1920s Home style
A basic floor plan of a house in the 1920s included two bedrooms right next to one another at one end of the house with a bathroom adjacent to one of the bedrooms. The kitchen and dining room are also proximity to this bathroom, which is fairly small.
The living room of this house is fairly large-about the same size as the kitchen and dining room put together. Off of the living room is an exit with a porch.
Other homes during the 1920s were built with two-stall garages or a sunroof. Additionally, the yard around homes was often landscaped.
Sample Floor Plan of Home in 1928 and 1920s Living Room
Home Sizes and Prices
Home sized varied, and ranged in prices from a few thousand dollars to about ten thousand dollars for a four to six room home. Some homes were designed for one family but quite often they were designed for more than one family to live next to one another.
1920s Home Flooring
Oak hardwood flooring was a hit in the 1920s as well. This is a classic type of woodworking that is often used and admired to this present day. It was most likely used in the kitchen dining room and/or living room, but could have also been used in other rooms of the house as well.
Linoleum Floor Patterns were also very popular during the early twenties (1924). Linoleum is the same floor material that is used in many kitchens today.
Home Exteriors in the 1920s
A little bit more of an unusual exterior for a 1920s home is one that was designed with green shingled roofing all the way to the bottom of the windows. From that point up, wood siding was installed.
Other Roofing Materials of 1920s Homes
One style of roofing used in the 1920s was vulcanite hexagon slabs. These shingles were made from asphalt. Other types of weatherproof shingling were also made to be placed over the top of old wood roofing. Additionally, common colors for shingling in these days were green, red, or blue-black.
Picture of Vulcanite Hexagon Slabs:
Furnishings Placed in 1920s Homes
Furniture and décor that was placed in 1920s home had a look all of its own for the decade. You may notice furniture in people’s homes today of a similar style made from the same materials. If so, it is a possibility that these furniture pieces you see in people’s homes today may be 1920s’ originals.
A large number of bedroom dresser and vanity furniture pieces were made of sturdy materials such as oak, walnut, cedar, or mahogany woods. Dressers and vanities both were usually made of an elegant yet simple carved wood design (as appearing in ad photos).
The styles of beds used during the 1920s varied. For example, in 1923 simple metal beds with two-inch posts that came with mattresses and springs were placed in rooms. In 1928 double beds were made out of similar carved wood frames along with corresponding bedroom dresser or vanity pieces.
Another metal bed is signature of the 1920s decade-the Simmons bed in graceline tubing. This bed was designed with a w/decorated steel center and high grade link fabric springs. The
mattress made sleeping more comfortable for those who were to use this bed. Liberty
A similar model of Simmons bed that is very similar to the one described in the previous paragraph is designed with a walnut finish. This bed contains five filler rods in each end, as well as the same high grade link fabric springs and all cotton
In the early 1920s, living room furniture sets often included a number of coordinating pieces, such as an arm chair, reception chair, arm rocker, tabourette, bookend, and table. Another very popular item that was displayed during the early 1920s (and perhaps later) is the very distinct wrought iron bridge lamp.
Picture of Wrought Iron Bridge Lamp:
Cretonne, Silk, or Pongee Materials were often used to make draperies, especially for the living room or family room. It is most likely that curtains were made for the kitchen and bathroom from similar materials which more than likely of a lighter grade.
Living Room Sets
A living room set that is fairly typical of this particular time in history is a three piece living room set made from mohair fabric. This particular set would usually include pieces of furniture such as an 84-inch davenport, club chair, and wing chair with reversible spring cushions (made in 1928).
Three-piece living rooms such as the one described above were very common. However, one of the best deals for furniture that is offered during the 1920s is the 14-piece furniture set. This suite would usually consist of two chairs and couch, which are all upholstered.
Additional items were included with this set such as a Floor lamp with pleated shade, small round lamp table (appears in photo to be of a glass top), magazine basket, and bronze book ends were also included. .
Other types of lamps besides the bridge lamp described earlier in this section include various junior, floor, and table models of lamps. These particular units usually were made with polyester, chrome, or mahogany bases and glass or silk lampshades with fringed trim.
