21 ideas for your 1940s ranch, bungalow or cape – 40s kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms and more

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Quickly after World War II ended, Americans plowed right into making a wonderful new life for themselves – starting with building their dream kitchens, dream bathrooms – dream houses. Looking at periodicals from 1946, I can see a few distinct trends – this was a transitional period…you still see many Deco influences…you see a lot of primary colors…and definitely, interiors were “sweet”, although in ’46 homeowners certainly would have declared them “modern.” Read on for ideas from each of six great interiors, including a bathroom, two living rooms and a bedroom. 1946 was a very good year!

Tips from the first kitchen image — isn’t the “life through a Pyrex pie plate” awesome?:

  • This color combination: Dark cherry red linoleum countertops, primary green linoleum floor, white metal (or wood cabinets) with deco pulls seems to have been very, very common.
  • In this image, you also see a light chartreuse green on the wall – this, or yellow, also seem to have been popular secondary colors.
  • And flowered fabrics… These kitchens are pure prettiness. Image: Pyrex, of course.

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Isn’t this Briggs Beautyware bathroom just gorgeous.  To be sure, there is a lot going on. Observations:

  • Great color combination: beige – almost salmon tile, light baby blue (ala today’s “spa blue”), brown linoleum floor. The darker floor in both this image and the kitchen above “anchor” the rooms.
  • Very ’40s: the fringy rug in front of the tub, striped and monogrammed towels, chenille-scalloped rug in front of the sink, tufted dressing chairs, and all the Carrera glass (used instead of tile on the walls).
  • Last time I checked, today’s linoleum is not recommended for bathrooms – but if you are dedicated to keeping standing water off the floor – or want to use it in a 1/2 bath, go for it.
  • Notice the full length mirror behind the dressing table at the far right.
  • That full length drape – and of course, the glass block – both add to the luxe feel. Image: Briggs Plumbing.

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  • Blonde wood – similar to Heywood-Wakefield’s classic champagne (I believe) finish. This room definitely has a primary color feel.
  • The lampshade: I’d call that “40s”…”waxed foil”?
  • The patterned rug – definitely promoted heavily in the 40s.(You can see it in my header!)
  • The built-in couch … a continuation straight of of 20s and 30s moderne designs

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  • Oh my gosh, oh so ’40s: lavendar walls, emerald green floors. Combining these “secondary” colors of the color wheel is always on the “recommended” lists that were so common during this period.
  • Chintz draperies – scalloped valance
  • Notice the Staffordshire dogs on the mantel – very classic.
  • Not a ton of furniture in 40s interiors. (Today, our interiors are way jammed compared with the immediate postwar period.)
  • Note the style of the deco club chairs. And, there’s a colonial wing chair in the foreground. Image: American Home.

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  • Here’s the purple/green color combo again.
  • I’m calling the bedding: dove gray, although it’s hard to tell from this image.
  • The wallpaper – very sweet, simple…and combined with the chintz curtains and scalloped valance (again…) even more so. Note: I’ve found some not-too-expensive wallpaper in this vein and will feature it soon. Image: American Home.

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  • Cabbage rose chintz pinch pleats with frilly undercurtains. American Home.

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Remember this palette? It’s from the Church toilet seat company – and it captures the 40 palette very will indeed. Happy decorating all you owners of 40s homes… Jason K…Carleton Heights Girl… Neil.. and more! Ad: Church Plumbing.

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Comments

  1. Neil says

    I just know my sister in Nashville would kill for a Purple (!) Cracked Ice toilet seat for her 40’s bathroom! Simply divoon.

  2. Melissa Welch (@WelchWgrapes) says

    Was a styles of home furnishings in the 1940’s,50’s and even early 60’s that were called ‘Chinese Modern’ and the other being.’Hawiian Modern’? I know of the Chinese Modern although I can find neither of them on the internet..

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