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1940s Kitchen Design

From WWII to the Atomic Age

1943 Norge AdKitchens of the 1940s reflected a decade of change. From 1940 to 1941, just preceding World War II, kitchens were small and often colorful. Finishes like new linoleum flooring, paint, and wallpaper were affordable by many people. Magazines of the day, as well as manufacturers, actively promoted a DIY approach to making changes. Articles often provided step-by-step instructions to laying linoleum floors as well as how to paint and hang paper.

During the War, with many of the men gone and women working in large numbers outside the home in defense industries, new home building was almost at a standstill. The government encouraged home and asset improvement, so people continued to make some improvements though materials, especially metals, were in short supply.

The Depression and War years created a huge pent up demand after the War. Almost overnight, industries that had been cranking out tanks retooled to produce refrigerators. Workers and soldiers paid for the War with War Bonds and people couldn't wait to cash them in.

Immediately after the war, styles were very similar to where they had been before the War. That didn't last long though, as a new generation optimistically jumped on board the Future! Kitchens were modernized as lifestyles changed.

In this directory, we'll post galleries of kitchen advertising and articles to show color schemes and layouts, appliances, and storage. Let us know if you have an area of interest or questions about a specific topic. We have a lot of resources and are happy to do the research.

 


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