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The Wartime Home – Interiors of January 1939

I have been asked by one reader about home interiors during the war, as he hasn’t been able to find any books on the subject.  I don’t know of many books about wartime homes or interiors either, and that’s probably because not many houses were built during the Second World War, so houses were mainly those built before or during the inter-war years.  There was no single identifiable ‘wartime’ house. 

During the war things like building supplies were in short supply, if they could be obtained at all, and furniture and fabric was rationed.  The average wartime house was built, decorated and furnished in the thirties, and stayed in the same style, often with exactly the same furnishings until rationing ceased after the war.

 Vintage 1930s prewar ad for furnishing fabric 
I have noticed that wartime women’s magazines have about half the amount of pages of their prewar selves, and this is often be aide things like decorating featurs and ads do not feature. I thought it wise, therefore, to go back and look at the start of 1939, to see what was trending in the few months before war erupted.

Today a look at ads and articles from Janaury 1939, once again from the Autralaian Women’s Weekly – Vintage 1930s prewar decorating and furnishing  ideas  

  
  Vintage 1930s prewar decorating and furnishing  ideas for the modern regency style  

1930s embroidery for chair back covers 
Vintage 1930s prewar decorating ideas with quilting 1939

To be continued….. 

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About thewartimewoman

I love history, fashion, art and design, especially of the 1930s to the 1960s. I am also a mother, wife, interior decorator & a treasure hunter who wishes she could drive a 1933 Delage. I studied Architecture at Melbourne university, briefly, and completed a Diploma of Art in Interior Design at the Melbourne College of Decoration in 1991. I have worked on an off as a decorator ever since, in between stints as a florist, balloon artist, having my five children and helping my husband in his law firm. in my spare time I love researching history, blogging and gardening.

9 responses »

  1. Thank you very much for that. What you have found for me is perfect.
    Kind Regards
    Mike

    Reply
  2. Oh thanks! O was looking for the same thing.

    Reply
  3. Blast. I had a site bookmarked, and now I can’t find it, of home interiors and such from the 1920s forward, and it did include some wartime housing. Most of what I remember was based on using 4 foot x8 sheets of plywood, so a bedroom might be only 8 feet to a side – just barely large enough for a bed if you pushed it up against the wall. And no insulation! The pictures showed nails driven into the studs to hang your clothing, etc.

    I live in between what was then Glenn L. Martin, a company that pumped out thousands of airplanes during WWII, and an Army installation. There is still a lot of “war time housing” here – small homes and apartments built for people who moved into the area to work in the factories. Even though the rooms are small by today’s standards (but still larger that 8×8!) the houses were well built, with hardwood floors and real plaster walls. Almost all of them are still occupied, but many have been enlarged to meet today’s needs.

    Reply
    • Wow, thankyou for all that. It makes sense that accommodation would have to be built for factory workers, and of course soldiers etc, a bit like Olympic village housing in peacetime, that normal citizens can live in afterwards ( and still not always really well built). I will check out your link too, ty

      Reply
  4. Found it! This link has pages from various women’s magazines from the 1920s to the 1950s. But not that plywood house, alas.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/100163550773978628218

    Reply
  5. Sorry, I was away, have done so now!

    Reply

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