Franklin Brass — Chrome fixtures for your retro bathroom available today


franklin-brass-5518r-stainless.jpgAdding the sparkle of chrome to your vintage bathroom can be inexpensive and easy- and it really adds to a 50s style bathroom’s overall charm. There is just something about chrome that livens up the space… that plays off and perks up the pastel colors you usually see in retro bathrooms.

Be sure to use chrome hardware to connect your toilet seat, for the little flush handle and of course, for your faucets. A light over the mirror, or two sconces, with chrome bases also are pretty much a franklin-brass-5506h-stainless.jpg“must”.

As for other fixtures – like the recessed soap dish, toothbrush holder and toilet paper holders as featured in the 1953 advertising above, it can be hard to find vintage pieces in pristine shape. The chrome just got too yucky.

Luckily, you can still get these items, with very little change over the past 50+ years, from Franklin Brass.

franklin-brass-5566-bright-stainless.jpgIn fact – I am very very excited about their “bright stainless” Century line. This line should resist rust much better than chrome. It has more heft – important in the non-recessed pieces. And….drum roll, please….it offers the first towel bar that I find truly acceptable for retro renovation bathrooms — now superseding my previous “acceptable if we must” reco! Here is my overall recommendation for what to use:franklin-brass-5568-bright-stainless.jpg

From the Century collection, in bright stainless steel:

  • Towel bar
  • Towel ring, if necessary
  • Towel shelf
  • Towel pin
  • Soap disk for sinkfranklin-brass-5505-bright-stainless.jpg
  • Toothbrush holder for sink
  • Recessed soap disk for tub with or without washcloth bar
  • Recessed toilet paper holder (not shown here, but is available)
  • Robe hook (looks like a nice one, does not protrude too much)


Now…there may be those who say that you cannot mix chrome

and stainless… that the finish-values will clash. That may indeed be so, and you might be able to talk me out of the mix. But I love the functionality and heft of these stainless steel fixtures and I would guess the “bright” has been added with the co-existence with chrome in mind.

In fact, in my kitchen, the two finishes co-exist all over the place, quite peacefully. If you really want all chrome, there are plenty of other pieces in the Franklin Brass line to complete a nice set, including a TP holder with a “concealed” cover as in

the ad, above.

I continue to research mirrors, stay tuned.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


  1. Femme1 says

    These look great. I haven’t been able to part with the original chrome fixtures (which have a clear plastic piece that fits in the soapdish) in my bathrooms, even though they are looking a little shabby, because I don’t think I could ever find a replacement that matched their odd combination of roundness and straight lines.

    I have found incredible things like 50s tubs, sinks, medicine cabinets, bathroom fixtures, and tons of other stuff at my local Restore. This is a warehouse/store run by Habitat for Humanity; they take all sorts of house stuff, including things like 2 x 4s and siding, that they are given (lots of vintage stuff) or new things that are leftover from their building projects. The prices are really low. Here is the national website; they give a listing of all the Restores in the U.S. and Canada.

  2. 50sPam says

    I couldn’t agree with you more, about ReStore! I just went to the one 45 minutes away from my house on Saturday — and stayed 2 hours. They have INCREDIBLE stuff… it’s for a great cause… and at great prices.

    It’s a great place, too, for Useless but Wonderful stuff, which I got a bit of.

    Hey Femme1: Send your entry today!!!!

  3. pink_nitemare says

    Just wondering if anyone had a pic of the Hallmack rotating toothbrush/tumbler holder installed in a “retro” bathroom?? I’m thinking about picking one up for my 1960s house – I remember my grandmother having one in her mid-70s colonial, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever (as far as bathroom fixtures are concerned, I guess). I did want to see what kind of placement was used – I will be installing a pedestal sink & keeping the white/black field tile on the walls 😀 Thanks in advance!

    • pam kueber says

      Hello pink nitemare. The retro decorating gods are looking down upon you because I just put the finishing touches on tomorrow (Monday)’s post, which includes the Hall-Mack vintage toothbrush tumbler! Tune in!

  4. Carolyn T says

    I’m looking for some “lime green” wall tiles to repair the shower stall in my early 1950’s midcentury modern ranch. Does anyone know if there is a company that manufactures this “retro” color”. I’ve seen many discussions/comments on the pink tiles; but, nothing about a lime green color.

  5. pam kueber says

    Carolyn T – Go to Product Guides / Bathroom or /Flooring for all the tile resources. B&W (which has the pink) also may be able to help you with the lime green. But this color is pretty current-mod today so you may also be ablet to find it among the other companies listed. Good luck.

  6. Clare says

    I”m having a tough time getting a hold of the Franklin Brass Century TP holder (nonrecessed), towel bar, towel ring, and robe hooks. I called Liberty Hardware after trying to get a store location through their website, and they sent me to a warehouse, which said they don’t place orders for single consumers. The LH website also sends me to Home Depot, but then HD doesn’t have that line and says they can’t even special order it. Help! Any suggestions? Have determination, will travel. Just need some direction!

  7. pat mckeary says

    Im trying to find toilet tissue holder…made by A. Marchand inc (conceal all accesories for bath and kitchen)…this unit sits in the wall and has a spring loaded door

  8. dorian says

    I have quite a few of the vintage concealed toilet paper holder (with push button to open), concealed cup and toothbrush holder, concealed tissue box holder . Mid century modern from 1974, all in very good condition.
    Also have lots of white glass globe lights with brushed aluminum or steel necks.

    • pam kueber says

      Cool! If you are interested in selling them, the best place is ebay or etsy. (No buying/selling here on the main blog – or it gets too chaotic.) Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *