Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wallpaper Bits

The last house I lived in was a circa 1890 Texas farmhouse. It was owned for more than 50 years by a family whose breadwinner was an old-time wallpaper hanger. The kitchen was in desperate need of remodeling when I purchased the place and during demolition of the plaster walls we found many layers of different kinds of wallpaper. Over at Retro Renovation today they're featuring some fabulous wallpaper from 1928, and while my examples aren't exactly fabulous, they're from about the same era, so I thought I'd throw them into the mix. The wallpaper was variously underlaid with muslin, newspapers from Dallas, and burlap sacks from an Oklahoma flour mill. Little could be salvaged because of water damage and almost everything was literally falling apart. The silverfish were having a feast! I photographed and scanned what I could before it all went to the landfill.

Two inseperable wallpapers

Probably the most colorful piece in the bunch. Interesting geometric forms scattered about.

I really liked the green dots on the grid. It's stuck to two layers of muslin.

Bits of two comic strips from The Dallas Journal, whose name was changed in 1938. Some of the newspapers were dated 1928, but Broncho Bill ran from 1932-1950 and Sky Roads from 1929-1942, so this particular part of the wall was probably laid between 1932 and 1938.


iHanna said...

This is sooo cool! I would've documented this too.

Cassie Z said...

I am remodeling my kitchen and found the wallpaper in the third picture on the ceiling after removing a bulkhead. Behind the cabinets there is a wallpaper with boats, windmills, pitchers, and flowers in a black scroll pattern on a white background, and a floral border on top of that at the ceiling. In my dining room, there is a wall behind the wall that has floral/gilt wallpaper on it. Old houses are fascinating!

Marcia said...

Are you in Texas, too?
I love old houses, but that one was a money pit! I have moved, but ugly wallpaper seems to have followed me to my 1970s era house.

Cassie Z said...

I'm actually in southwest Michigan. My house was built in the late 20s and has also been quite a money pit. It does have loads of character and charm, but it certainly does come at a price.

Marcia said...

I wish you better luck than I had with my old dump. It's interesting that particular wallpaper found its way to such different destinations!