WALL COVERING – PANELLING

 

Panelling ad.

Panelling ad.

Ahh, panelling. The ever so popular wall covering that ended up in every household in the fifties through the seventies. It was used in basements, rec rooms, family rooms and any other room in the house. I understand why it was such a popular option. It could easily cover up imperfect walls, was reasonably priced, came in countless shades, was very low maintenance, durable and simple to install.

Panelling was easy to install...much simpler than plaster or drywall.

Panelling was easy to install…much simpler than plaster or drywall.

I actually don’t mind the look of panelling for a rec room or basement area but for me, most of it is too dark for a living room, dining room or bedroom. The panelling in the living room of the house we are currently living in was so dark when I moved in so we painted over it. The only panelling in the 1960s house we’re renovating is in the back entry/laundry room. The rest of the rooms are plaster or wallpapered.

Our home growing up (built in 1974) was filled with panelling of all shades. To refresh my memory I flipped through my old childhood photo album – we had more panelling than I remembered. There was a classic rich wood panelling in the dining room, the rec room and the three bedrooms, a light blonde knotty pine panelling in the den and a dark charcoal panelling with a silvery grain in the living room that contrasted nicely with the multicolour shag style carpeting and orange damask fiberglass curtains. My siblings might not appreciate me posting this photo but it was the best one I could find for showing the unique silvery grey panelling in the living room I remember so fondly (aren’t we stylin.) Like many homeowners, my parents renovated their home in the nineties and tore out all of the old panelling (along with the shag carpet) and replaced it with wallpaper and paint.

Our living room panelling growing up.

Our living room panelling growing up.

Here are a few old ads for panelling.

Vintage panelling ad.

Vintage panelling ad.

panelling

Ad for Weldwood wood paneling, 1959

 

 

1959 ad for Weldwood paneling.

1959 ad for Weldwood paneling.

 

living room panelling.

living room panelling from Abitibi.

 

Panelling worked well for toy and rec rooms.

Panelling worked well for toy and rec rooms.

 

1961 DIY – DECORATIVE LINOLEUM INSETS

DIY linoleum insets from Dominion Flooring, from a 1961 Canadian Homes magazine.

DIY linoleum insets from Dominion Flooring, from a 1961 Canadian Homes magazine.

These fun and creative linoleum insets were created by Dominion Linoleum’s ‘décor-conscious designers’ as a DIY flooring tile inset back in 1961. People could send for free cutting guide templates and full instructions. Then they could add their own unique inset tiles to their floors. What a neat idea. These designs are giving me some creative inspiration for a home décor project…stay tuned!

Check out more vintage flooring ads here http://modranchreno.com/2015/01/floors-before-fifties-flooring/

Dominion Linoleum ad, 1961.

Dominion Linoleum ad, 1961.

Linoleum inset designs.

Linoleum inset designs.

 

**In case you’re interested, Dominion Oilcloth & Linoleum Company was a Canadian flooring company based in Montreal that was founded in 1872 but is unfortunately no longer around.**

 

NIFTY RETRO APPLIANCES

Vintage oven ad.

Vintage oven ad.

Now that I’m deep into planning our kitchen I have to give some thought to appliances. Vintage appliances were so beautiful with their pretty colours and stylish chrome accents. I love that the oven in this ad matches the kitchen’s yellow cabinets. It is the 1959 General Electric Keyboard Cooking Range that could bake, boil, roast, grill and barbeque too with a companion oven. Any housewife would have been thrilled to have had this range. She looks like she’s been busy cooking a turkey, baking two dozen cinnamon buns, boiling potatoes, whipping up some sort of hors d’oeuvres and serving iced tea…all in a spotless kitchen and in heels – impressive!

I managed to find an original 1960s turquoise range, range top and porcelain sink online but unfortunately it is far away and shipping would have been out of the question for such large items. I would love to go with the next best thing, retro appliances like those from Elmira Stove Works – they are so pretty. The company’s Northstar line includes stylish retro ranges, refrigerators, range hoods, dishwasher panels and microwaves to match. They come in some pretty colours too like Robin’s Egg Blue (my favorite), Mint Green, Flamingo Pink, Candy Red and also Textured Black, White and Quicksilver. Their website is www.Elmirastoveworks.com and there are dealers throughout Canada (yah!).

