1940s Homes

1940s English homes

A typical English home in the 1940s had a kitchen, sitting room, and two or three bedrooms. Some had bathrooms, but many still used outdoor toilets. Windows during the war were covered in tape to prevent the force of an exploding bomb from sending glass shards everywhere. A candle was kept in every room so that if a bomb hit a power cable or gas pipe and knocked out the power used to light homes, families could still see. Blackout curtains were required to be drawn at night so that light from rooms couldn’t be seen from the outside. This made it more difficult for enemy planes to figure out where to drop their bombs.

The Sitting Room

The sitting room was the room where the family would relax, read, listen to the radio, and just sit around talking. It was often the nicest room of the home and made presentable for when others would visit. Most sitting rooms had a fireplace, and without central heat, this made the sitting room a popular place during cold weather.

picture of a sitting room with seats centered around a fireplace


Children’s rooms

Children typically shared bedrooms in the 1940s. Most children’s rooms had books and toys (though of course no TVs, computers, or video games). Many children’s rooms contained a chamber pot under the bed so that children wouldn’t need to go to an outside bathroom in the middle of the night.


Many 1940s English homes did not have an indoor bathroom. People washed in the kitchen and took baths in front of the fire in a metal tub. During the war, the bath ration was 5 inches of water once a week. Families often had to share the bathwater.

picture of two children bathing in a small metal tub