One other popular item that was used to decorate homes in this era was a rug made of materials such as worsted wool or velvet. Usually these were placed in the center of a living room or dining room floor, and sometimes in the bedroom.
Kitchen furniture was often installed in homes during the 1920s, especially if homes were not already designed with built-in shelves and cupboards. One of the most common additions made to a home during this decade was a piece such as the 36-inch high kitchen cabinet. This cabinet was most likely made of oak or other strong wood.
Another oak kitchen cabinet that was installed in a home of this time period was a kitchen cabinet with a white porcelain top. This is one of the items that helped make kitchen cooking duties easier.
Appliances and Electronic Equipment
Since the invention of electricity towards the end of the 19th century, new household items have been invented. Numerous appliances were made to help ease the burden of house chores.
For instance, there was a unit called the Universal chafing dish, flat iron, and washing machine. This had appeared in a 1924 ad in
. Green Bay, Wisconsin
Another item that was often used was the electric clothes washer made by Western Electric. This photo will help you get an idea of what one of these items looked like.
Vacuum cleaners have been invented by this time, and have become more modernized. The following is a photo of an ad for a
vacuum cleaner that was displayed in a 1920 newspaper: Hoover
The Kitchen Ice Box
Another common unit used during this time was the ice box, however it is noted that this unit was most likely not electrical at this time. This unit was the early version of a modern-day refrigerator. It acts as a huge cooler, which is filled with ice.
The interior of this icebox was lined with galvanized steel, and appears to be encased in a finished wood exterior (see photo below). This was a unit that was very popular in homes during the late 1920s.
Cooking appliances that were considered state-of-the art during this time include the 16-inch oven and broiler. This particular unit has one giant and three standard burners and is build with concealed construction.
Imagine cooking on this unit pictured below, which cost only $59 on sale in the year 1928 (WI,
Another unit was installed in homes from time to time as well.
Gas-Coal Combination Unit:
Some Pictures of some of the items to be found in 1920's Kitchen
The dining room was one of the most lived-in rooms of the entire house. Therefore, the furniture in these rooms was usually quite simple but elegant-just like most of the other furniture built in the 1920s. Dining room furniture sets often included an average of eight pieces.
One eight piece dining set that was created during this decade was one that included a 60-inch buffet, oblong extension table with a cut-cornered edges, five dinner chairs and host chair. The picture that appeared along with the description of this ad very strongly leads one to believe that the seats of the chair were covered with either velour or tapestry upholstery.
Another eight-piece dining set of the 1920s was made out of walnut. This set included a buffet, host chair, five dinner chairs, and table with six legs and decorative stretchers (on table legs).
Other signature pieces of this era include the Queen Ann Table which was displayed in an ad in the year 1924, and the 9x12 velvet rug. The rug could possibly have been used to accent either a dining room floor or a living room floor.
Quite a bit of baby’s furniture in the 1920s was made from enameled metal or enameled wicker (a type of straw). For instance, families with a baby during this time period often owned a white enameled wicker baby’s wardrobe w/folding drawers (1923). This may have been set up in a baby’s room along with a white enameled metal crib with drop sides (possibly 28x52 inch unit).
1920s-The Birth of Radio Broadcasting and Household Radios
Studies of the history of radio conclude that radio broadcasting first took place at the beginning of the decade (in the year 1920). Then, from the years of 1923 to 1930 more than half of American households had already owned their own radios.
In later years the crystal that was used to make the original household radios was replaced by a vacuum tube. This greatly improved the reception of the original radio. This radio improvement was first by a man named Edwin Armstrong. The first model of radio that was designed with this vacuum tube was the Radiola Superheterodyne.
Another line of radios was created in later years. For example, in the year 1925 the combination phonographic radio was created. The following is an example of what an Orthophonic Victrola radio looked like in the year 1925 (edited drawing taken from a WI newspaper):
The above model of phonograph/radio was usually one that sat in most living rooms or dining rooms. Over the years of course much smaller hand-held and portable radios were developed as well (i.e. the 1928 R.C.A. Radiola 18).