The pleasing beauty of Soviet-era wallpaper

The pleasing beauty of Soviet-era wallpaper
Image courtesy of Soviet Innerness

21 February 2019

The pastel coloured wallpapers with geometric and floral designs on Instagram account Soviet Innerness will be strikingly familiar to anyone who lived in the Soviet Union. Collecting together Soviet wallpapers and interior design, the account takes you on a nostalgic journey from Poland to Armenia, Kyrgyzstan to Ukraine, where standard-issue wallpaper, tea sets and armchairs were ubiquitous.

Flower patterns would be splashed across summer camps and public spaces; stripes and geometric forms were reserved for the private domain; pastel shades of green, yellow and blue tiles were typical of bathrooms and kitchens.

Wallpaper, like most other things in the Soviet Union, was mass produced. It was also in mass deficit. When wallpaper was in short supply, walls were simply whitewashed, sometimes with basic stencils drawn by hand. When it was available, to bolster the thin, often poor quality wallpaper, Soviet newspaper Pravda came in handy. Captured in some of the images on the account, sheets of Pravda served as elements of technical ingenuity rather than proof of political loyalty to communism.

Spot some front-page stories, retro sticker packs, and traditional ornamentation in this pleasing and carefully curated selection.

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