Elmira Stove Works appliances in Robin's Egg Blue.

Elmira Stove Works appliances in Robin’s Egg Blue.

Big Chill is another company that offers a line of retro appliances in a variety of colours including Jadite Green, Beach Blue, Cherry Red, Pink Lemonade, Buttercup Yellow, Orange, Black and White. I don’t like their blue as well as the Robin’s Egg Blue from Elmira Stove Works but I really like the Jadite Green which was also the colour of many popular small appliances in the fifties. Their website is www.bigchill.com and according to their dealer map, the only Canadian dealer is in Toronto.

Jadite Green kitchen appliances from Big Chill's retro line.

Jadite Green kitchen appliances from Big Chill’s retro line.

Both make beautifully vintage looking appliances and I would proudly cook, bake and refrigerate with either make but sadly, I don’t think we have the budget to spend more money on our appliances than we spend on our kitchen cabinets. To give you an idea of cost, the fridges start around the $4000 range. Oh well, a girl can dream right?

And if I have to go with regular appliances what would be best for our kitchen and fit in better with the retro look? Stainless steel or white? The stainless would match with chrome hardware and accessories but the white would look more streamlined with glossy white cabinets. I’m really torn on this one.

I’ve scanned a few vintage appliance ads that will make me want to go retro even more.

How beautiful is this decorative 1959 Frigidaire refrigerator in blue? It has a fancy design on the door and even on the ice compartment. And it had the freezer on the bottom like many of todays refrigerators. I would feel like a kitchen queen too if I had this fridge.

1959 Frigedaire ad.

1959 Frigedaire ad from 1959 McCall’s magazine.

Why can’t today’s refrigerator’s have pretty colourful trays and drawers like this. I love how they’ve styled this photo – it’s colour coordinated to perfection – her shoes match the drawers. And I love how well the fridge is stocked…it looks just like mine. I always have freshly made iced tea, a turkey, cake, vege tray, jello salad and a half dozen frozen desserts ready…just in case visitors pop in.

1959 RCA Whirlpool gas refrigerator.

1959 RCA Whirlpool gas refrigerator.

The Cook-o-matic range sounds fabulous. It came in six interchangeable colours that could be quickly changed for a small cost – chrome, gold, red, copper, pink and blue. What a great idea.

Vintage Cook-o-matic oven ad.

Vintage Cook-o-matic oven ad.

I would love to find one of these vintage Nutone Fold-Away range hood fans and in this aqua colour.

1960s Nutone Fold-Away Range Hood.

1960s Nutone Fold-Away Range Hood.

I’m way behind the times seeing that they had dishwashers in the fifties and I still don’t have one…but I will in our new home (yah!)

Vintage Kitchen Aid dishwasher ad.

Vintage Kitchen Aid dishwasher ad from 1959 McCall’s magazine.

I might just go and look at an Elmira fridge just to see it in person and imagine how good it would look in our kitchen…it can’t hurt to look.

FLOORS ‘BEFORE’…AND VINTAGE FLOORING

Dominion Linoleum.

Dominion Linoleum.

Picking out flooring hasn’t really excited me all that much in the past but the challenge of finding something with a vintage feel for this house has got me pumped. I have never been so excited to scan and scour online flooring sites for samples of linoleum and vinyl. First, I spent a while looking at vintage flooring and kitchen ads to get inspired by all of the great designs available in the 50s and 60s. They had some really great flooring patterns and were very creative with their tile colour and placement.

We don’t have to replace all the flooring in the house though. We are lucky that the bedrooms and the hallway have the original oak hardwood flooring which is in pretty good shape and will look amazing with a good sanding.

Hardwood flooring in hallway and bedrooms.

Hardwood flooring in hallway and bedrooms.

There is hardwood under the green carpet...can't wait to tear that up.

There is hardwood under the green carpet…can’t wait to tear that up.

I think the front entrance was also hardwood originally but the previous owner replaced it with a modern ceramic tile. This is off topic, but don’t you just love that door.

The front entrance area.

The front entrance area.

The living room has old stained carpet that needs to be ripped up and unfortunately there is no hardwood underneath of it, only plywood. I’m not sure what was originally in there but I’m guessing maybe the green carpet that is in the hallway.

'before' of the living room

‘before’ of the living room.

