Mid century wallpaper revival in the new century
Wallpaper is making a big comeback in the world of home décor — for good reason! Since its invention, wallpaper has always been a creative and colorful — and relatively inexpensive — way to camouflage a bare or unsightly wall. And today’s wallpaper options have never been easier to install!
When it comes to mid century home décor, wallpaper featured pretty significantly as a trend in the 1950s and 60s. If you’re drawn to this aesthetic, you’re in luck, because there are plenty of mid century wallpaper designs available today that will help you capture that retro feel in your home.
Wallpaper trends for today’s interior design
Classic vintage wallpaper patterns like toile and gingham can work well in a range of different settings, from traditional homes to modern apartments.
Bright colors and bold prints with that 50s atomic flair are also popular among nostalgia-seekers, and can add a playful touch to any room.
And as you’ll see below, people in the fifties were wild about wallpaper with nature themes — especially flowers and leaves. Tile-like patterns and whimsical designs were also popular, while the trending colors were green, pink and brown/beige neutrals.
Here, we’ve collected more than 140 mid century wallpaper samples — from classic to kitsch, and everything in between.
Patterns featured below come from either the 1953 wallpaper book by Sears, Roebuck and Co. or the 1953 Montgomery Ward wallpaper catalog.
The designs are the work of the most talented mid century wallpaper artists of both America and Europe. The range of styles has been selected to give you the latest in home furnishing trends, as in the smooth-textured effect of modern paper — and also the finest of the traditional, as in the classical rose pattern.
The coloring has been done by experts, who have created papers which harmonize distinctively when used as companions in adjoining rooms or are equally beautiful when used alone.
See them here! 140 mid century wallpaper patterns from the 50s
Colonial Stencil wallpaper for striking effects, upstairs or downstairs
Wooden Plates wallpaper will add a note of brightness and cheer for many a day
It would be difficult to imagine a more cheerful wallpaper for your dining room, breakfast alcove or kitchen than ‘WOODEN PLATES.’
Every member of your family will love this gay pattern with its green ivy and colorful assortment of autumn fruit. The background of this delightful paper is Harmony House Dawn gray; the accent notes are in Pacific blue, Cherry red and Mint green.
Pink princess stripe: Crisp and fresh-looking as chintz curtains in the morning sun
For your bedroom, powder room, or bath you’re going to love this colorful and dainty pattern! Each lacy stripe is adorned with myriads of pink rosebuds amidst green leaves, interwoven with a narrow ribbon of Colonial blue on the lovely Malibu peach background.
These wonderful Harmony House colors “go together” with your other furnishings from Sears — combine to produce a charm you will enjoy for many years.
Southern Belle bedroom wallpaper pattern from the 50s
Set of 4 vintage mid century wallpaper patterns from the 50s
Styles shown: Monterrey, Spring Bouquet, Open Windows, April Blossoms
Early fruit vintage kitchen wallpaper
Chanticleer: Gingham-style home decor pattern
You’ll say ‘CHANTICLEER’ is something to crow about when you see those gay cockerels and dainty gingham-like flowers on your kitchen or dinette walls! A grand pattern for the bathroom, too.
Its smooth, tile-like surface of ceramic stock is as easy to wipe clean as a china dish. Use with it accessories in HH Cherry red and Mint green for color harmony.
New Brocade: A bright, cheerful pattern that is ideal for any downstairs room
Here is something new, different, and utterly captivating in an engraved, embossed paper that will work wonders in modernizing any downstairs room.
Its cheerful background of Harmony House Mint green will brighten any interior and provide that much-desired change of pace so much sought after in today’s decorating.
Marble Onyx: Faux marble-effect retro 50s wallpaper
This sunfast, washable MARBLE ONYX pattern in its three delightful color schemes will find a ready welcome into several rooms of your home.
So easy to keep clean, so cheerful and bright, you’ll want it in one or the other of its colors for your kitchen, bath, or dinette.
Coronation 1950s wallpaper pattern
Air adventure — a colorful scenic pattern that will stir any boy’s imagination
This exciting pattern picturing flying travel in far-off lands is alive with the gay sparkle of bright colorings — green islets, Chinese temples, and sun-swept beaches — on an ocean background of calm Colonial blue.
