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Monday, 26 May 2014

Place of peace and serenity - bedroom designs from 1920's


The word I'm proud I've learned:
Frugality - [froo-gal-i-tee] - the quality of being frugal, or prudent in saving; the lack of wastefulness. 

Many people who have lived through periods of economic deprivation develop lifelong habits of frugality and are almost never tempted by wasteful consumption. People learned to make-do-mend, save-and-count, manage with what they had, and keep everything going on for as long as it can. 
The biggest thing in a human life (mine, for instance) is the house. The houses build in 1920's had to do for many, many years without much care and renovation. Most of them had to "keep it together" until mid-1950's (or until the times of rationing were behind us). 
The thing is: people had their new house build and furnished in the 1920's. Many of folks over here could not afford new furninshing often, maybe some part here-and-there could be changed in 10 years. And, once the war started (the industry stopped), the furnishing could not be changed at all. This was a true testiment of frugalty in action.
These are the decorations that held on in household for decades. I have found some amazing representations; and I will show them to you right now.

1921. Armstrong bedroom

Thanks to the unstinting marketing efforts of Armstrong Cork Company, we have a wonderful collection of interiors designed from the 1920s forward. Many of the original designs have color schemes that could be replicated today. This room would be beautiful in a Colonial Revival style home.

1922. Armstrong boudoir

During the 1920s bedrooms were often wallpapered; trim was painted in hard, very durable oil-based enamels. The themes were overwhelmingly pastel in the first half of the decade as this dressing room shows. Colors ranged from the blues shown here to buff and pale grays to sagey greens. Contrasts were contrived for their appeal, but the essential soothing character of these private spaces remained intact.

1922. Sleeping porch

This 1922 bedroom features a number of 1920s hallmarks for what was considered a desirable bedroom. The color scheme is light and pastel-based. The furniture was painted with a floral motif. Small pops of contasting color were used to add interest. The furnishings were the modern Colonial style that was the trend. A sleeping porch provided lots of fresh air, thought to confer health benefits on its occupants.

1922. Blabon bedroom

Like Armstrong Cork, the George W. Blabon Art Linoleum Company, produced a fair number of attractive room designs during the 1920s. This room shows wall-to-wall linoleum in the bedroom with a patterned linoleum rug in the sewing room. The furnishings are contemporary for the decade. The colors are light and neutral.

1923. Rose and sage-green

Rose and sage green form the foundation color scheme in this bedroom suite. The furniture is Colonial. Patterns are quite subdued for the period and limited to the Armstrong linoleum flooring. The striped carpet introduces the palette. Everything else is fairly simple and subtle.

1923 - Gray & pink 

During the early years of the 20th century, women began working outside the home, though by the time they married they were expected to quit and assume their real job as homemakers. By the late 'Teens, a number of women educated in the arts were making names for themselves as "lady decorators." Early design efforts during the 1920s in particular show a decidedly feminine style in product advertising.

1923- Simmons bedroom

This ad was published in Ladies Home Journal. George W. Blabon Art Linoleum competed directly with Armstrong and Congoleum. Blabon's ads are similar in style and quality to those produced by Armstrong, however, unlike Armstrong, Blabon was unable to weather the financial downturn during the Depression and merged with W. J. Sloane.

1924 - Armstrong bedroom & dressing room

The spaces in this 18th-century style bedroom could be described as a sleeping porch, dressing room, or sitting room. Regardless of the description, it's a Colonial style that was whole-heartedly embraced by the majority of Americans during the 1920s. It also represents a common color scheme—rose, blue, butter yellow, and white.

1924- Armstrong bedroom

Here's another take on the conventional design style of the 1920s: Red, white, and blue with 18th Century Colonial-style furniture. Despite its overwhelming prevalence in the majority of homes, it's interesting how simple and easy it would be to live with.

1924. Simmons bedroom

A matched suite of painted furniture with dainty nosegays trimmed with pinstriping was extremely common during the mid-1920s. In general, most bedrooms illustrated tended to be decidedly feminine. This illustration was for Simmons mattresses, but the tall window with the decorated shade and lace curtains seems to dominate the image.

1924. Attic bedroom

This attic bedroom features the Blabon linoleum floor, but also shows a number of 1920s elements that were probably home made. Many homemakers did a substantial amount of sewing so creating this combination of curtains, dressing table cover, and dust ruffle for the bed would have posed no problem. Painting the furniture was as easy as locating a perveyor of Duco Paints. Even making a fitted slipcover for the armchair was easily within our doughty housewife's skill set. And in the evening, by the fire, she was probably busy braiding the small rugs.

1924 - Lavander bedroom

This bedroom is a very soothing gray blue, lavender, and sage green scheme with a few rose red accessories. The focus is on the linoleum floor which was easy to maintain and attractive to live with. In the summer, carpets could be rolled up and stored then returned for their warmth underfoot in the winter.

1924 - Floral bedroom

This ad was published by the Wallpaper Manufacturers Guild. During the 1920s most wallpapers tended to be florals though most were somewhat less vibrant than this "in your face" print. The painted furniture and accessories are typical of a contemporary bedroom.

Oh, aren't they lovely?!
My life's dream (as many of you know) is to have a house that I can freely call my own home. These are pretty much how I would like to decorate my home when I get a hold of it. 
There's more, and I'll post it soon.


  1. They're incredibly lovely - I'd gleefully move into any one of these 1920s rooms right now. I love classic, early 20th century interior design like this. It has everything one realistically needs, but isn't overly cluttered or showy. Practical and pretty, is how I'd sum it up - and it's a far cry from the often over-the-top, costs a fortune, doing it to keep up with the Joneses decor of today. We could all do well to take a serious lesson from these rooms and frugal, resourceful people you discussed. Our global economy would be in much better shape if more people were still so wise and prudent with their spending.

    I super hope your dream house comes to fruition one day!

    ♥ Jessica

  2. One day - it will come to me.
    A house is a home, not a place for us to shove money into and spend, and spend.. houses do need care, but they should not be the bottomless pit where all our money goes.
    And, these lovely examples show how should we care about our homes, to make them our "nests", but not make them something we should regret having.


  3. I really love all these vintage room photos. They are wonderful inspiration for my own little sanctuary, whenever I get the chance to finish my makeover. And I too consider myself very frugal. I way all the pros and cons on anything I purchase. And if the item is expensive I always think of cost per use and if I can't see myself using it more than a few times it is most likely something I will not invest in.