Art Deco

Art Deco.

The art deco style appeared in the 1930s and marked a significant departure from villas and bungalows.

Art Deco Image Gallery


The arrival of the art deco housing style of the 1930s heralded a complete change from the ornate Victorian/Edwardian villas of the beginning of the 20th century and the more casual bungalows of the 1920s.

Siting, layout and form

Art deco houses have a distinctive appearance and form, with curved or rounded corners and parapet walls concealing the roof.

Common problems and remedies

A wide range of problems and issues affecting design and structure – in particular, to do with weathertightness and moisture – will need to be considered as part of any art deco house renovation.

Common modifications

Most art deco houses have retained their original street appearance. However, it is common for other parts of the house to be modified or repaired.


Art deco houses were built without insulation, and typically still lack it. Adding insulation can be difficult.

Foundations and subfloors

In some art deco houses, repiling or other remedial action will be needed to deal with problems such as uneven floors and inadequate earthquake bracing.


The wooden floors in art deco houses often lack insulation, and some boards may be affected by borer, splitting or other damage.

Walls and cladding

Art deco houses typically used native timbers for framing, and stucco for cladding. Common problems include lack of insulation, and problems with moisture and weathertightness.

Interior features and finishes

The interiors of art deco houses matched the exteriors, with clean lines and minimal decoration.

Windows, doors and other joinery

Art deco houses had timber casement windows, panelled timber doors, and built-in timber panelling and cupboards. Common problems include poor thermal performance, jamming and sticking, and deterioration or corrosion of the frame.


Art deco houses typically had flat or low pitch roofs. Often, these are associated with weathertightness problems.


Common issues include the need to replace old wiring, and the need to deal with leaks and low water pressure.

Kitchens and bathrooms

Art deco kitchens and bathrooms are likely to have been renovated to incorporate modern appliances and services.