While it is made to order for a boy’s room, it will find a ready place in playrooms, too, and will grip the imaginations of grown-ups as well as youngsters.
Bamboo Vista — a refreshingly different new pattern for your kitchen
Royal Lilies: Use this lovely floral upstairs or down
Hartford — a quaint, colorful pattern of which you’ll never tire
Something very special for your bedroom or downstairs rooms is this beautiful pre- trimmed pattern. It will go wonderfully well with provincial or traditional furnishings.
You can achieve well-nigh perfect color harmony by using accent notes of Harmony House Tuscan wine in draperies and floor coverings. Extremely easy to hang, this paper is printed on heavy stock and is both sunfast and washable. Why not select it for one or more of your rooms?
Maple & ivy vintage wallpaper
Here is a charming new pattern that is sure to win thousands of friends on sight! Maple leaves in a delicate Harmony House shade of Valley rose, combine with ivy sprigs of Harmony House Sage green, on a lovely background of HH Parchment beige, to make a delightful pattern that will “make over” any downstairs room. Use ‘MAPLE AND IVY’ with either traditional or modern furnishings.
Blossom Plaster: A sparkling embossed pattern
Dogwood: Brings bright spring blossoms into the home 12 months of the year
Vinewall: One of four delightful color combinations
Desert Beauty: Will make any room brighter and more cheerful
Cape Cod garden: Reminiscent of a sunny New England afternoon
Temple Garden: A colorful Oriental pageant for your downstairs rooms
That dining room of yours — how it will glow with the Oriental pageantry of this tapestry-like pattern!
Ideal in the breakfast room, den or hall; and made to order for any powder room! We can supply it in your choice of two background colors, Harmony House Cherry red or Sage green.
Sunbeams vintage 1950s wallpaper pattern
Did you ever see such a bright, sunny, colorful pattern in a bedroom floral for such a small price? …This gay pattern is made to order for your favorite bedroom, where it will harmonize perfectly with traditional or provincial furnishings.
Sunbeams: A genuine revelation for the home decorator
50s mid century wallpaper samples: Mexican Leaves, Weaver’s plume, Victoria, Tampa
Canadian lake wallpaper for a powder room or bath
Geranium vine yellow wallpaper
Carnival Plaid: A versatile wallpaper for any number of rooms
Yes, you will want to use this pattern in its range of three gay colors for several rooms. It is a grand kitchen paper, but you can use it nearly everywhere in the home . . . even the bath! And for ceilings, it is an ideal choice. Goes beautifully with modern or provincial furnishings.
Hunter’s Plate 50s wallpaper for the kitchen or breakfast room
You can depend on this sparkling pattern to transform that kitchen, dinette or breakfast alcove. Being both Pre-Trimmed and Washable it is easy to hang and very easy to clean.
A modern paper. Combine ‘HUNTER’S PLATE’ with curtains in cherry red and white, and a linoleum floor in beige or green to achieve a real triumph.
Madagascar Straw: The very latest in textured effects for a charming background
You can select this versatile wall covering in your choice of four stunning Harmony House colors to make that downstairs room, be it a dining room, living room or den, or any bedroom upstairs, dramatic and excitingly modern.
For MADAGASCAR STRAW is the newest of the new in textured wallpaper. It goes well with traditional or modern furnishings; opens up a new vista of home decorating for the alert homemaker who wants to keep abreast of the style times.
Washington: Style-perfect for downstairs rooms and halls, and traditional furnishings
This sparkling floral pattern with its profusion of colorful roses and buds amidst green foliage on a background of Harmony House Dawn gray will prove sensational with your traditional furnishings. Choose accent notes in Harmony House Tuscan rose and wine for accessories.
Betsy Ross embossed wallpaper: A colorful Colonial pattern
You have only to picture your favorite bedroom done over with this lovely wallpaper to realize what a transformation It would make.
Use it with traditional or provincial furniture and furnishings and let your accent notes in accessories be carried out in Harmony House Tuscan rose or Dawn gray for utmost color har mony. Equally effective in white, as sampled, or with background in delicate Mint green. You’ll love either of these papers; want both in different rooms!
Homespun: Embossed wallpaper pattern for any downstairs room or hall
One of the wery newest of Sears texture wallpapers, Homespun has a charm all its own. It is a grand pattern for the dining room, living room or den, and makes a splendid paper for halls and stairways, too.
