Vintage Waverly Glosheen matching fabric and wallpaper — yup, that’s the way they did it, back in the day!

vintage waverly glosheen fabric and wallpaperMid century decorators knew a tried and true way to achieve color harmony in their living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens: Choose a delightfully patterned wallpaper and use its professionally curated color combinations to select colors for the rest of the room. Want to take things over the absolute top? Match fabrics to your wallpaper on: curtains, slipcovers, coverlets, bed canopies — we’ve even seen fabric-upholstered ceilings — this time capsule house is a stellar example [linked estate sale photos are still there too]! Over on ebay, I spotted this matchy-matchy Waverly Glosheen fabric and wallpaper — reminding me what a fantastic combo such a look makes. Sellers spacejunk88 gave me permission to showcase the photos — and the listing right here — so let’s take a look at the loveliness — so rare to find vintage wallpaper and matching fabric like this together, I think.

waverly glosheen I love that the seller loves the graphics on all this New Old Stock as much as I do. The name “Glosheen” suggests this fabric is ‘polished cotton’, which I also believe is the same as chintz. (Is there a difference?) That is, there is a shiny coating that gives the fabric a glow… a sheen. But ask the seller to make sure. There are 8 yards of fabric still available — but originally, there were 50 yards. Can you imagine!

waverly glosheen fabricThe seller suggests this stash was manufactured c. 1952-1953. If the project can handle it — like in my office — I don’t trim the printing that edges the wallpaper. I like to see the printing!

waverly hearthstone patternThe name of this Waverly pattern is “Hearthstone”. It is very very typical of the postwar period, I’d say. Small densely colored prints — lovely!

Thanks, atomicspacejunk88, for use of the photos — we hope this lovely find finds a happy new home!

Meanwhile, does anyone have just the right project — kitchen valance and matching curtains, perhaps? — for this fab vintage find? Nab it here:

  1. Mary Elizabeth says:

    In the mid seventies I wallpapered the walls in a 1939 half bath above the white tile with a blue and white wallpaper that matched the print in the fabric, which I used for curtains. It was a good solution for simplifying and unifying the look in a small space. With the modern day “spa style” bathrooms, you can mix up different fabrics and wallpapers and more colors. But for tiny mid-century baths, keeping it simple is the key.

  2. Phyllis says:

    Polished cotton and chintz are basically the same thing, chintz being an upholstery weight fabric and polished cotton is lighter weight used for lampshades, placemats, drapes etc. Polished cotton could be used for clothing but the coating would be lost in the laundry.

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      Is this Phyllis of the old Fashion Fabrics store? She has been my go-to gal for all things fabric-y since we were teenagers.

  3. Jay Garcia says:

    Always wanted a matching curtain/wallpaper design like the one from the 1989 Randy Quaid movie, “Parents”. It’s a simple squiggle pattern in the dining area. Heck, I’ll take the whole house.

  4. Wendellyn Plummer says:

    I always loved wallpaper and material matches. They made the room complete. I am also glad to see wallpaper making a come back. Although it is slowly coming back and uber expensive, I hope the trend keeps growing. I still have fond memories watching my Grandma and Mom hanging wall paper. The patterns were crazy cool.

  5. ineffablespace says:

    Extremely difficult to pull of the all-over look today. Thibaut is one company who does a lot of companion prints, and they have regular introductions. Many of them are traditional-leaning.

    Quadrille-China Seas-Allen Campbell has some awesome patterns, but a lot of it is “to order” and very expensive. (Hundreds per yard expensive).

    It’s interesting that is an era of “more available than ever” that certain things are actually much less accessible

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Thanks for the resources, ineffable. Other companies with matching wallpaper and fabric seem to include: Cole & Son, Schumacher. They may be/surely must be a few more?

      And as mentioned re Bradbury: Spoonflower.

      1. ineffablespace says:

        Yes, Cole and Son print some of their papers as fabrics, and Schumacher does companion prints. But a good bit of the Schumacher seems to be up in the Quadrille range price-wise.
        Waverly still does some at more accessible prices.

        I think the issue is–sophisticated, mid-century-appropriate, at an accessible price. It’s very limited. Very few people can $5000 just for the yardage for a loveseat, and then get someone they trust to actually reupholster with it. Then the wallpaper, then the drapes. And even those who do, well, it’s likely to become a time-capsule by default, as a bonus

        This sort of thing used to be readily available to the middle class. Now, not so much.

          1. ineffablespace says:

            For example: I just priced Schumacher Queen of Spain, a 1963 Michael Taylor print, and the price is about $150-160 per running Yard (not roll) and the fabric runs about $100 a yard. I don’t know how many people would commit to something like this.

            But if you analyze how much people *did* pay for furniture and appliances (and especially clothing) back then, they paid significantly more, adjusted, than we do today for many things. We have gotten used to buying cheap goods, lots of them, and more often. I think that the time capsule effect is related to what people paid–and they expected it to last. Now people don’t expect things to last.

          2. Jay says:

            Yes the big city department stores excelled in this sort of thing, Complimentary design services were on staff to assist you when you bought rooms of furniture, including fabrics and wall coverings. Today quality goods are just too expensive for most people.

  6. Dan says:

    Wonder if any of your readers could give us an update on that amazing time capsule house? Probably too much to hope it was bought by someone who truly appreciated it.

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