Scenes from 22 blue midcentury bathrooms

1947-american-standard-bathtub

Yes — we are all dedicated to Save The Pink Bathrooms — but that quest is just emblematic, of course. We love midcentury bathrooms of all colors – blue, yellow, pinky-beige, grey, green, salt n pepper… I recently spotted some great images from Tiki Lisa’s blue bathroom (after the jump), and it got me to thinking… Let’s pull together all our blue bathrooms for a comprehensive look at this classic midcentury color. 22 bathroom inspirations in all.

tiki-lisa-vintage-bathroom-faucet

Above is Tiki Lisa’s bathroom faucet. I have not seen one quite like it, until now. I love her tile-in sink. And notice the tile, it appears to be the gold granite salt and pepper style. You can still get this today, folks.

tiki-lisa-vintage-crystal-bathroom-faucet

Here’s another angle on Lisa’s wonderful blue sink and faucet. I’m all for crystal faucets if they have a nice solid hand feel, as the old ones often do.

tiki-lisa-blue-vintage-wallpaper

And here’s Lisa’s coordinating toilet, set against vintage blue wallpaper. See more of Tiki Lisa’s photos on flickr, and on her blog Atomic Tea Party. Thanks, Lisa! :)

very-vintage-las-vegas-midcentury-bathroom1

Meanwhile, here’s another new-to-the-blog vintage blue bathroom, 1963, in this home for sale by Uncle Jack. Notice that cute daisy wallpaper. I love the look of the vanity. And darn, I want to see the floor and toilet better. You can still get mirror-cabinet combo’s like these from Nutone.  See the listing via the lefthand column of VeryVintageVegas.com.

vintage-blue-american-standard

In another news update, one of our readers just wrote to say that she is buying this wonderful 1959-era American Standard sink and vanity, one of our favorite styles ever ever, and featured in a recent Retro Radar. See the complete 1959 suite here, in green. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the deal works out! Now… for some previously featured posts…

Above: One of the coolest blue bathrooms ever in this 1964 time capsule, so well designed and featuring all the latest gizmos. Click on the first image to start the slide show.

1956-blue-tub-toilet-and-sink

Luminous blue tub, toilet and sink from deabath.com.

vintage-american-olean-tile-set-fishes

Vintage blue fixtures in a grey bathroom…includes a great vintage American Olean tile set of fishes.

We love Cinderella bathtubs.

1961-ge-textolite-laminate

50s and 60s bathrooms used to have laminate countertops in styles like this. Swoon.

1964-aqua-master-bathroom

We choose shower curtains for Amy’s blue…well, aqua…early 60s bathroom.

blue-tile-designs

Light blue and medium blue paired in an affordable and easy-to-replicate vintage style tile design.

mod-blue-bathroom

Feeling groovy in this mid mod bathroom from Chile. Red punches up blue so beautifully.

palm-springs-blue-bathroom

One of our favorite longtime readers, Palm Springs Stephan, gutted his condo bathroom and replaced it with this wonderful retro renovation.

alice-tile-after-zep

Alice’s blue bathroom tile, after she’s cleaned the grout with Zep.

las-vegas-time-capsule-bathroom

A Las Vegas time capsule bathroom. Be sure to see this post for the great Moe lighting in the dining room.

michael-main-bath-toilet

Michael’s very cool bathroom, Worthington, Ohio. Great tile and a wall-mount toilet — we haven’t seen many of these toilets yet, except in literature from the period. Very, very cool.

alices-blue-bathroom-vintage

How much do we love Alice’s bathroom (and kitchen and whole house) in Richmond, Va. Let us count the ways, it’s nearly Perfect!

anthropologie-bath-towels

Anthropologie bath towels will fit right into a vintage blue bathroom, original or retro renovation.

1956-eljer-fixtures276

Are blue bathrooms getting your attention yet? Scantily clad genies may help: 1956 Eljer ad.

kohler-bathroom-1953

More advertising inspiration: 1953 Kohler bathroom with two tones of blue tile.

roman-sinks

Sinks I saw on ebay. Most excellent for a 60s “Romany Spartan” style bathroom retro renovation.

sj-masters-tile-board-blue

Here’s tile that would look great with the sinks. Again, very Romany Spartan-inspired.

pams-blue-bathroom

Did I mention that when I renovated my three 1951 bathrooms I made one of them blue? It’s probably the favorite one in the family – very cheery, classic, too. My field tile came from Olympia – who have now discontinued this Maple Leaf tiles. But this color, essentially a ‘heron blue’ or ‘robin’s egg blue’, is available now by other large brands. Good news – there’s almost nothing more affordable than thsi 4×4″ field tile… and the look is spot-on for retro renovations. Update you interiors to be sympathetic to the original styling and period of your home — and the results will surely have a more timeless appeal.

Do you want to renovate or create a vintage-style blue bathroom of your very own? Check out all the resources researched in my Bathroom Category.

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Comments

  1. says

    So happy to see you quoted in The New York Times today, in their time-capsule house story. Brilliant!

    (Also brilliant: those red tights coming out of the blue bathtub above. Hilarious.)

  2. says

    Great overview, Pam. With your research, there are so many wonderful choices for appropriate bathroom retro-renovations. I like the original formica countertops in our baths, but I’d LOVE to replace the shower interiors and the “updated” sheet vinyl on the floors with tile. It’s an absolutely classic finish!