Used with upholstery, draperies or floor coverings of Tuscan wine color, and with either modern or traditional furnishings. Doesn’t have to be matched, so it is so very easy to hang, saving you time, bother and extra work.
Tampa: An exciting pattern in your choice of two colors
Yucatan — a smart-looking, modern embossed paper for any downstairs room.
This distinctive new pattern fulfills all the requirements for a charming downstairs paper. A modern design, it is both brilliant and style-perfect, and it goes wonderfully with your present furnishings, whether they be modern or traditional. Its accents of Harmony House Sunshine yellow and silver will help to brighten the darkest room.
Weaver’s Plume vintage 50s wallpaper pattern in pink and grey
Mansfield — A versatile pattern for your bedroom or most downstairs rooms
Here is an exciting new floral that offers you tremendous decorative possibilities for doing over your very nicest bedroom. You will find it equally good in any downstairs room. That’s why we say it is a versatile pattern.
But it is much more than this. It is one you will adore no matter where you use it. Wonderful with traditional furnishings. Have your drapes, rugs or upholstery carry accent notes of Harmony House Tuscan rose, Dawn gray, Colonial blue or Sage green.
Shadow Print: An up to the minute downstairs paper
Tropical leaf: One of our most popular patterns repeated, in four new colors
Yes, we found so much demand for this grand downstairs embossed pattern that we have repeated it for 1953, adding two new colors; Harmony House Valley rose and the newest color sensation, Smoke gray.
With Harmony House Sage green and Colonial blue, you have a choice of four colors in which you can use this beautiful pattern in downstairs rooms and halls. Use with modern or traditional things!
Carolina — bright, gay, colorful, is this lovely lacy pre-trimmed bedroom paper
Right out of a charming old-fashioned southern bedroom might have come this irresistibly attractive paper with its lacy, be-ribboned design on a rich, warm Harmony House Sunshine yellow background sprinkled with azalea blossoms and green foliage. For years and years, its colors will delight you (Sears guarantee it sunfast and washable for at least three years).
Colonial Scene: A grand scenic paper
Jamestown vintage wallpaper in 3 green, pink or blue
Fruit Plate wallpaper stamped “Union Made”
Pony Express: Another colorful wallpaper for a boy’s room or playroom
Here is a brand new pictorial pattern any boy would love to have on the walls of his room. It is made to order for the playroom, rumpus room or den.
But wherever you hang it you won’t need to worry about keeping it spic-and-span, because PONY EXPRESS is a Sears plastic-coated paper that is as easy to clean as a china plate — win withstand repeated washings for 3 full years.
Nosegay dainty bedroom wallpaper
Embossed moss green vintage Montgomery Ward wallpaper
Westover — rose and ivy pattern
Saffron stripe wallpaper for your best bedroom
Dogwood wallpaper in dark green
Concord small pattern wallpaper in pink, yellow and grey
Canada wallpaper for the den or playroom
Any boy’s heart will thrill to the romance of this colorful scenic pattern that seems to live and breathe the great outdoors of the far north. Canadian Mounties, Indians, trappers, and snow-capped peaks are shown in all their dramatic colorings.
Shadow weave: A refreshingly different pattern for walls and ceilings
Sarasota floral pattern wallpaper with striped border
Are your downstairs rooms furnished in modern or traditional style? If so, and if you haven’t found exactly the right wallpaper pattern to bring out the real beauty of your furnishings, we suggest you hang this exciting new Pre-Pasted and Pre-Trimmed pattern in your living room, dining room, breakfast nook, or den. It makes a grand paper for hallways also.
Pacific Garden: A pattern and companion stripe you’ll enjoy for years
Florida Meadow with delicate 1950s decorator colors
Fairyland floral pattern
The design is new, and it fairly sparkles with the fairy-like beauty of graceful blossoms and green foliage on a cool background of Colonial blue.
Elisnor floral pattern paper
Onyx-effect for clean-looking walls colored in light, clear shades
Stone Cupboard: A spic & span sparking new pattern for your kitchen
Three colorways of this modern colonial paper
Colonial in origin but modern in style, this smart design is a color tonic for any room. Admirable for a dormer, a small room, or one where wall spaces are badly broken up by windows, doors, etc. Choice of three colorings: mauve (shown); medium shades of green; or medium shades of blue.
