Kitchens of the 1930s often embraced simple, minimal lines and accents made from shiny metals and chrome. The style, often referred to as art deco, incorporates geometric patterns, efficient layouts and colourful appliances. Wall colours were often bright and cheerful, with layouts that included built-in cabinetry with very little ornamentation. It was a time that embraced modernity and efficiency more than in previous decades. For modern homeowners looking to adopt a 1930s look in their kitchen, colour will be an important aspect of the design.
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Bold colour is a key ingredient of art deco style, made popular between the 1920s and the 1940s. Bright red, yellow and blues were common choices for kitchens. These colours work well in large or small rooms, because they give small rooms a larger feel, and reflect limited light. Bold tones are aesthetically appealing in the kitchen, since their colours tend to stay the same throughout the day. Kitchens are an ideal space for bright colours, as the cabinets and large appliances break them up so they're not overwhelming. These tones, according to colour psychology, promote energy and enthusiasm.
Homeowners looking to create a more calming feel in the kitchen can use neutral tones. Shades of green, both light and dark, dove grey, beige and white were used in 1930s homes. These tones were often spiced up with accents in shiny chrome, bright coloured glass or framed wall art of the cubist movement. These tones are much more soothing than bold colours, and tend to appeal to a wider group of people if the home goes up for sale. Using neutral tones opens up more options for cabinetry, countertop and flooring colours.
In most homes, paint was not the most common wall covering in the 1930s. Instead, wallpaper was the prime material for the kitchen. Like paint, wallpaper could be either bold colours, particularly red, turquoise or yellow, or could be kept more neutral. At the time, wallpaper was almost never solid in colour. Instead, it was usually printed with geometric designs, kitchen appliances or fruit. Additionally, the iris and boomerang were common themes for wall covering.
Countertops and Flooring
Flooring puts a finishing touch on any 1930s kitchen. Linoleum was the biggest flooring trend at the time, though tile was often used as well. Both materials were most often done in a black-and-white checkerboard pattern. Both options are durable, scratch-resistant and long-lasting. They are still widely available today, and are ideal for homeowners on a budget. A more modern, eco-friendly option is to lay a concrete floor. This material, among the most durable in the construction world, may be stained or painted then polished to resemble the checkerboard pattern of the era.
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