Vintage wallpaper sample book

A couple of years ago, Greg and I were traveling down to flea markets in Missouri and Kansas. One of them was in White Cloud, KS – it was a smaller event, vendors up and down a main street and then off in a small field at the end of the last block. Out in the field, one of the vendors had an item that caught my eye – and the more I studied it, the harder I fell for it. It was a wallpaper sample book from the year 1940 – thick, heavy and mostly intact.

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

It was like looking at a mini-time capsule!

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

At this time we were looking primarily for objects to buy and flip, but this was something I wanted solely for myself. I tried to negotiate the price, but the seller had only recently acquired it and wasn’t in the mood to haggle over it. I walked away – but it remained on my mind and eventually I went back. Fortunately it was still there, and I paid the asking price for it.

The book contains samples of a variety of designs, some of which have companion borders. Paper samples are about 16 x 14 inches. In 1940 there were a variety of design categories, including:

Cameos

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Toiles

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Colorful tropicals

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Character Motifs

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

All-overs

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral CottageWallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral CottageWallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

and textured geometrics, among others.

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

There was also this section showing different ways to use one of the patterns:

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral CottageWallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here is the pattern, called “French Urn,” featured in the above page:

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

I would love to find a way to use some of these designs today, but I don’t want to ruin the integrity of the book by removing them. Maybe there’s something digitally that could be done – they would make great backgrounds or elements for vintage-inspired blog images, for example, if I could find a good way to scan them.

An awesome vintage find offering a peek into design options of more than 70 years ago!

 

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Winter white and blush pink for Valentine’s Day

I don’t usually put up a lot of decor for Valentine’s Day, but I do like to change up Grandma’s table to keep it seasonal. I’m soo tired of the cold and snow, and was thinking I might jump ahead and put out a touch of Spring. But then I came upon this sweet quilted tablecloth at a recent estate sale, and knew I’d want to use it before Winter was over – it’s so cozy-looking and has this adorable ball-fringe around the bottom!

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Right? How could I resist?

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

I ended up really liking the white, blush pink, and lightest champagne-tan colors of this table.

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here are the elements I used to set this sweet little scene – all extremely inexpensive thrifted or post-season specials at various stores and shops.

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Probably the most amazing find (to me, anyway) is this sweet little tic tac toe set. I found this several years ago at the Goodwill, but what made it really unusual is that I found the pieces in a bag on one visit, but didn’t find the board until a return visit several weeks later. All are highly detailed and made of heavy resin.

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

I found this dandy young man at the store-closing sale of a vintage shop here in my neighborhood at the end of last year. I’ve decided he’s French so I named him Lafayette.

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Silk flowers in white and blush sit pretty in a softly detailed pink vessel by FTD.

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

And I rounded up a few tassled velvet heart ornaments from the after-Christmas sale at Hobby Lobby, placing them here in a pretty pink-and-white bone china dish. I shared these on Instagram awhile back and  one of my friends there commented that they looked edible! I agree – they look like little champagne-colored tea cakes!

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

A very sweet little scene for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

I’m sharing my dear Layfayette for the “Dear Valentine” link party over at Deb’s lovely blog, Debby Goes Shabby!

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The furniture trade

Back when Greg and I were flipping furniture, we acquired some pretty cool pieces… a few of which I wish we hadn’t sold. This little chest of drawers was one of those – pretty, a few charming flaws, and some great details… just the right size for… something.

Chest of drawerss | Vintage Floral Cottage

But sell it we did, to a great gal named Traci who owns a furniture painting and upcycling business called The Shabby Nest. I would see pictures of it in her squares on Instagram, and I always felt that pang of regret at selling it.

Several months went by, and Greg and I stopped flipping, but I would occasionally buy another piece here or there. One of them was this one, acquired at a great price because it was in pieces. Here it is after Greg re-assembled it (in my living room because it was freezing-fricking-cold outside at the time!) –

Vintage Washstand | Vintage Floral Cottage

I stared at it for a few days trying to decide what to do with it… It was really beautiful, and I shared a picture of it on Instagram stating that I was torn between keeping and selling. Traci replied by saying I should let her know if I decided to sell, and I replied to her by saying that, by the way, she should let ME know if she ever decided to sell the little three-drawer cabinet.

And just like that, a trade was made! Amazingly, I had the original piece back – the one I wished I hadn’t sold! Same perfect size, same charming flaws and beautiful details… only now it had undergone Traci’s magic touch and looked absolutely perfect in my little cottage home!

Three drawer chest | Vintage Floral Cottage

I immediately filled it with tablescaping treasures… cloth napkins, napkin rings, candles, and other miscellany.

Three drawer chest | Vintage Floral Cottage

Three drawer chest | Vintage Floral Cottage

Three drawer chest | Vintage Floral Cottage

I’m so happy to have it back!