Pansy pattern home decor in blue
The pert, friendly air which makes the pansy a favorite has been captured in this paper. Reproduced so realistically they seem to grow right on the wall. They give a room the same lift as a fresh bouquet. If you have a small room this paper will solve your problem. Choice of blue (shown); or pink with purple and lavender pansies.
Four cute and classic retro wallpaper styles
McKinley vintage 50s wallpaper sample
A glorious symphony of colorful flowers and foliage on a warm background of Harmony House Tuscan wine will make this beautiful paper transform any downstairs room. Use it wherever you wish, with modern or traditional furnishings.
Cowboys in the wild west
Drawn with imagination, stimulatingly colored, this is a paper which will not only delight a boy’s heart, but will appeal to grown-ups too.
It lends itself equally well to the children’s playroom or adult’s recreation area — and will also make a gay and distinctive kitchen or dinette. Moreover, its many colors make it complementary to any decorating scheme you choose.
Small yellow roses on pink background
A small rose pattern — one of the best-loved wallpaper motifs — which has all the appeal of the flower itself.
Exactly right in scale and color for a small room — the simplicity of the design will make it seem more airy and spacious, the pink and yellow give it warm informality. Highlights from the graceful silver plumes add just enough sparkle for an interesting contrast.
Green and grey leaf pattern vintage wallpaper
Friendly yellow kitchen wall decor pattern
Floral and square patterns on beige
Pennsylvania-Dutch-style wallpaper design
Useful leaf design in blue or medium green
A happy version of ivy with fresh, crisp greens and a dask of red
Large design that’s excellent for high-ceilinged rooms
Imaginative lattice design for dinette or kitchen
Red and green rooster pattern paper
Clean, crisp and colorful small-scale birdhouse & flower print
Moss & rose on chambray and lace background
Nasturtium contemporary floral in green or red
Stylized grasscloth combines beautifully with other patterns
Large-scale floral wallpaper for walls of beauty
Hallmark Documentary small-scale stylized floral pattern
Strikingly handsome wallpaper for a bathroom
A bright and merry circus print for a nursery or game room
Large white flowers on soft green background
A subtly shaded orchid wallper suitable for dark wood furniture
Tweed texture makes an excellent background for pictures
Blue and white bows on yellow for a frankly feminine room
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Lacy floral stripe has quiet, old-fashioned charm
Stylized leaves with occasional floral touches
Stylized floral with soft colors and a silky background
Conventional leaf design on white for fresh, clean-looking walls
Abstract feathery design with imaginative flair
Cosmos and baby’s breath reproduced by one of America’s foremost mid century wallpaper designers
Striped with repeated leaf and fern pattern
Silk damask of dignity and elegance
Tailored stripe of Hallmark beauty
Retro 50s Dogwood design floral mid century wallpaper
A design of unusual appeal in soft, airy colors which will maintain a fresh and spring-like atmosphere throughout the year.
The small scale and smooth, all-over effect make it a perfect selection for a small room, either upstairs or down. Also non-directional, it can be used on the ceiling as well as the sidewall to create a remarkably charming, cozy and livable room.
Traditional floral medallion
The fine detail and soft-toned coloring of this delightful paper are sure to transform any room— give it gentle warmth and charming individuality.
Reminiscent of old brocade, it has an appealingly old-fashioned air. Use it anywhere you choose — it is sufficiently dignified for living room, dining room, or hall, yet it is also admirably suitable for your best bedroom;
An all-purpose stripe with attractive swag border
Striking leaf design for delightfully decorative walls
Embossed cloth-like texture, excellent for patterned furnishings, in 5 colors
Interesting texture in pastel colors
Self-toned leaf pattern in four colors
Ivy and bamboo for depth and texture
Filigree: For that traditionally-furnished bedroom you want done in blue
Handsome jade block design with simple lines
Tropical leaves on a grasscloth background
Damask effect in silver and gold
Floral stripe in smoothly-blended colors
Mid century wallpaper with the effect of knotty pine paneling
A paper which will give your walls the appearance of expensive pine paneling at low cost. Reproduced from photographs of actual pine paneled walls, and accurately colored.
