Remember our delicious story about Louisa Kostich Cowan, protege of Hazel Dell Brown? Hazel Dell Brown, head of Armstrong Floors’ interior design department for decades: The most influential residential interior designer of the 20th Century — who you probably never heard of. Today: 21 of her designs from 1941 — along with the entire catalog (from my personal collection) in a slide show at the end. Lovely interiors — for kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and more — for us to scrutinize for an expert’s view on how to put together a room beautifully.
1941 kitchens designed by Hazel Dell Brown:
Kitchens are the heart of the home — and with so many new appliances available, in 1941 homemakers were certainly dreaming of updating theirs. In 1941, Dell Brown’s interiors still reflected the deco/streamline design sensibility that was prevalent throughout the 1930s. The colors are generally soft, easy on the eye. And as usual, she pushes the envelope — there’s some wackadoodle in here — hey, let’s hear it for testing new frontiers! And remember: These designs are all about promoting the Armstrong floors, countertops, and on occasion, wall coverings, too. So the interiors are meant to be dramatic and appealing — to get you to look at the advertisement.
Above: Polka dots AND red geraniums in a pink kitchen — awesome! We have not talked for a long long time about how red geraniums were, without a doubt, the signature flower of the mid-20th Century. This was one of my fascinations in the very earliest days of the blog.
1941 bathrooms by Hazel Dell Brown:
Not too many bathrooms in the catalog. Note that Dell Brown wanted color! Pink or green fixtures, please!
Other interior designs by Hazel Dell Brown in 1941:
Soft pink, soft green, soft blue — lovely.
Above: I adore this foyer. Check out the hooked wool rugs from Dash & Albert. Most of their designs are now too contemporary in both pattern and palette for 1940s sand 1950s spaces, but there are a few that still make my heart skip a beat. Oh that Gypsy Rose! And the Siena Rose (link seems broken – check the site) looks like it would be a fine proxy for the one above.
These puppies are expensive. You can watch their Outlet Store Facebook page for occasional deals, and there’s a big onsite sale coming up over Labor Day.
OR: Watch estate sales for rugs like these. I see them quite frequently, and they generally are quite inexpensive. They are also generally in really good shape. Dirty perhaps, but the wool — it lasted. And I think folks were careful with them. Goodness, do I love hooked wool rugs!
Above: Love the floral chinz-covered sofa with matching upholstered ottoman. And the color scheme set against the natural wood furniture. This is a brilliant room.
Above: Big shaggy fringe at the edge of the rug!
Above: Clearly, if Hazel Dell Brown had had Annie Sloan chalk paint, she would have used it! Note, I have been using Annie Sloan chalk paint on some itty projects — junky dollhouse furniture — and I LOVE IT. With more testing now complete, I much much much prefer it over the milk paint I tested.
- Do you love 1940s decorating style? Click here to see my story that profiles 7 key decorating looks for the 1940s.
What other design and decorating details do you see in these rooms that you love, dear readers?
A slide show of the complete 1941 catalog:
Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge on screen… click anywhere to move forward and look for previous and next buttons within photo to move back or forth… you can start or stop at any image: