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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Pat in PA says:

    I’m guilty in saying I would find this little sunny “napping/resting” area more inviting than cooking or doing dishes 🙂

  4. 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

  5. Dee C. says:

    I’ve never seen a kitchen with a place for a nap. It seems like a brilliant idea to me, but then I have narcolepsy! Cool post. Glad I found your site.

  6. 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.

  7. Joe Felice says:

    Precursor of today’s islands and peninsulae? By the way, when did these become popular?

  8. TERESA WRIGHT says:

    Are there any current day sources for patterned linoleum? The closest I’ve been able to find in my own area is Armstrong commercial vinyl tiles.

  9. 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!

  10. Kitty says:

    I love everything about this kitchen! And the picture reads a little like an I Spy puzzle (I found the chaise lounge, the glass panel and the birdcage…) But I don’t see the sewing machine – perhaps on that little table just behind the stove?

    Also, drying rack! Everything about this kitchen is practical for the homemaker, but it’s so sunny and lovely, too. (Though she could use a little more counter space!) Great inspiration – thank you for sharing!

  11. I love the floor as well. I have a catalogue from the Dominion Oilcloth and Linoleum Co. Ltd. of Montreal, Quebec for the year 1946. It includes a letter dated October 1945 talking about how the company was still under war-time restrictions but were finally able to put out a new catalogue showing some pretty fabulous new patterns. They advised that one should keep the last catalogue from 1942 for reference on existing products. The floor shown in this kitchen looks very similar to ones in the catalogue.

    My family home, built in 1953 in Manitoba, Canada, had a green floral patterned floor similar to ones in this catalogue. Very lively indeed.

  12. 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!

  13. Neil says:

    If you inspect that small gray cabinet behind the stove, you see it’s a sewing machine cabinet, with the top that swings up and leftwards, over the lounge, where you can lay out your cut pieces and have them at hand as you stitch.

    And speaking of which, that bench seems to be on a long wrought iron frame, echoing the wrought iron breakfast chairs; plus the left end of it isn’t visible and it’s obviously longer than an average housewife’s legs…..so I’m betting it continues behind the table to become a Bench!
    (That clever Miss Hazel! I’d love to chat her up…and if you google her you’ll find a Wealth of images of her astoundingly charming and clever magazine layouts)

    So the fainting bench is seating for the wall side of the table, extended along the wall to receive an exhausted mid-century cook’s well-earned, imminent collapse; but with the sewing machine whispering in her ear about the unfinished mending….
    And the window’s right there, so if she spies the hubby approaching the front door she can spring up, refresh her lipstick and smooth her apron, and offer a slice of fresh hot bread.

    There’s so much to love about this kitchen, but I’m charmed that the placement of the stove, into the middle of the room, makes it not just a taskmaster but also a Diva….. standing center stage with a floral headdress and a daintily folded side-skirt.

  14. helen says:

    Growing up, I lived on a dairy farm. I came late to it, as a teen-ager.
    At first I wondered about the cot in the kitchen. But after living there for awhile, I understood that one of the best sources of heat in the old 1800s house was the kitchen. There was a coal burning stove and a radio for Amos to listen to while Edith was cooking,

    They both lived well into their 90’s, he, still calling her his girl and she, drinking another cup of black coffee at the formica top table as I sat doing my homework.

    These are some of the most cherished memories I have.

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