Yes: A 1953 knotty pine den with an original wallpapered ceiling. This is so inspiring, it takes my breath away. When they first moved in, Brian & Keri (of the the 1953 retro kitchen remodel) were not thrilled with the wallpaper. But, they waited a while before taking it down — and now they love it. Brian explains:

Hi Pam-
Our den is small, with alot of furniture in it, so these were the best photos I could get for you.
When we first bought the house, we were less than crazy about the wallpaper ceiling and planned to remove the wallpaper. However, over time the ceiling grew on us.  The wallpaper on the ceiling makes the room darker and appear smaller, but gives it a cozy feel.
Most people paint over the knotty pine.  We love the honey color of the wood, so we plan to leave it alone.  We were told the original owners who lived here for 50 years smoked like chimneys, which may account for that lovely dark honey knotty pine.  The only thing the room is missing is a deer head mounted on the wall.
– Brian
Thank you, Brian, for fulfilling my request to, like, go lay down on the floor of your knotty pine den and take photos in which we could see furniture+walls+ceiling. Did Keri laugh her head off? Gold star!
Vintage wallpaper on the ceiling of my paneled den! Vintage wallpaper on the ceiling of my paneled den! I want vintage wallpaper on the ceiling of my paneled den! Cozy is good.

One of the most important lessons
of Retro Renovation:

And, here’s a repeat of that super duper important Retro Renovation principal: LIVE WITH YOUR HOUSE A YEAR, at the least, before you go rippin’ vintage things out (unless there are environmental or safety factors, of course.) Save the regrets by taking it slow. Learn the house you’re in; Love the house you’re in.

  1. Betty Crafter says:

    Divine! The wallpaper on the ceiling is a perfect compliment to the lovely knotty pine 🙂 So glad to see “naughty” pine is enjoying a renewed appreciation! Much of my house is knotty pine (kitchen, dining, and living) and everyone that comes over really loves it. No one has recommended we paint it yet! Although I do think it really helps to have something like that wallpaper ceiling to break it up. In our case our green VCT does the trick I think, combined with large windows and a stone fireplace.

  2. Christa says:

    I love this room! That wallpaper is perfection.

    I really want to thank Pam for inspiring me with the “love the house you’re in” mantra. It’s difficult when you first move into a house to appreciate why certain design choices were made. Plus, for me, I FINALLY owned my own home, where I can design things to my own personal taste. The thing is, the HOUSE has it’s own logic, and in a way it’s like having a kid – you don’t really get to dictate what it becomes, you have to listen to what it needs. With patience, I was able to make some design changes that allowed my original cabinets, counters and fixtures to stay in place. It saved me money, saved the environment (no new resources used, no old ones dumped), and I’m very happy with how it looks. And honestly, it was this website that made me think harder about ways to use what I have. Kudos, Pam!

  3. Ann reid says:

    Our small Dutch Colonial was built in 1923, but our walls-and -ceiling Knotty Pine kitchen was probably from the late ’50s-early ’60s. One whole corner is a floor to ceiling red brick curved fireplace, which never really drew well, and couldn’t be fixed without tearing it all out and starting from scratch, so we had a cream colored ceramic gas fired stove added two years ago that we love. I’d have to be dragged out feet first before I’d give up my wonderful kitchen!

  4. Jody says:

    I love the advice at the end of this post! We just bought a midcentury split-level sweetheart, with some quirks, but I promise we’ll live with it for a year before making decisions.

    That said.. we’re getting rid of the giant floor-to-ceiling 80s mirrors in the dining room. Can’t convince us otherwise on that one.

  5. Misty says:

    We have a knotty pine library. It’s the room that sold me on the house. I walked in, saw the pine and the 2nd fireplace, and was in love. The somewhat crazy part of me feels like living in this house forever because some fool after me might paint over all that beautiful wood!

  6. Miss Wynonna says:

    LOL !!! Be sure to have LOTS of extra hands to help and an extra roll or two of paper !!!
    I have put textured paper on MANY a ceiling to cover bad plaster work or to create a vintage tin ceiling look.

  7. Lani says:

    Yes, I have a 1952 knotty pine interior walled cottage. The color is from the shellac. I come from a non-smoking family. 😉

  8. Lani says:

    So happy for all the wonderful comments about keeping the natural pine walls! It is beautiful. I get upset when people paint over it. I think someday, they too, will regret it.
    Congratulations on a beautifully warm and welcoming home!

  9. Robbie Kendall says:

    Thank you for your site, Ms. Kueber, which I just discovered today. I have learned so much, truly, from this one post: 1) Love the house you are in; 2) a house that we hope to move into has a fully knotty pine paneled den, one wall of the living room as well, and, it only today occurred to me as I read this post that the badly painted kitchen cabinets are probably knotty pine too if I strip away the paint; 3) At one of the wallpaper websites that was recommended, I found eight rolls of a paper that was put into my Grandmother Kendall’s house by the previous owners and she moved in in 1947; 4) I grew up with a knotty pine “Club Room” at the same grandmother’s house (ceilings, too) and didn’t even realize it as the pine was very ‘white’ (untreated) and barely darkened over the years; 5) Same grandmother had brown marble kitchen countertops (she was ahead of her time) and I wanted to ask, is there any other stone at all that might work with knotty pine kitchen cabinets?; and, finally, 6) What kind of hardwood floor goes with a knotty pine den? I discovered this site by Googling this question and am still uncertain what will work best. Thank you, so much!

  10. Robbie Kendall says:

    As it turns out, the house on which we had placed an offer was withdrawn from the market directly after we placed our bid – so no knotty pine den. However, we placed an offer on another house this last Wednesday with a large knotty pine study over the garage and, Yippee!, our bid was accepted; the house is by the architect Benjamin Franklin Olson and built in 1934. I’ll be back again after we close on it.

    In the meantime, I’d like to quote a passage, which I owe, truly, entirely to you, from the e-mail I sent today to friends and relatives announcing the news. “Also, we plan to live simply, frugally, and appreciatively the first year(s) that we are there. We will have a warranty on the house for the first two years or so and will only make changes after that time. By waiting, we will be able to experience the house through the cycles of seasons. We will watch the light change over the course of time. We will hear the house creak as we move through it and as it is buffeted by the weather, and we will feel the changes in temperature. In short, we will listen to the house tell us what it needs.”

    Bless you and thank you!

Leave a Reply

Commenting: Information

All comments are moderated, generally within 24 hours. By using this website you are agreeing to the site's >> Terms of Service, << which include commenting policies, and our >> Privacy Notice. << Before participating, read them in full.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.