1950’s Mask Bedroom Curtains

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Mask Bedroom Curtains

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Mask Bedroom Curtains Swatch

I have been busy producing curtain patterns so that I have some choice when it comes to creating the final images for the various rooms involved in the mid-century 1950s project.

This design, it is called masks, is my own creation although I think it is the sort of motif that could have been used early mid-century and I have tried to produce a repeat pattern that looks like the type of curtaining which could have been purchased off-the-shelf at that time. The colour is Post-Office red for the background whilst the motif uses magnolia for the fill and for the stroke. These are both colours that would have been available, and would certainly have been used, in the late 1950s.

The room is my new 1950’s bedroom set. It is designed to recreate the sort of bedroom that would have been available in the United Kingdom in the middle to late years of that decade. As you can see, it is quite sparsely furnished since furniture was not that easy to buy new and, following the war, there was not a ready supply available second hand.

The wardrobe is perhaps an older piece that may well have been produced before or during the war whilst the dressing table and matching chest of drawers (which you will see later) are intended to represent 1950’s design. The bed, likewise, is perhaps an old item manufactured before or during the war and probably handed down since this would have been the bedroom of an unmarried son or daughter, or possibly a single adult. Following the war there were a great number of people who had lost loved ones and were on their own. For this reason, and partly because of the shortage of housing, a great number of people lived in extended families – something that does not seem to happen today.

As you can see, the carpets are what we would now call rugs covering the boarded floor. Fitted carpet was certainly available, now that tufted carpet had been created, although, once again, new carpet was quite expensive. It is perhaps a little later that all the rooms in a house would have had fitted carpet.

Since I want this room to look, to an extent, generic I have not included a lot of personal items and, indeed, the kind of personal items found in bedrooms today would not have been found in rooms of the 1950s. With the possible exception of transistor radios, which would have been available in the late 1950s, there was no entertainment other than perhaps a book and therefore bedrooms were places in which you slept.

As ever, you can also see larger versions of this and, of course, my other designs and patterns on my fabulous and ever-growing Flickr page which is here.

1950’s Dining Room Curtains

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Dining Room Curtains

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Dining Room Curtains Swatch

Work is progressing well on the four 1950s rooms that I am presently creating, so well that I unable to turn my attention to textures for the curtains.

As you would expect, I have a library of books about the mid-century decades in the UK and several of these books show patterns for curtains. However, there is a tendency, both in written work and on the internet, to show the type of patterns that were at the leading-edge of design rather than those that may have been chosen by the average householder. Whilst this is not a problem, it does give people the impression that the 1950s looked different to the way that it in fact did.

Whilst I want to use the best of mid-century design I also want to be true to the period and to the way that the majority of people would have decorated their houses. The curtain pattern that I have used is the type of pattern that I think a normal British householder would have chosen. The same applies to the selection of colours in the room and also, to the furniture and furnishing used within the room.

Since I know a lot of people are interested in the colours that I use, the background to the curtain pattern is clover leaf, while the colours used are Post-Office red, lovely Montella and for the strokes, off-white, mimosa and brass. All of these colours are taken from the British Standard Colour chart for the time.

As ever, you can also see larger versions of this and, of course, my other designs and patterns on my fabulous and ever-growing Flickr page which is here.

1950’s Red Carpet

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1950’s Red Carpet

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Red Carpet

I am still looking at mid-century carpet and being surprised by the variety and sophistication of the patterns that were available in the United Kingdom in the 1950s.

The design that I am featuring here has its roots in mid-century although, once I had applied it as a texture to the carpet, I was reminded more of the 1970s than the 1950s. However, looking back at the source material that I have, I began to see that the 1950s was producing much more interesting and varied carpet design than is generally realised.

Many of the designs, it is true, were traditional and floral and based on patterns that had graced floors from before the war. However, there is a lot of evidence during the decade for the work of new designers that were beginning to exert their influence during this decade. It is interesting to see the traditional alongside the modern and to see the beginnings of much of the design that would transform the later decades.

Although perhaps a little bright and a little busy, I am confident that this design could well have been available in the 1950s.

As ever, you can also see larger versions of this and, of course, my other designs and patterns on my fabulous and ever-growing Flickr page which is here.

1950’s Green Carpet Pattern

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Green Carpet Pattern

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Green Carpet Pattern

I am in the process of designing a complete set of rooms to represent the early 1950s as it would have existed in the United Kingdom.

