Chic + whimsical 1950s design tweed wallpaper from Cole & Son — 6 color ways

tweed wallpaper retroCole & Son’s line of tweed wallpaper comes from a 1950s document print — it’s an authentic vintage design — and we love it. It seems to read like a cartoonish grasscloth or linen — not a bad thing in our book, at all — because it makes for a delightful mix of sophisticated + whimsical all at the same time. There are 6 color ways ranging from soothing neutral to bold red, gold and blue. 

tweed wallpaper retro

From the description on the Cole & Son website:

Foundation Tweed

A stylish, vintage wallpaper design from the 1950’s. A colourful pattern that incorporates a tweed texture on a solid background, this design would suit a feature wall for maximum impact. Colour-ways include White, Brown, Black & White, Yellow & Orange, Blue and Red. Colours shown on-screen may vary from the original wallpaper, we therefore recommend ordering a sample to view the true colours. We recommend that you use Cole & Son Tub Paste.

tweed wallpaper retroThis wallpaper pattern would be a great ‘starter wallpaper’ for those timid about putting too much pattern on their walls. From a distance, the tweed reads more like a texture — like grasscloth or matting — than a print. The fact that it’s not to literal a representation — it’s an illustration — a sort of chubby representation — makes it all the better. Wallpaper is its own medium — we like it best when it is not photographic. At the same time, this design is not so scream-y that you can’t layer it. Au contraire – what a fabulous backdrop for art and tchotchkes of all sorts. Pam says she LOVES this wallpaper!

retro tweed wallpaperretro tweed wallpapertweed wallpaper retro
tweed wallpaper retro


tweed wallpaper retroThe color ways offered would work well in a retro home. I’m especially fond of the yellow/orange and the vibrant red/pink combo, but the white is a calming neutral if your are searching for a more understated look.

tweed wallpaper retro tweed wallpaper retro tweed wallpaper retro tweed wallpaper retro tweed wallpaper retro tweed wallpaper retroWhat do you think readers? Would you use tweed on your walls?




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  1. Lindel says

    Oh Yes! I could find several places in my home to use several of these color ways…the grey in the already grey hallway, the gold/orange in the orange bedrooms (just one wall though…as an accent) and the red/pink as an alternate design scheme in the pink bathroom or perhaps in the red living room… you think it would go with 30’s streamlined chrome furniture?

  2. cellen says

    I want the green in my foyer. BTW, this has been a great week on Retro Renovation. Every post seems to be addressing something that I need or have been curious about or gives me a good idea. Thanks Pam and Kate!

  3. Scott says

    The yellow is killer and the C&S website is a treasure trove of cool stuff covering a wide range of different tastes/looks. Some of those geometrics are amazing.

  4. Robin, NV says

    I love this wallpaper! I would look great in my guest room as an accent wall. I love the gold/orange and the sagey green ones.

  5. Kay says

    We had paper very much like this in our ’78 “wet bar” area. When we sold, the realtor staged it as a coffee bar. I am thinking a bit of this paper behind a console set up with your coffee station would really “ground” the space and add drama:)

  6. Sandra says

    The reason there is more wallpaper on TV shows than in real life is because the camera loves it (and so do the set designers and directors of photography). Wallpaper gives both visual depth and personality.

    Love it.

  7. SebastianFTL says

    I think the only reason I am looking forward to buying our next home as opposed to renting is WALLPAPER! I really want a blue room in our next home…that wallpaper would work well in an office. Oooh, with a navy blue velvet hump back sofa & mix of retro, modern & antique pieces.

  8. Mary Elizabeth says

    Love the idea of using this in an entry or as an accent wall. I have just the space for the green or beige.

  9. Joe Felice says

    The print actually looks like real woven texture, and gives a 3-D appearance. This, too, was more ’70s, wasn’t it? Along with grass cloth, bamboo, cork and leather (for our wealthy devotees).

    • pam kueber says

      Nope, original 1950s design, Cole & Son says. Linen was a popular laminate pattern – so why not for wallpaper, too! Grasscloth = popular starting in the 1950s, I’d guestimate.

  10. Marguerite says

    I love this paper. My parents had our living room (circa 1960) done in a pale green tweed and the adjoining hallway had one of those coordinating mural print types with pastoral scenes all over it. It really was cozy and striking at the same time!

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Yes, Marguerite, we had that too in my house growing up! The color was more of a mint green than the green shown here, and I put it up with my dad–one of our first major joint projects. The mural that came with it was snow-peaked mountains and forest. We put that up in the family room over the fireplace and built in bookcases. I think I am leaning towards the tweed because of the nostalgia of working on the family home and my first house with my dad. 🙂

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