1960s vintage woven wood shades – and an amazing Hollywood Regency time capsule

vintage woven wood valence and shade

You just never know whether an estate sale will be out of this world – or a dud. This past weekend, I was fortunate to hit a real a jackpot. A Victorian-industrial-company-town townhouse in a northern Berkshires “hilltown” that appeared to have been redecorated to the hilt in 1961 or so. All what you call “Hollywood Regency” – a very foofy gilded Italianate style so named because it copied the Regency Hotel in Hollywood. Also, think “Rat Pack Viva Las Vegas.” The home was simply amazing as in eyes-popping-out-of-your-head amazing.

vintage woven wood shade

Among many other features, I really loved the valences in several rooms: Vintage woven wood blinds. But these are not the ‘all natural back to the forest’ kind you see today. They are the old-fashioned kind with big thick yarn threads woven through them (in the case of the orange valence at the top) or (as in the pink valence just above) with un-natural colors and lots of tassels and gimp. Yowza. I think you may still be able to get valences and shades designed to this extreme – but I need to do more research. Meanwhile, if you buy a house that has them – know that they are wonderful, I have so decreed!


Okay, so here are some more features of the home. It had a vintage St. Charles kitchen dating back to the 1940s – a very early set, I believe. There was even one cabinet with a built-in, pull-out meat slicer. And look at this incredible round dinette — and in what great shape! The kitchen was yellow with red trim – it also had yellow cabinets with red laminate countertops. A wonderful color combination. Oh – and notice that scalloped edge linoleum (another photo in the gallery) – breathtaking!

matador plaque

I loved this matador plaque.
hollywood regency dining room
The dining room furniture was very modern. Notice the delicious crystal chandelier — and I hope you can see the valence over the pinch pleats.


Of course, there was a completely – over-the-top pink bathroom – with marbleized pink laminate on virtually every surface. Wrought-gold mirrors and swans and angels and poddles and…Look at the swag lamp!


I was in heaven, of course. I just kept walking around with my mouth hanging open…. striking up conversations with complete strangers (who turned out to be fabulously interesting themselves)… and mumbling over and over “Unbelievable.” It was a good day.

Click on these gallery images once – then once again – to see them quite large:

  1. JoAnn says:

    OH BOY!
    Love the pink BR. – that swag lamp…!
    I found an old pink sink at a garage sale for $5. it was awhile before I found the kind of piping and faucet to fit, but that pretty pink porcelain is now in my pretty pink bathroom.

  2. Elea says:

    I know for a fact I would have had an anxiety attack. A bank with a big loan and a brown paper bag would be the only cure.

  3. sumacsue says:

    Now here was a homeowner who really knew how to turn homemaking into something fun. Everyday must have been a happy, smiley face day in this home! Oh, to have the courage, or the joie de vivre, or whatever it takes, to have an orange sectional! Thanks for sharing this delightful hodge-podge. Hope it’s all making some new owners happy.

  4. Susan says:

    I saw that estate sale advertised on Craig’s List. It is about an hour from me so I decided not to go, guess I missed out. Was it well attended & what did stuff end up going for?

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