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Thread: The Pink Bathrooms of Mid Century

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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Default The Pink Bathrooms of Mid Century

    The color pink in bathroom sinks, tubs and toilets — from 1927-1962

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    Posted by: Kate • March 22, 2016
    Every Retro-Renovation-card carrying reader knows that pink bathrooms were wildly popular in midcentury America — thanks in part to First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, who popularized the color in the 1950s. When did we first see pink in bathrooms, though? And what were the different shades from the different manufacturers? I dove back into one of our favorite resources, The Building Techology Heritage Library on archive.org, to start tracking the history and see how many different pinks I could find in bathroom fixtures.
    American Standard pinks — Rose Du Barry (pinky purple Orchid of Vincennes), Corallin and Venetian Pink


    Above images: 1930 American-Standard Rose Du Barry bathroom fixtures and kitchen sink from the MBJ collection/archive.org.
    In the 1930s, American Standard offered a Rose Du Barry pink (above) which looks to be a very rosy, bright pink. The company also offered Orchid Of Vincennes (below) that is likely a lavender pink, though it is hard to tell from the vintage catalog whether it leaned more toward purple or pink.

    Above images: 1930 American-Standard Orchid of Vincennes bathroom fixtures from the MBJ collection/archive.org.
    Above: By 1950, American Standard had removed their purpley pink Orchid of Vincennes from their color lineup and tweaked their Rose Du Barry pink to be a softer pastel pink, which they called ‘Corallin’. Above from: 1950 American-Standard catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org showing Corallin Pink bathroom fixtures.
    By 1962, Corallin was out and a very similar pink — called Venetian Pink — had taken over. In fact, Venetian Pink can still be found today at the last known source for a new pink toilet, Peerless.
    Five images above: 1962 American-Standard catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org showing Venetian Pink fixtures.
    Kohler Pink — Lavender, Peachblow


    A few years ago, Pam wrote about the very first year — 1927 — that Kohler offered its bathroom fixtures in colors besides white. “Lavender” was in the new palette — and golly, we think it looks pink. Above: Lavender fixtures from a 1928 Kohler catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org.
    By 1936, Kohler had created a separation between Lavender and pink by creating a peachier pink named “Peachblow” which — along with Tuscan, Spring Green and Lavender — became one of their most popular colors. Above: We see Kohler’s color lineup and a Peachblow bathroom in this 1936 Kohler catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org.
    Above: In this 1948 Kohler catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org, we see the whole palette for the year, which included Peachblow, which Kohler says is a “..more restrained, almost beige” pink that is a toned-down version of Lavender.
    By 1949, Kohler had reduced its color offerings to just four: Spruce Green, Peachblow, Cerulean Blue and Tuscan. Two images above: from a 1949 Kohler catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org.

    Above images: In this 1950 Kohler catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org, Peachblow is still going strong.
    Crane — Orchid Pink


    In 1940, Crane offered Orchid Pink along with India Ivory, Citrus Yellow, Pale Jade, Lavender and Sun Tan as part of their lineup. Images above from: 1940 Crane catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org.
    Montgomery Ward — Tropical Coral


    This 1955 Montgomery Ward catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org offers fixtures in Tropical Coral.
    Briggs — Coral

    The two images above show Coral from the 1950s Briggs Beautyware catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org.
    Present day

    When I created my new retro pink master bathroom from scratch back in 2013, I used a vintage sink found on Craigslist, that I believe is Kohler Peachbow and a Bahama Pink toilet made by Gerber — a color that was sadly discontinued in 2015. Gerber also discontinued their matching lavatory sink in Bahama Pink.



    Read more: The color pink in bathroom sinks, tubs and toilets - from 1927-1962 - Retro Renovation

    The color pink in bathroom sinks, tubs and toilets - from 1927-1962 - Retro Renovation
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i love old school bathroom colours. that last picture looks like one of the bathrooms in my aunt's house.
    i also have a thing for art deco bathrooms in pale pink and black.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    I love these old bathrooms too. My grandmother had the pink one, with black trim tile. My mom's house had aqua blue in the main bath--walls, tub, toilet and sink. The half bath had all light yellow fixtures.

    My house was built in the 50's and the upstairs bathroom has the original tile in gray, with dark gray trim on the top. Original floor tile too, same style as above. White tub and toilet. Prior owners replaced the vanity and top and I'd like to find one that better matches the style of the original bathroom. I know a lot of people gut those old bathrooms but I don't think I could do it. Everything's in good shape and to me, it fits the house. And you can't go wrong with gray.
    Bluebonnet likes this.
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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    i love old school bathroom colours. that last picture looks like one of the bathrooms in my aunt's house.
    i also have a thing for art deco bathrooms in pale pink and black.
    You might like my current apartment's bathroom. Art deco lavender and black accent tiles.

    I love it so much myself that I'm fantasizing about tearing it out and taking it with me when I move. I'll see if I can post a pic. It's beautiful.
    Bluebonnet, sputnik, msdeb and 3 others like this.

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    Elite Member o0Amber0o's Avatar
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    I love the set up of that "Corallin" bathroom with the little vanity - how fab.

    I don't dig older bathrooms despite my love for old houses - they always seem "dirty" to me. Plus I'm too indecisive to be able to commit to a bathroom fixture color other than white.
    All you can do at life is play along and hope that sometimes you get it right.

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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beeyotch View Post
    You might like my current apartment's bathroom. Art deco lavender and black accent tiles.

    I love it so much myself that I'm fantasizing about tearing it out and taking it with me when I move. I'll see if I can post a pic. It's beautiful.
    Ohhhhh!!! Please post a pic!!! I wanna see it!
    sputnik likes this.
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    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    I only knew a girl in high school having a pink bathroom.It was THE luxury and she was the envy of most girls.
    I would put colorful stuff but my ex wasnt a fan.He said it is bad taste and too klassy..so i am stuck with white stuff.
    "Effie is all kinds of awesome." - Some internet moderator


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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    I have a 1980's pink bathroom. I kind of like it, but the mister says it's time to update it.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beeyotch View Post
    You might like my current apartment's bathroom. Art deco lavender and black accent tiles.

    I love it so much myself that I'm fantasizing about tearing it out and taking it with me when I move. I'll see if I can post a pic. It's beautiful.
    post a pic!
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member panic's Avatar
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    so often on this board the retro style houses have something similar to my grandparent's house. they do have a pink and black bathroom, something I've not seen in anyone else's house ever.
    "I would have gladly held my nose and did the right thing all damn day long to keep Trump out of the fucking White House and it wouldn't have butt hurt me at all."...gas_chick


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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    My nana's powder room was in that peachblow shade (though I've never heard that word before).
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    I love these , as a purple obsessed person I would totally think about doing a bathroom in lavender tile color

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Sorry the pics are so large. The grout is not that yellow irl, more of a creamy off-white, it must be the flash skewing the colors. The tiles are lavender, and the diamond shaped inlays are more of a pink.

    I FLOVE this tile in person. And most of it is in great condition. The grout around the tub and shower of course has had to be redone.

    The house was built in 1929, some of the other bathroom fixtures might be from around the 40's bc the toilet is one of those HUGE tank ones. And I forget, but I thought in 1929 they would have had those older pull cord gravity tanks? Not sure about that, but anyway. It's all around the entire bathroom, including the backsplash for the sink, behind the toilet and even a little vanity flanked by two windows. My house is a mess or else I'd post pics of that too.





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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    ^^ Love it!!
    Cats are really just land based sharks in fur coats. - Kittylady

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    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    Love it !
    Fran2 likes this.

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