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Kings, Queens and Princely Palaces Part 4

March 30th, 2009

Last week we said this would be our final part of our era guide, but the 20th century covers so many design eras, we’ve decided we need two.

The 20th Century, combining two World Wars, the glamour of 1950s Hollywood, the swinging London of the sixties and the gluttony of the 1980s,  was certainly a colourful era to have experienced. In this installment we look at the interiors and architecture of the earlier half of the century.

George V’s reign from 1910 until 1936 encompasses the design period known as Art Deco, a natural evolution from the Art Nouveau of the turn of the century. With it’s angular shapes and strong colours, particularly the contrast of black and chrome, Art Deco is now synonymous with the ‘roaring 20s’, flappers and speak-easies.  For some classic inspirations, head to The Savoy in London, take a trip to Burgh Island, Devon and think ocean liner style, after all this was the age of Titanic. Sadly though the excitement took a turn downhill some what with the Great Depression after the stock market crash of 1928.

The next significant marker of the 20th century was the Second World War, spanning 6 years and taking place on every continent bar America, it could be claimed to be the most significant event in the last 100 years. As the whole of the allied forces pulled together, rationing was imposed that would last for 14 years, well after the end of the war itself. Rationing was not limited to food, as cloth, metal and wood were rationed to be sent to the troops fighting. With all this going on, it’s natural that people made the best of whatever they had, with their homes and their own clothing. This has lead to the term ‘austerity interiors’, have a look for this book for more inspiration. Not surprisingly in the current economic climate, the ‘new austerity’ takes it’s inspiration from the ration days of the 1940s, so make your own pieces, break them, fix them, re-work them and use them again!

By the end of the 1940s style and design had embraced colour and frivolity again and as the world turned the corner in the later half of the century. Have a browse through this website for information and ideas on all the eras mentioned above and you could try here for more examples.

In our next installment we’ll look at the style and architecture from the 1950s up to the present day. We hope you’ll join us.


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