What have we got so far?
The doll’s house model I’m imagining is based on a semi-detached pair built in 1930 and puts it into the Art Deco movement for its design inspiration and all those metal windows.
Am not sure whether the example I’ve used was built as private or public housing; when you look into the dates for the surrounding developments its possible they were speculative builds by certain firms of builders or could have been local Council inspired building done in small batches as funding became available in those very cash-strapped times .
Realities to fantasies
The imaginary dwellers in this model have a whole thing going with hoarding and owning original items wherever possible, so my rough plan is to start with the original design details as they appear in the street view photo (adjusted for doll’s house construction) and have decor and fixtures and fittings spreading out to the late 50s. It’s just possible some will be early 60s (plus a possible odd wobbly nod to the present if unavoidable.
link to original plans and designs used and messed about in blog entry “And the rest of the week, pencil in hand”
That gives me a spread from mid deco (1930 date of house to approximately 39 and the outbreak of war) through WWII requirements and on to the first appearance of Utility design in about 1942. I was born in 1949, and although as a child I lived in two different Victorian houses, all the fixtures and fittings date from around 1939 and any new acquisitions during the 50s reflected the rest of the period I’m hoping to cover. Most buying of items in the last house I lived in froze in time around 1963.
However, this pair of deco semis are in the here and now – next door having put in new plastic windows and front door to replace the curved metal bay and sunburst panel front door.
So I’ve set myself a bit of a problem which may annoy the more knowledgeable as I slalom in and out of design periods. Many apologies all round.
How shall I choose what for where?
Our memory pools have been muddied over the years by life in general and the most recent fashionable design visit to retro and the reproduction of wallpapers and floor coverings in particular – lots of which I suspect probably cover a pretty wide period. When I look up some items on the web under 30s to 50s, even when I include the word vintage, I’m pretty sure that many of what I can see reproduced are 60s and even 70s designs, all part of the more recent flurry of nostalgia. In the doll’s house line of things some papers that are preferred for settings to represent 30s to 50s are possibly 20s with the odd Edwardian design too. Nothing amiss with that, but it’s so confusing to the aging brain and the cloudy and wispy memory.
Doing things in a-oner
I think it’s probably only in the last 20-30 years that the make-over lets change everything at once carry-on has been the driving force within a household. Before that everyone I knew saved like crazy and bought things a bit at a time, saved Green Shield stamps or bought on the ‘never-never‘.
Decor – original plan of action
Once I’d bought wallpapers and carpeting/lino for the sitting and dining rooms I’d decided I wanted to go for home-printed when possible, not just to control costs (I mean ink cartridges aren’t exactly cheap either) but also to be able to smudge and reduce the ‘in your face vibrancy‘ of some of the 50s designs which do take over a space. Great to live with but real bullies in a mini domestic setting sometimes, don’t you find?
That muddied memory pool
Where should I jump in for a paddle?
What I’m now feeling my way to is a ‘look‘ rather than picking from a template of ‘knowns’, some of which in the fog of my own remembering I have ‘me douts’ about.
- feel comfy with the choices
- provide a background that gives the atmosphere of age and wear and tear
- don’t let the wear and tear take over
- let the fixtures and fittings have a say within the setting created
- nod to the past and the new and up and coming
- make the setting feel as though someone has just left the room
With all that firmly in mind I’m off to paddle and plodge around some more.