  3. says

    When I was growing up the main bathroom was blue, my parents bathroom off the master bedroom was pink (the kitchen was pink too) I thought the colors were awful. Now I would so totally love them for my own.

    I knew nothing as a kid. :)
    tracy

  4. MrsErinD says

    Woohoo for blue bathrooms! We have a blue bathroom, built in 1950, it has blue tile with white trim, the built in ceramic soap thingys, white kohler tub, and gorgeous vanity at least I think, it’s like the spungold textolite, but not only the top is that, the whole vanity is covered in the textolite stuff, it’s so cute! I accented in pink with pink vintage flower shower curtain and pink vtg window curtain with white pom poms, and of course you gotta have the blue chalkware fish! ;O) I’ll have to upload pics to flicker soon.

    • pam kueber says

      MrsErinD — we need to see pictures right away. I say: Right away! There is almost nothing I like more than laminate-covered vanities. And in spungold textolite! Heavenly! Send me some pics and I’ll do a post. Email: retrorenovation [at] gmail [dot] com!

  5. MrsErinD says

    Ok, will do it real soon! :O)

    I am working on the rest of the house, the living and dining are about done, mostly all vintage furniture and accessories of course, haha, but want to get hopefully a vintage couch in august for my birthday, it will look much better than what I have now, but I’ll get pics this week and send them!

  6. theresa says

    Love the blue. Would love to see a post on green bathrooms! We have a 1954 green tub, tile, toilet, but unfortunately an updated floor, and sink/vanity.

  7. Ross says

    Can anyone suggest a supplier for rectangular drop-in sinks of the variety shown in the house for sale by Uncle Jack? Our wonderful limey Austin water eats enamel, and my55-year-old model is about shot through. The sink measures 19″x18″. Thanks much.

  8. Pat says

    You might be able to save the sink. Have you contacted a company that can re-glaze it? They can repair rusted through holes. You might have to have it done every 4 or 5 years, but you will still have your sink, and the cost is much less than purchasing a new one.

  9. Macy says

    We are putting in an offer today for a sweet 1956 house in Portland, OR. Almost everything in the house is original, including the bathroom sink, tub, and toilet, which are the exact same as the Eljin ad. Thank you for putting that up.

  10. Claire says

    I have a cute blue half bath in crisis~ our plumber is telling us they don’t make the size faucet our blue sink needs and that our blue toilet needs to be replaced…tell me it isn’t so!!!! Our faucet is leaking something fierce and I’ve put off fixing it because I don’t want to lose my blue sink…any suggestions?

  11. Beki says

    I absolutely LOVE this site! Happened across it searching the web for tiling ideas to do a 50s style bathroom. I recently aquired 40 boxes of bluish grey 4×4 ceramic tiles and am thinking of accenting with cobalt blue cove, liner and 2×6 bullnose…but couldn’t figure out how to do the floor. The vintage mosaic would definitely be ideal, but expensive. Thanks to this now I have 2 great ideas and can use the tiles I already have!! (YAY!)

  12. Karen says

    Help! I have a gorgeous blue 1950s bathroom, but I have to replace some of the 4×4 tiles. Some idiot of a previous owner put in sliding glass shower doors, and when I removed them, it destroyed 3 tiles and damaged 3 others. I only had one left in the box in the basement from when the house was built and I can’t find a match at all. Even World of Tile in CA didn’t have the right color. Any other sources out there?

  13. Jennifer Junker says

    I acquired a 1950′s blue bathtub and two matching sinks, but, sadly, there’s no way I can get them into either of my bathrooms. My house was built in 1953 but it seems to be the only one in a five-mile radius with white fixtures. Phooey. Where would be the best place to sell these? They’re in good shape, I don’t want to just scrap them. I am keeping the faucets!

  14. Jane D says

    I’m so grateful I found this site! My husband and I are buying a house near the beach that was built in the 50′s. Needless to say it hasn’t been updated since! It still has the old kitchen appliances (stove and oven) and one restroom that is pink and the other blue! I can’t sleep trying to figure out how to make the place work for us, especially those restrooms! Any advice will be appreciated!

  15. says

    hello, _ ideas on a modern blue that looks fine with old? Toilets I mean.
    this is now a gutted bathroom, but the 50′s (60?) Blue bath and sink remain- I think the might be Elijer. the blue is like a “orleans blue”. The floor had to be removed (plastic marble over 60′s mosaic over 20′s linoleum puzzle with inches of mud bewteen!) we used a “cornflower blue” ann saks tile which is really sweet and matches this blue well. All that wall paper had to come down too- searching for something “chrome”!
    We are leaning towards a sky blue, like Kohler has out.

  16. Rick S says

    I noticed the American Standard sink vanity and remember seeing the same thing in the nuns’ house in our parish. The house was built in 1905 and last “updated” in 1965. They have planned for years to tear it down and I think there is 1 in each bedroom and 1 in the upstairs bath (4 total). From reading this site I think they would not set around too long.

    rick
    ps I believe the kitchen cabinets are St Charles maple too.

  17. Patricia says

    I have two blue tiled (1970) bathrooms that are in excellent condition. I was thinking how much I would hate to redo them to sell my house one day, because of all the home show and real estate agent pressure, but since I found this site, Maybe I will just leave them!

    • Sara says

      I say leave them! Let the new buyer remodel if they want to or you might find a the perfect buyer who likes them! I recently purchased a home with a bathroom of blue appliances : ) do you know how to clean them up? The house has been sitting for a while and needs a good cleaning.

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