Yes, it is possible that this 1954 bedroom from the interior design team at Armstrong went a little too far with the cork. On the closet doors? Well, maybe for a teen — you could thumbtack your Tab Hunter posters there…. Look beyond this cork excess, however, and this mid-century bedroom has some lovely design going on..


The accent colors — the rich peacock blue, flamingo pink, and black – are wonderful. Look: A robin’s egg blue-green ceiling, nice! The dressing table spanning the two closets certainly looks appealing, even if the use of space is kind of impractical. I have Exactly this same master bedroom set up — the closets like this with a (smaller) window in between. You can bet I have a nice low long dresser there for my loads of Stuff. And of course, those black lacquer cone pendants are fantastic. “Homey comfort blended with modern simplicity” — that’s what the copywriter tells us.


This is another in my treasured collection from Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, Inc. advertising comps. Oh, how I love my Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, Inc. advertising comps.

New Retro Renovators, have you bought your our anointed “bibles” yet? Use the links (affiliate links) below, or they are always there in my Pamazon store of favorite books:

And, here’s the ad text, for those who want to soak in more of 1954’s allure:


  1. MidCenturyGirl says:

    I love your BBDO comps too. When are they coming out with the 3rd vol: Interiors from Armstrong the 1970’s?

  2. MrsErinD says:

    Oh I LOVE IT!!!! :O))
    That is sooo cool, but yes, I would like to see the cork on either the closet or floor, not both, I agree shag would be awesome on the floor!

    What I especially love is the colors, I love the pink/black/white/blue,aqua,green combo I am doing that in my house too.
    Those cone lights are the best, and I love the modern with the bit of traditional and how the clothes match, haha!

  3. Virginia says:

    Gorgeous! And cork is a great carpet alternative if you have allergies, like me. The squares are adorable!

  4. Alice says:

    Pam what a great room! I love that dressing table…which looks like it could be reproduced without too much trouble. Those pendant lights are awesome, aren’t they. I do have a question, if one has the good fortune to have a “cozy coffee corner” in their bedroom, who is responsible for getting the coffee there? 🙂

  5. Stephanie says:

    Funny you should mention Armstrong, I actually work at their corporate headquarters in Lancaster PA, in the building products division which makes dropped ceilings, etc. Our “showroom” where all the clients are taken has on display some of their more wild mid century products, including a linolium with game “boards” printed on it (probably for a game room in a basement?) Did anyone know that armstrong got its start making wine bottle corks in the 1800s?

  6. MidCent Keith says:

    I like the patterned cork on the closet doors, but I would go with a nice shag or wood on the floor. I saw a similar pop up vanity mirror on a mid mod house tour this past weekend. I even checked out the bathroom fixtures – one piece toilets … you’ve taught me well Pam. 😉

  7. James says:

    I need to forward this “Cork” blurb to my sister. She will get a kick out of it, as she is living in an early 1950s house with cork floors in her den. Those floors are in great shape after nearly 60 years.

    I’ve never had cork floors but I do like the look of them. I did have a cork wall in a bedroom several houses ago. The prior owner had put up that cork wall. The down side is that the cork smelled pretty bad in the heat of summer- a kind of burning smell. I assume that cork must be treated with shellac or sealant or something, and apparently this wall had never been treated.

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