Friday, October 15, 2010

15 October 1956 “1930’s Decorating Class”

I thought it might be fun today to look at some 1930’s interior design images. As I have mentioned before, my 1956 homemaker would have been a young lady or teen in the 1930’s. And in my study of home economics, I would probably have seen many of these types of styles and interiors and furniture.
I have a few wonderful 1930’s interior design books as well as cookery books. I am hoping to increase this collection as I begin to look further into what would have made me, a 1950’s homemaker, esthetically and from early teen age training.(all images can be enlarged by clicking on them and those I borrowed from other sites have links by clicking the image, thank you.)
30spaintedfurnitureI think this illustration from one of my books shows the fashion for painted furniture. As one can tell, many of these pieces are actually older late Victorian or even Colonial inspired pieces (these colonial pieces began being reproduced in the 1930’s as well) and are enlivened and made modern with paint. I rather like the color tones of this era of reds, greens, yellows, soft blues and all grounded with some form of black. I think these pieces, as well, work very well in a 1950’s kitchen.
I most likely would have some pieces from my mothers own 1930’s kitchen that I would still use in my modern 1956 kitchen. Certainly the colors could and would harmonize.
ernestkaufman1 Even the lines of the modern chairs of the 1930’s show that the similar angles and lower position to the floor had begun in the 1930’s. These drawings by the 30’s furniture maker Ernst Kauffman demonstrate that. And the Eames work, as this famous chair This is Charles and Ray Eames, Lounge Chair and Ottoman, 1956, Molded rosewood plywood, black leather upholstery, aluminum 33 x 33 x 33” (chair) 16 x 26 x 21” (ottoman) Grand Rapids Art Museum, Gift of La Vern and Betty DePree Van Kley. Photographer: Nick Merrick. Source: Museum of Arts & Design via Bloomberg News and these Herman Miller Eames chairshermanmillerchair exhibit similar lines.
The color palette, especially in baths, were much softer and more muted in the 1930’s.30sbath1This lovely frieze of wallpaper above the tiles from a 1930’s wallpaper book I have, are really beautiful. The design is more more enchanted almost fairy book in its organic movement. While a 1950’s paper would be more stylized and patterned as this 50’s bath shows.50sbath
The 1950’s has the ‘new’ plastic tile. It was an easy application a Do-it-yourselfer could manage for less effort and money than actual tile. In the 1930’s linoleum was still very popular. Here we see a bath with what looks like a papered top and a tiled lower wall.
30sbath2Yet, the lower wall was actually a product called lin-o-wall, also found in my 30’s wallpaper design book. Here are more examples of the 3-d style it came in.linowallI have to say, I am rather enamored of these looks. The stone and the brick, but especially the lower left images would look so good painted in a turn of the century home. And, what is lovely for today is linoleum is a very ‘green’ product in that it is made literally from wood/cork pulp mixed with linseed all and is very renewable. I wonder if any such things are being made currently?
Here are some fun wallpaper examples from the 1930’s.30swallpaper130swallpaper2I think some of these would be great in a traditional home, but some of the more modern patterns would be fun in a kitchen or bath. The sample on the right with the kitchen breakfast room is geometric and organic combined. I think the top paper on the right ad which looks like blue and white delft tiles would be so lovely in an all blue and white breakfast nook. White painted furniture and woodwork. Soft white sheer drapes with blue and white seat cushions. And little punches of yellow in some framed prints of daffodils or ladies in yellow dresses. It would be such a bright way to start your morning.
30sbedroom How adorable is this little bedroom? I love the mixture of both the very glamorous skirted dressing table and the stoic ladder back colonial chair. The wall paper is very traditional and yet look at the whimsy of the rug under the chair? The mixture of both old and ‘new’ is done white great affect here, I think. I can’t imagine even needing to change the dressing table for the 1950’s although you might use that wonderful little side chair as your dressing table chair and cover that and the table skirt in the same fabric. A room I certainly would enjoy greeting the day with, how about you?
I think I shall close with this video of a 1930’s fashion show (of course fashion and interiors always played off one another). It is quite fun and taken from the 1930’s movie “The Life of the Party”.
Well, that was just some fun interiors from the 1930’s. As my project begins to come upon the beginning of its third year, I am left wondering where to go next. And, I really think in understanding myself in 1950’s, as the decade wanes, is to understand myself in the 30’s and 40’s both politically, and through the design and food. So, I may do more ‘between the war’ posts, if that would be of interest to any of you.
Have a lovely day and Happy Homemaking.
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