20th Century Interior Design Style

In the first half of the 1900s, interior design was influenced by the Craftsman and Arts and Crafts movements, a vibrant Colonial Revival, as well as English and Spanish-Italian styles. From 1920 on, Deco influences began to be seen everywhere in finishes and textiles. By the end of the 1940s, a modern streamlined look began to emerge and by the end of World War II many homes sported the clean lines and optimistic flair of fresh, progressive designers.

More often than not, American design was and continues to be an eclectic blend of old, new, and everything in between.

The following descriptions are intended to provide a point of departure for most of us while bowing to our purist brethren. Our sources are primarily materials published at the time your old house was built. The ideas are quaint and very simple, and often lack the refinement we associate with more contemporary styles. The simplicity makes them not only achievable, but unpretentious and charming.


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