captivating landmarks. Among its many architectural gems, Mumbai boasts a remarkable collection of Art Deco buildings, which have earned the city a prestigious UNESCO World Heritage status. Embark on a journey through time as we uncover the top seven Art Deco marvels that grace the city’s skyline, each bearing witness to Mumbai’s rich history and architectural grandeur.

The Eros Cinema: A Glamorous Silver Screen Icon

Step into the golden age of cinema at the iconic Eros Cinema, an Art Deco masterpiece that has entertained Mumbaikars for decades. With its graceful curves, geometric patterns, and a stunning marquee, the Eros Cinema stands as a testament to the city’s cinematic heritage.

Regal Theatre: Where History Meets Entertainment

Immerse yourself in the timeless elegance of the Regal Theatre, a cultural landmark that has hosted countless captivating performances and film screenings since its inception in the 1930s. Adorned with striking motifs and intricate carvings, this Art Deco gem continues to mesmerise visitors with its grandeur.

Rajabai Clock Tower: A Timeless Symbol of Knowledge

Marvel at the majestic Rajabai Clock Tower, an architectural marvel that adorns the University of Mumbai campus. The tower’s blend of Gothic and Art Deco elements creates a captivating juxtaposition, while its iconic clock chimes echo through the bustling streets, marking the passage of time.

Metro Cinema: A Glittering Artistic Haven

Discover the allure of Metro Cinema, a captivating Art Deco theatre that has enthralled audiences since the 1930s. Its ornate façade, embellished with geometric patterns and intricate detailing, sets the stage for a truly immersive cinematic experience.

Empress Court: A Residential Gem of Art Deco Splendour

Explore the opulent charm of Empress Court, a residential building that epitomizes the Art Deco style in Mumbai. Its symmetrical façade, elegant balconies, and decorative elements evoke a sense of timeless beauty and sophistication.

New Empire Cinema: Preserving Artistic Heritage

Step into the New Empire Cinema, a cherished Art Deco landmark that has witnessed the evolution of Mumbai’s film industry. With its distinctive marquee, sleek lines, and ornamental features, this cinema stands as a tribute to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

The Royal Bombay Yacht Club: Nautical Grandeur on the Arabian Sea

Indulge in the maritime elegance of The Royal Bombay Yacht Club, an exquisite Art Deco structure nestled on the shores of the Arabian Sea. Its graceful arches, porthole windows, and nautical motifs transport visitors to a bygone era of opulence and seafaring allure.


As you wander through Mumbai’s bustling streets, take a moment to appreciate the city’s extraordinary Art Deco architecture. From cinemas to residential buildings and cultural landmarks, these seven marvels offer a glimpse into the city’s architectural legacy. Embark on a journey that celebrates Mumbai’s UNESCO-recognised Art Deco treasures, each one bearing witness to the city’s rich history and artistic spirit.

Stunning Art Deco Interiors of Eltham Palace

Whilst the original palace was given to Edward II in 1305 by the Bishop of Durham, and used as a royal residence from the 14th to the 16th century, Eltham Palace is better known now for it’s most recent owners part of the Courtauld textile family.
In 1933, Stephen Courtauld and his wife Virginia Courtauld acquired the lease of the palace site and restored the Great Hall. They also did some modernising by building an elaborate new home which they decorated internally in the Art Deco style. The dramatic Entrance Hall was created by the Swedish designer Rolf Engströmer.



All a sharp contrast to the medieval hall.


The palace and its garden are open to the public and can be hired for weddings and other functions.

Amazing Examples of Art Deco in South Beach Miami

It’s August and it’s hot so one can’t help but think of sunnier climes and beaches. Art Deco enclaves around the world like Miami Beach and South Beach and Fort Lauderdale mean if you are interested in Art Deco you can incorporate your love of architecture with a holiday.

Now imagine if Du Cane Court had been built in South Beach Miami! Not only would there be more likelihood of every flat having a balcony but there is a possibility that instead of brick there would be painted plasterwork.

Imagine if they had painted Du Cane this colour! It would definitely be a tourist attraction.

Or maybe some peach eyelids over the windows on Du Cane Court would add interest?

more below…

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Peach and jade green were definitely in vogue during the Art Deco heydays.


Maybe something a little more cavalier…

Or a subtle neon signage with pastel painted background over the reception at Du Cane Court would be more your style? Like the Breakwater.

See the Delano below…

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Du Cane Court is definitely as imposing as the Delano but now the bar has gone and the restaurant it’s not quite so chic.

Du Cane is probably more suited to some subtle marble than the neon of the signage.

A lemon sorbet DCC would be seen from miles around and possibly glow in the dark!

More below…

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Not as vibrant as the Waldorf Towers though in bright orange.

