Moderne Home: 1920's & 1930's Tiled Fireplaces
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image 1A desire for new materials led the buyer to prefer a fireplace that reflected the modern era. The Art Deco style greatly influenced the shape of 1930's fireplaces and this was seen with the beveled edges, rounded corners and repetitive patterns. The traditional home owner may still have had a wooden surround but with a simple ceramic insert, the romantic floral decoration was out and chevrons and zig zags were used as motifs. The true Art Deco follower would of chosen a complete ceramic unit, machine made. Shapes were reflective of architecture and geometric forms.



The 1930s household did, however, demand one luxury that very few Victorians had had, and it was a luxury that the traditional fireplace was easily adapted to provide: running hot water. A “back boiler” was set into the back of the chimney breast above the grate, using the heat from the fire to heat water in the tank that would then rise up to another tank at the top of the house. The fireplace had first enabled us to have upstairs bedrooms in the sixteenth century. Now, in the twentieth century it was providing us with upstairs bathrooms as well. Many houses still retain their back boilers, left to rust in the chimney breast long after they were superseded by more modern alternatives. Renaissance Antique Fireplaces

The use of ceramics fitted in with the need for materials that could be machine made and mass produced. The moderne home wanted stark clean lines and bright light colours. Ceramic tiles created the popular chunky box shapes.

Glazed finishes were often dramatic with mottles, pastel colours and iridescent glazes. Fireplaces became works of art based on geometrical designs, zigzags and sunbursts, fashionable curves or Egyptian and oriental motifs. The so-called "style moderne" transformed the humble fireplace into a work of art - a work of art many homeowners are now anxious to recreate.' Home is where the hearth is' by David Thame



A Practical Design Guide to Fireplaces and Stoves

The Art Deco House

Fireplaces Styles: Form, Function, and Design


20thC Moderne Fireplace Products

Reproduction Tiled Fireplaces

Fireplace Tiles: Edinburgh Ceramics

Plain Glazed Tiles

Fireplace Hearths

1930s and Art Deco Fireplaces

Art Deco Fire Basket


Links to Fireplace Articles

Copies of original tile catalogues/pattern books

History of the Antique Fireplace: Renaissance Antique Fireplaces

1930's art deco lounge diner: BBC Homes

Homeowners Advice for Fireplaces: The Victorian Society


Useful Research Websites

BBC Homes 1920's:

BBC Homes 1930's

Hidden House History

Francis Frith Photo Archive

The Geffrye Museum

English Architecture: Britain Express

Looking at Buildings: Pevsner Architectural Guides


Useful Links to Articles

Design Styles- Architecture, interiors and furnishings: Dezignare

1930s and Art Deco Fireplaces


Forum Debates

Channel 4 Homes Forum

How To Repair Brickwork- Youtube


Art Deco House Style

Understanding the Edwardian and Inter-War Houses

Thirtiestyle: Home Decoration


Art Deco firescreen - Youtube








Post War