As I was wandering in an aimless manner around the antiques’ market the other day, I spied a copy of Better Homes & Gardens from 1944. I’ll be honest: I pounced upon it, in a Panther-like manner, which was a bit embarrassing for those around me.
I don’t know about you, but my childhood looked just like that. . . all the time. I mean it: our mother never let us sleep, we just had to keep singing songs with her, 24/7. Look at the face on the littlest one– she’s exhausted, bless her, her big sister is holding her up.
Back then America was coming off the tail end of the War, shortages were rife and money was tight. America today is suffering again with economic difficulty. I was curious to see how different things were then. . .
Firstly, let me show you the living room of a celebrity couple of the time, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Wilder:
Seems perfectly charming; but not exactly giant televisions, sunken bathtubs, hissy fits and dead hookers in the pool.
The makeover ideas are not dissimilar from those you’ll find in today’s magazines (or blogs), but do seem to be based more on necessity than on creativity for its own sake…
For those of you who can’t quite read that tiny, blurry writing: it suggests tacking rows of fringe across your bed’s wooden headboard, and adding matching trim to your bedside table.
Apparently, we didn’t invent Reuse, Repair, Remake either:
Once again, for those of you without bionic vision: it suggests taking a worn-out oblong rug and cutting it down to an oval shape, then adding fringing to perk-it-up.
I get the sense that fringing was pretty much all that was widely on-hand or available in the ‘wild’ Home Makeover supply department of the late-1940s, so I’m guessing that “Stick the bloody stuff on every flat surface” was the wide advice of the day.
So, the next time you catch yourself sighing heavily about the slowness of your iPhone, or the tepidness of your electric car-seat warmer, bear in mind back then the total height of luxury was Lino. . . bright red lino, no less.
. . . After all: if you have Lino, when you’re hand-washing your laundry in the bathtub, then it’s so much easier to mop up after.
Now, where did I put that gold plated toast-rack?