WONDERFUL WALLPAPER

Sunworthy wallpaper ad, 1957.

Sunworthy wallpaper ad, 1957.

I have never wallpapered a room before. It seems like an awful lot of work and I’m afraid of the commitment involved since I like to change my colour schemes fairy often. I certainly wouldn’t want to go to all of the work of wallpapering a room only to decide to take it down a year later. And then I blame the ugly wallpaper of the late 80s and 90s (my childhood) for a bit of my hesitation. Wallpaper from that era, especially in the 90s, was usually a pastel floral print, slightly shiny and most often included dusty rose. And every home in the 90s had either matching wallpaper borders or borders covered with fruit or flowers…or both. Thankfully, after the 90s people spent hours taking down the ugly wallpaper and borders and paint made a big comeback.

I also remember the 1970s wallpaper that filled the house I grew up in which was built in 1974. It was much cooler than the wallpaper that covered over it in the 90s. Geometric shapes and stripes graced the kitchen and bathroom walls in vivid oranges and browns. I took a photo of the kitchen wallpaper last year before my parents moved…a little of the original paper was still up behind the fridge and stove.

The old kitchen wallpaper in my parent's house...circa 1974.

The old kitchen wallpaper in my parent’s house…circa 1974.

 

So now that I am about to decorate a house that is basically a blank slate as far as wall coverings and decor, I am actually thinking about doing at least one room in a fun vintage or vintage inspired wallpaper. I had even toyed with the idea of using vintage wallpaper as my kitchen backsplash but I have since decided against that.

I have only found a few rolls of nice vintage wallpaper over the years in thrift shops. I have used it for framed art, making cards, lining trays and even jewelry.

A few of the vintage rolls of wallpaper I've gathered over the years.

A few of the vintage rolls of wallpaper I’ve gathered over the years.

But really nice paper, especially from the 40s and 50s is difficult to find. One of the best spots to look for great vintage wallpapers is on Etsy. There are several shops that sell only vintage wallpapers, some by the roll and some by the yard. They are usually not cheap, especially with the shipping, but probably worth it.

Here are a selection of some great original wallpaper from the 1940s to the 1970s, all found in Etsy shops:

From the 1940s…

1940s wallpaper from Rosies Wallpaper on Etsy

Such a fun 1940s wallpaper from Rosies Wallpaper on Etsy

 

This is a dainty but colourful 1940s wallpaper from Hannah's Treasures on Etsy

This is a dainty but colourful 1940s wallpaper from Hannah’s Treasures on Etsy

 

Pretty 1940s floral paper from Hannah's Treasures on Etsy

A pretty 1940s feminine floral paper from Hannah’s Treasures on Etsy

The 1950s…

This is one swell 1950s print from Rosie's Wallpaper on Etsy

Quaint 1950s print from Rosie’s Wallpaper on Etsy

 

I really like this mid century atomic style paper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

I really like this mid century atomic style paper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

This is a definate contender - I love the starbursts in this 1950s wallpaper from Hannah's Treasures on Etsy

Love the starbursts in this 1950s wallpaper from Hannah’s Treasures on Etsy

 

Another great 1950s print from Rosie's Wallpaper on Etsy

Another great 1950s print from Rosie’s Wallpaper on Etsy

The 1960s…

This is a great abstract 60s print - love the colours...from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

This is a great abstract 60s print – love the colours…from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

 

Any little girl would love this bright 60s floral wallpaper in their room - from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

Any little girl would love this bright 60s floral wallpaper in their room – from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

 

A very 60s looking wallpaper from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

A very 60s looking wallpaper from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

 

I'm really liking this pattern and the colours in this wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

I’m really liking this pattern and the colours in this wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

Here is fun mod floral paper from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

Here is fun mod floral paper from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

And the many styles from the 1970s – large floral, mod designs, op art and geometric…

Here is a pretty 70s wallpaper with a large floral print from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

Here is a pretty 70s wallpaper with a large floral print from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

This print would be nice in the dining room with my 60s tulip table...from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

This print would be nice in the dining room with my 60s tulip table…from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

Here is a late mid century print in a great mod print with more subdued colours, from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

This late mid century wallpaper has a great mod print with more subdued colours in blue and grey, from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

Here is the perfect example of a modern  1970s panton wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

Here is the perfect example of a modern 1970s panton wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

Here is another 1970s geometric pattern wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

Bright, colourful and geometric – this paper is definitely 1970s from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

There are also a few online shops that carry new wallpaper with a vintage look. Bradbury is a company that makes vintage inspired wallpapers. Their Modernism line includes hand screen printed wallpapers in the styles of Art Deco, Post-War Era, Atomic Age and The Mod Generation.  http://www.bradbury.com/modernism.html

Here are a couple of my favorites from the Atomic Age collection:

Gee Gee in Gray

Gee Gee in Gray

 

Googie Land in Ivory

Googie Land in Ivory

 

Atomic Doodle in turquoise...maybe a little busy, but would be cute for a small area

Atomic Doodle in turquoise…maybe a little busy, but would be cute for a small area

I could spend another whole day looking at more wallpaper in online shops but this is a good start. Now which room shall I paper and which paper shall I use??

 

Related posts:

Leave a Comment:

*