As many of you may have gathered from this blog, I am enamoured with the distinctively stoic and old-fashioned decade of the 1940s. I often feel that my mind lives in the ’40s, and when I’m in my bedroom, I feel like I’m actually in that decade of nostalgia, fortitude, and old-fashioned stoicism. My room used to be a real riot. The walls were a deep shade of hot pink, with tropical-patterned soft furnishings. There were posters all over the walls, and the effect was one of clutter, immaturity, and general unsophistication.
I finally redecorated last summer, eager to honour my love for the ’40s. ’40s style may not be a popular choice in many modern homes, but it’s really a beautiful, eclectic, nostalgic style, and I love it. I had a clear vision of what I wanted, and thanks to my mum’s help this vision was enacted perfectly!
The light in this photo is uninspiring, but the decor is anything but… trust me!
I wanted a golden mustard colour on the walls, which was inspired by two throw cushions in a charming and very ’40s Cambridge cottage I stayed at in 2011. I also wanted one wall to have wallpaper, but not just any wallpaper. It had to be white or off-white to brighten the room, and to have a vintage floral pattern with muted tones and classic style. Wallpaper turned out to be too expensive, but fortunately fabric was another wall-covering option, and I found the perfect fabric at Ikea.
The fantastic wall of fabric, behind a classic ’40s banker’s lamp and my infinite collection of earrings
Union flag bunting reminds me of my favourite place in the world, which is also the tiny island that repulsed Hitler in World War II
1940s interior style needs homey, old-fashioned touches, so lots of antiques and slightly distressed finishes are appropriate. But what I really love about ’40s style in the home is the necessity for personal touches- imagine a 1940s mantelpiece with black and white family portraits, or a settee with hand-embroidered cushions from one’s grandmother. I’ve always treasured family heirlooms and vintage pieces, and it’s wonderful that they now truly agree with my room’s aesthetic.
A vintage clock from an antique shop, seen beside the base of a lamp made by my grandpa
Flopsy, my companion from the day I was born.
I also love collecting knick-knacks, which thankfully also agrees with my ’40s-styled room. Fueled by my wonderful cousin, second-cousin, and aunt, I have a growing collection of vintage glass dog figurines which inhabit almost every corner of my room.
A modern radio- but it looks like it could have broadcast news from the front and speeches from Churchill himself!
One final personal touch is a great source of pride and really brings World War II- the defining feature of the ’40s aesthetic- to mind. Adjacent to my bed, I have two framed illustrations that I did myself; and if my schedule allows, I hope to have a third one to add before too long. They depict fictional (though not unrealistic) scenes from the Eastern Front, and I feel reverent every time I look at them. To me, these scenes are the centerpiece of the whole room, and they remind me why ’40s style and WWII are so important to me.
The left drawing was completed in 2013 and the right one in late 2011
This drawing depicts a grim scene from Stalingrad
My most recent drawing is set during the early days of Operation Barbarossa’s carnage
Whenever I go into my room, I feel calm and truly at home thanks to the decor. It’s vintage, wartime-inspired, cosy, and it reminds me of Britain and my heritage to top it all off. It’s a strange thing to have a ’40s mind in the 21st century, but since redecorating my room, I don’t feel quite so out of place.