Use in any room. Makes an especially good background for the warmth and luster of dark furniture. You can attain added realism by applying a coat of wax or clear lacquer to the paper.
An extremely versatile weave stripe paper
Leafy pattern with open clean-cut design
Traditional floral medallion with an old-fashioned air
Modern floral with chartreuse, gray or brown background
Embossed mid century wallpaper with a hand-loomed look
The richness and texture in of fine fabric
Brown background with large pink flowers
Chartreuse mid century wallpaper with white and green flower motif
A delightful Swedish modern floral
Pinecones in subdued grays and greens temper too much sunlight
Brick-effect mid century wallpaper with graceful vines
Virginia City: A vintage floral wallpaper pattern
Small and sparkling Hallmark Provincial pattern
Delightfully provincial in character but thoroughly modern in color, this appealing little design is useful for any room. However, it is especially smart in the kitchen or breakfast room, small hall or bedroom.
Lively and cheerful in feeling; it will give you a room of casual informality. It makes a fine background for French Provincial, Early American, Eighteenth-Century or in-formal modern furniture.
Choice of three Hallmark colorings: red (shown); dark green with white, light green and coral; or white with chartreuse, green and light blue.
Stylized leaf design on brown
Grasscloth-effect wallpaper in neutral shades
Large-scale leaf companion paper with green and gold
Hallmark colonial design for a livable background
Mexican Leaves vintage wallpaper pattern
Classic stripe for a gracious and dignified atmosphere
The ivy leaf on a lattice-type background
Fiesta — one of our loveliest downstairs papers
Here is a wallpaper so versatile you will find it fits in beautifully in any room you wish to use it. And it goes well with several other patterns. Hang FIESTA in your living room, for example, and its charming companion pattern, Mexican Leaves, in your dining room. The combination will delight you.
FIESTA goes beautifully with modern or traditional furnishings, with floor coverings, curtains or upholstery in Tuscan wine or Sunshine yellow.
Graduation: A bedroom paper for the sweet girl graduate of any age
Pussywillow print — a dainty pattern that will work a miracle in any room at low cost
Yes, in any room in your home, upstairs or down, this dainty PUSSYWILLOW PRINT will achieve a bright miracle in charming color at low cost.
Order it for any bedroom, any room downstairs, and note how its Colonial blue background and accent notes of Tuscan rose and wine transform that room like magic. It’s a grand pattern for use with traditional furnishings!
Salem Inn: Rich-looking bedroom mid century wallpaper
Gingham stripe in Pacific Blue and Sunshine Yellow
Southland: Green palmetto leaves on a background pf parchment beige
Ocean Spray 50s mid century wallpaper for a favorite downstairs room
Leaf shadows in dawn gray, chartreuse and valley rose
Adam Stripe: For bedroom or downstairs in mint green, sunshine yellow or colonial blue
For example, picture a room with all four walls covered in one of these patterns. Then imagine 5 different rooms like that, but each with a different wallpaper.
Then realize that this is around the same time that people were prescribed some of the first tranquilizer medications. Connected? You decide.
About the vintage Sears wallpapers
There is a Pre-Trimmed wallpaper pattern in this book for every type room in your house, that “goes together” with your color scheme and harmonizes perfectly with every type and period of furnishings. Decoration made easy! Easy to hang! Economical!
About the vintage Wards Hallmark wallpapers
Quality costs so little when you buy Wards Hallmark wallpapers. Elsewhere you would pay three to four times as much for comparable papers, yet at Wards low prices, you get quality features which are found only in the finest wallpapers.
Every Ward paper has a border especially selected and colored to match — to add the finishing touch to your room. Border, and harmonizing ceiling papers as well, are listed with each pattern in the book.
Not only Wards Hallmark papers, but many of our less expensive papers also, are coordinated in design and color for use in adjoining rooms — to help you achieve decorating unity and beauty most easily.
Extra wallpaper has many purposes
If you have a roll or so left over when you have finished paper, we suggest that you keep this extra wallpaper and put it to work. It means economy — you can use it later, on worn or soiled spots. It can also add charm to your rooms: Cover a screen to make it decorative … cut out designs for “decals” or placemats.