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February 24, 2012

Decorating Problems? No Problem!

By Sablemable aka Jan


I recently purchased some vintage copies of Better Homes and Gardens and found lots of decorating information that can be utilized today.  In other words, decorating on the cheap!

The cover of the March 1950 BH&G



Armstrong Floors had a solution when one runs out of money (use your magnifier to read this interesting story) 




The next fixit involves a fireplace makeover.  I especially found this helpful as I hate my river rock fireplace and mantel and gave me some ideas!



What a difference!



The next solution is using a room for more than one purpose.  For those of us that live in homes on the small size, this idea may help.



Here in the dining room, it’s used as an eating area, study, music center and even a sewing room without looking junky.



Pull-out shelving and bins are pretty commonplace today and can be purchased from Lowe’s, Home Depot and other specialty stores.  But back in 1950, this was a great idea and if you like this look and are handy with tools, then Bob’s your uncle!

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Now this is a novel idea for windows!  Framing them!

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This is not a new idea; in fact you can purchase ready-cut and finished desktops that will fit perfectly over the 2-drawer file cabinets, but back in 1950, you had to DIY.   I bought my desktop from The Container Store.  How about that collage?  I love it!


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How are your decorating improvisations, readers?  Tell us about your brainstorms!

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7 Responses to Decorating Problems? No Problem!

  1. Tasha Reply

    February 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Awesome ideas. It really serves as a reminder that ideas like IKEA Hackers started long ago. I love the Armstrong article about the Chinese-inspired dining room project!

    • RetroRuth Reply

      February 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Totally agree, Tasha!!!

  2. Sara In AZ Reply

    February 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Great ideas Sable, I esp. like the sliding linen shelves!

  3. Glenda Reply

    February 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    one hint, however much you might hate a brick fireplace, is to never never paint it – paint will never come off brick unless you are able to sand blast it. Many people during the 50’s who were living in bungalows, etc. and had beautiful fireplaces thought they needed to “update” their lovely homes by painting their fireplaces and WOOD. Not a good idea! But, then again, I live in a huge bungalow and love love love my oak woodwork and floors that were covered with carpeting (not anymore). And I wish my “updated” blonde fireplace was back to original, more like the “before” picture in the above.

  4. Vickie Reply

    February 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Holey Mackerel, I just had to pick myself up off the floor after seeing that Chinese inspired room! I want it!!! I want it all! Wow, Simply spectacular. Prettiest room I’ve seen in a long time. Might use it as an inspiration room for my dining room.

    All the brick in my 1950’s home is painted & I love it. Also all the dark wood paneling is painted – don’t groan, it’s pretty because it’s real wood and the wood pattern shows through. Lots of great ideas here. Thank you Jan.

  5. Jen Reply

    February 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Wow, this is a great post! I really like the Armstrong dining room—it is lovely, and so cleverly done, too. Everything is so smart!

  6. Pingback: Studio All DayArmstrong flooring ad, 1950 | Studio All Day

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