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.

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.

Mid-century Blue Curtain Pattern

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

Mid-century Blue Curtain Pattern

Mid-century inspired 3D texture

Mid-century Blue Curtain Pattern Swatch

Blue is a colour that I don’t use as often as perhaps I ought since it was a popular colour that was extensively used mid-century, particularly in the United Kingdom.

Here I have taken a design which is heavily influenced by mid-century ideas and colours and created a simple pattern that is intended for curtains. I feel curtain design should be simple and repetitive as this tends to look nice and reinforces the dimensions of the curtains and the window.

The room that I have used is my standard mid-century living room. The room and the furnishings, such as they are, are probably from the early 1960s which is, perhaps, about half way through the mid-century period, in content if not in years.

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.

1950s Green Curtains

Mid-century 3D textures and set

1950s Green Curtains

Mid-century 3D textures and set

1950s Green Curtains Swatch

Colours tend to come in and out of fashion and the colour which everyone is using today will be the one that probably few will use next year.

Mid-century was not immune to this colour trend except that, because communication was slower and perhaps the pace of life more relaxed, colour fads tended to last longer. One particular colour which is not seen so much in modern times but which was very popular during most of the 1950s decade is green. At that time, quite saturated shades of green were used for paintwork, fabrics and around the house.

As part of my new collection of 1950s textures and objects, I have created a mid-1950s style surface pattern in this colour. You can see the swatch and the result of using this as a curtain texture above and it looks very different from the type of colours and patterns produced today.

The intention is to use this texture in a 1950s-style set which I am still working on but which I hope to be able to bring to you shortly.

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.

1950s Sofa Fabric Design

Mid-century inspired pattern

1950s Sofa Fabric Design

Mid-century inspired pattern

1950s Sofa Fabric Design Swatch

After the Second World War had ended people began to pick up the threads of their lives and turned back to the designs and patterns that had been popular pre-war. The talented new designers that were to transform 50s and 60s patterns had yet to emerge from the universities and colleges and so many good designers have been lost in the hostilities.

In the United Kingdom, the 1950s was a time of celebration and hope but, amongst the shortages, it began by utilising styles and patterns that had been produced before the war although these began to be modified to reflect the hopes and aspirations of the new decade.

This small set represents a 1950s style British sofa made in the traditional style and using whatever materials the manufacturer could find. It uses a traditional small scale pattern in a bright colour to show off the form and dimensions of the furniture. At that time, this would probably have been an expensive fabric; indeed, furniture itself was at a premium since raw materials were in short supply and continued to be so throughout the decade.

This 3D model and this fabric surface design were created specifically for a 1950s-style room set which is currently under construction and which I hope to bring to you shortly.

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.

Easy Cushion Fabric Design

Mid-century inspired pattern

Easy Cushion Fabric Design

Mid-century inspired patternAlthough I refer to this as a mid-century style, it is a very simple repeat pattern that has been produced and refined for as long as there have been patterns.

However, that does not make it in the least boring and here I have used a modern stylized flower in place of the mid-century flower motif that would probably have been used and I have used colours which, while still from the British mid-century palette, are made to look more modern.

You will see that the design is in two simple variations to produce cushions that will sit well with modern styles and decoration and provide a comfortable, homely look to a room whether it has in it mid-century elements or not.

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.