My last post touched upon how I (and many popular design houses of the moment) are very inspired by vintage children’s books, prints, and illustrations.  I just love stuff from the 40s-70s.  They have soul. Their color palates are way cooler than much of what’s going on now (i.e. sweet and saccharin Pottery Barn can suck it.  I see them as the over-priced McDonalds of the Design World, but that mess is for another post.)

These prints are both so cool- and would look fresh and amazing in a child's room.

I like being earth conscious, and hey, using stuff that’s already out there is green!  By using vintage elements you are not creating need for new product, and being fantastically frugal!  My stylish father ,Saul, who is in his 70’s and still workin’ a look always said:  “Style does not come from a price tag, it comes from within”  If you have a little chutzpah, a cool style can be born for your newborn using vintage wallpaper!

Once again- I go to Jonathan Adler- he's da bomb, and this kids room is gingam done right- its warm- cute and super chic!  Go Adler!

Once again- I go to Jonathan Adler- he's da bomb, and this fabulous kids room is gingham 'n' wallpaper done right- its warm- cute and super chic!

So let’s go back, way back, and try to use what we got people!  Vintage Wallpapers are hot, and readily available on several web sites. A couple are listed below. Another easy great option is to search ebay.  Ebay totally rocks!  I buy a ton of stuff from them.  Remember, style comes from within! (and sometimes style comes from ebay!)

This paper with its pretty pink flowers and jade green graphic would make a fantastic statement in a baby's room. I could totally see the new Bellini Mercedes Spindle crib (pictured below) with this deluxe look.

The new Bellini Mercedes Crib is the Bomb. Check it!....and no, I am not on the Bellini staff, but I calls 'em as I see-em, and this crib is a design WIN!

Vintage papers come in a myriad of patterns and colors. Most range from $30-$100 a roll.  If you decide to rock some vintage paper one of the biggest challenges is how the heck to use it, how to get it on the wall, and what freakin’ colors to put with it!  As you search you will most often find only one roll is available, which is GREAT!  You will probably be the ONLY one to get it!  (I love something that isn’t seen all over the place.)   OK, so you got your roll of paper, now what?  First off, I don’t always like a room with all four walls papered.  It can be dizzying…and lets face it, life is dizzying enough.

The look does not need to be MOD, This Wallpaper lends a classy and sassy aesthetic to this adorable space! (p.s. I can't believe I just rhymed classy with sassy- I've seriously reached a new level)

Here are 3 easy Sam Simon tips to get a chic look, with minimal effort, and maximal style!

1) Pick one wall, and work it out! Wall paper an accent wall- it’s less to buy, less to hang, and punctuates the space with style!  (a good choice is the one behind the crib- OR opposite the crib.

2) Choose one of the colors that is in the paper to paint the other walls in the space.  If the paper is very colorful, bordering on TOO colorful, and there is not a color within the paper that you want to use on the the rest of the room, here’s a tip within a tip:  Try a warm neutral beige or creamy hue with the colorful paper. This will most likely be an easy design win.

3)  For your bedding, GO SIMPLE! One of my first jobs in High School was as a stock boy in the China Department of Bloomingdales at the Chestnut Hill Mall in Newton Mass.  A silver haired battle ax named Roz, with a rough voice from smokin’ Virginia Slims gave me the following advice.  I still stand by it religiously: “If ya got fancy china, get simple silver, and if ya got fancy silver, get simple china…otherwise it will look very Oonga Putchkied….exhale”  SO…….since the wall paper is probably more ornate, go for very, very simple bedding.  Think solid colors, piping, or very clean, simple prints.  You don’t want to disappoint Roz….do you?

These are some nice examples of simple textiles that would both look great with your vintage wall paper, and not disappoint Roz.

4) Hire a pro to hang the paper.  You “could” do it yourself, I guess…. but really, do you want to?  Its boring to do, and way more fun to shop.  Keep your local wallpaper hanger in business and have him do it for you.  It will most likely only cost about 200 bucks to have the pro do it, plus the cost of paper.  Im all for DIY- and there will be time for that Momma- but this is not it.

So if you’re a little afraid to hang wallpaper, if you rent your place and can’t put up paper,  if you still want to add a splashy vintage print, here’s a simple, fast and easy DIY project that is fun and looks great!  Source a small amount of paper and re-wrap a lamp shade with it!   It’s sort of like giving yourself a new hat!  Who doesn’t like a chic new hat?  If you really want to do this project, email me for detailed instruction.  I’m happy to share.

Give your shade a new wrap!

I invite any readers to hit me with their questions, comments or thoughts!  I’m a great color picker. I always have an opinion, love to talk about Celebrities, and was born to help with design challenges!  So…. hit me!




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Bellini is an international juvenile furniture company in business for almost 30 years. Visit us at for more information.
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4 Responses to vintage Rock PAPER Scissors!

  1. Lee Allen says:

    Good morning from Sunny S.CA
    A job well done. Great work.


  2. natalie says:

    where did you find the polka dot wall paper in the photo on the right, green background, I looked through everything in those sites you listed! help! Thxs

  3. Sam Simon says:

    Dear Natalie- Thank you for your question! That paper is so cute n chic! Here is the link to Designers Guild That specific paper is not vintage- so you are in luck! I wanted to include a couple samples that people could actually get- as most actual vintage has extremely limited availability.

    Let me know how your project goes or if you need any more help!

    be swell


  4. Giselle LaRou says:

    Loved your recent article. Any leftover paper can also be used to wrap gifts
    even tiny boxes, stack them up ready to use or admire. Fondly …..

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