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As explained on the 1940s house page, the most up-to-date 1940s English suburban semi-detached houses were built in the 1930s. All had the same basic plan, although my family was fortunate in that ours was larger than most.
What seemed to strike our guests was the relatively large sizes of the hall and kitchen. This page is about the hall.
Naturally, once inside the house, the personal preferences of the occupants showed, although these were dictated by what was in the shops at the time of purchase and what were hand-me-downs.
At the time, our stained glass looked to me, as a very young child, like a monster with huge eyes and large shoulders, and I had nightmares about him coming out of the front door towards me. So my father had the windows re-inserted upside down. Then the nightmares stopped.
There was a non-descript coloured curtain that could be drawn across the door and side windows at night.
The doors to the rooms were varnished like the front door, but the panels were smaller with more of them.
What was bought in the late 1930s in the way of hall furnishings would have been typical in style in other houses furnished at that time because it was dictated by what was in the shops. Differences would have been relatively minor.
Our hall floor, like other hall floors, was covered in lino with a dark to medium brown marble pattern. My mother polished it regularly on her hands and knees till it shone.
There were four items of bought furniture, all in dark wood.
• A small table was tucked away inside the front door. It had a drawer with a shelf underneath. Later in the 1950s it was where the one and only telephone was located.
• A slightly larger square table stood by the door to the lounge (or 'the front room' as it was always called). It was a much more elegant affair, comprising a top and a shelf close to the floor. It had turned wooden supports and legs.
• Opposite this table was what was called the 'hall stand'. It was as tall as a man and had hooks for coats and hats, a small mirror and a small seat with a hinged lid over a container for gloves etc. There were slots at the sides for umbrellas. It came in several versions, and every house seemed to have one or another of them in its hall.
There were two types of carpet.
Additionally there was a door mat inside the front door.
Other items in our hall were not typical in that they were either hand-me-downs from older relatives; bought because they appealed to my mother, or - for the want of a better word - heirlooms. Not that the 'heirlooms' were particularly expensive. Their value was personal because of family associations.
If you can add anything to this page, I would be pleased to hear from you.
The hall walls were papered in a non-descript beige colour and I rather think that the paper was slightly textured. It was the same throughout the house.
Throughout the house, the walls were only papered to within about half a metre of the ceiling. The upper part was known as a 'drop ceiling'. Around the demarcation was a picture rail with a papered frieze below it. Pictures hung from the picture rails. (The drop ceiling and picture rail fashion persisted from the early 1900s, and probably before, until around the 1950s.
Ceilings were whitewashed.