One aspect to which I had previously paid little attention is the carpet, using patterns that I created from third-party programs. However, in order to give my work more of a sense of realism I am now creating a range of carpet materials.

This green carpet is shown on the stairway of what was the 1966 house in order simply to show off the carpet rather than to suggest that this carpet would be suitable as stair carpet. In fact, the carpet pattern is intended for use in a lounge although, having said this, and having had the chance to look at the render, I wonder whether the carpet is a little too light for the householder to have chosen.

The rooms are at present under construction but as soon they are ready I will try the carpet although the final pattern may look a little darker.

As ever, you can also see larger versions of this and, of course, my other designs and patterns on my fabulous and ever-growing Flickr page which is here.

1950’s Wallpaper Border

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Wallpaper Border

In researching British mid-century wallpaper, I noticed that the rolls of wallpaper were often advertised with a border which is also, I believe, called a trim.

The border, as you may expect, is a roll of paper about two or 3 inches wide which ran around the join of the wallcovering with another part of the room. For example, it would run between the end of the wallpaper and the beginning of the ceiling or the upper surface of the wall or, perhaps, the picture rail. Since it was also called trim I imagine the purpose was to improve the interface between two surfaces and perhaps to cover any irregularities.

Wallpaper border seems to have all but disappeared as the 1960s began and so, so far as I concerned, it is not going to be a major part of my design process. However, for the sake of completeness I have created a very simple border to go with my wallcovering and you can see the result as it would look on a wall above. Here, where the wall is joining the ceiling, the border runs along the top.

As you will immediately see, I have simply reused some elements from the design in order to create the border. Looking on the internet, I was surprised to find that there were very few images of wallpaper with borders and very little explanation. Some sites that sell vintage decorating materials were my main source of information. This is something I would like to go into a little deeper and if you know of any good sources on the internet, other than sites like Etsy, then please let me know in the comment below.

As ever, you can also see larger versions of this and, of course, my other designs and patterns on my fabulous and ever-growing Flickr page which is here.

Early 1950s Wallpaper

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

Early 1950s Wallpaper

This is not a mid-century inspired wallpaper. it is the first of my attempts to create a design which would have been comfortable, I hope, in that time period with no pretensions to existing in a modern environment.

In Britain, the country in which I currently live, the 1950s was a difficult time. The Second World War had only recently finished and rationing continue to exist until the middle of that decade. During half of the 1940s all efforts had been directed to winning the war and so it was necessary to rebuild the country both economically and spiritually. It would be during this rebirth and its later growth in subsequent decades that the foundation would be laid for the designs, colours, patterns and ideas that would come to represent and identify Britain.

But, as the 1940s turned into the 1950s, wallpaper patterns were not foremost on people’s minds and so there was a tendency to look back to those designs which are been current before the hostilities and use them as a template. For this pattern I have done the same and used what I think would be representative of the type of simple, repeated motif that would have been used.

This pattern is anything but revolutionary and eye-catching and is intended to provide a simple and relatively inexpensive covering for the wall that people would buy and which would look nice.

But, building on existing giants of European patterning and design and streaming from universities and colleges was a brave and talented army of new designers would take wallcovering, fabric and many other applications for surface patterns to new and unimagined heights over the decades to come.

As ever, you can also see larger versions of this and, of course, my other designs and patterns on my fabulous and ever-growing Flickr page which is here.

Midcentury Sofa Pattern

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

Midcentury Sofa Pattern

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

Midcentury Sofa Pattern Swatch

The 1960s did have some really nice patterns and designs that were used primarily for fabric and wallcoverings and also, to a lesser extent, for furnishing fabrics.

I think it is probably true to say that creating designs for furniture was not a major preoccupation although some patterns did find their way through. This design owes much to the 1960s and, as soon as I began, I realised that this was going to be a furnishing fabric.

For a background, I chose lovely montella from the British Standard colours using zephyr, moss green, chocolate and chestnut for the motifs to produce this lovely merge of colour. I tried it on the mid-century sofa that I use and was very pleased with the result.

You can see the design above on a sofa and this would look equally good on an easy chair or, indeed, as a soft, loose covering.

As ever, you can also see larger versions of this and, of course, my other designs and patterns on my fabulous and ever-growing Flickr page which is here.