Friday, November 16, 2007

Revisiting the Past

I was going back through some of my older posts last night, and I reread the very first post that I ever published back in September 2006. Back then, I think I had two readers (both family members) and I had to deal with the disappointment of having zero comments! I still love this post, though, because it's so interesting to see how certain decorative motifs that were popular back in the 1930s are still considered to be stylish and chic today.

Like I usually say when I feature images of vintage rooms, there are certain elements in the rooms below that are dated. And, both of the rooms have a lot going on in them. Still, there is an exuberance in both rooms that make them fun and spirited.

So, for those of you who weren't reading my blog back then (I think that would be 99% of you!), I thought I would feature this oldie but goodie again.






I was recently looking through some vintage issues of House and Garden from 1936. I was struck by how modern and vibrant the rooms were, especially considering that they were designed 70 years ago! The above picture was from an ad for Armstrong Linoleum floors. Linoleum was then considered the height of chic. I love the Chinoiserie elements of the room- the Chinese red console and wall brackets, the Chinese Chippendale banister, the blanc de Chine porcelain figures, and the gold Pagoda mounted to the wall. And if that wasn't enough, the designer added a Greek key motif to the mix.

Check out another Armstrong ad below- I love the plaster palm fronds on the wall- very Elsie de Wolfe! And don't you think the white dining chairs with apple green satin upholstery is very au courant?

24 comments:

  1. How great to re-post this. I think it is interesting to see that Armstrong Linoleum was so chic at one time. I think everything else in the photos has stood the test of time except them.

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  2. Anonymous11:10 AM

    All the 1936 Armstrong ad needs to be utterly now is to replace everything above the console (brackets, figurines, wallpaper panel, etc) with a splashy bit of modern art ... perhaps a voluptuous brushstroke painting by James Nares ... with that simple change that Armstrong ad becomes utterly 2007 ...

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  3. Patricia- I have to admit that I love vintage linoleum (but not that cheap vinyl flooring that sometimes passes for linoleum)

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  4. Anon- Yes, I agree, with those changes it would be quite a chic 2007 room.

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  5. I thought you going to say these rooms were done by an iconic decorator. Such chic ads! I just love the entry or vestibule shown top -- kind of reminds me of Kelly Wearstler's former living room.

    Also, I love vintage linoleum too -- esp. in kitchens. A friend of mine had the cutest tiny red kitchen with black/white checkerboard floor in a P'tree Road condominium. It's sad when all that stuff is ripped out :(

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  6. Courtney- I love vintage linoleum in a kitchen too! And you're right- that top photo is rather Kelly Wearstler-ish!

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  7. Hi Jennifer! What a great post! It is such a wonderful room. Almost everything in it has stood the test of time. And the second picture, nix the window treatment, and the rest is fab! It's fun/funny to go back to old posts, huh? My first one, I could not figure out how to place the pictures properly, so they were all over the place! Ha! :)

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  8. Katie- Me too! Didn't have a clue what I was doing!

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  9. I thought the same--that these rooms were done by a famous decorator--hard to believe they are ads! It's great that you've reposted them--I've often thought about doing the same thing with old posts and how much people would appreciate some of them now that they have an audience.

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  10. Aw, your first post!! How sweet! Like your first baby. At least you had two readers, family or not, most of us went weeks/months with no one visiting. That's a challenge in itself that someone should write a post about, how to attract readers and comments.

    Jennifer, you've done a great job with your blog. I love it !

    Joni

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  11. It's fun to look back on older posts. Your first was a good one! I think mine said something to the effect of "this is my first post on my new blog"... really inspiring! Congrats on all your success in a short period of time!

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  12. Thank you! I'm just thrilled that I found so many people out there who are as crazy for design as I am!

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  13. Jennifer - you are underestimating yourself. When I found the blog (April? May?) I went back and read all the archived posts. It was a great way to spend an afternoon. I haven't missed a day since.

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  14. It's so odd that what led me here was my search for every repsonse to last week's bad news about H&G and this week you repost an early post about the great rooms in 70-year old H&Gs, which have always been my own favorites as well.

    In fact, those are the very issues that, 40 years ago, I discovered in a dusty trunk in my grandmother's attic, and which spurred my own interest in a style of decorating which, by then--1964--was not only considered hopelessly dated but which I had never even seen in person.

    At any rate, I was the only kid in the 8th grade with a scrapbook of David Payne & Pierre Brissaud room paintings. Knowing there's another fan, not only of the style, but of the the exact same rooms is very cool. I'm so glad I discovered this place.

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  15. Anonymous2:46 AM

    Tommi Parzinger served as a spokesman for Amtico flooring, which is a very expensive vinyl covering. Once in a while on eBay you can find old magazine ads featuring him extolling the virtues of vinyl.

    I think these kinds of floors can look good with painted furniture, as these old ads show. Unpainted wood furniture, that might be trickier.

    -pt

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  16. Magnaverde- How amazing to have found those old issues- a treasure trove indeed! I think others might find that "unusual" that you had a scrapbook of room paintings, but not me and not this group! :) We probably would have done the same thing!

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  17. PT- That is interesting. I didn't realize that Parzinger did that. And, I wasn't familiar with Amtico, so thank you for the info!

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  18. doodlink9:21 AM

    Hi - Hoping you receive many posts to make up for no posts on the first go-round. I found your blog by accident while looking for research and inspiration for a client's mural. Some how I came across Billy Baldwin - then your blog! I signed up for daily emails immediatly! Your blog is always very interesting and educational. Thank you and keep them coming.

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  19. Thanks for the kind words doodlink! So glad you found my blog :)

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  20. How amazing is it that it's 2007 and I'm searching for a console that was chic in 1936?? I guess good taste never goes out of style....

    I read your blog daily and am inspired to see how you grew your readership so broadly in one year! Congrats! (I'm also glad to see your only two readers were family members as I start my own blog;))

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  21. Court.- You're right on the good taste comment! Good luck with your blog too :)

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  22. Yes, Peak, I have to agree with Mrs Blandings, once I discovered your blog I read all your past posts also. But thanks for re-posting these images its always good to be reminded of great vintage style.

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  23. I love these posts Jennifer! It's so much fun to see the vintage photos! Thank you!

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