I’ve long been a fan of Gloria Vanderbilt’s collage art and her decorating style, too. She has a beautiful eye for mixing pattern, color, materials — all of it. Reading her book about collage a few years ago, I saw that in the 1970s she had vintage wallpaper pasted onto her bedroom floors in her Manhattan apartment. And it was spectacular. Here’s another take on the idea: Missy’s kitchen floor, made with the pages of vintage women’s magazines from the 1940s and 1950s. She tells us how she did it. >>
Hi Pam, you contacted me about doing a story on my magazine ad floor. I would love that!
You should know, I don’t currently have it, it had to be taken up after 12 years. I don’t have a before picture, it was white stick on tiles, and the only reason the floor had to come up was because the tiles started breaking off under the magazine ads. If it had been a solid piece of linoleum, I’m sure it would’ve lasted even longer.
Info on how I did it: I bought a giant box of old magazines at an auction for $2. Chock full of 1940’s-1950’s Better Homes & Gardens and Woman’s Day. I wanted a unique floor for my vintage kitchen, so I thought, I’ll give this a shot. Worse case, I pull it all up, including the sticky tiles that were down, and get new flooring put in.
I used wallpaper paste for unpasted wall paper, working in sections, I painted the paste directly onto the existing flooring, and laid the ads in alternating directions. When dry, I painted on about 6-7 coats of clear oil based polyurethane. Oil based poly does yellow slightly, but in this case, I was okay with that, it just adds to the vintage. It also holds up better than latex based poly. It held up unbelievably well, over 12 years of kids and pets, and twice a week mopping!
Thanks for sharing the photos, Missy, I love the floor — and your whole super cozy kitchen!
Readers, you can follow Missy on Instagram at @cherrywinksvintage.
And a reminder, dear readers, to be aware when dealing with the materials and layers and products in our old houses — such as old floor tiles, adhesives, etc. — that they can contain hazards. Consult with pros to assess what you are dealing with so that you can make informed decisions. For more info, see my Be Safe/Renovate Safe page.
Gloria Vanderbilt inspiration:
- See the homes of Gloria Vanderbilt featured in Vogue — floors from the NYC apartment are on pages 5, 6 and 7.
- This is the Gloria Vanderbilt book about collage I have (affiliate link). I think her work is amazing.