I’d have never guessed it, but the #1 viewed Category on RetroRenovation.com is: Bathrooms. I’d have thought, Kitchens. Hmmm.

So, more bathrooms it is, starting with this lovely 50s illustration. A very nice inspiration design showing how the pretty pastels of the period can be brought together — without being overwhelming. I love the white tile with black 2×6 trim against one wall…carried over to the soft white curtains and white shelf with black trim…the pink and yellow accents….the dark green floor to ground the whole thing including balance the black… and of course, the wallpaper that brings it all together.


1954 retro airline style faucetCoincidentally — or not, because there are none in the retroreno’blogosphere — I just received an email from an ebay seller with the following green fixtures for sale. Circa 1954, a complete set of toilet, sink with chrome legs, tub and really cool airline jet style faucets. $700 in Minnesota. Sorry, I don’t know these models by site — the seller says there is a marking on one piece that says HDMart. In any case, I sure love their lines. Look at that sink, it is ready for take off!retro green 50s bathroom sink1954 retro green bathroom tub

1954 retro green toilet

  1. Sumac Sue says:

    I understand your reasoning in going with a light-colored floor. I’m realizing that memories from childhood definitely help form our decorating preferences. I am surprised by how these illustrations and blogs trigger some memory. For instance, your mention of one-inch tiles makes me remember a bathroom from childhood that had very small white floor tiles. I think some must have been one inch, and some were one-by-two inches. They were set in some sort of a pattern, and I remember that I found a mistake in the pattern. As a kid, that little mistake was very intriguing to me. I guess when you are a kid, and closer to the floor, you notice such things!

    Anyway, the small white tiles on a diagonal sounds like a fun idea.

  2. My reasoning on going with a white floor is perhaps a bit odd. First, I’ve always had very light colored or white bathroom floors, so they seem “normal” to me. Second, my grandparents had a black linoleum floor in their bath (ca 1935), and I found their bathroom scary as a small child – false teeth in glasses and that sort of thing. So darker floors in baths evoke unpleasant childhood memories. The current floor in my bath is composed of 3-inch emerald green tile, very similar to the illustration, and to my eye it makes the small space seem that much smaller. I am hoping that small white tile, perhaps 1 inch squares, laid on a diagonal to the wall tile for contrast, will make the space feel larger and brighter. It’s an experiment that could turn out well or fail miserably. I’ll let you know.

  3. Sumac Sue says:

    I agree with Stephan that the white tile with black trim looks great. The one thing I am not crazy about in this illustration is the green floor. It seems a bit drab. But, I can see that the dark floor does add a foundation for the light colors in the room.

    But I see that Stephan is going to have a white floor in his new bath, along with white tile on the walls. Stephan, what made you decide on a white floor instead of a dark floor?

  4. 50sPam says:

    Hi Stephan. I think you are really right about how well white tile trimmed in black works with the pastel fixtures. Especially with the wallpaper to pull it all together. A less “loud” 50s color scheme. Fresh.

    Sue: You have caught me again. I love illustrations. In fact, search and read the post about Al Parker at the Norman Rockwell Museum and now, I believe, in St. Louis. Illustration was very important in setting the tone for the 50s and the idealism of the era. So I like to use them. Even so, I can assure you, this bathroom would look stunning in real life too.

  5. I don’t know if it will make you feel better or worse, VintageGoodness, but I just bought a 3-piece set in blue on eBay, and the crating and shipping cost $900! So the $700 purchase price is only the beginning!

  6. Oh. My. God. Those aqua bathroom pieces are amazing! It just isn’t fair that I don’t have $700 to buy cool retro bathroom stuff for a bathroom in a house I don’t own. Boo. 🙁

  7. And to think that just this week I’ve started gutting the green bathroom in my “new” place! Though truth be told, it was emerald green with mottled emerald green tiles on the walls and floor. Felt like sitting in a dark green cocoon. Had it been the pastel green seen here, I might have kept it. I’m going for “regency blue” instead, with white tile walls and floor. And this illustration helped confirm my decision to use white tile with black trim, rather than white with blue trim or a mix of blue and white on the walls.

  8. Sumac Sue says:

    What a cute bathroom. (But it could be that I just love illustrations. Would I like this bathroom as much if it was photographed?) I particularly like the wallpaper, the vanity, and the button on the cushion seat.

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