Vintage contact paper is hard to come by. So is modern contact paper with retro patterns. Thus, let’s consider this a gallery of inspirational images rather than a modern home decorating tip.
The background of the above shelves are done over in Con-Tact’s “CINDY” pattern (in the circle).
Con-Tact also sold textured contact paper – essentially fabric with a self-adhesive back:
“Quick Changing Front Panels”
It looks like these women are putting contact paper on their kitchen appliances. It’s hard to tell. Tappan ads calls them “quick changing front panels” (below) and Frigidaire refers to them as “designer doors” (above) so maybe not. Both images are from 1968.
Visit retronaut.co to view more images of Con-Tact brand contact paper:
If you are unsure of how to decide on the color and shape of a supergraphic, why not draw your inspiration from a pattern already in the room? The supergraphics in this post are scaled copies of patterns found on bedspreads and throw pillows.
In order to accurately transfer the graphic, there are a few strategies that you can use. You can tack a string grid onto your wall, and reference a smaller scaled sketch (see below). Or if you have access to an overhead projector, you can freehand the pattern on a transparency with an overhead marker, or take a photograph of the fabric and have it printed on a transparancy. The main factor that you will have to decide on is scale (aka. how much you want to enlarge the pattern). Whatever you do, make sure to use painter’s tape for crisp paint lines!
Citations and Notes
The first image in this post comes from the Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book (1975), and the last two are from Family Creative Workshop Volume 19 (1975). And keep in mind, this is another process you can implement to create rooms with heavily repeated patterns (see this post) – especially if you don’t have enough yards of a vintage fabric to go the distance. Just use paint!
A Book Review
A Graphic Vocabulary for Architectural Presentation by Edward T. White — a boring title for a visually stunning book. Published in 1972, this spiral bound manual was intended as a textbook for architect students. But you don’t have to be an architect to appreciate it. All you need is a love of the 70s. Unlike most books I feature on this blog, there are no photographs within – instead it is comprised of delicate line drawings of 1970s furniture and spaces.
Hatching, crosshatching, stippling, contours, and more – all of the illustrations are based on the Line.
There are 53 pages of period chairs, couches, ottomans, side tables, dining room tables, conference tables, and office furniture – some drawn with simple contour outlines, others which are shaded in through hatching, crosshatching, and many other line-based techniques:
Strangely, there is only one page of lamps:
In order to flesh out the students’ architectural spaces, this books also features 12 pages of adults and children dressed in 70 clothes and hairdos, plus 12 pages of period automobiles:
And of course, (considering that this is an architect manual and all,) there are pages upon pages of textures that you can produce with lines, including different ways to draw brick, stone, wood, grass, trees, shrubs, etc.
Unfortunately there are only a handful of the author’s absolutely beautiful finished architectural drawings at the end of the book. It’s a shame, I would have loved to see more.
If you are interested in buying A Graphic Vocabulary for Architectural Presentation (180 pages), I would suggest seeking out a spiral-bound copy, so that the pages will lie flat if you are drawing from it or photocopying it. After a quick search, I found some copies on amazon.com and other obscure book shops online. Edward T. White is additionally the author and illustrator of many other architecture manuals (none of which I have read). Thank you, Edward T. White!