Vintage home style: Wall decor and wallpaper (1910)

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Vintage wall decor

Wall decorations occupy the attention of the homekeeper much more than formerly. In former times, it was the custom for people of moderate means to invest all spare money for decoration in heavy, solid pieces of furniture, which were meant to last for generations.

In those days, the walls were a minor consideration, usually being left to the paper hanger. He invariably chose a dark wallpaper because it was serviceable — and the pictures, generally one or two heavy oil paintings in gorgeous frames and a few cheap engravings, were placed wherever they would fit, without regard to surroundings.

Today, the mistress of a house is quite as concerned over the wall decorations as over the furniture, and cabinets, book shelves and pictures vie with one an other in giving those finishing touches to the furnishing of a home without which one feels there is something lacking.

Do not decorate your walls with china placques. If you have some choice ones of real value, place them in a wall cabinet or have a set of hanging shelves in your dining room and arrange the placques on them.

Bas-reliefs are sometimes very decorative. Many plaster reliefs are excellent copies from classic works and are decorative. There are long and short panels of these reliefs, medallions and squares which may be used to advantage in a narrow wall space between windows or in corners, but they should be chosen for their merit and their fitness with the general surroundings, and not simply because there is a space to be filled.

>> Also see: Walls with a fashion future! Vintage wallpaper samples from 1940

With regard to wallpapers

Light tones in wallpapers give space, and dark ones seem to contract the size of the room. A paper chosen in a strong light will look several shades darker when placed in large spaces on the wall, and the room when furnished will also look darker. For this reason, it is wise to choose light papers for small rooms.

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We know that there is a fashion in wallpaper and materials in the upholstery to match papers. Cretonnes [linen used for upholstery or curtains] follow the general patterns of bedroom paper.

A north room will be given a sunny atmosphere by the use of yellow paper, while a south room flooded with sunlight will be toned down by using blue or any cold shade.

Bedroom with floral vintage wallpaper


Dining room with wallpaper and paper border home decor


Stairwell and sitting area

Stairwell and sitting area home decor 1912


A home library in dark colors

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