The kitchen and dining room had a new laminate floor installed within the last decade but since we will be completely renovating the kitchen and dining room from scratch we will be replacing it. I found the original owner’s flooring information and I believe the original flooring in the kitchen and dining area was Armstrong corlon in the Tessara pattern and the bathroom was Armstrong corlon in the Montina pattern (I’ll try to find photos of these online). The door from the dining room and kitchen (on the right side below) will be opened up at least five feet so it will be open into the front entrance and living room. I’d like to try to find flooring that would work in the kitchen, dining room, entrance way and living room creating a good flow from one room to the next.

Looking at dining room area from kitchen.

Looking at dining room area from kitchen.

The mudroom, laundry room and powder room all have this embossed linoleum which I will be replacing. Being a mud room and entrance area I will want the flooring in here to hide all of the dirt that will be coming in and stand up to lots of ware. Right now this area is really dark with the panelling and large wood cabinets but we’ll brighten it up to make it an inviting entrance.

The mudroom 'before'.

The mudroom ‘before’.

Powder room 'before'.

Bathroom ‘before’.

So now the search is on for some flooring that will have a vintage look, go well with our decor, and stand up to a busy family and a dog. To start, I looked into what flooring options were popular in the 50s and 60s and found some information on each from a 1959 Canadian Homes & Gardens magazine article titled ‘Guidebook to Handsomer Floors and Ceilings’. Linoleum was one of the most popular flooring materials with a low cost and a variety of colours and patterns. It washed with warm water and could be waxed with water-base wax. And I know personally from my parent’s embossed linoleum that it held up well (their 1974 house still had it in the kitchen when they moved last year) but it did discolour in spots from the sunlight. I love the colourful linoleum tiles below that bring some colour into this mostly white kitchen.

Dominion Linoleum flooring from 1957 Canadian Homes & Gardens magazine.

Dominion Linoleum flooring from 1957 Canadian Homes & Gardens magazine.

I love everything about this turquoise kitchen. For starters, the turquoise cabinets are so beautiful and I love the glass panelled doors, the hardware, the white tile backsplash, countertop and that flooring. I may not have chosen the coral colour but I adore the inset tiles in front of the cabinets – I would use those in my kitchen floor for sure. This linoleum is also from Dominion Linoleum, a Canadian company who says this about linoleum in their ad ‘today’s linoleum is designed to please and pamper. Its resilient, noise-nulling composition is kind to the feet, soothes the nerves.’ That sounds pretty good.

Kitchen linoleum flooring by Dominion Linoleum, 1957.

Kitchen linoleum flooring by Dominion Linoleum, 1957.

And one more ad from Dominion Linoleum – I just love all the creative designs and the bits of colour added. So different from most of the boring flooring we see in homes today.

1960 Dominion Linoleum ad sold by the yard or in tiles.

1960 Dominion Linoleum ad sold by the yard or in tiles.

And check out the linoleum tiles below – wow!! This was from a 1949 Eaton’s catalogue. Marble design tiles in so many colours…and stars too. And back in 1949 each tile was 12- 14 cents, star design tiles were 50 cents. These 9″ x 9″ tiles were made by Kentile of asphalt, asbestos cumar resin.

1949 Kentile linoleum tiles.

1949 Kentile linoleum tiles.

Rubber tile flooring was also a popular choice and came in a variety of colours and patterns so one could be creative with their flooring. It was easy on the feet being rubber based and quiet so it was a good choice for children’s rooms and could be laid on any floor in the house. It was also washed with water and could be waxed with water wax. Here is a 1959 ad for rubber tile flooring shown in 22 lovely colours made by Tower Limited.

Rubber tile flooring in 22 colours from Tower, 1957.

Rubber tile flooring in 22 colours from Tower, 1957.

Vinyl tile came in lots of colour and pattern options including fun spatter and confetti patterns. According to the 1959 flooring article, vinyl tile was suitable for basement rooms as long as they were waterproof. The drawback with vinyl tile (this has likely changed since 1959 though) is that it could get scratched easily. It also cleaned with a damp cloth and could be waxed with a water wax. I love the last tile in the top row called Prairie Sunset, white with flecks in coral, yellow and turquoise. These particular Armstrong tiles had asbestos in them…like a lot of flooring did up until the 1980s. So even if you could find this original tile unused you wouldn’t want to have it in your home. Maybe I’ll be able to find something with a similar look.

