Midcentury home plans and other lists I make: Paint & Wallpaper

I’m a “list” person. I wasn’t born organized, so I had to develop mechanisms to keep on top of everything. Lists help me remember exactly what I need to do and when, but they’re good for more than that! They’re a way to brainstorm where I want to end up, and how I can get myself there!

Since I moved into my 1963 Jack-in-the-box house last summer, I’ve been busy taking care of the obvious things: taming the back yard, sorting through my junk, and making sure the house is clean and functional. Now that most of that is out of the way, I can think seriously about what I call Phase II – The Paint & Paper Chapter.

My bedroom and the kitchen are the first candidates.

The master bedroom is huge and wonderful, with two big closets and lots of wall space. At first I was thinking I would simply paint wide sage and beige stripes on the wall, but my lingering fascination with Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers in Benicia, California, has prompted me to reconsider that decision.

My bedroom! This is the wall that I plan to paper.

As a huge fan of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction, I’ve long admired the art nouveau lily wallpaper that graces the attraction’s foyer walls. I’ve known for a decade and a half that the paper comes from Bradbury & Bradbury’s vast collection of original antique and vintage wallpaper designs, but never had the right opportunity to use it. Even though it’s not mid century, the design is geometric enough to look modern. Plus, my 1930s bedroom set splits the difference between the almost-deco design on the wallpaper and my early-1960s bedroom. Using it on only one wall will help keep the “busy” to a minimum.

The foil wallpaper design comes in four different colorways. Since my bedroom set has a rather gray-green-mustard base color, I’m leaning toward the “jasper” version below. For the record, the Haunted Mansion foyer is papered in the “ashes of rose” tone.

Bradbury Lily wallpaper from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion foyer.

My kitchen is a little more straightforward. Even though it’s a 1963 house, it has fairly nondescript, chameleon cabinetry that came with many houses from the late forties into the sixties. Since I have two 1940s dining sets downstairs – and because I love the cheery, whimsical look of a great 1940s kitchen – I’m going to go with a post-World War II wallpaper pattern by Bradbury & Bradbury. My favorite is the “Sunnyside” print, which features an adorable trellis pattern dotted with small potted plants.

Bradbury Sunnyside wallpaper print for my kitchen.

I’ll be papering the two “empty” walls (I.e. the ones without cabinets) and choosing a light green paint on the cabinets to tie all four walls together.

Kitchen corner to be papered, complete with my grandmother’s 1940s table. Don’t worry, the ugly chair will eventually be replaced.

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