Long before modern casinos were equipped with high-tech displays and blinking lights, the original casinos in history had wooden décor. Wood created immersive settings for games of chance, ranging from floors of gambling halls to saloon counters. Even though styles have changed over the years, wood still has a refined appeal in casino design. Come along as we explore wood’s changing role in establishing enticing casino environments.
The Southwestern Influence on Early Casino Design
Although there have been casinos for millennia, more official casino venues first appeared in the early 1800s. During this period, riverboats and frontier saloons with rough wooden accents appealed to daring patrons.
Gas lamps and tobacco smoke streamed through wood-panelled halls packed with elaborate bars, cabinets, and round gambling tables, marking the opening of America’s first legal casinos in New Orleans circa 1820. These early interiors had masculine dark finishes and straightforward woodwork, emphasizing efficiency.
Gambling tables on Western saloon floors were frequently improvised structures constructed out of scraps of planks and barrels. But behind the bar, delicately carved shelves rose to the ceiling, showcasing collections of alcoholic beverages.
The 1800s and evolution
Interior design became more sophisticated as casinos transformed into more affluent havens for the rich later in the century. Exquisite new gaming halls were characterized by ornate hardwood bars with brass fittings. Tables and chairs also received gorgeous wood inlays and carvings that matched the extravagance.
Ornate Wooden Style’s Golden Age
Early in the 20th century, a glitzy Golden Age of casino architecture began, with innumerable opulent venues catering to high rollers. The hardwood décor of this era transformed gaming halls into genuine temples of chance:
1905’s Apache Hotel in Nevada, with its soaring wooden balustrades, carved pillars around the barroom, and delicate tile mosaics covering the floor, epitomized rugged Western luxury. The 1946 Flamingo Casino in Las Vegas was inspired by Hollywood glitz. Past the vivid neon exterior, sleek wooden railings, platformed stages, and stylish oval tables scattered across the plush carpet astonished the guests.
When Resorts International opened its doors on the Boardwalk in 1978, it was a sight to behold: a large casino with hanging lanterns, gilded accents, and spiralling staircases that led to balcony gambling areas encircled by hand-carved wooden walls.
This era’s new solid art forms were represented in the timber accents used in the décor. Art Nouveau’s organic shapes and natural themes influenced carvings of flowers, trees, and insects, as well as flowing, asymmetrical wooden frames.
In the meantime, rich zebra and zig-zag wood veneers, sunburst medallions, and glossy lacquered finishes reflected the sleek geometry and metallic glitter of Art Deco.
Emotion and Seduction
In the Golden Age, there was a dramatic style to be seen on every surface. Guests were encircled in imagination by exquisitely decorated wooden wall panels, room dividers, staircases, and balconies. Functional components such as counters, bars, and table legs featured distinctive inlays and carvings that may take gamblers to a different era or continent.
For many years, the most imaginative and skilful way to create escapist casino atmospheres was by using wooden furnishings.
A Warm Allure of Wood Resurgent in Modern Times
By the late 20th century, efficient layouts and visually striking electronics had replaced elaborate ornamentation in casino design. Subdued and minimal wood accents were frequently limited to tables and chairs. However, lately, wood has taken centre stage once again thanks to inventive new uses:
Wood Is Coming Back
Contemporary casinos such as Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas use elaborate wooden screens, textured walls, and abstract carvings in their modern interior design. Ocean Casino in Atlantic City features hanging bubble chandeliers encased in circular wood motifs and undulating cerused wood walls.
A vast casino including sleek wood flooring, walls wrapped in bamboo slats, and living plant walls for an indoor forest concept can be found at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, a stunning casino abroad.
The use of sustainable materials in interior design is becoming imperative. Reclaimed and organic woods such as pine, acacia, and bamboo add a touch of natural warmth without posing a significant environmental cost. Wood’s natural grains and textures are emphasized by distressed treatments like ceruse and shou sugi ban, which give wood a modern rustic character.
Wood, formerly limited to tables and chairs, is returning to casino surfaces. However, in addition to increasing the surface area, casino designers also consider the whole visitor experience in a novel way. Incorporating wooden dividers for privacy and charging docks for convenience, table games allow casinos to rearrange floorplans quickly. Adding 3D wood wall art provides architectural appeal and exciting depth.
Through creative accents and adaptable design, wood will continue transforming gaming floors for decades by fusing forward-thinking practicality with natural beauty.
The warmth and charm of wood have been transforming casino interiors for generations. Wood adds sophistication and drama to anything from statement walls with intricate carvings to rough-hewn saloon counters. During the Golden Age of the 20th century, elaborate hardwood furnishings with opulent carvings, inlays, veneers, and architectural features carried guests away. Even while wood design became more subdued in the middle of the 20th century, its enduring elegance is still present in current casinos, where it has found new uses. When creatively incorporated using environmentally responsible methods, Wood enhances visitor comfort and captivates with artistic expression. The rich history of the wooden casino style is still being developed today with new inventions and uses. However, the capacity to create ambiences of grandeur and chance is everlasting.
Commonly Requested Questions
What kinds of wood were commonly used to decorate early frontier casinos?
Typical woods in early rustic casinos were pine, oak, maple, and mahogany. They were perfect for detailing and furnishings because of their capability and durability.
How did Art Deco and Art Nouveau affect the design of casinos?
Wall panels, table legs, signage, and framing details all echoed the asymmetrical natural forms and sleek geometric patterns introduced by these daring art movements.
What caused the mid-century drop in wooden casino decor?
Diminishment was favoured in mid-century modern design. Wood was replaced with striking neons, graphic wall treatments, and open floorplans designed with gamers in mind.
In modern casinos, how is wood being reinvented?
Contemporary casinos employ eco-friendly reclaimed wood, multipurpose wood furnishings, textured plank walls, and embellishments with 3D carvings to create a cozy atmosphere that accentuates design themes.
What part might technology play in the wooden casino décor of the future?
Holographic wood, programmable LED tables and wall panels