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A Typical 1930s Dining Room

Audrey Pannell

Interior design in the 1930s was heavily influenced by the Art Deco movement. Traditional dining rooms reflected that style, which originated in Paris in the 1920s. Rather than decorating a dining room in romantic décor, homeowners turned to streamlined and modern furnishings and accessories. Art Deco design was incorporated into the home, as well as in the architecture of the buildings.


A 1930s dining room was decorated with modern plateware and silver-plated candles.

Interior colors in the 1930s included exotic greens and oranges, with small amounts of black or gold for accenting. The dining room most likely used these colors on the walls, seat cushions or curtains. Wallpapers used included these colors or muted colors of mauve, gray, cream and yellow, with touches of black for accenting. Colored wallpapers used in the dining room consisted of geometric designs, sometimes displaying images of female, jazz-age and Egyptian figures. Because minimalism was popular during this time, white was also used, leading some to paint the walls white.


Dining room furniture design in the 1930s was influenced by the modern Art Deco style and the Bauhaus school style. The Bauhaus art school of Germany heavily influenced 1930s furniture design and incorporated minimalism with functionalism. As a result, 1930s dining room furniture was modern and streamlined. It was characterized by straight lines, geometric shapes and overstuffed cushions. The wooden table, chairs and buffet table were lacquered with round edges. If not wood, tabletops were often marble, chrome, glass or a combination.


The lighting in a 1930s dining room was contemporary. Streamlined chandeliers hung above the modern dining tables. The chandeliers were typically characterized by a detailed metal frame design and geometric glass bulb covers. Smaller tulip-shaped glass bulb covers sometimes encircled a larger middle light. Some buffet tables contained built-in sconce lights covered with detailed glass work.

Dining Room Accessories

Accessories in a 1930s dining room reflected the Art Deco style seen in the furnishings and light fixtures. Silver-plated tableware, decorative glass bowls with frosted glass designs and silver or silver-plated candle holders decorated a typical dining room. Silver-plated ice buckets chilled bottled beverages. Table vases were characterized by straight lines or urn shapes, and may have been silver-plated, bronze, painted or engraved.