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From Grand Staircases to Snail Showers: Home Decor Through the Decades

Pre-1900 Grand StaircasesReal Estate decor has run the gamete from the Pre-1900’s to the 2000’s, according to

In the Pre-1900’s or during the “Gilded Age” of J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, affluent homes often boasted stunning grand staircases, double-wide pocket doors that slid into the walls, bay windows and coffered ceilings.

By the 1900’s, Tin Ceilings were a common feature, as they were inexpensive, fireproof and durable.

The 1910’s saw the emergence of built-in buffets, China cabinets, leaded glass windows and claw-foot tubs in the bathrooms. There were less frills, as people opted for cleaner and simpler lines. This decade gave rise to the Craftsman Style with gently pitched roofs, deep overhanging eaves, square columns and generous front porches.

As bootleg booze and sky rocketing stocks fueled the Jazz Age of the 1920’s, an era of conspicuous consumption ensued. The best residential architecture incorporated luxury touches like French doors and windows. Coffered ceilings, crown molding, arched doorways and plenty of glitz and glam were signs of the time.1920s example home with French Windows

The 1940’s saw post-war builders embracing many modern techniques, designs and materials, some first used for commercial purposes. Glass block walls, which were  first used in factories, had the advantage of letting in natural light. Clean lines and surfaces marked the best treatments of the decade.

Carports were a  hit and a common housing feature during the 1950’s. They offered the advantage of a full garage, but with a much lower cost. Other distinct characteristics of the time included: screened-in porches, eat-in kitchens, window seats and skylights.

1960s Terrazzo FloorsTimes were a changing in the 1960’s, and homes oft times had such distinctive features as terrazzo floors, which were a composite floor of marble, granite or other stone chips laid in cement and polished to a high shine. Attractive and practical, this flooring was in keeping with the clean modern designs of the day. Other common features included parquet floors, bow windows and chain link fences.

The 1970’s saw the rise of disposable income, when families began building vacation homes. The A-Frame Style was the go to design of the day. People often elected this style because  of its simplistic design and low cost. Eat-in kitchens, sliding glass doors and wraparound decks were other common attributes.

A home design feature not seen prior to the 2000’s, is something known as the snail shower. As its name suggests, it is a shower with an s-curve with the shower head at the end of the curl to avoid water splashing out of this open design. 2000s Snail ShowersBecause these showers take up more room, they are typically seen in larger, luxury homes. “McMansions” dot the landscape of this decade. Media rooms, Florida rooms, rich hardwood floors, dazzling granite tile floors, gourmet kitchens and recreational rooms are commonly seen attributes.

If you have a picture in your mind of Real Estate from any of these decades that you would like to build or find, feel free to contact me here or call me, and I will be happy to help.

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