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style/deco blogs for 1930s semi

(40 Posts)
singleandfabulous Thu 15-Jan-15 15:10:39

I have a 1930's semi and I'm looking for style/decorating blogs for inspiration.

I've 'Googled' but what comes up is mainly 'Period' semis, not the bog standard, suburban, 3 bed type built in the 1930s. I've also had a look on Pinterest but the pickings are thin again and mostly period properties so I wondered if anyone knew of any 1930s specific blogs or websites. I've looked at the Haynes manual too but it's not helpful as it's more 'how to fix/maintain' than 'do up' iyswim.

Mine has been modernised (several years ago by a builder) and has lost most of its original features (such as fireplaces, tiled floors, doors replaced with modern 'pre-painted' etc.) but I'd like to add some character back whilst still keeping it modern and could really use some visual inspiration.


LBOCS Thu 15-Jan-15 17:10:04

I'm just place marking - I've got a 1920s-30s Art Deco style terrace (sadly missing its crittal windows, happily having had the flat roof replaced with a pitched one grin). I've got a number of original features - Bakelite door handles, glass doors, etc, but I want some ideas on how to make the most of them - without turning it into some sort of great gatsby style jazz club. It's a very difficult balance!

StressheadMcGee Thu 15-Jan-15 17:17:45

Also place marking, as I'd love some ideas too. We've just bought a 1930s semi, with some lovely 1980s features and no fireplaces or chimney breasts!

wowfudge Thu 15-Jan-15 17:40:05

We've got a 1930 built semi with lots of period features, Art Nouveau influenced rather than Deco: picture rails with a rounded profile, torus skirting boards, one over three internal doors with rim locks and wooden door knobs, stained glass in the upper panes of the windows at the front of the house. The bedroom fireplaces are pretty naff, but with inoffensive coloured tiling in our house and simple cast iron grates. The kitchen and bathroom have no picture rails - presumably because they were functional when installed and not deemed necessary in those rooms. The house is very much a typical inter war 3 bed semi.

Perhaps unusually for a semi of the time, we have cellars. the house has floorboards throughout, apart from a tiled hearth set into the living room floor. Not sure about the dining room as the floor is covered with laminate we intend to get rid of eventually. In our living room, the carpet was once a large square in the middle of the room, with the border of floorboards stained/varnished a darker colour than the natural colour of the wood.

This company reclaims and also creates reproductions 30s fireplaces. Their stuff looks great. They also reclaim and refurbish old stoves.

Have a look on ebay for reclaimed 1930s salvage. I've replaced a number of the rimlocks in our place from ebay.

wowfudge Thu 15-Jan-15 17:41:40

And where all the ceilings meet the walls and around the door areas, etc the plaster work is curved rather than squared off, except in the kitchen and bathroom again.

singleandfabulous Thu 22-Jan-15 12:49:58

grin at Gatsby style jazz club - there's an idea...

Yes, I have the curved walls near the windows too wowfudge and it's tricky to fit anything near them but I really do like them. I envy your cellar too. My floors have been laminated to death so god knows what's under them. It's too new to pull up and replace purely for aesthetic reasons.

stresshead mine still has the chimney breasts but the fires have been pulled out leaving gaping holes (which I have filled with logs/log basket) but I would like to put fireplaces back in a contemporary way somehow, perhaps with a log burner downstairs and with original fireplace/surround in the bedrooms.

I think I'll carry on looking for inspiration on rightmove in well-to-do areas.

Some of my neighbours houses have all the original features still in tact but they just look old-fashioned somehow and not contemporary. I think it's a fine line to tread.

What does everyone think of these renovations?

greenbanana Thu 22-Jan-15 13:54:00

I like the first one best. I think the others have fireplaces put in that are too modern. With fireplaces, I reckon you have to go either reclaimed/original, or super simple that won't date, like the first house has in the dining room with a wood burner. If you try and do anything that could be a 'feature' fireplace, but modern, it's going to jar with the house and date.

Do any of your neighbours have original decorative porch tiles? They look great on 30s houses.

wowfudge Thu 22-Jan-15 14:01:18

Not sure the first one is a 30s house - might be Edwardian. The fireplace in the living room is all wrong: it's Victorian in style. Other than that, there's not much period detail left and the stripped wood of the picture rails is all wrong.

The second one is better, apart from them their taste is hideous built in cupboards! I like the bay leading to the garden - I'd love something like that.

The third one has the most period features and what looks like the original fireplaces downstairs - most got ripped out as fashions changed.

greenbanana Thu 22-Jan-15 15:50:19

I always thought those brown tiled fireplaces were 70s - are they original then?

shovetheholly Thu 22-Jan-15 17:01:19

Just to second that these aren't actually 'period' renovations of semis (which would look pretty unfashionable these days) - they're a mishmash of different period details. Which is not to say they aren't lovely - I really like that first one.

