How to Decorate a 1940s Bedroom

Written by katherine kally
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How to Decorate a 1940s Bedroom
Chandelier (Stock.xchng)

Step back in time and create a luxurious getaway within your own home as you decorate your bedroom in the glamorous style of the 1940s. Vibrant wall colours, tufted bedroom furniture, mirrored side tables and crystal lighting transform any bedroom into a stylish retro-glam retreat. You can find furnishings online and at your local antique store to complete the '40s look, or make a few pieces yourself with silver leaf and mirrors.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wall paint and painting supplies
  • Headboard
  • Bench
  • Linens
  • Sheer panels
  • Chandelier
  • Dressing table and bench seat
  • Side tables
  • Silver leaf, gilding primer, size adhesive and glider's brush
  • Mirror tiles
  • Mirror adhesive

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    1940s Decorating Ideas

  1. 1

    Paint the walls in your 1940s bedroom any vibrant colour that you enjoy. Fuchsia, burgundy or navy blue provide a beautiful contrast with the white upholstered furnishings and the crystal chandelier. Tape the walls with painter's tape and paint large stripes in different shades of your chosen colour as an additional decorative touch.

  2. 2

    Find a white upholstered headboard with tufted with buttons and a matching full-length bench for the end of your bed. An arched headboard and scalloped or curved sides on your bench work best with '40s-style glam designs. Bedside tables with mirrored tops and silver leaf facing balances the deep richness of the walls with the white headboard.

  3. 3

    Select crisp animal print or solid colour linens to offset the wall colours and full-length sheer white curtains to cover the windows. Add a mirrored dressing table complete with a skirt that matches your bed linens and a tufted bench seat.

  4. 4

    Create an additional seating vignette beneath a window with white upholstered chairs and a silver-leaf table. Hang a crystal chandelier and add chandelier style lamps to your bedside tables to further enhance your 1940s decor.

    How to Apply Silver Leaf & Mirrors

  1. 1

    Sand and prime the surface of the tables to be gilded using a primer especially formulated for silver leaf. You can find all of the materials for this project at your local craft store. Let the primer dry completely.

  2. 2

    Apply a water-based size to the primed surface. Size is the name for the adhesive especially designed for any type of gilding process. Follow the manufacturer's instructions as to the application and tack times of the size. Test your size to make sure that it is not wet, but tacky. This will occur just before it dries, so read the size instructions for approximate tack times.

  3. 3

    Carefully lay the silver leaf onto the tacky surface with the transfer paper facing you. Gently apply the leaf to the table with a gilder's brush, and then remove the protective transfer paper. Continue until the front of your table is covered.

  4. 4

    Add mirror tiles to the top of your table with mirror adhesive. Apply the adhesive and press the mirror tiles onto the surface. Cover the top completely.

Tips and warnings

  • Hang chandelier sconces over the bedside tables.
  • Paint in a well-ventilated room.

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