Armstrong vinyl tile in 1965 Beaver Lumber flyer.

Armstrong vinyl tile in 1965 Beaver Lumber flyer.

The vinyl roles of flooring below had metallic gold flecks in it although you can’t really tell in the photo…it probably looked great in real life.

Vinyl flooring available at Eatons, 1968.

Vinyl flooring available at Eatons, 1968.

Ceramic or clay tile was seen in many bathrooms and kitchens in this era…just think of the iconic mid century pink bathroom full of pink tiles. I am hesitant to use a lot of tiles in the house. In the home we’re in now the old tub surround area was all the old small ceramic tiles and although I loved their turquoise colour I didn’t enjoy cleaning the grout. These photo illustrations show rooms with clay tile…everywhere.

Fully tile bathroom, Clay tiles, American-Olean Tile Company, 1952.

Fully tile bathroom, Clay tiles, American-Olean Tile Company, 1952.

Another clay tile kitchen. Tile on floors, countertops and far wall, American-Olean Tile Company, 1952.

Another clay tile kitchen. Tile on floors, countertops and far wall, American-Olean Tile Company, 1952.

Well that covers many of the flooring options from the fifties and sixties.

I have found a few flooring options so far that have potential. At the top of the list so far is Azrock’s vinyl tile in ‘raw silk’ below which has warm greys and a hint of aqua blue from what I can tell but I’ll have to check it out in person. There are a few more shades I like including ‘grey knit’, ‘fur’ and ‘silly string’. The link to see all of the colours is http://www.azrock.com/Products/tabid/242/Default.aspx?cid=201

Azrock vinyl in Raw Silk SKU V-280 www.azrock.com

Azrock vinyl in Raw Silk SKU V-280 www.azrock.com

 

 

MID CENTURY DOOR CANDY

Selection of 1950s Schlage door escutcheons.

Selection of 1950s Schlage door escutcheons.

I have always admired these mid century doors with their pretty geometric shaped panels in so many wonderful designs. Mid century home owners not only had amazing styles of doors to choose from, they also had fashionable accessories for their front door and entranceway.

Mid century door styles from a 1960s Beaver Lumber ad.

Mid century door styles from a 1960s Beaver Lumber ad.

Schlage was a company that sold very stylish door knobs, locks, latches and escutcheons in the 1950’s and 1960s. The company started out in the 1920s and is still in business today. A 1952 Schlage ad in a home planners guide explains to home owners that “Locks and latches are important ornamental details of your new home. You should choose them with the same care you would give to your personal jewelry, or to the silverware that adorns your dining table.”

1950s Schlage magazine ad for door handles.

1950s Schlage magazine ad for door handles.

I would really love to have a starburst design similar to this on our door. Time to do a search on Etsy and Ebay.

The astra design by Schlage.

The astra design door knob and wide Novo escutcheon by Schlage.

Here is another design – simpler but so stylish.

Vintage Schlage door knob and escutcheon.

Vintage Schlage Saturn door knob and banded Riviera escutcheon.

And you didn’t just head to a big box hardware store in the 1950s and grab some door knobs off of a shelf – you went to visit your local Schlage dealer. This great photo is from a 1952 home planner guide…it shows a young couple deciding on door hardware, the wife looking so hopeful that her husband will agree to buy the knobs and escutcheons she has her heart set on.

Photo from a vintage 1952 Schlage ad.

Photo from a vintage 1952 Schlage ad.

There were also lovely door bells to choose from including a starburst design and other unique mid century styles.

1960s Nutone pushbutton doorbells.

1960s Nutone pushbutton doorbells.

Even mail boxes were a thing of beauty and style. I was lucky enough to find this one in a great little Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/midcenturykitschen) which will end up in our entranceway.

Mid century starburst mail box by Griswold.

Mid century starburst mail box by Griswold.

I am hoping to find some vintage hardware for our door makeover on Etsy or Ebay but luckily I have a back up plan as Rejuvenation sells reproductions of some of these mid century styles like the Titan door set show here: http://www.rejuvenation.com/catalog/products/titan 

I can’t wait to post photos once we’ve completed the home’s exterior and entranceway. I’ll be sure to take lots of boring before and eye-catching after photos of our door.