Have a look at salvage yards, and on ebay for things you like.

wowfudge Thu 22-Jan-15 17:08:56

greenbanana - those are 30s originals. That type of tile is very much a thirties thing - often in mottled browns, sometimes in other colours. The completely tiled fire surround is very 30s.

TeddyBee Thu 22-Jan-15 18:08:20

I have a 1930's semi, just coming to the end of a massive extension/renovation. We had no original features apart from the doors, which we had to swap out for fire doors (although I found 1 over 3 fire doors eventually). Sadly we still have a row of bad built in cupboards in the living room so I'm not showing you any photos grin but we eschewed the thirties and went mid century modern. So all fireplaces were gone and we left them out but put in a simple wood burner. We ripped up laminate and painted the boards although our extension is now covered in new laminate as we ran out of money before we got to the floor. We added a bedroom, a utility and a massive kitchen diner and also converted the loft, so it's massive now. Our old kitchen is just a lobby with coat cupboards in it. Our old bathroom is a nice big landing with bookcases.

Lagoonablue Thu 22-Jan-15 18:52:09

We have a 30s semi. There are still some features in it and I do like the period. Pinterest has some good pics if you just search for 1930s house.

IssyStark Thu 22-Jan-15 21:01:59

I would also agree that the first house looks to be more 1920s rather than 1930s.

We live in a 1936 terrace with very few original features (basically some of the doors but the picture rails etc are all gone - we found the 'ghosts' of them when we stripped the wallpaper) and when we moved in nine years ago there was very little about 1930 houses which wasn't either historic recreation or complete stripping everything out.

greenbanana although 70s fireplaces are also frequently made of brown tiles but the type of tiles and the shape of the fireplaces are quite different. 1960s and early1970s fireplaces are often light brown variegated tiles and frequently the tiles are bumpy or have some form of relief. The shape of the fireplace is more typically rectangular rather than semicircular.

ChristmasName Fri 23-Jan-15 07:37:50

This might be good. I have the Victorian and Edwardian books.

SoupDragon Fri 23-Jan-15 09:27:00

Mine is 1934 (there is a picture of a cats arse with the date etched into some rough render on the chimney breast in the loft! Done by "Speedy Williams" apparently grin)

I've just picked up 2 old one-over-three doors from a charity shop for the bargain price of £15 the pair to replace the dreadful modern ones downstairs.

I think 1930s houses are really good at accepting many styles. I don't plan on making mine a homage to 1930s style but I would like to replace the spirit IYSWM. I can't being myself to put back in the tiled fireplaces though as I really don't like them. I will be replacing the truly awful ornate plaster surrounds with something plainer though!

Mine still has the picture rails and cornicing and the skirting in some rooms is original. I also have the original front door in the garage so I plan on putting that back on when I have time. It also has the original leaded lights which I need to work out how to keep as I want double glazing (they are beautiful but very draughty!) I think mine is pretty much the only house in the road that still has them.

wowfudge Fri 23-Jan-15 10:40:27

You can get the leaded lights encapsulated in double glazed units - our house has them as a previous owner did this. A local glazing company should be able to do this for you.

DeanKoontz Fri 23-Jan-15 10:48:19

What a great thread! We're about to embark on extending and renovating our 3 bed semi and I'm in a massive quandary about what to do with the French door.

I'm off out now, but will come back later and read the thread properly.

SoupDragon Fri 23-Jan-15 11:08:22

That's the problem - finding someone who offers encapsulation! No one seems to offer it on their website round here. I plan on having all the non leaded windows done and will ask then. There are a couple of original windows at the rear but I think they are not so important to save as they are plain. I'm happy that replacing them with a replica in [shudder] UPVC will be fine.

I rescued next door's leaded lights when they had double glazing put in. Most went on Freecycle but I kept one so I have a spare.

TeddyBee Fri 23-Jan-15 11:16:48

We rescued our neighbour's original front doors and replaced our shitey French door front doors with them. SO pretty and draughty

TeddyBee Fri 23-Jan-15 11:17:25

I have since put weather strip and weather brushes on them! And we have a porch thankfully.

TeddyBee Fri 23-Jan-15 11:17:59

We also have fake double glazing stained glass. It's vile. I put up shutters so I don't have to look at it.

DreamingOfAHotDrink Fri 23-Jan-15 11:19:53

Place marking. I have some original features and I can share some pictures. No fire place though.

SoupDragon Fri 23-Jan-15 11:27:37

Lovely doors, TeddyBee. Well rescued grin

MuscatBouschet Fri 23-Jan-15 21:05:53

We live in a pretty unmodernised 1930s house. But it is more arts and crafts then art deco influenced (unfortunately). A lot of unpainted wood that we can't bring ourselves to paint. So it is a little on the dark side. We have the tiled fireplaces but also an open brick fire. And the plasterwork between the ceiling and wall is curved. We still have stained glass Crittall windows, which are amazing.

The old owners preserved it brilliantly but it does look like 70 year olds live in it. We've decided that if we are going to keep all the dark wood we need to paint the wall in a less creamy colour to make it all look more modern.

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