What the American Home Looked Like the Year You Were Born

WWII shaped the first half of the 1940s. Due to wartime material shortages, dcor remained simple in this 1940 living room with damask curtains.


Still, 1930s technology influenced house design. The furniture's curved lines resemble Streamline Moderne, which was influenced by aerodynamics.


In the early 1940s, radio dominated living room entertainment. Though invented, televisions were much more expensive than radios, which were in over 80% of American homes.


The beginnings of the midcentury modern design movement started to take root in the 1940s. But it didn't flourish until after the end of World War II.


Art Deco and Art Nouveau were still popular in the first half of the 1940s. The geometry of the wall hanging is very Deco in nature, while the organicism of the headboard is more Nouveau.


In the 1940s, kitchens were quite compact. They did, however, benefit from modern appliances.


Florals were definitely popular in the 1940s, especially in upholstery, though they'd soon make way for more modern design. As with all design trends, however, they come back!


The '40s were a transitional period. Here, a TV set makes an appearance in an otherwise pretty traditionally decorated living room.


Chinoiserie began to return in the 1930s after being a 19th-century trend. It persisted into the 1940s, especially as postwar international travel and trade increased.


Patterned wallpaper was quite popular in the 1940s. Instead of a traditional floral motif, this one in a bedroom features a more abstract design.