The 1920s experienced great upheaval as an era and the architecture was no exception. Free from the austerity of the war and weary from a glut of mass-produced furniture, a new design style was born -- the Arts and Crafts style. This style returned to nature for inspiration in decorating the Craftsman bungalow.
Typical bungalow decor emphasised natural items over machine-made ones. Rooms were built with an open floor plan allowing visibility from the entryway to other rooms while large windows brought in light. The colours used reflected the colours of nature and adjusted based on regional differences, for a bright turquoise that worked well in New Mexico would look out of place in New England. Typical colour schemes included the earthy colours of brown, gold, blue-grey and green.
Bungalow home walls were covered with wainscoting. The bottom part of the walls received more elaborate wood designs that may have been carved or had wood detail trim. These were stained in natural wood tones, while the upper part of the wall received a less expensive wood covering that was painted. As the use of wallpaper was frowned upon in a bungalow home, some architects went so far as to apply a grainy texture to walls to prevent its use.
The use of natural fabrics was standard in these homes. Animal hides, such as leather from sheep and cows, were used to make furniture cushions, chairs and lamp coverings. Other fabrics were made from flax, as these were strong enough to coexist with the leather and were used in different areas of the room, such as the windows. Window treatments consisted of linens, cottons, and canvas -- as brocades and silks were considered too flimsy for these homes.
One trademark of bungalow decor is the many built-in pieces. To maximise space in these small homes, built-in furniture allowed architects to provide storage and seating, requiring the addition of less furniture. A staircase may contain a bookshelf below, as would a set of half-columns used as the entryway to the dining room. Window seats with storage below could be found by bedroom and living room windows while a corner bookcase might be tucked into the dining room.
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