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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Thinking of re-decorating? Hints & tips from days gone by.


While ago I've done some research on Regular Folks decorating their homes. The Web is filled with the ideas on Hollywood and glamurous Art Deco style. However, my searchwas turned to low income, working and middle class families, like yours and mine.
How did they style-up their living spaces?

One day, I like to show you an image similar to this one 
and proudly inform you about my new home.
Until that happens, it's something I love dreaming of.

1930's had nothing to do with a lower standard of housework; in fact, despite the world’s worst financial and economical downturn in history - combined with the remembrance and scars from WWI that many families shaken off in the 1920's (majority had to build from the ground) - 1930s design flourished in a meaningful way. Art depicted hardships like no other decade. 
This was the era when art deco designs of the Roaring Twenties went from luxurious and pricey to lavish yet affordable, or sat stockpiled in manufacturing warehouses.


Despite The Great Depression, designers of living-room furniture from the 1930's were leaning toward the new-age, period-hip, art nouveau line. A blend of furnishings featuring curves, straight lines, organic shapes and mixed mediums captured the day’s idea of modern, which has become some of today’s retro favorites. There were sleek, molded plywood and plastic chairs; long, streamlined, low-backed sectional sofas; shapely wingback easy chairs; cushy, chaise loungers; and unusually shaped coffee tables and end tables.


During this period, muted pastels flowed from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall. Soft blue, yellow, peach, mint, lavender and pink decorated sitting rooms in the form of covered furnishings and painted walls, or floral or striped wallpaper with any preferred hue being dominant. A living room of the 1930's typically boasted a few unmatched patterned rugs, which may have sat in doorways, in front of a fireplace, and in the center of the room for warmth and decoration.


Out of hardship and necessity, life had to go on, as meager as it may have been. The Great Depression influenced some artists to capture the sense of poverty and desperation felt by so many. Art from this period that has a lighter mood includes streamlined automobiles, tall skyscrapers, flowers spilling from vases, tasteful nudes, and black-and-white pencil sketches by Walt Disney featuring the hot-on-the-scene, cheerful rodent loved by many: Mickey Mouse.


Brick and brass fireplaces, chrome wall sconces with milk-glass shades, metal pole lamps with beaded fringes, and small, round mirrors added light and reflection to a 1930's living room. Curtains with large floral patterns and delicate, lace sheers were commonplace. In the same decade as the world’s first teabag, electric razor and sticky tape, the television set came on the scene. Although few living rooms would have boasted a TV, numerous families gathered around a bulky, wood-encased record player or wooden, floor-model radio listening to their favorite soap operas and awaiting news of a turnaround in the economy.

Now, let us take a look at the acctual rooms:
(all the images are large, click to open in another window) 

Redecorated attic turned into a lovely gril's room. I like how the charming bed-cover dominates the entire space. Low bench next to the window invites it's owner to sit down, relax a nd dream of something sweet. I bet a girl living here would sit here quite often.

This low table is a good, but as an addition, I'd place a basked in the bottom - so that the newspaper can be placed inside it for the latter reading.. or maybe some sewing equipment.

The nursery truly look exciting. I love the dancing penguins placed on top of the blue floor - they seem alive and joyful here.

The most precious room in the house, I dare say. Green-and-yellow colors used in this picture are a perfect step back from the red-and-yellow (I've read a study while ago: red is the most prominent color in the fast-food industry, since it stimulates appetite)

Perfect representation of the 1930's style are the puppies made of porcelain, placed on top of the fire-place. A vanity-table is every girl's dream, however, I doubt all girls had that dream come true. They'd probably do some D.I.Y. and added mirrors and drawers to the regular desk.

Utterly relaxing atmosphere of this room would make anyone welcome. I'm quite personaly attached to the color green, and it is absolutely my favorite.. so, it's only natural that I find it the most suitable color for the reading room.

First time I saw this image, I wondered: why wasn't I the "girl student" mentioned in here? Everything is styled to perfection. Of course, I doubt many of the folks coud have separate rooms (my brother & I shared a room up until our late teens)

Yellow tiles - I can't not imagine the "Yellow brick road" when I look at them.. The floor looks good, and I believe folks did get something like this - it's easily managable (when it comes to cleaning, simple moping will finish up the job).

Allow me to end this with a 1930's housecleaning tips:

What do you think?
Would you like to do some 1930's re-decorating?

♥♥ Pinky Honey


  1. I've just bought a house built in 1935 and we're steadily re-decorating! It's going to take quite a while, but this week we hope to reveal some lovely parquet block flooring that is hidden under some carpet. I'm not sure about some of the colours they used in the 1930s - I've seen some pretty violent coloured original paintwork in houses over here in the UK that is anything but pastel - so I won't be recreating a 1930's look completely, but we hope to retain original elements while incorporating classic looks and throw in the odd contemporary bit as well.
    I enjoyed the inspiration, thanks for posting this!
    P x

    1. Oh, dear..
      I hope your house will turn out wonderfully!
      Some of the decoration truly were odd and not-so-classy, indeed. As all decades, the '30 had it's fair share of ugly.
      I'm looking foreward to your post on your home (once it's done).


  2. These are all so wonderfully lovely - and classic as the day is long. I wish that decor still resembled these rooms more frequently. They are elegant and filled with the essentials, but not overly cluttered or jarring on the senses, like some modern day decor. The room for a girl student caught my eye in particular - I'd happily move in there right now, if I could.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Great idea - the girl's room is adorable.
      I'd move in in no time. I know many girls haven't had the luxury of having their own space, but those who did were truly the lucky ones.