Three drawer chest | Vintage Floral Cottage

Of course, Traci has a new piece, too – better suited to the space and the intended use she had in mind. Look for it in her Instagram feed!

 

 

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Ice-blue tablescape for Winter

Is it Spring yet? Victoria Magazine seems to think so…

Victoria Magazine Spring | Vintage Floral Cottage

But alas, I know it’s not… it can’t be. It’s only February, and this is Iowa. And despite my hardest wishing, we’re still snow-covered in frigid temperatures.

And so, I think I’ve got a tablescape that befits the icy weather. As I was setting this one, the phrase “Ice Princess” kept coming to mind. I knew this would be the perfect time of year to share it, so I held it back for a few months.

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage
The china is Royal Doulton’s “Lisa.” I acquired five place settings of this beautiful pattern last Fall from a couple who was moving to Florida. I paid an unbelievably low price for the entire lot, all of which was brand new and unused, still in the boxes. I’ll bet those folks do not miss Iowa at this point in time…

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Would you like a tour around the table?

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

I actually set this table in the Fall, which may be apparent in the centerpiece elements. But I saved it to share until now, because I knew it had more of a Winter look and feel to it.

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

You all know by now (especially if you follow me on Instagram) that I still can’t bear to put that blue velvet pumpkin away – I’m smitten!

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here is the place setting featuring the Royal Doulton dinner and salad plates.

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Look at that lovely ice-blue rim!

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Flatware is Oneida Chandelier, and I’ve used a classic napkin fold to give it a little height.

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Glassware is Whitehall by Indiana Glass. I really love these tumblers and have them in several colors. They’re generously sized and there’s plenty of room for the beverage after you put ice in the glass. I use them regularly in crystal, pink, and light blue.

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

I put out four sets of these small salt and pepper shakers, one for each chair.

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

These were a Goodwill find, eight in the original box, unused! They are vintage Raimond.

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Are you getting the “ice princess” vibe yet? Maybe this pretty light-blue table scatter will cinch it for you, as it did me.

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Another look:

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

And of course, a put-away shot with everything ready to go back into the cupboard until next time!

Royal Doulton Lisa | Vintage Floral Cottage

I’m still ready for Spring… how about you?

 

 

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A little more blue and white

A long time ago, my idea of “decorating” was to clean off a tabletop or other flat surface and try to artfully arrange things on it. I didn’t know these little arrangements were called vignettes, but I did have fun doing them – even if they quickly got overshadowed by stacks of mail, remotes for every electronic device, toys, and other stuff.

I still enjoy creating vignettes, though I’ve managed to keep the other stuff from overtaking them as quickly as it used to. One of my favorite pieces to style is the table next to my comfy chair – here is a photo of it from a few years ago in the other house. It belonged to my grandmother Verdie and was refinished by her husband, my Grandpa Barney.

Grandma's table | Vintage Floral Cottage

“Grandma’s Table” can easily be changed out with the season, or for any reason, or for no reason. At Christmas this year it held my Precious Moments “Sugar Town” village, and now that it’s January I’ve changed it over to blue and white.

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

The tablecloth was hand-stitched by my great-grandmother Metta, many decades ago. I love this piece but use it for decor instead of meals. It is too small for my current dining room table! Here’s a bit of the pretty pattern:

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

Most of the other items were thrift-store finds, except for the magazine, the rooster, and the pumpkin.

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

The rooster is actually a souvenir of sorts… he is marked “Portugal” on the bottom, so possibly he came home in someone’s suitcase. For me he is a souvenir of the first auction I attended with Greg – it was won in a lot purchased by a young boy, but Greg found it later in a trash bin just outside the auction hall and saved it.

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

I made the velvet pumpkin last Fall along with many others, but cannot seem to put this one away. I just love the way it turned out!

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

The magazine is a back issue of Bliss Victoria – their covers are decor all by themselves, and so many are seasonal that they just fit right in! This one is from 2010 – I have a storage piece just for my back issues of this and other lovely magazines.

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

The beautiful glass vase is a little hard to photograph, but it is stunning in person. It’s about 10 inches tall and very heavy. It actually leans to one side a bit – a production flaw I guess! I found it at the Goodwill.

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

The photo doesn’t fit the theme so much but it rarely leaves this spot. This is my little princess all decked out at around age 3 in her 50’s-themed poodle skirt. We were attending a lot of hot rod car shows all through the 1990’s and she loved to dress the part!

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

The teacup is Johnson Brothers, “Devon Sprays.”

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

I don’t have a lot of other blue and white set out – truth be told I still have a few Christmas items up! – but I am definitely enjoying a freshened look now that the holidays have passed.

Blue and white vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

What’s your favorite way to decorate in January?

 

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