Striped Mid-Century Wallpaper

Mid-century inspired pattern

Striped Mid-Century Wallpaper

Mid-century inspired pattern

Striped Mid-Century Wallpaper Swatch

Striped wallcoverings can make a difference and look so good in a room and have always been a favourite, even in the heady 1960s.

This is a conventional mid-century stripe that, even I have to admit, would look rather out of place in a room today. However, in this setting – this is my mid-century bedroom set – it looks the part and makes the room look larger and a little grander than it actually is. This room is based on a typical second bedroom in a British semi-detached house.

Whilst this design is not perhaps seen as especially mid-century, it does represent the sort of pattern that was chosen by many householders for rooms such as bedrooms which were intended to be restful and a little quieter than the main rooms downstairs.

If you would like to see larger versions of these designs and my other work then you can do so on my Flickr page, a link to which is here

Into The 1970s!

Mid-century inspired pattern

Into The 1970s!

The 1970s, at least in the United Kingdom, is always seen as a time of cooling down and taking stock after the riotous things that happened the decade before.

However, there is more to it than that; it was a decade that had its own character and its own version of the styles and patterns of the 1960s. So far as designs went, bigger was better and patterns expanded to fill as much space as was possible. Walls, in particular, had a fearsome expanse of patterning that made rooms appear smaller and much more concentrated.

This pattern, created as a cushion material, would also have looked good as 1970s wallpaper, embodying, as it does, the very much favoured repeated circular motifs. On all of the walls, the pattern is too dark but as a feature wall in the right sort of house it would have looked eye-catching.

If you would like to see larger versions of these designs and my other work then you can do so on my Flickr page, a link to which is here

1950’s Furnishing Fabric

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Furnishing Fabric

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

1950’s Furnishing Fabric

Work is proceeding well on the 1950’s rooms with the bedroom and dining areas almost complete and work now in progress on the living room.

The image above displays the fabric that will be used for the living room sofa and has been developed to resemble, I hope, the type of textile that would have been available to a furniture manufacturer at that time.

Research in books and on the internet seems to show that fabric was mostly plain at this time although I am not sure this was the case. Before the war, furniture was very soberly patterned using in many cases a rather non-descript and non-confrontational floral. The reason for this was partly fashion and partly, I believe, because rooms were created darker with both less natural and less artificial light. After the war, rooms began to have larger and less cluttered windows and there appears to have been a definite trend for letting in as much light into as possible. Advances in lightbulb technology also meant that 100 watt bulbs were relatively cheap and so rooms were also quite light at night.

Because rooms became brighter and because of the optimism and general euphoria of the 1950s, furniture in general tended to become lighter in both colour and design. As the decade changed to the 1960s, furnishings began to use more interesting and less usual colours, for example, a very light grey was used – a trend that still exists today. These colours made people more conscious of the decorations in the room and, with the new interest in DIY, this led to interior design being within the scope of every household.

To foreshadow this trend, I have created a non-complex – all right, simple – pattern that creates a striped effect on the furniture. I have used quite a light colour which, as you will see later, looks good and correct in the living room.

I always keep notes of the colours I use for patterns although occasionally if I change colours I can forget to update them. However, this time I am confident that my notes are accurate so the background is graphite with the circles being middle brown, Congo brown, mid Brunswick Green, marble green and finally dark Admiralty grey. This seems a lot of colours for very little effect although it does create what I think is a pleasant, engaging and attractive striped design.

As the living room set is still under construction I have shown the pattern on a sofa and chair in my standard furniture set. 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 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.