Do you have a retro design dilemma? Ask us!

If you have a retro design dilemma, Kate and Pam may feature your story — with potential solutions in our Retro Design Dilemma series.

See our Retro Design Dilemma stories to see the kinds of questions we feature

To be considered, follow these five steps:

  1. Take 3-5 photos of the room in question — making sure to read over my post for 6 tips to take great photos of your room. Also please take photos that help to illustrate your design dilemma — example — if you aren’t sure how to decorate around your colorful retro flooring, make sure to include a good quality close up of the floor itself as well as a shot of the whole room, so we can see how it reads in the space as well as what it looks like up close. Another example: If you have a piece of vintage fabric… or a vintage dinette that you want to start with as your inspiration piece, be sure to send photos of those, along with your room. Remember, because we can’t be in your actual room to look around, you must give us all the visual information we need to help you from afar!
  2. Make your question specific — We want to know what you want to know — so tell us. Do you need our help to pick flooring? Find the right style of sofa to complement your knotty pine den? Are you clueless when it comes to your front door? Explain exactly what your problem is so we can help you solve it.
  3. Tell us about your style — If you are trying to make your bedroom look like a 1970s flashback, clue us in so we don’t suggest something that screams 1950. This is also a great time to mention fun information about yourself, how you ended up your house — your “Retro Renovation story”. All this adds some extra frosting and sprinkles to your cake… I mean … submission. (We like sprinkles!)
  4. Email your dilemma — We will likely get many emails asking for advice so please send only one email containing all the information requested above (it’s crazy hard for us to keep track of multiple emails).  Of course, we likely won’t be able to answer all of your questions — we’re thinking that we will feature one, maximum two, reader design dilemmas each week. To give yourself the best chance to have your question answered here on Retro Renovation, please follow the above steps (take 3-5 good photos, specific question, style preferences). After you submit your design dilemma, and it has been reviewed, you will receive a confirmation email.
  5. Read and agree to the Terms of Use — When you make a submission you are agreeing to the site’s Terms of Use. So be sure to read them here:

Note: This is not the place to submit your urgent design questions — We work on these stories 4-6 weeks in advance and usually only post one per week — your patience is appreciated!

Please send all retro design dilemmas to:

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  1. Maribeth says

    I am having trouble finding the maroon bathroom tiles. Our house was built in 1957 and we want to keep the pink and maroon tiles, but we need about 12 of the 6 inch by 2 inch tiles? Help!!!

    • pam kueber says

      use the search box – see my stories about World of Tile. Check B&W also — again — use the Search, the FAQs or the categories

  2. Edwyna says

    Does anyone know where I can buy shelf paper like my Mom had in the 1950’s? Paper fit on the cabinet shelf, and then hung over the shelf edge, usually having scalloped edges, often with pictures of Dutch children, roosters, and the like.

  3. Julie says

    Hi! I have a couple questions regarding our 1941 [half] pink bathroom. The tile in the shower stall is the original pink and black. However, the rest of the tile in the bathroom is beige (WHY??). I have no idea if they were reglazed or if they are new. Also, the tub and bathtub are white. I want to tie together the pink and beige tile and am having trouble picking a color for the walls. They’re currently white, but would an off white in the pink family be too much? I’d rather not redo the tiles. Also, what flooring would go well with this?

    • Kate says

      Julie, If you’d like you can take some pictures and email them to me at along with your question and we can consider featuring your bathroom as a Retro Design Dilemma. Just make sure to take good photos with the best lighting possible and several overall room shots along with some close-ups of the tile and other important room features. Thanks!

  4. Primrose Road says

    Hi — I have an interior basement bathroom that needs fixing but cannot for the life of me get photos to capture the wall tile color. It’s sort of peach-pink with what looks like metallic finish (it reflects light) dark brown tile as trim. House was built in ’58. Does anyone have a clue about what color combo this might have been? Thank you!

    • pam kueber says

      Is the tile ceramic or plastic?

      In any case, there were so many manufacturers… and so many colors…. it’s virtually impossible to guess…

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