Bedroom Decorating Ideas: The 1940's and 1950's

The 1940s and 1950s both offer plenty of stylish glamor and iconic concepts for bedroom design. This period of history saw the world go from a world war to putting men into space. Creating an imaginative bedroom design that is unlike anyone else’s you know of should not be too hard if get to know your history and can find décor to fit your plans.

Film noir was invented in the 1940s to deal with the more ambiguous division between the good and bad guys following the victory over fascism. Bedroom noir means windows covered by nothsing but blinds slightly drawn to create the iconic shadows of film noir. You need a poster of a classic like Double Indemnity or Laura. The bedroom noir should be decorated monochromatically while avoiding starkly black or white paint or fabrics. Subtle gradations of gray make an appropriate paint scheme. Try to find some sleek Art Deco furnishings and add touches like a gun that’s really a lighter. Lighting should be directed to create ominous shadows. Wall décor should be slightly off-center and a little skewed to thematically recreate the unsettling atmosphere in which film noir characters found themselves.

A bachelor bedroom can look to the pin-up girls of the 1940s for inspiration. Cheesecake photos of beautiful models were the rule of the day. Your wall décor can tread the tame by focusing on movie superstars who

posed for pin-ups from Betty Grable to Lana Turner. Pin-up art also got a little underground if you want to get a little more extreme. Look to work by artists like Alberto Vargas and models like Bettie Page.

It’s about the attitude when it comes to a beatnik themed bedroom, daddy-O. To reflect the beatnik sensibility of going against the popular culture, your bedroom bookshelf needs to contain works by Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Musical tastes can be reflected in bongo drums in the corner and the framed copies of discordant jazz albums. Plant a high round table with tall benches equipped with an espresso maker. The one thing you want to avoid above all else in creating a beatnik bedroom is the exhibition of anything square because you are, like, anything but a real L7.

The 1950s were the heyday of the drive-in movie theater. You can’t park your car in front of that extra-large-screen television, but you can decorate your bed with car décor to create the illusion. Head to the junk store or flea market and buy a speaker to affix to the side of your bed just as moviegoers affixed them to their car window. (Never mind whether it works or not; just like the teens of the 1950s.) Invest in some high quality movie posters of drive-in classics like The Creature From the Black Lagoon and I Was a Teenage Werewolf and frame them on the wall. Install one of those tabletop popcorn makers, press the Play button and recreate a Friday night out the average teenager in 1955.