RoomPlays designer transforms a boring basement into a moody art deco architecture inspired library



South Carolina, USA



San Francisco, CA, USA



Moody Art Deco


Basement – Home Office



RoomPlays client Shilpi loves art deco architecture. She wanted a part of her new home in California to represent her love and personality in her design styles.


Shilpi had recently bought a home in San Francisco. A white home with mostly neutral wall shades. As a fan of warm palettes, she wanted to include color and brightness around in the interior styles. As an East Asian myself, we love cheeriness in our design styles.

The opportunity area in the house was the basement. It was dark with plain white walls. She knew it had to be transformed into a library with an art deco background. How to go about it was the problem.

While looking for design ideas on interior design websites she met Online Interior Design firm RoomPlays founder Deb. Deb created RoomPlays to make interior designing affordable, approachable, and fun. Through the e-design platform, she connects clients and designers from across the world. RoomPlays has successfully helped people convert their dream spaces into reality. See it for yourself here.

Meeting the designer

Emily of Creating Homebase is a warm person and a passionate interior designer. She enjoys creating dream spaces for her clients, even remotely. She also loves how the E-design platform puts the customer in charge of interior styles they want, as per their time and convenience. Please check more of her work here.

Shilpi and Emily hit it the moment they met on RoomPlays. As a client, Shilpi knew she had someone who understands her love for art deco architecture.


Before we get into the Before and After – its might help to learn about the Client’s vision for her Art Deco library.



What is art deco style?

Are you wondering what is art deco style?

The art deco era originated in the 1920s and 30s. That was the time when people used to have art deco buildings, art deco house, even art deco travel posters.

The art deco architecture or art deco styles are fashion inspirations that infuse individually crafted luxury items and mass-produced wares to create a sleek and anti-traditional elegance. Art deco backgrounds are known to symbolize wealth and sophistication.

The art deco characteristics include the use of geometric shapes, dark and bold colors, decadent art pieces. See some art deco house examples.

Art Deco House
Pic credit: Pinterest

Room inspiration: Dark, moody library

Shilpi wanted to add brightness and warmth to her new home. She was looking for an urban modern interior design for the basement. It had to be dark and moody where they could entertain small gatherings, curl up with a good book, and have a drink and relax.

She looked up interior design websites for inspiration. Some design style ideas that she came across included:

Art Deco Design Style Inspirations

Transformation Story

As a client, she was sure of how the space should look. She wanted someone to pull off the idea and convert it into reality. Emily did just that.

The art deco architecture building challenges

Since it was a basement, there were a couple of challenges in designing it as per the art deco architecture theme.

Apart from it being dark and boring, it lacked energy. There was a space that was unutilized. And definitely, there was scope for a lot of interior designing.

The basement had to be transformed into a chic and luxe library that had lots of warmth and space. It must also be a place to host and entertain guests. The designer must also create storage space and camouflage areas that can be hidden. And also judiciously use the only small window in the room. Emily’s challenge was to give the room a moody feel without making it too dark and depressing.

Shilpi had recently invested in two new bookcases for the room. And a bright and bold wallpaper. She definitely wanted these to be a part of the interior design for the new room.

Creating the art deco architecture inspired library was definitely challenging, but a great opportunity as well.

The transformation process

RoomPlays designer Emily follows an extensive process to understand client requirements. As she has her basic questions answered and reviews them, Emily prefers to discuss things over a call.

After reviewing Shilpi’s requirements and scanning the floor plan, Emily arranged for a call to discuss her ideas. From the first phone call, there was a connection between the two. After Emily shared a couple of design options and received feedback, both started working on building the art deco space together. As a designer, Emily believes that “Design is a process and working together is a normal part of the design process.”

In her mind, Emily was sure to include metal like brass to give a chic look to the room. Her design style idea was to keep bold, jewel-toned colors to create a moody feel. Keeping with the art deco era theme, the bold, chic, and dark designs would go best.

Shilpi wanted bold colors like eggplant or deep purple. Emily had in mind emerald, navy, and black and gold.

The shopping list

Creating an art deco architecture-inspired space definitely needs unique things that showcase style and opulence. Finding those remotely on interior design websites is an art. Emily did a great job creating the interior design style list for this project. She divided the list into three segments covering furniture, accessories, and art.


Emily decided to keep a sofa that will complement the dark deep purple shade of the wallpaper. After much scouting, she found this rounded, upholstered sofa in the mulberry color. The client loved the color contrast suggested here.

The wallpaper and the sofa balance the look of the room

For creating storage space in the basement, Emily had in mind something old-world yet modern. This wooden buffet cabinet met her expectation. It is modern and contemporary. The cabinet complements the art deco theme of the room.

Emily also wanted to include the royal navy color in the room. She searched for statement furniture items and suggested this navy chair with a gold base to keep in the dark, moody art deco room. We agree, this looks absolutely chic.


Art deco aesthetics are incomplete without gorgeous mirrors glamourizing the look. And, we totally love the mirror look. Emily was sure that she wanted to add a bold and unique mirror in the room.

She found this gorgeous round mirror made of bone and antique brass-finished tiles at West Elm.

One does need to put their leg up and relax after a long day of hard work. That is when a pouffe comes in handy. Call it a cushion or a puff stool or footstool, having one in the living room is a must. Along with being multifunctional, it looks cool.

This is exactly why Emily a pouffe to Shilpi’s interior design style. She chose a mist gray color to give a contrasting color palette in the room.


When art deco is the interior style inspiration, then there have to be abstract paintings. Art deco illustrations were also abstract and bold.

The stairs that lead to the basement needed a fresh and new look. Emily wanted to infuse the space with a variety of art that will appeal to every person walking in.

She suggested art by the walls and by the stairs which were an instant hit with the client. These art pieces added a vivid dimension to the complete look and feel of the space.

The final look

Emily created a design style guide layout for Shilpi to execute at her own pace. As a designer, she liked to team up with her client and bring to life the art deco architecture themed interior style.

These before and after images of the project are totally amazing.

The After

This transformation of a basement to an art deco inspired living room cum library has been phenomenal. RoomPlays designer Emily successfully incorporated all the conditions mentioned by the client and added her design style and sense to create this dark, moody room in a warm, white home.

Having used all the existing elements like the bookcases, wallpapers, and other things, Emily ensured that the design suggestions met the brief- art deco architecture.

This is a real client success story that RoomPlays designer Emily and founder Deb helped achieve. If you also wish to transform your living space and home, then connect with the team here.