Colour Schemes of the 1920s

Updated March 23, 2017

Colour schemes of the 1920s were primarily influenced by the remnants of Art Nouveau, and the burgeoning Art Deco movement. Although there were many striking colours to choose from, a typical scheme of the period wouldn't mix them all together; choosing instead to focus on a specific colour.


Two bathrooms appearing in 1920s magazines are representative of the daring colour schemes of the period. The first features a variegated tile that incorporates a range of greens and blues. The room is bordered with chestnut brown and grape. The second bathroom is primarily taupe with white fixtures. The popularity of white in bathrooms increased dramatically after 1916, when a white paint was introduced that was denser and had a better coverage and durability. This paint could be washed and had the effect of looking clean.


Two bedrooms illustrated in the 1923 edition of "Better Homes & Gardens" demonstrate typical colour schemes of the 1920s. The first features a linoleum floor patterned in pink and grey--the primary colours used throughout. The furniture and walls carry on the pink and grey colouration, with light grey being dominant. The soft furnishings are predominantly pink with a floral motif. Brass sconces and white curtains finish the room. The second bedroom shows a linoleum floor in a kingfisher blue. The wallpaper also incorporates the same blue, but is for the most part a dusty peach with a biscuit-coloured chair rail. The room's textiles are plain white with a blue fringe. A wingback armchair is upholstered features a blue and dark purple print, while the furniture is all walnut.


An example of a 1920s kitchen colour scheme incorporates Nile green and navy blue for the wainscoting, kitchen cabinet and cupboards. Benches and tables feature the same navy blue. Contrast comes via the walls, which are painted ivory and green. Soft furnishings such as cushion covers and window curtains feature red gingham. An alternative kitchen colour scheme is pale mint green and cream, with black and red accents in the accessories and appliances.

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About the Author

Justin Schamotta began writing in 2003. His articles have appeared in "New Internationalist," "Bizarre," "Windsurf Magazine," "Cadogan Travel Guides" and "Juno." He was a deputy editor at Corporate Watch and co-editor of "BULB" magazine. Schamotta has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Plymouth University and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from Cardiff University.