March 1942
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Decorating Forties Style
by David Claudon

Better Homes & Gardens


The Cover Picture

Those quaint saucy flounces and ruffled sheers with a crinoline-day look are lovable with wood paneling, papered walls, and simple floor linoleum. Nice, too, is the big chair's slip-on that echoes the curtains colors. (page 31)

The decorating ideas in this March 1942 cover vignette begin with a unique color scheme built around the wood paneling on the left, a gray ceiling and floor, off white walls and moss green trim around the doorway at right. The fireplace has been painted a teal and has a red brick surround. Striped red, white and blue chintz cover the wing-back chair and three flounced curtain treatment.

Accessories include a steeple mantel clock beside a black tole-painted tray and philodrendrum. Freshly cut flowers of yellow daisies and pink snap-dragons sit on the tray coffee table. A blue with red lined duffle-bag holds knitting. Below the table is a hooked rug. On the side table are magazines, a red pepper plant, and yellow coalscoop of apples. Behind the chair is a tinware shaded floorlamp. A brass lamp sits on the shelf above the desk which has a windsor style chair. Hunting prints hang above the desk. Around the door frame is a stencilled floral pattern of pink and green.

Shelves You Can Brag About


Page 14

Patterns for various shelves were shown on page 14, including this Harrisburg Hanging Bookshelf. The copy reads:
Honor your book pets with a seat on these shelves. They'll brighten corners and keep your favorite reading near. Make them in pairs, of maple, birch, or pine.

Curtains Going Up For Spring!


Pages 30-31+


Better Furnishings & Decorating Department, edited by Christine Holbook

The article on page 31 gives the rights and wrongs for 1942 curtains:

Right to end your long curtains at the floor unless your room's high and very formally furnished. Trailing curtains soil quickly, overdress most rooms.

Right to use finely woven glass curtains if your windows have small panes. Large meshes or thread patterns give too "busy" an effect....

Wrong to make simple materials, like organdy or voile, into formal floor-length curtains unless there's a large pattern or a deep ruffle to balance the length.

Wrong to go in for millinery effects (artificial flower tiebacks, etc.) except in informal rooms, such as the bedrooms, kitchen, or bathroom.

Sheer beauty for your bedroom--and easy as fudge to make! It's just fine net edged with rose trim over cream window shades, the swag a straight piece ruffled and drawn thru ring fixtures. Dressing table and bedspread pick up rose and green of the wallpaper pattern. (page 30)

Color photographs, including cover, taken at Gimbel Brothers by Samuel H. Gottscho.

A difficult window delightfully solved! Just enough bright chintz for a spash of color--but not one inch too much. Net glass curtains, sheer, full, and floor-length, offset the ruffles with lovely soft lines, welcome sunlight, and furnish decoratively that much-needed privacy. (page 31)

Advertisement for Nairn Treadlite
Inlaid Linoelum on Felt Backing
Page 110

Can you re-do your kitchen as charmingly as this one?
Yes-- if you follow the new


Color Scheme #1

Pueblo colors--cream, tan, orange, mahogany and emerald green. And the Nairn Color Correlation Plan made it easy to find pottery, dish towels, seat cover fabric, and so on, that match the Treadlite floor colors perfectly! The floor is: Nairn Treadlite Service, No. 9085. Walls, ceiling, and door, are: Nairn Wall Linoleum,"Parchment," No. 7973. (Note the window treatment: a gay frame of colored Nairn feature strips dispenses with dust-catching wood trim and curtains!) Counters and baseboard are: Nairn Plain Linoleum in Emerald Green. Table-top is: Nairn Plain Linoleum in Burnt Orange. (page 110)

This page was created by D. Claudon.
Last revised 7/26/00.

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