Furniture Styles of the 1940s

An era remembered for World War II, the 1940s was also a decade where innovations in furniture styles took place. Because many favourite commodities went to the wartime efforts, past furniture styles were recycled and new furniture was constructed out of different materials. Aluminium, fibreglass and rubber became common materials for the furniture of this decade.


Born in the 1940s, the modern style of furniture brought nontraditional looks and clean lines into a home's decor. Modern furniture gave homes matching sets for the living room, dining room and bedroom as it incorporated the use of lighter colours and blond wood tones. Gone were the embellishments and textured surfaces of the past; modern furniture was all about a streamlined look. An abundance of patio furniture was also born during this era as home ownership and disposable income rose after the war.


Stemming from the late 1850s to the late 1940s, Anglo-Indian furniture was influenced by British India and incorporates styles from both cultures. This style mixed Indian art with European furnishings for a look Britain's residents desired after returning from the southern exotic land. Much of Anglo-Indian wooden furniture had intricate carvings in it as well as ivory inlay.

Art Moderne

Art Moderne was a 1940s furniture style that emerged a decade earlier as a late form of Art Deco design. This style of furniture heavily incorporated the use of long, horizontal lines and curved forms. Many pieces of Art Moderne furniture integrated nautical elements into it. Pieces of Art Moderne furniture had rounded edges, chrome hardware, horizontal grooves and had subdued earth-tone colours. Some pieces of furniture in this style also had an industrial look to them as they had geometric-based embellishments that appeared like an abstract form of art.

Black Forest

Originating from the Black Forest area of Germany and common from the late 1800s to the 1940s, the Black Forest style of furniture is still seen in lodges and taverns today. Influenced by the furniture style known as "antler furniture," this is not a style of furniture you would expect an animal rights activist to display in his home. Black Forest furniture heavily incorporates the use of wood with antlers, hooves and pelts into chairs, tables, coat racks and wall hangings.

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