Ah, serenity: 1940s vintage bathroom wallpapers new to Hannah’s Treasures

The 1940s and 1950s vintage bathroom wallpapers at Hannah’s Treasure are just gorgeous. Many of them are … so glamorous… so Nick and Nora, I need a bubble bath with champagne NOW. Above: I don’t think we get to see a gray-plum colorway very often on wallpaper. I might have to hoard some this one [13 double rolls available as I write this story] for a future, as-yet-undermined project.

Above: The same pattern as my gray/plum fave, but in a peachy pink and coral. If only I had a dozen bathrooms to decorate! 15 double rolls currently in stock.

Above: So serene. Good for a pink or green or pink-and-green bathroom. 9 double rolls in stock currently.


Above: Same pattern, sunnier colorway. 9 double rolls in stock.

Above: All these wallpapers must have come from the same book, the same designer… they have the same light touch. 2 double rolls in stock.

Above: Nice to see some different flowers. 10 double rolls in stock.

Above: These shiny papers were early papers, I tend to think. Quite striking, to be sure! 3 double rolls currently in stock.

Above: A look that I don’t write about enough — a very soft pastel, whisper Heywood-Wakefield kind of look. I could get into it! 17 double rolls of this beauty in stock currently.

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  1. DJ says:

    These designs make my heart smile! But alas, wallpaper is not for me. However, I could see framing sections as pictures. In fact, I have some Benjamin Jorg Harris 1940’s paintings that remind of these!

    I cannot wait to see pictures of the NINE bathrooms!!! And the rest of the house!!!

    1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

      Thanks! We take possession of the house tomorrow. Right now the house has been “contemporary-ized” and is pretty much neutrals everywhere. You can see its “before” pictures by googling the address 4511 Balcones Drive, Austin, TX, since it was just for sale recently. We’re excited about taking it back to 1963 as much as is practical. We were able to find the original floor plans at the Austin History Center! (It has been much changed and enlarged.)

        1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

          Thanks! I don’t need MY own TV show, but what a brilliant idea: A TV show that takes remodeled houses back to the era in which they were built! Now THAT would be HGTV worth watching. We looked at easily 100 homes, and it was heart-breaking how many were “updated” or else weren’t updated, but were being sold as “knock-downs”. It’s hard for me to understand, so I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone loves the 40s-50s-60s decor like we do!!! (What’s the matter with them? Just kidding!)

        2. PrimroseRoad says:

          OOOH this looks like fun! What a shame they didn’t leave original fixtures, though! Can you imagine what THOSE must have been like? I’m doing the same thing on a much small scale…of three baths, two are remaining/being restored to the original. The master bath (original) was a total gut, but we kept the 50’s flavor by using an MCM dresser as the vanity, salvaged colored fixtures, and put windmill tile on the floor. Even if you don’t want to restore every bath, you can still get a great period look….

          1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

            I feel like there’s not an original square inch left in the house. But we’ll try to take it back!! How spectacular yours sounds! What colors are your three bathrooms? Sounds like you’ve done an incredible job! Wish we could see photos! I just adore original or original-looking bathrooms with COLOR fixtures and tiles!!!

  2. Primrose Road says:

    Oh — and obviously will work outside the bathroom (and using foamcore will let me lighten up some of the rooms paneled in dark wood without damaging the panels!)

  3. Primrose Road says:

    Love these papers and came up with an option that works for my budget and reduces the headache of working with old paper and limited stock.

    Instead of papering in the whole bathroom, I’m painting the walls one of the accent colors in the paper, then making panels that are the width of a roll and appropriate in size to the height of the non-tiled portions of the walls. They’re ‘framed’ with inexpensive molding. I’m going to try doing it on treated mdf or foam core first, which should be easy to do and makes it easier to remove or switch looks, but if that doesn’t work, will apply straight to the walls and add the frames the way you would install wainscotting.

    In any case, a lot less money and effort, almost no waste, and you can put different patterns or colorways up the way wallpaper was actually hung in the 50’s.

  4. Sharon Potts says:

    I adore vintage wallpaper and bought several rolls from Hannah’s Treasures with the intent on doing my little art room. I found out from several wallpaper guys who came to look at doing the room that these papers are very difficult to install. They tend to need a particular type of wheat paste and are sometimes very fragile. The selvedge edge also has to be trimmed. Most of them either turned me down or wanted to charge quite a bit to do the installation. I gave up but still look at my paper with longing. They were not cheap!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      I’ve installed vintage wallpaper several times. I use wheat paste, and personally felt it was not particularly difficult. I think they ‘can’ tear, but once you get the hang of it, it isn’t a big problem to deal with. I’ve never had to trim the selvedge, I can see how that would be pain, although not particularly difficult *I think*. My two cents…

  5. Josie says:

    I love the whisper-soft pastels and watery florals. The pink-and-green waterlilies and its sunny colourway are my favourites, but a lot of these are very pretty. Especially the last one, which was nearly my favourite.

    I feel like some of these could work outside the bathroom? I would have to actually commit to the idea, but a pink or jade dining room is appealing to me – one of these papers, some mint green chairs, Lu-Ray Pastel dishes or soft white with bubbly green glasses…?

    Or is it just the amount of paper – maybe with wainscoting.

    1. Carolyn says:

      Ooh, Josie, certainly a dining room! We’ve gotten so accustomed to dining “areas”, we’ve forgotten they are special rooms. Ooh, that would be n-i-c-e…

  6. Elizabeth from Texas says:

    Pam said “If only I had a dozen bathrooms to decorate.” I laughed because we just bought a house with nine bathrooms! It’s a 1963 house (although when it was first built it only had three bathrooms–a whole story has been added.) I will be looking at the gorgeous 1950 and 1960 wallpaper and trying to talk my husband into nine kinds of it!!

        1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

          My full-time housekeeper will clean them. But she said if I put down too much more of my beloved and colorful but high-maintenance VCT, she is going to require an assistant, lol! Maybe since we’re moving to a big city they will have a floor service to keep those vinyl composite tiles shining.

      1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

        Yes. And my 1965 house Diamond Crest in Burnet, Texas is finally done, pretty much, so I need to send photos of that little beauty, finally! I bought it exactly three years ago!

  7. Karin says:

    These wallpapers are strangely relaxing with their hypnotic and unusual colourways (Canadian spelling here), especially the first three.

  8. Carolyn says:

    Between my summer of HGTV (I had time and to see what all the fuss was about) and reading lifestyle magazines, I think my brain has been re-wired to be drawn to neutrals, specifically gray! EEK! I’m not sure I like that! It just reads all too clinical and laboratory-ish.
    So, seeing these papers with neutral backgrounds, is a treat to my eyes. I don’t think I want POPS of color or everything looking like late November. I mean, it’s nice to relax from the brilliance of late summer to fall in preparation of winter and Christmas but I couldn’t live my life beige.
    I could live with the subdued papers in spaces I spend a lot of time. But I’d like the surprise of the red flowers (whose name is just out of reach) and egrets to make my eyes smile.

  9. John says:

    When I stripped layers upon layers of wallpaper from my 1949 house, all of the rooms had similar large patterns and colors. It was striking!

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