Interior Design Made Accessible to Everyone
Decorating in the 1940s was quite an interesting time in as much as the Second World War had a part to play. The first part of the 1940s saw only very basic decoration, but after the Second World War had ended there was quite literally a huge increase in the amount of new materials that were being manufactured. This in turn made interior decorating far more accessible to everyone, and more and more people were inclined not only to take on the decorating themselves, but to have something that made a statement about them.
If you think about it for a moment the type of living room decorations that we take for granted nowadays was back in the 1940s considered very modern and also very revolutionary. For example, what we consider now as very commonplace and almost outdated was in the 1940s the height of chic, just something like a glass block.
You have to remember that most homes did not have a TV set; more often than not the focal point of a living room was a radio set, although there may have been a phonograph also present. Also what we take for granted nowadays and hardly even consider it, is that most homes in the 1940s did not have a telephone.
But the 1940s really can said to be the age of colour, the days of pale and drab colours were fading out, and more and more people were experimenting with bright colours, such as yellows, reds, greens and blues. People wanted visual excitement and a sense of drama in their living rooms; it was also very popular to have on one of the walls in the room wood panelling. People also paid attention to their windows and Venetian blinds were often a common sight in people's homes. Also bright and cheery patterned curtains were hung up in place of a simple window covering, and groups of windows were decorated as a single unit. Often very elaborate and attractive tassels were fitted and were a common sight.
As far as the furniture went this was a time when the efficient design was taken from Sweden, Swedish design became very much the vogue and people really liked the clean and minimal lines. The furniture looked very sleek and functional but at the same time added a touch of the modern look also. It was also often very popular to have the chairs in a room painted in a bright colour, this was often done to provide a visual interest, and at the same time some contrast.
The flooring tended to be bare floor boards as fitted carpets were not really available, so most homes had cheap rugs on the floor, which were often just scattered about the room. But there was a trend to have cheap rugs that were of a larger size so that only a border of about 12 inches of bare floor showed. If however you had the means, some very modern homes did have wall to wall carpeting, but this was rare.
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