This week we travel forward in time to the 1930s. America was beginning to enter the depression, and while the country’s economy was sinking, Art Deco design was just starting to become accessible to the middle class home. Having just been introduced to America in the mid-late Twenties, the style flourished and evolved in the Thirties. In fact, it was only one of two prominent styles thriving during this decade.
First, lets focus on the changes to Art Deco during this era. Items needed to be cost effective in order to remain affordable to the average American. Mass production was an efficient change, and new materials such as chrome and nickel had their introduction to the home. Furniture made of tubular steel was durable and affordable, and quickly became a trend that lasted into the Modern era.
Unlike the Twenties, the color schemes in the Thirties home were very light. Cream and ivory were commonly used, as well as light pastel pinks, yellows, and greens. In contrast, curtains and furniture upholstery were featured dark greens and reds. Mirrored surfaces were frequently used throughout the home, and large mirrors framed in chrome or inlaid wood accented walls. The geometric shapes found in the Twenties home continued to be used in the Thirties, and could be found in kitchen linoleum and wallpapers throughout the home.
The other prevalent style during this decade is called “Art Moderne” or “Streamline Moderne.” While it is similar to Deco, it does have its own unique qualities. Influenced by scientific theory at the time, the “streamlined” design was a sleek, minimalist style that was stripped completely of any ornament. Streamline was popular in commercial buildings, but only a small number of homes featuring this architectural style were ever built. However, it’s influences could be found in home interiors.
As the style gained popularity, manufactures began applying the aerodynamic shapes and glossy finishes both appliances and furniture. Curved edges were used from toasters to walls, and glass block windows filled rooms with natural light. Interior colors were light and neutral, and at times accentuated by dark trim.
As with the Twenties, creating the look of the Thirties in your home can be easily done just by incorporating some of these iconic elements. While Deco may be the more appealing of the two styles for the modern home, a mixture of both Deco and Streamline would be ideal for those who enjoy simple and clean decor. This works particularly well in kitchens. White cabinetry, light walls, and stainless steel chairs give the room a polished look.
Accenting white walls with black geometric patterns adds a surprising touch to a room. Leave the colors to the future for a dramatic look. This technique adds interest while still maintaining a minimalist tone.
Create a sophisticated and sleek bedroom by bringing in polished finishes and mirrored surfaces. Hanging long curtains over a patterned wall gives a modern touch to classic Deco style.
Written by Team Glamorous Housewife Domestic Design Expert: Adrienne Breedlove.