Back in the late 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, a family friend’s grandma, Verna Mae, compiled a scrapbook full of clippings of home decorating ideas she liked from magazines, ads, and catalogs. She collected hundreds of old images, everything from kitchen nooks, to bathrooms, to living room furniture, to baby nurseries.
Sadly, about 5 years ago, her mid century home was taken over by emanate domain and bulldozed to make way for a hospital expansion. Her grandson told me how it broke her heart to leave the home she created with her husband, now deceased. In helping pack up the home, her Granddaughter-in-Law remembered my love of mid century design and passion for history. Verna Mae graciously gave me 3 of her vintage ceiling lights, removed from the house prior to the demolition, and the scrapbook. The lights are very nice, but it is the scrapbook that I really treasure. Thank you, Verna Mae.
I used the book to help pick out a fabric color for my vintage couch when I had it reupholstered in 2009. The upholsterer claimed it was not really a 1940s vintage color, and he “could to sell me a different fabric.” I knew better, because this exact color was on a couch, similar to mine, in Mrs Crabtree’s 70+year old scrapbook. Since getting the book, I keep going back to it for more ideas on decorating and whenever I need to pick a new paint color. Recently I used the book again for the inspiration for the bathroom we are currently working on. Some of the bathrooms clippings saved in the scrapbook are large luxury bathrooms, but she also saved a number of clippings of modest ones, similar in size to ours.
Over time, I plan to scan the majority of the pictures that are still in good shape. The scrapbook paper they are glued to is starting to break down. Please excuse the resolution on some; a number of the clippings are only 2 x 3 inches before scanning.