Before The Bomb, There Was The Bathroom: Vintage Bathroom Designs From The 1940s

In the 40s, society was recovering from the Great Depression and the second World War, and fashion and style came back with a bang. People finally had enough money to renovate and go shopping and they all wanted a taste of the American dream. Here in 2011, what better way to celebrate surviving our country’s most recent recession than by renovating with a 1940s theme in mind!

Hollywood Glamor Bathroom Sketch from 1946
Hollywood Glamor Bathroom Sketch from 1946

A glistening brass finish on the fixtures and decadent period lighting will achieve the vintage Hollywood glamor effect brilliantly. It wasn’t until the 1950s that every home had a television set, and in the 40s it was the silver screen that determined what people dreamed about and desired. In films, men and women always wore fitted clothes, drank from crystal tumblers and displayed affectations of good breeding. The glamor of movies was, and still is, a central focus of our longing.

Broan-Nutone Gold Frame Medicine Cabinet
Broan-Nutone Gold Frame Medicine Cabinet
Four Light Wall Sconce from The Delovely Series
Four Light Wall Sconce from The Delovely Series

The gold tone mirror paired with starlet makeup lights from the De-Lovely series creates the classic dressing room arrangement. You can really get into it and rip through your hair with a brush and scream into the mirror about how you need more pep pills before you go on set.

California Faucets Sink Fixture
California Faucets Sink Fixture

California Faucets makes the perfect sink faucet in a brass finish for this posh 1940s theme.

Jacuzzi Clawfoot Bathtub
Jacuzzi Clawfoot Bathtub

Nothing conjures up nostalgia for the past better than the clawfoot bathtub, and these styles look amazing with exposed plumbing on the tub fillers.

The Country Bath Collection from Rohl in Brass Finish
The Country Bath Collection from Rohl in Brass Finish

For the tub, the brassy filler with cross handles is classic, with its pipes jutting slightly out of the wall. The more visible the piping around the tub and under the sink, the better. America in the 40s was filled with farmers and city dwellers. Spaces were tight and unfinished, and external pipes became part of the aesthetic.

Deck Mounted Tub Filler from Rohl
Deck Mounted Tub Filler from Rohl

There are some beautiful vintage deck mounted tub fillers, however, such as this shiny brass one with cross handles. Cross handles were very popular in the 40s, and they were often seen bearing adorable hot and cold labels.

The Richmond Collection from Crystorama
The Richmond Collection from Crystorama

Hollywood glamor is a ritzy style that deserves the ritzy lighting of a fine crystal basket light fixture. This one is made by Crystorama with wood polished crystals refined by hand.

1941 Vintage Bathroom Design
1941 Vintage Bathroom Design

As you can see, oval medicine cabinets were considered the best thing since sliced bread. The style of post war homes was a very sentimental one. People were grateful for the end of such tumultuous years, and wanted a pleasant home where they could settle down. This innocent mentality brought about the popularity of floral wallpapers and curtains.

1948 Floral Bathroom Design
1948 Floral Bathroom Design

The middle class did not know the excess and luxury it does today. The more modest and realistic vintage bathroom has fixtures with nickel finishes and white tubs and toilets where dirt shows and and can be easily cleaned.

Rohl Vintage Sink Faucet in Nickel Finish
Rohl Vintage Sink Faucet in Nickel Finish

The Rohl country bath collection embodies the aesthetics of the post war era.

Rohl Wall Mounted Bath Filler
Rohl Wall Mounted Bath Filler

This swanky Rohl bathtub filler fixes into the wall and has a lovely amount of exposed plumbing.

You can also achieve a vintage look with fringed lamps, which were in vogue after World War II. And as for those pink toilets, I have no idea where to find one of those today. If anybody knows, please tell me. I will dedicate the next six months to convincing my fiance to let me have a pink and white 1940s powder room. This is my dream.

2 thoughts on “Before The Bomb, There Was The Bathroom: Vintage Bathroom Designs From The 1940s

  1. Pingback: Kick Back And Relax In The Bath – Cozy Country Cottage Design For Your Bathroom - homethangs.com

  2. Pingback: How To Pick The Best Type Of Sink For Your Bathroom Remodel - homethangs.com

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