Metanoia suggested this feature on Sears’ Harmony House brand several months ago. Oopsy, my email accounts are out of control so I just surfaced it. It’s wonderful! Metanoia, I haven’t heard from you for a while. How are you? Thank you!
The info below is straight from the Sears brand history website, it’s actually quite cool! There are a few more photos on their site – I chose the one above because I have certainly seen a lot of these ‘enameled wall coverings, in my estate sale travels – now I know one of the places they came from. I’ve also seen them in the Armstrong catalog.
I grew up reading these Sears catalogs – so man, this is a flashback for me.
In 1940, Sears introduced the Harmony House brand as an interior-decorating scheme that used four basic colors that could be coordinated with each other. (The year before, Sears catalogs featured “Charm House,” a similar program.) Customers were encouraged to use a color wheel that was supplied in the catalog for coordinating colors.
Harmonizing colors had long been a problem for the company. For example, rose-colored draperies made by one source might clash with a rose rug produced by another manufacturer. Each factory used its own colors, and the clashes that resulted were impeding the company’s sales of home furnishings.
In response to customer demand, Sears eventually expanded Harmony House’s palette to include 18 colors that they considered to be the most attractive to customers. Each color came in light, medium, and dark shades.
Harmony House colors were: Tuscan Rose and Wine, Valley Rose, Federal Gold, Cherry Pink and Red, Jubilee Peach, Spice Beige and Brown, Colonial Blue, Sage Green, Aquamarine, Chartreuse, Dawn Gray, Mint Green, Pacific Blue, Sunshine Yellow, Parchment Ivory, Beige, and Brown, Victorian Pink, Rose, Red and Wine, and Malibu Peach, Coral and Rust.
The Harmony House style and color system was not merely limited to carpets and paints, either; the entire house could be furnished according to the colors. Almost any household item could be bought to fit the Harmony House schemes, including: covered upholstery fabrics, draperies, slipcovers, desks, bookcases, bedroom furniture, sheets, towels, table lamps, wall paints, clothes hampers, canister sets, boudoir lamps, shower curtains, garment bags, chenille spreads, dinnerware, wallpaper, lounge chairs, dinette sets, living room sets, mirrors, carpeting, tile, and appliances.