1940s wallpaper — Bradbury introduces 48 new, reproduction designs

unknown 1940s french grey vintage wallpaper reproduction by bradburyOh, the miracle of 21st Century digital printing: It is allowing companies in many decorative industries to bring us an expanding variety of small-run, or even printed-to-order, wallpapers, laminates, and more. Latest example: Bradbury and Bradbury Art wallpapers has just introduced 48 new designs of reproduction vintage wallpapers from the 1940s, with designs suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, and bedrooms too. The wallpapers from this era are super delightful, and Bradbury has chosen their selection well. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites >>

1940s wallpaper reproduction

Above: This Bradbury design — I’ll call it “handkerchiefs” is one of the 41 overall designs that come in an additional one or two colorways.

Bradbury sent me a sample of the french gray-and-red colorway, and I pretty much adore it. While I am generally skeptical of digital printed wallpaper, I would be hard pressed to distinguish this from silk-screened or rotogravure-printed wallpaper. The great thing: Bradbury has captured, in their digital printing, the “whoopsies” — that is, where the registers from the old-style printing were off… imperfect.

My sample of this colorway also was uncoated, which I associate with 1940s paper. I realize, thought, that some people may prefer coated paper so it’s easier to wipe down. The coated samples they sent me also look fine. Talk to Bradbury about the pros and cons, and of course, always get samples before you buy.

dutch wallpaper vintage reproduction 1940s wallpaperAbove: I love that B&B is reproducing some novelty wallpaper designs!

1940s vintage wallpaper reproduction cherriesI asked Bradbury how they made their selection and also asked about the digital printing process vs. old skool process. They wrote back:

Our “Fabulous Forties” collection was chosen out of the dozens of patterns culled from period sample books in our archives. We tried to pick not only beautiful eye-catching patterns, but ones that discriminating customers might readily identify with that decade. Both florals and formal geometric patterns were popular then, along with tropically-themed motifs, Proto-Deco styles and designs inspired by Hollywood. 

The pros and cons of digital printed wallpaper:

The company added:

One of the benefits of digital printing is being able to reproduce these machine printed papers exactly as they appeared, smudges and all. Silkscreen printing only works when solid lay downs of color are desired. Our digitally printed inks are also more “washable” than the flat oil pigments used in our silkscreen papers. The only thing we can’t do with digital printing are the metallic effects.

1940s cherry wallpaper vintage1940s wallpaper reproductionsyellow vintage wallpaper 1940sAbove: Oh those loverly 1940s yellows! Including paired with rosy beige — who would have thought that would look so great!

green vintage wallpaper reproductionAnd 1940s apple green — take a bite!

1940s pink wallpaperPretty in pink was pretty much never prettier! 

tropical wallpaper 1940s

Oooooh, this tropical stripe is a real winner!

Where to find this vintage design wallpaper:

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi bob, I don’t sell anything. Check with the company profiled here to see if they offer this service — there are links to their site in blue within the story.

  1. Lauryn says:

    Oh wow, I LOVE all of these! They are just so delightful and capture what I love about the 1940s decor. Eight years after we put in the “Sunnyside” from the Bradbury & Bradbury 1940s collection it is STILL one of my all-time favorite parts of the kitchen.

  2. Mary Burlingame says:

    I would love to use one of these great repro papers for a kitchen backsplash. And then cover with glass? Any tips on this?

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