Leading up to World War 2, Britain was in somewhat of a housing boom, with 300,000 new homes being constructed every single year. That’s double the current rate of growth in the UK. It is for that reason that we see so many pre-war style houses in the UK even today, but of course, it is their interiors that have changed dramatically.
If you were to find yourself in a house built in the 1930s today then you may be somewhat fortunate; they are generally larger than houses built prior and benefit from larger gardens and exteriors as well as upstairs bathrooms. Coupled with the fact that walls were thinner and the foundations were stronger, these houses are ripe for being redesigned completely. If your house doesn’t benefit from quite as much space or some of the more original architecture then don’t worry, there is plenty that can be done to include that 1930s atmosphere to your home.
Bathroom styles at the time took inspiration from the modern world that was developing dramatically around them, including new ocean liners that whisked more and more people away in greater luxury. Bringing this design to the home meant using porthole windows and curved sun-trap window edges. Other designers were looking back in time and were stylising their bathrooms with neo-Georgian and mock Tudor designs. It gave a breath of life back to the works of Richard Shaw and George Devey who started this revivalist mock Tudor movement in the mid to late 1800s.
The art deco style that first came about in the 1920s continued to flourish throughout the 1930s. This included the use of strong colours and bold, geometric shapes. There was an abundant use of bright or pastel colours such as pink or yellow. Boxy shapes and chrome finishes adorned most rooms and many sought the streamlined finish as inspired by cruise liners of the time.
Modern developments such as the machine age which most notably included styles from luxury cruise liners. As well as Georgian, Tudor and Jacobean styles from the past, which also made a comeback.
Get the look
Colour - use monochrome black and white colours to get the art deco look. To gain a more retro style, use any combination of bold colours; for example green and gold or dark blue and white.
Ceramics - Incorporate art deco through angular shapes, like using square sinks, taps and toilets. Floor – Use 12-inch black and white floor tiles to get those geometric designs.
Walls - If you have the budget for tiles then you create a very classy and exotic style through the use of monochromatic black and white tile designs. Alternatively, source a wallpaper design that includes the same look.
Lighting - Increase the feel and size of the bathroom by using wall mirrors. Frosted glass and chrome wall mirrors were very popular during the 1930s design period and have the benefit of adding light and space to the environment.
Accessories - Stick to the same angular feel as with the sink and taps and look for items with that are also finished with frosted glass or chrome. Go so far as to include metallic candlesticks.