Hazel Dell Brown kitchen, 1941, with built-in space for a nap

vintage armstrong flooring

Here’s some more whimsy-doodle — and gorgeous patterned linoleum, too — from Hazel Dell Brown circa 1941. I’m not sure that painted (fun ideas with Meyercord decals, *affiliate link, anyone?) glass- paneled divider behind the stove is truly very practical, but… Hazel was sure having some fun: “… a spot for a nap while the bread bakes” — indeed! I even love how, in this one, there’s a ‘shadow’ of the bird cage apparently penciled in. Or maybe that’s penciled into my brochure only? Bizarre.

Other interesting tidbits from this one: Very controlled color palette, built round the colors in the flooring.

armstrong flooring 1941Above: The alternate mood board, including: Ceiling painted Chinese red… and fish net curtain! Nautical c. 1941 is … nice!

  • All my stories mentioning Hazel Dell Brown — the most influential residential interior designer you never heard of — here.

  1. Ken Buzzell says:

    The placement of the vintage stove off the wall with a backing is a great idea. Nice way to use the open floor space especially if one does not have enough practical wall space. The backing hides the rear of stove and provides many ways to utilize that area with shelves etc.

    1. Rita Vasak says:

      My 50s kitchen is actually designed this way – although the wall is laminate-covered wood, not glass, and on the other side is a little foyer and the front door.

    2. vikki says:

      It’s a brilliant idea, except that that stove MUST have ventilation to the outside… its a gas stove with a continuously lit pilot light. A modern down-vented stove would be able to use a glass panel behind it and it is a fabulous way to open up the space and its easy to scrub down. Super thick tempered glass would need to be used… but it is a lovely idea!

  2. Carolyn says:

    That would be a shadow from the birdcage. Although she says the daybed is for napping, it might be for keeping a sick child close by also? I would venture to say the painting/decal on glass is on the daybed side although that little whimsical detail might just be that – whimsy. You’d want the stove side smooth to wipe off grease but then the colors would be muted or patchy. The first layout I had an issue with the sewing/crafts center too near the stove (well, in the kitchen, period) because of airborne grease.
    Because of these kitchens you’ve been showcasing, I’ve figured out that, while I grew up with the Jetsons, I feel the designs of the 1950’s and later were for “fancy” people. (“Rich” people had fireplaces.) For me, they’re nice places to visit.
    I joined RR in Feb 2015 and it’s only taken me this long to “feel at home” in the era of homes Hazel Dell Brown is designing for. More “modern” conveniences than the 1930’s but still not moving to the “space-age”.
    I get a kick out of the exuberance of the post-WWII to 1970’s but, to me, this kitchen says “I’m home now”.
    Question – these are kitchens that were actually fabricated for the brochures? Not renderings?

        1. Jennie says:

          The bird cage may be a subtle symbol of women who felt confined in their homes. The designer was a career woman after all. Or she just liked the pattern of the shadow!

  3. Janet in ME says:

    I would love to have this kitchen! Why can’t anyone make a vinyl floor like that now? That is my favorite part, with the inlaid borders. I was surprised to see that towel bar next to the stove. I have one not quite as wide that I bought when we got married in 1972, in my bathroom now. Whoever manufactured it must have made it for a long time. The daybed in the kitchen for a sick child makes sense. The Amish home I visit has cribs in the kitchen for the children whether or not they are sick, so they are near the wood stove which provides the heat in the house. And this is the second kitchen with a sewing machine in it. Everyone did a lot of sewing back then. I always wonder if kitchens like this survived?

    1. vikki says:

      Vinyl Hell! I would love it if they still made linoleum in those beautiful patterns. Lino is environmentally sound, lasts forever and takes a beating… sigh!

  4. My sister had a red, white, and blue star linoleum in her original 1940s kitchen. It was the most delightful, charming kitchen I’d ever seen in person. Then, when the sold the house, I found out the new buyers tore it out to put in granite and particle board. Now, whenever I pass the house, it makes me sad. What I would give to be the caretaker of a kitchen like that!

  5. Eliza says:

    It reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s house in Missouri. Laura and Almanzo’s bedroom was basically a doorway off the middle of the kitchen with their beds right there. I’ve often thought that was so odd to have the bedroom attached to the kitchen, but maybe that was a thing back in the day.

    1. Allison says:

      Lots of farm houses had a bedroom off the kitchen, including the one I lived in for many years and in my own grandparents’ house.

      It was designated as a sickroom, back when warmth was mainly from the cookstove and tender nursing care was all that was really available for illnesses, as a room for the elderly members of the family or for a pregnant Mom, who didn’t want to climb the stairs to the other bedrooms.

      Highly pratical

  6. Lynne says:

    In the last kitchen the color Delphinium Blue was used. Just out of curiosity, I went and looked at my big Sherwin Williams book. Chinese Red, from the alternate color scheme, was in the same color line as the blue. So, we at least know where she’s pulling her paint colors from. I didn’t find the Daisy Yellow, though.

    1. Kitty says:

      The SW name for “daisy yellow” is Sunbeam – a color that’s been in production since the 1930s. It’s still available (though in a new formulation without lead or cadmium) – SW 0078. Hope this helps!

  7. lynda says:

    I wonder if the little nap area was for the cook that might just come to the home for the day? It is hard work, and a nap was perhaps necessary to get through the dinner hour and clean up.
    I think that would have been a pretty nice kitchen for 1941. It is very fun to look at.

  8. Charles says:

    I don’t think the birdcage is penciled in, I believe it’s a shadow on the wall. If you look carefully, there are several other shadows in this kitchen, all coming from the sun, very, VERY low on the horizon behind and to the left of our point of view.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Look like louvers. Viewing tip: If you are on a laptop or desktop computer, wait until the page is fully loaded, then click on the photo and it will enlarge on screen up to 1,000 pixels wide.

  9. Karin says:

    Wow, just when I thought that the pink kitchen with glass blocks was the sunniest space ever. There are subtle streamline Art Deco details such as the gold line around the ceiling which is repeated on the linoleum floor. The curved end cabinet on the right of the wall of cabinets is a well thought out touch. I’ve noticed from the blog’s other stories (like the dreamy sky blue St Charles kitchen), that curved cabinets are often positioned next to doorways for a smooth transition. For me, the icing on the cake is that Ms. Dell Brown softened the industrial machine age look of the cabinet and countertops with lots of plants, a curvy kitchen set and delicate colors like sage and buttercream. No detail is overlooked here.
    Great post-it made my day. Thank you!

  10. te says:

    The bird cage is totally stenciled: notice the little table/cabinet underneath it on the wall? Lovely kitchen! Makes me want to tear out a couple cabinets (who needs stuff?) and put in a fainting couch so I can lay there and look at the dirty dishes.

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