Original Vintage Color Schemes

from How to Beautify Your Home by Good Housekeeping, 1932

The following color schemes appear in a small book published in 1932 by Helen Koues, Director of Good Housekeeping Studio of Furnishings & Decorations.

Color then as now

Ms. Koue writes: "There are a v few very simple principles to lay down: If the walls are in a plain color, the room will be colorless unless there is pattern elsewhere in the room—'colorless' in the sense that it looks void of color values. therefore, chintz with gay color in it may be used for hangings, for a chair or two, while a large piece of furniture and a larger area of space, such as a rug, may be darker and plain. No color scheme can be really successful that does not use three or more colors."

The following schemes were suggested for homemakers during the 1930s, and it's interesting that some of them are as fresh today as they were then, though not necessarily applied the exact way.

Living Rooms

Vintage color scheme for living room

Walls: Ivory

Rug: Brown or oriental in reds or browns

Furniture: Oak or walnut

Upholstery: Golden brown

Curtains: Gold (yellow gold or green gold

Accessories: Jade green, brass

Walls: Yellow-green (apple-green)

Rug: Light brown or oriental

Furniture: Walnut or mahogany

Upholstery: Dull soft green

Curtains: Apricot or figured linen (with yellow, rose, mauve, green)

Accessories: Deep apricot, light yellow

Vintage color scheme for living room


Vintage color scheme for halls

Walls: Ivory

Rug: Black and white linoleum

Furniture: Painted black

Upholstery: Red violet

Curtains: Clear apple green

Accessories: Bright green and red violet

Walls: Figured wallpaper with cream, green, and rose

Rug: Taupe (rose tone)

Furniture: Walnut

Upholstery: Rose (reddish)

Curtains: Rose and yellow-cream stripe

Accessories: Yellow, green, rose

Vintage color scheme for halls

Dining Rooms

Vintage color scheme for dining rooms

Walls: Pale grey green

Rug: Oriental

Furniture: Dark oak, walnut

Upholstery: Deep red

Curtains: Dull red

Accessories: Silver and some red

Walls: Light blue with green in it

Rug: Chinese, mostly tan

Furniture: Mahogany

Upholstery: Blue-green

Curtains: Green-blue with some gold in it

Accessories: Colors in Chinese rug

Vintage color scheme for dining rooms

Sun Rooms

Vintage color scheme for sun rooms

Walls: Brick wall or tinted plaster

Rug: Tile or linoleum, grey or black

Furniture: Grayed green and black

Upholstery: Same as curtains

Curtains: Grey-green and light brick chintz

Accessories: Green (plants), black

Walls: Antiqued plaster

Rug: Terra cotta

Furniture: Brown

Upholstery: Brown and bright green cushions

Curtains: Green and terracotta printed linen

Accessories: Terracotta, green

Vintage color scheme for sun rooms


Vintage color scheme for bedooms

Walls: Cream

Rug: Rose

Furniture: Walnut

Upholstery: Grey blue

Curtains: Rose, cream, and blue chintz

Accessories: Cream, blue, violet

Walls: Wallpaper ivory ground, chintz design

Rug: Walnut brown

Furniture: Painted blue-green

Upholstery: Lighter blue green

Curtains: Maize

Accessories: Yellow, clear blue-green

Vintage color scheme for bedooms


Vintage color scheme for kitchens

Walls: Pale blue with cream woodwork

Rug: Blue and white check

Furniture: Cream

Curtains: Peach

Accessories: Blue

Walls: Pale yellow

Rug: Yellow and brown linoleum

Furniture: Cream

Curtains: Blue and cream check

Accessories: Sunflower yellow

Vintage color scheme for kitchens

Once you pick your color scheme, then you need to paint. If your old house needs expert prep work for your paint project, a professional might be able to help. Find a qualified painter at .