Risque vintage bathroom wallpaper — a 1970s novelty design with lots of neo-Victorian bathing beauties

vintage wallpaper man in bathroomWinter has set in, and with it, bleh. There’s just something about the short days, the darkness — I need HAPPY to offset it. How about this: I recently pounced on a few rolls of 1970s (I believe) vintage wallpaper. One of those super whimsical designs showing various illustrated characters taking baths in their Victorian-revival  bathrooms, all hinting naked, hence the “risque” in my headline. These make me so happy — and I want to send some happy your way too! Above: George with his cat. [Mystery for all times: Who was George?] I gave each character a name as I was scanning, so’s I could make sure I got them all. 

1970s novelty wallpaperAbove: Lady with her cat.  Dig the wallpaper… and the towel… and the 1920s style sink (that you can still get today). In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a revival in renovating Victorian houses, and often, they were done in a neo-Victorian-meets-hippy style like this.

1970s wallpaper bathing beautiesAbove: Lady with paisley rug.

The thing about this wallpaper is that the characters and interiors are sort of … 1960s Danish Modern meets Marimekko meets Gemma Toccogna. I’ve never seen a neo-Victorian novelty illustration bathroom wallpaper with characters and interiors like this. The mashup is just wonderful.

vintage vicoa wallpaperAbove: Freckled lady, but then I looked closer and see it’s really Lady laying in the bathtub with shower running.

vicoa wallpaper vintageRed-headed lady. The paper is heavy vinyl… embossed with cross-hatch nubblies… and I didn’t color correct. Off-white/beige field, with black and burnt orange-colored ink. Burnt orange is my favorite color. And whimsy doodle characters on novelty wallpaper are my all-time favorite. So, this wallpaper is really floating my boat. Or, my Victorian footed bathtub, if you will.

1970s vintage wallpaper bathroom

The paper was made by Vicoa, Inc. of Eatontown, N.J. There are 2.5 rolls — enough, I think, to re-wallpaper my bathroom — for its third look — when it needs it again. Meanwhile, the rolls will go into my stockpile aka museum aka … hoard. Sigh.

Novelty one- or two-color wallpapers with risque, line-drawn bathing beauties seem to have been a thing in the 1970s. See this story about a number of other such wallpapers at Hannah’s (one design shown right).

1970s bathroom wallpaper vicoaAbove: Mr. Reading A Book. There were six characters in all. Every time I look at them I decide on a different favorite, which is your favorite? 

Stay warm and sunny, everyone!

  1. Liz says:

    My aunt had this wallpaper in her bathroom. I remember it well from when I was a kid. I thought of what the stories of each character could be too! I’m so glad you shared this. It brings back wonderful memories!

  2. Amanda says:

    We are tearing down our bathroom in our 1971 home and have this under where the sink was pulled out!

  3. Natalie says:

    My great-grandmother had this wallpaper in her guest bathroom in her home in Northridge, CA. I always remember thinking it was naughty and silly. She also had a crochet doll toilet paper cover. I’m so glad I came across this post.

  4. Heather B says:

    This wallpaper was in my home as a child and it makes me heart so happy to see it again!!!!

  5. Jessica says:

    I have been looking for this wallpaper for ever. My grandmother had it in a bathroom in her old apartment. I AM DYING TO GET MY HANDS ON SOME!!!!! If you haven’t used it and ever think of selling, let me know!!!! Great find ❤️

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