Modern architecture & minimalist home decor were hallmarks of this wood-paneled 1940s house

Modern architecture and minimalist home decor 1940s house (2)
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This house — built around 1939, but seen in these pictures after a renovation in 1947 — was held up as a fine example of the maturing character of American Modern architecture. It used no line or material that was not necessary. 

Inside the home, the dining, living, and entry areas were assembled to achieve a large continuous space. The high ceilings and the small scale of details and furnishings contributed to the illusion of spaciousness.

In the main room, the lengthwise proportions were emphasized, while the lateral features were subdued. A restful spaciousness was sought by calm proportions and close color harmonies.

While overall the residence had minimalist home decor, this room accommodated a wide variety of furnishings unified by color and scale. Antique and modern objects were freely mixed along with objects from many periods and many parts of the world.

Modern architecture and minimalist home decor 1940s house (1)

The ceiling and most of the walls in this wood-paneled 1940s house were of vertical grain hemlock flooring, unfinished to preserve the original light color and luster. The home’s actual flooring was oak that was laid in four-foot squares.

A small area of painted plywood, divided by battens into panels, gave a color and texture contrast, and afforded an opportunity to change the color scheme of the room with paint without altering any of the natural wood surfaces.

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The long built-in couch was placed to flank the modern-style brick fireplace while providing a direct view through the large window.

Concealed in the metal handrail for the stair landing were lights that illuminated the steps, lit the couch sufficiently for reading, and displayed the objects on the bookcase behind the couch.

The cantilevered cabinet near the entrance contained a small desk, phonograph records, and a record player.

The concealed light that illuminated the desk also illuminated the Eugene Berman painting over the desk through a slot in the top of the cabinet.

Modern architecture and minimalist home decor 1940s house (2)
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