Retro wallpaper - the 50s
Retro wallpaper is very much in vogue. Patterns inspired by the 50s can be used to give your home a distinctive retro feel. You can get the 50s look by choosing patterned wallpaper prints. Abstract, sketchy patterns and bold floral designs were popular at the time and similar styles are available today.
This is our guide to wallpaper style from the 50s.
People chose either a modern contemporary look for their home in the 50s or a traditional style. The contemporary look gained ground for most of the 50s. However, as well as abstract, modern patterns, couples in the 50s chose traditional floral designs - think Cath Kidston today.
Right, are two 1950s wallpaper designs, both featuring a sketchy type pattern. One combines a delicate leaf design with a vertical, criss-cross pattern. The other is a bold, black and white design, which was popular in the 50s; Homemaker tableware is a good example of this style.
Shop around today and you will find something similar. This type of pattern works best with modern furniture or original 50s contemporary furniture.
Floral patterns were also popular in the 50s. The modern take on 50s is for bright, bold, floral patterns. Usually they were more discrete, as these illustrated on the left show.
Floral patterns generally suit a more traditionally furnished room, such as this bedroom illustrated on the right. The vertical effect of the pattern was a common feature of 50s design, whether floral or more abstract. The oil lamp was a favourite decorative accessory in the 50s and 60s in more traditional looking interiors.
Decorating a room with two different wall papers was popular in the 50s. People were hungry for colour and new styles following the end of rationing. Using two different papers works well with light coloured furniture, especially if you don't introduce any other contrasting patterns.
Where do I buy retro wallpaper?
eBay is a good source of both original an reproduction retro wallpaper.
Your comments on retro wallpaper
"Hi. I am trying to find childrens wallpaper circa 1970's. Superheroes etc. Can you help?" Pat Sleet
Retrowow Established 2002
Vintage, retro & social history: articles and collectors' guides