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  • Writer's pictureTara Riya

The impact of the Great Depression on American interiors.


The Great Depression was a period of economic hardship and social change in the United States. During this time, many Americans struggled to make ends meet and had to adapt to new living conditions. The impact of the Great Depression on American interiors was significant, as it brought about a shift in design styles and materials used in homes and public spaces. This period saw the rise of more affordable and practical design solutions, as well as a move towards more modern and streamlined aesthetics.


Additionally, the Great Depression also had an impact on the way people used and interacted with their interior spaces, as they were forced to adjust to smaller living quarters and make do with what they had. Overall, the Great Depression had a lasting influence on American interior design and continues to be studied and analyzed by scholars and designers alike.


  • The Great Depression of the 1930s had a profound impact on American interiors.

  • Many Americans were unable to afford new furnishings or home renovations during this time.

  • As a result, there was a shift towards more practical and functional design.

  • People began to focus on making the most out of what they had rather than buying new items.

  • This led to an increase in DIY projects and the repurposing of old furniture.

  • Furniture styles became simpler and less ornate, reflecting the need for practicality.

  • Color schemes also became more subdued and neutral.

  • Homeowners began to prioritize functionality over aesthetics, creating multi-functional spaces.

  • There was also an emphasis on durability and long-lasting materials.

  • The popularity of Art Deco style, which emphasized sleek lines and geometric shapes, grew during this time.

  • Many homeowners turned to wallpaper as a cost-effective way to add style and color to their homes.

  • The use of textiles also became more prevalent, as they could be used to add texture and warmth to a space.

  • Lighting became more important, with homeowners investing in fixtures that could provide both task and ambient lighting.

  • Overall, the Great Depression had a lasting impact on American interior design, shifting the focus towards practicality, simplicity, and durability.


Overall, the impact of the Great Depression on American interiors was complex and far-reaching. It led to changes in design, materials, and style, as well as a renewed interest in traditional crafts and a desire for comfort and security in the home. These changes would continue to shape American interiors for decades to come, as the country emerged from the economic crisis and entered a new era of prosperity and growth.

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