What’s your favourite South Beach / Miami inspiration for a Du Cane Court makeover? Answers on a postcard…





Beautiful Examples Of Art Deco In London

Okay so it’s not always about Du Cane Court. If you love DCC it’s likely you have a liking for other Art Deco gems around the world. Here are some great shots of Art Deco London.

Bloomsbury in London

Senate House in Bloomsbury London’s first sky scraper.

London N1

More below…

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Hamilton Court in Maida Vale

Gillette Corner now more know for Sky and Tesco…

Marsham Court

Another in Bloomsbury, now a Byron burger restaurant on Store Street


Coram Street imposing art deco edifice.

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Fitzrovia on New Cavendish Street often missed because of the pub beneath.

North of Fitzrovia near The Regents Park is the Melià White House Hotel

Even Leicester Square has some hidden gems

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The Most Beautiful McDonald’s in the World is in Australia

The Most Beautiful McDonald’s in the World is in Australia

This Art Deco Gem is now a McDonald’s and is in Clifton Hill, Melbourne, Australia and “We’re Lovin’ It’


The McDonald’s restaurant in Clifton Hill, Melbourne is quite possibly the most beautiful McDonald’s in the world. I’m not sure but perhaps we should have a poll? It’s certainly better than the Maccas on Balham High Road within walking distance of Du Cane Court anyway!

Read more below…

Even at night it looks amazing although a little garish with the McDonalds signage.

McDonalds, Clifton Hill

It has bands of different coloured bricks providing art deco style decoration on the ground floor. Check out some of these amazing pictures detailing the central stepped fin and curved wings with deep rounded balconies almost like Miami Beach and South Beach architecture of the time (which makes sense when you consider the climate). The windows overlooking the balconies are also curved.

McDonalds, Clifton Hill

Originally the building was quite fittingly for this website, the United Kingdom Hotel, located at 199 Queens Parade and designed by James Hastie Wardrop and constructed between 1937 and 1938.

Clifton Hill McDonalds

It’s even approved by the Hufffington Post who call it one of the coolest McDonalds in their list!

Read more and check out their pictures of other cool McDonalds at Huffington Post.

McDonalds - Clifton Hill





Don’t live in Beautiful Art Deco Du Cane Court but want to see inside?

The wonders of technology and social media mean many of the residents of Du Cane Court have shared pictures of the inside of this stunning 1930’s building on Balham High Road in South London.

From the wonders of the balustrades to the original art deco features.



Even the utilitarian stairwells have some lovely touches and flourishes.


And why do so many people want to live here? Well, the views and sunsets are unrivalled in south London.

This ladies, gentlemen and those not defined by gender is why so many people want to live in this amazing art deco block of flats in south London.




A brief History of Du Cane Court

It has featured in property programmes on television; and has benefited from a wide compass of residents and visitors, who, in the fullness of time, have spread the news about what it is like to live there.
The building was erected between 1935 and 1938, and has pleasing curves and metal window-frames, similar to those designed by Walter Crittall to replace the wooden sash variety, – although the old frames are now being slowly replaced. The design also included a stylish restaurant, a bar, and a club with extensive facilities. Originally, there were also plans for squash courts and a children’s crèche area, as well as roof gardens. Indeed, people remember sunbathing on the roof. The building has changed a lot over the years, but it still has a beautiful foyer and attractive Japanese gardens, landscaped by Seyemon Kusumoto; and, at the time of its completion, it had the distinction of being probably the largest block of privately-owned flats under one roof in Europe. All of the companies involved in its construction were researched for the book, and an account is given as to how this edifice – encompassing around 676 flats – reflected a period of architectural history.
Read more at Time & Leisure or the expanded History of Du Cane Court here.

Big in Balham

Inside Du Cane Court, an art deco gem in London’s Balham and the property manager who keeps the iconic 1930’s block running smoothly in the modern world.

The article on Flat-Living.co.uk titled “Big in Balham” provides an insightful overview of the Balham area in London. It highlights the neighbourhood’s popularity and desirability among residents and visitors alike. Balham is praised for its excellent transport links, making it easily accessible to central London and other parts of the city. The article emphasises the area’s vibrant atmosphere, with a bustling high street filled with an array of shops, cafes, and restaurants. It also mentions the presence of green spaces such as Tooting Common and Wandsworth Common, offering opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation. The article further explores the diverse range of properties available in Balham, catering to different lifestyles and preferences. Additionally, it discusses the strong sense of community in the area, with various events and initiatives bringing residents together. Overall, the article provides valuable insights into the appeal of Balham as a sought-after neighborhood in London, known for its convenience, amenities, and vibrant community spirit.

Read the full article at Flat Living