Our homes should be a place to express who we are, they are influenced by the events that surround us in the world and by the current financial climates.
I find interior design throughout the decades fascinating, I’ve put together a little run through of how interiors have changed from 1930 to the current day, looking at how the outside world affects our interior décor.
Despite The Great Depression, interior designers from the 1930’s were leaning towards a new-age look. Homes were sleek with furniture made from mainly plywood. Most 1930s homes contained low back sofas, chaise loungers, unusually shaped coffee tables and wing back chairs. Brick and brass fireplaces, beaded lamps and small mirrors finished off the 1930s look. They liked to dress windows with floral curtains or lace. With no TVs in the homes the families would gather round large wooden encased radios.
1939 saw the start of WWII.
Dominated by WWII, interior design had to be quite creative.in the early 1940’s, material shortage and the hardship of the war meant interiors took a back seat. The decor was mainly wooden furniture, floral prints and ruffles.
By 1945 when WWII ended, production started to pick up again and people were ready to live new lives. The interiors remained functional but with added fun as people started to enjoy life again. With rationing at an end in the late 1940’s people started to use the spare money on their homes once again.
The décor in the late 40’s was simple yet well put together. With the relief of loved ones home safe from the war, homes were designed around the family, so homes were kept clutter free and brightened up.
The Fifties were an exuberant time. Décor was innovative and ahead of the times, chrome appliances appeared in kitchens, stainless steel cannisters and enamel coated breadbins were all popular.
Interiors became less about practical purpose and more about statements. Lamps became design features, bathrooms became colourful (pink bath suits anyone?) and most homes now owned TVs. Kitchen appliances helped life become easier with mixers, blenders and coffee makers appearing in more 1950’s homes.
The Sixties were a time of enormous change, both technologically and socially. Home interiors became bright and more colourful. Tie-dye, paisley and floral fabrics were all the rage.
Flat pack furniture became available making interior design more accessible to more people. In the 1960 they wanted clean, open spaces with new modern trends starting to take over the more traditional décor. The TV became a social point in the living rooms, families would watch tv together so living rooms became social hives.
The 1970s saw wicker, plastic and leather became popular choices in every home, along with bean bags. The look was bright and sunny, more relaxed and bohemian. The colours most used in interiors in the 70’s was, orange, browns and yellows. Built in desks and bunk beds became poplar. Kitchens became larger and offered more storage, laminate kitchen cabinets filled most homes.
Furniture became more disposable, so people could experiment more with design.
The 1980’s came with a floral boom … Matching, curtains, sofas, cushions and vases filled rooms all over the country. It all got very chintzy, flea markets and car boot sales soared. Homes were filled with house plants, mirrors, ornaments and dried flowers. The 1980 was a time of creativity and self-expression.
As the internet became worldwide in the 1990’s, inspiration also grew. Homes became more muted colours terracotta, brows and creams being big hits. Homes in the 90’s were cosy and felt like home, people liked to match cushions and curtains but the matchiness of the 1980s was slowly dying out. With inspiration becoming more widely available most homes looked like they had come out of a magazine, with people copying exactly from what had inspired them. Kitchens became the hub of the home with larger entertaining spaces. ‘Country cottage’ style kitchens became all the rage in the 1990s.
As we hit the Millennium, we seem to have left all colour. 2000 saw a lot of homes become painted top to bottom in magnolia paint, and filled with cream and brown accessories. Homes became larger and more open plan. Minimalism became the trend, homes decluttered. On the flipside to this some homes flew head first into ‘shabby chic’ taking note from the 80’s people started to upcycle old furniture from car boot sales or markets and fill their homes with French style design. People started experimenting with different materials and started to bring the outside in. By the late 2000 people could get inspiration for so many different sources that they began to take bits from each source and create their perfect style, people became brave again.
These days most interior style still includes some kind of minimalism but with soul. Homes are now filled with materials which bring the outside in such as wood, stone and wool. We like to use different textures and patterns to layer looks and create a relaxed stylish look. Flat pack furniture is still a hit and makes for an easy life but more and more people are heading back towards solid furniture. Kitchens continue to be the hub of homes with family rooms or snugs being added onto them.
I personally think in the last year there has been a switch again in interior design with colour making a comeback, especially dark blues and greys. People have begun to work cleverly with colour to add in personality and style.
Who knows what the future will bring for interior design, we could all end up living in pods floating in the sky … or we could take it back to the 30’s with traditional living. Whatever the styles its clear to me that over the decades we have all moved with the times and we have all made the best of what we have for the decor of our homes. As long as you have your own stamp and soul in your home you can’t go far wrong.
I hope you’ve enjoyed that little hop through time.