The Style of the 1930s English Home

One in a series of books about style through the decades, from the Museum Of Domestic Design and Architecture, within Middlesex University (London).

The best thing about this book, naturally enough, are the designs here showcased. The reproduction quality is excellent, and the format is appealing. The text is very plain-Jane and straightforward, though sometimes baffling and with occasional typos, which seems odd in a book of this minimal length. We are told in one explanation that a 'Cactus' design of wallpaper 'is described as having "a hint of freakishness".' The author had apparently mislaid her glasses: the actual advert, which is reproduced here, says quite clearly: 'Sheer delight in wallpaper decoration -- where originality of motif comes without a hint of freakishness'. That’s without, not with. Then we are told, over and over, that various items for the 1930s house were 'on sale'. I don't know about the idiom of the author's own locale, but wherever I've lived in the English-speaking countries, 'on sale' means 'at a reduced price'. What she clearly means instead is 'for sale' -- meaning, available for purchase. These blemishes apart, this book is a lovely glimpse into the happier aspects of the 1930s.