Mail Order Memories-1955 Spring/Summer Spiegel Catalog(Part 2)

Spiegel catalog 1955-home accessosries-decor

As promised in my last post I’m sharing more images from my recent find, a spring/summer Spiegel catalog from 1955,  this time featuring the fabulousness of 50s housewares and home decor. Catalogs like these are a great reference if you’re planning on doing any mid century decorating and looking for authentic color palettes, prints and furniture styles of the era.

It’s also helpful for dating items you may find when out shopping.

Classic characteristics of 1950s furnishings included streamlined designs, clean lines, Scandinavian influence and  futuristic looks influenced by the the country’s launch into space exploration.  The use of lighter (blond) woods, angled/tapered/cone shaped legs,  metal, chrome and laminates were common design elements.

Bedroom furniture Spiegel catalog 1955

Bedroom furniture

Bedroom set-Spiegel catalog 1955

Bedroom set

Dining room set-Spiegel catalog 1955

Dining room set

Living room set-Spiegel catalog 1955

Living room set

Living room chairs-Spiegel catalog 1955

Living room chairs

The 50s was a colorful decade for both clothing AND home furnishings.

Dinette sets-Spiegel catalog 1955

Dinette sets


Mix and match cabinets in light blond or walnut finish for “countless arrangements”  was Speigel’s 1950s version of IKEA.

Storage Cabinet-Spiegel catalog 1955

Storage Cabinets

The steel industry boomed during the war years. But once WWII ended, there was less demand by the military for steel, so manufacturers started marketing and producing steel cabinets for home use.

Often found in white, but there were also versions enameled in pastel shades.
Steel cabinets from the 50s are coveted by collectors who want a period perfect look in their home.

Kitchen cabinets-Spiegel catalog 1955

Steel kitchen cabinets

Steel bathroom cabinets-Spiegel catalog 1955

Steel bathroom cabinets


The 1950s reign as the decade for kitsch. 50s decor that some would consider tasteless and tacky,  others, myself included, think of  it as wacky, whimsical and wonderful!

And some of the best examples can be seen in the lighting category. Take for instance the tv lamp. It sat atop your set and supposedly prevented eye strain when watching television in a darkened room. They were usually glazed pottery and often made in animal shapes.

In the upper left hand corner of the first image you can see a rearing horse, a doe and fawn and a panther, a tv lamp that also doubled as a planter! And the shades came in black, red or chartreuse. How cool is that?

Item 19 is a vanity lamp set in frosted glass that came in white, pink or blue with a chrome finish.

20-23 are wall mounted lamps that were referred to as pin up lamps.

1950s lamps-Spiegel catalog 1955

I have a bit of an obsession with lamps, especially mid century ones. When it comes to decorating a space, adding a 1950s lamp is a great way to create a dramatic focal point in a room.  Not only are many of  the lamps from that decade sculptural works of art, but the shades were too. Of course the iconic lamp shade style from that era is the fiberglass shade that was laced onto the frame.  Often those shades were decorated in abstract designs.

Lamps-Spiegel catalog 1955



Some stunning textile design came out of the 50s.  Bold colors, interesting textures,  atomic, geometric, abstract and conversational/novelty prints were prevalent.

The drapes below were made in barkcloth, a pebble textured cotton that was trendy back then and is collectible now.

50s atomic print drapes-Spiegel catalog 1955


Home dec fabric-Spiegel catalog 1955Home dec textiles-Spiegel catalog 1955

Upholstery fabric-Spiegel catalog 1955

Tufted cotton chenille bedspreads came in all sorts of colors and patterns.  I love the ones with the fringe and pom pom trims.

chenille bedspreads-Spiegel catalog 1955

Sofa slip covers in all kinds of cool prints could be ordered from the catalog as well. Note the groovy  tripod lamp on the side table.

Sofa slip covers-Spiegel catalog 1955


Floor Coverings

As with textiles, the vinyl and linoleum flooring of the 50s was also colorful with eyecatching prints. It was easy care, with a baked on enamel surface. Available by the foot for gluing to the sub floor, or cut to size for use as a mat or “rug.”

Flooring-Spiegel catalog 1955

Flooring-Spiegel 1955


Here’s a gallery of more images from the catalog. Click to see enlargements.


Till next time….





By | 2018-05-29T13:59:00-04:00 May 29th, 2018|Lifestyle, retro decor|2 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.


  1. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell May 30, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Oh yes, Ann. I enjoy pouring over every page of these catalogs. Wishing I could order from them! That is fantastic someone gave you a bag of magazines from those eras. Quite a gift!

  2. Avatar
    Ann May 30, 2018 at 5:47 am

    Another batch of drool-worthy images! Seriously, this is the kind of thing I could look at for hours. I bet you’ve done the same. I was given a bag full of women’s magazines from the 1930’s and 1950’s. Oh, those fashions and interiors. Then there are the ads, which are sometimes quite hilarious! xxx

Comments are closed.