I love history. I would say that the time periods of 1900 to 1920 and 1940 to 1950 are my favorites.
My father served in World War II and he saved a lot of his military gear. It wasn't until the HBO series Band of Brothers was produced that I became a student of World War II history. My father was 4F when Pearl Harbor was bombed and he instantly went to 1A by February of 1942. He served in the South Pacific and he prayed daily that God would watch over and protect him.
When I was employed, my office at the law firm was decorated with World War II memorabilia. I have close to 15 World War II posters and I also have several reprints of important newspapers.
Perhaps it is not just World War II but also World War I. I am intrigued how the average citizen made do during these war times. Do not misunderstand me. I do not glorify war. Instead I look to these time periods for inspiration in the way I live my life. During World War I and II there was rationing. How did homemakers feed their families decent meals?
When I think of that time I think of families living in fear of receiving a dreadful telegram about their loved ones; about how they pulled together to help each other out; and how women made a home while their husbands were overseas - all while working full time in the war industry. They made it through.
Enter my Inspiration Piece:
This is a 1940's dinette and it came with two chairs. One chair broke a couple of months ago and I am using a folding chair in the mean time. I purchased this set for $40 about 7 years ago. It came with a tiny leaf so it can be extended. When I purchased it my only purpose was to put some sort of breakfast eating area in our small kitchen. This fit the bill. It will cost $250 to get two new chairs for this table and I am saving up. I will either go with red or yellow.
Enter the Inspiration Piece that really got me thinking:
I was at a store that was having a major sale one day. I had never owned a good mixer and the price was very low. I choose this color as it reminded me of the colors in my grandma's kitchen. Grandma was caught in a time warp of the 1940's when I was little. In fact her kitchen remained that way until she sold the house in the 1970's. This beautiful pistachio green mixer started me on a hunt.
Over time I have been given several of my grandmother's kitchen items. I have also been able to find replicas on line. Slowly I am adding to my collection. I have purchased metal glasses, mixing bowls, and several linens. I have dishes and more in a closet upstairs.
I found this fabric online to be used to make curtains over my kitchen sink, table cloth and napkins and anything else I can think of.
This year I will be taking off the horrible navy blue and pink wallpaper and will be transforming my kitchen - to a point. I am not going to paint my kitchen cupboards as they are made of cherry wood and they are beautiful. I will replace the knobs with glass knobs. I want to paint the walls for now and then start decorating with the memorabilia. We have about a 2 1/2 foot gap between the top of our cupboards and the ceilings which is ideal for displaying antiques and such.
As time goes on our vinyl flooring will be replaced and so will the sink and countertop. I can live with it for now. Actually I believe once we get the walls painted and perhaps the ceiling fixtures replaced the room will really have the "feel" of what I am going for.
This style is not for everyone. I call it "period" decorating. For a woman who loves history it only makes sense to decorate a portion of her home in a period decorating style. As to the pink and navy blue wallpaper in the kitchen - it is from the previous owner. I could never figure out what to do with the kitchen so I left it up there until I got inspired.
Who would have thought that the dinette table that I bought at a great price would be the inspiration for decorating my entire kitchen.