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Bedrooms of the 1920s

The Jazz Age was a Period of Pretty Pattern

c. 1927 BedroomBedrooms during the 1920s were all about color and pattern. Colors tended to be soothing, often very pretty and feminine, with lots of florals and pastels, especially in the first half of the decade.

Painted finishes abounded. Using durable enamel paints, homemakers painted all kinds of furniture including bedroom furniture. Motifs were often small flower bouquets with narrow contrasting pinstriping. Childrens toy themes were popular for nurseries. And after 1925, Art Deco details started to be seen here and there.

Though Art Deco was more prominent in Europe and seen occasionally in the US, the majority of middle-class homemakers appear to have had a marked preference for more traditional Colonial looks. In fact, many of the Mission and Arts & Crafts styles of the previous decades were considered out of date and stale.

In addition to Colonial, which was by far the most popular decorating style, the Romantic Revival styles were also very trendy. Many magazines with a middle of the road demographic ran article after article describing the various styles of furniture, their characteristics, and the types of settings in which they would best be used. Styles from Spain and England to Normandy and Sweden were incorporated.

In the bedroom, homemakers were encouraged to take purchasing linens seriously. The pragmatism of the early 20s gave way to the influence of designers on everything from flooring to towels. Martex and Cannon seemed to vie for the best designers recruiting such luminaries as Erté to design bath towels.

Bedrooms were also a place to show off handwork. Many women continued to pursue crafts like rug making, embroidery, appliqué, and tatting. Most women had sewing machines and made not only clothing, but were often adept at making curtains, comforters, dust ruffles, and slipcovers. Fabrics and trims, shown in popular magazines, were available at the local dime stores and failing that, one could easily order through Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward materials for almost any home improvement project.

Most of our collected images are from Ladies Home Journal, House & Garden, Better Homes & Gardens, and American Home. Each magazine had a slightly different approach and content, but for the most part covered the diverse interests of the middle-class homemaker.

We have a series of color schemes that show a few more bedroom designs.


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