Vintage Decorating Ideas

The front cover of the Book - hiding the gems inside!
The front cover of the Book - hiding the gems inside! Wonder what they were hiding in the giant pineapple shaped bin?

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to find this gem of a book in a charity shop. I think I paid 30p for it.  The past couple of months, I’ve been thinking about the next house we buy and how I’d love to do it up in a really unusual, retro style; each room with its own individual scheme.  This book might just become my decorating bible!  Anyway, enjoy looking through the pictures – hopefully, they will give you some inspiration too.

All pictures and captions come from ‘Decorating Ideas for Every Room in Your Home’, printed by Fawcett Woman’s World Library in 1969.
 
This comes under the chapter of ‘Create a Color Scheme’. (Spelling tells me the book is American).
 
Look at the 'LOVE' print on the wall in the top room!
Look at the 'LOVE' print on the wall in the top room!
The advice given by the book is to:
“Try and stay with two or three colours in a room, and remember to use the balancing force of white and off-white tones…
… A sense of fun and a skillfull use of bright colors cooled with white, invests striking sitting room (left) with its vitality…
… Red, white and blue: Here modern goes all the way to Mod in a room which has been planned as a dazzling composition of shapes and colors.  All furniture by Thayer Coggin.”
  
Inventive wig-wam style vacation house designed by Ving Smith for U.S. Rubber
Inventive wig-wam style vacation house designed by Ving Smith for U.S. Rubber
A boldly-patterned and colored bedspread provides the major color scheme for delightful child's room.
A boldly-patterned and colored bedspread provides the major color scheme for delightful child's room.Sleek contemporary furniture is given great eclat by the addition of period accents in room designed by Joseph Freitag A.I.D.

 

Small dining area off a kitchen is turned to advantage by the handsome background treatment, window deisng and striking modern furniture
Small dining area off a kitchen is turned to advantage by the handsome background treatment, window dressing and striking modern furniture
 
I spotted these chairs in the book on page 62.  They don’t immediately catch the eye as the double page spread is in black and white.  But just take a good look at those chairs!  Forget the background, which is what the caption to the picture points out, those chairs are worthy of inclusion in any current design collection.
 
Unfortunately, they are not named for their designer. Such a shame!  I’d gladly have them in my house. If anyone happens to recognise the design, please please please let me know.
 
Print by Concord
Print by Concord

“Children love exuberant, often vividly-bold colors and color combinations, so plan a room with a more dazzling color scheme than you might give yourself.”

 

Room is from B. Altman, New York
Room is from B. Altman, New York

 

Stainless steel is highly decorative as well as utilitarian in this handsome modern bathroom
Stainless steel is highly decorative as well as utilitarian in this handsome modern bathroom

My picture isn’t as clear as it could be for this bathroom, but I just had to include it!  I want a bathroom exactly like this in my next house. Just imagine stepping into the marble bath and washing up at the sink with its giant star motif. Amazing…

There are so many wonderful pictures in this book and little bits of advice that could only come from a bygone era.  There’s no possible way that I could include everything.  If anybody would like more pictures from the book, please don’t hesitate to ask.  There are sections on kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, colour, style, attic rooms, storage, gardens and patios, apartments and high-rises… it’s all in there.  Hopefully, one day, we will return to an era where there was no obstacle to design and I could maybe get a bathroom with a stainless steel wall.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Kelly Mullane says:

    Wow I want this book! We’ve just bought a house and we definitely want a retro feel to it. We went to an exhibition on Cold War modern design, was fantastic, and we hoping to go for that in our house.

  2. littleowlski says:

    Cold War modern design sounds good – where was that? The book is amazing and full of so many great ideas! Where have you bought your house Kelly? Is it still in Stafford? I’d love to come and see it when it’s all retroed up!

  3. Kelly Mullane says:

    It was at the Victoria and Albert museum, great exhibition! We got a book on it as well, think it’s available on Amazon. Bought a house in Stafford, we’ve been living in Stoke the past couple of years (at my bfs house), and just decided for a lifestyle change, walking to work and all that, less commuting etc. You’ll have to pop in when you’re back in Stafford! Still decorating it though, is taking an age but hopefully will look good when it’s done – I think we’ve steered away from anything “neutral”!

    P.S. I’m very impressed with your sewing skills!

    1. littleowlski says:

      That sounds brilliant, I wish I could have seen the exhibition. I’ll go and google it, there’s bound to be stuff online.

      Yeah, would love to come and see you! It must be a good five years since we saw each other last. I didn’t even know you were living in Stoke! Glad to hear you’ve not gone for a neutral colour scheme – I don’t understand why people don’t do more exciting stuff with their houses?!

      My sewing is very basic at the moment, but I love it!

  4. JimmyBean says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

    1. littleowlski says:

      Thanks JimmyBean! Glad to know I have a blog of substance. I also read a lot of blogs, mostly vintage home and sewing based and figured it was about time that I created my own. If nobody else reads it, it at least makes me happy that I’ve created something I’ve enjoyed. And hopefully at least one person, such as yourself, can enjoy the pics.

      Thanks, Emma

  5. Pat says:

    I just love your site, have been salivating over the pics of West German pottery and the retro decorating ideas sent me into a swoon of remembrance! I’m in Brisbane Australia and the pickings for WGP are slim here as far as I can see, hence my envy of the fabulous pots I am seeing online. I was given a Dumler and Brieden planter pot in 1965 which has generated a renewed interest. I’ve seen the exact one and some of it’s relatives too and would love to get my hands on them but the thought of the postage and risk involved in buying them overseas puts me off. I don’t have facebook or twitter so don’t know if this message will get through to you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s