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Friday, 12 December 2014

Need some color therapy? Change your room - 1930s way.

Hello there!

Whenever I'm having a less-bright day; I think my rooms don't fit me. And, on those days I like to imagine what would match my inner-self.

These would do... take a look:

Brighten it up, darlings!

By the 1930s, Modernism had firmly taken hold of the world, and we as a society were quite finished with the starchy, buttoned-up, heavily brocaded Victorian era, and all that would imply.

Here's an old-school Before & After 
showing the streamlined interiors and simple colors that were in fashion at the time.

Poured concrete in construction eliminated load-bearing walls, allowing big interior spaces and big windows through which to view them. Plastics were born, and mass-production increased. The Bauhaus swept away ornament and embraced the beauty of functionality. Color could be determined by theory, not dictated by history, status, seemliness, wealth, or rarity of materials. 

Stylistically, there were several design influences at play in the 1930s, depending on your reference points: Frank Lloyd Wright (Fallingwater; the Johnson Wax Headquarters, a prairie color palette), Corbusier (anti-bourgeoisie, color as theory), Art Deco (furniture in the 20s, architecture in the 30s), Hollywood films (from Grand Hotel to Oz), and MoMA. 
But this was also the time of the Great Depression and the run-up to World War II, so perhaps color for interiors were somewhat muted in keeping with the times.

Modernism’s simplicity and open spaces called for a much more subdued palette of pale tints then the heavy pattern-on-pattern schemes and rich colors of previous generations. This was the machine age, after all, streamlined and pre-fabricated — dark was out, light was in. 
As these illustrations suggest (shown with "before" inserts), here are some of the dominant colors of the 30s: jade, celadon and seafoam green, pale gold and grassy tans, pale silvered almond and walnut. There is not a lot of red or warm tones in this decade, nor saturation or drama. 

And if we want to let the avant-garde into the dialogue, I think we’d add  a glam Art Deco plum or lavender. 
What do you think?


  1. I love the colours we used in our house (the various walls are either a gorgeous medium blue, burgundy, cream, or white), but could do with a bit of colour therapy right now. Ugh, you know, I could do with some therapy on almost every front. What it is about the end of the year that can make one feel like all of the problems and worries of the past twelve months, even the ones you'd dealt with and put to bed, come tumbling back at you? I'm not depressed, don't get me wrong, just tired and a bit stressed and wishing I could take a holiday, but that isn't even remotely in the cards. I'll juts apply some colour therapy to my wardrobe, buck up and try to use 2015 as a clean slate!

    ♥ Jessica

  2. I love the greens of that era. There's something so relaxing about them.