Consumerism/materialism became more prevalent with the increase in advertising.
The transforming social culture in 20th century America lessened the income gap.
Wealthy families/male figures had most additions/alterations on residences, especially in the 1920s.
The 1920s had largest number of projects due to rise in standard of living and use of credit to pay for products/services (contributed to Great Depression).
Decrease in use of dining room due to changing role of women and economy; more cost efficient for them to make dinner rather than servants; also, a positive social symbol for women to handle domestic duties personally.
Achieving individuality through belongings
The U.S. values individualism, being unique, and being innovative.
The U.S. values change and hard work because it is a result of creativity and a desire for positive improvement.
The U.S. values control; Americans want to control their fate and thusly their surrounding environment because we like the challenge and the secure feeling.
Achieving immortality through belongings being passed down to future generations
Rise in standard of living contributes to increase in spending.
Trickle-down effect where the upper class bought new products (like toasters) before the middle/lower class used them; also, geographically true, because the north became more prosperous through industry/manufacturing before productivity moved to the south where labor was cheaper.
Domestic help declined over the decades because it was expensive during the Depression and during war time, and because Americans placed greater importance on building a home on your own time.
Storefronts were remodeled often, creating grander display cases and entrances, all in an effort to attract customers/advertise; related to people wanting to be perceived as well-off by showcasing their houses in social gatherings; residence projects often had remodeling of entrance to have more grandeur (columns, cornice details, etc), emphasis on main hall, smoking rooms, servants living in-house to provide service.