Colorful art deco-style met more traditional wood furnishings to create an almost whimsical feel, according to RetroPlanet.com. The art deco influence was key in kitchens and bathrooms, where vibrant colors and clean surfaces were important while heavy wood furnishings, reminiscent of prewar decor, were used in family rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms.

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Red kitchenware was popular in the 1940s.

Colors

Jadeite or a red-and-white theme are the hallmarks of a 1940s kitchen, according to AKitchenDecoratingIdea.com. Other vibrant colors can be used throughout the house. But think red-and-white checked gingham tablecloths, rooster-patterned fabrics for linens or fruit (especially apple or cherry) themed window dressings. Painted cabinets were also popular. While the 2000s feature sleek, neutral-colored cabinetry, painted wood was in vogue in the 1940s. Paint cabinets, end tables or wooden chairs to brighten a room and get a retro feel.

Colorful accessories, including breadboxes, canisters, cake dishes or soap dishes were also common in the 1940s. Jeweled or tasseled curtain tiebacks were also a popular way to splash color in a 1940s house.

Accents

Glass knobs were a key component of 1940s decorating. Available in a rainbow of colors, glass knobs may be used to complement painted cabinets or furniture or as an accent on unfinished or stained pieces.

Vintage lighting fixtures may also be used to give you home a 1940s feel. Glass fixtures with a simple, functional feel were common during that decade. Buy vintage glass knobs or lighting fixtures at antique shops or replicas at retail home improvement or decorating stores, like Restoration Hardware.

Furniture

To get a retro feel, consider adding furniture with laminate or enamel tops or made of chrome and glass, both of which were popular during the 1940s. A chrome-and-glass dinette set or laminate-topped counters bring the 1940s to your kitchen. In other rooms of the house, Colonial or traditional furniture was still in vogue, according to RetroPlanet.com. Phonographs and covered wooden TV stands are also examples of 1940s furnishings.