What colors to use in your 40s 50s 60s or even 70s home? This timeline of Kohler colors is really quite wonderful. It provides a snapshot of why certain colors were common during the wartime years and immediately thereafter… on into the 50s when true exuberance emerged… the 60s with its pop and hippie influences…and the 70s when harvest gold and avocada reigned supreme! The whole postwar period – defined as about 1946 to 1963 was an era when America was really finding its own way from a design perspective. Color does not just “happen” – it’s part of a complex story of social, economic, and demographic factors all interwoven. History. Just like our kitchens and bathrooms and lights — all of it!


Related posts:

1. Mamie Eisenhower: Unwitting creator of “Mamie Pink”
2. Wilsonart’s snapshot history of 50s laminate including colors
3. Wilsonart’s snapshot history of 60s laminate including colors
4. Complete archive of our midcentury paint color posts
Special thanks to Scathing Jane for reminding me about this Kohler timeline! She is ALL OVER this era, I am really impressed – and grateful for her continuing help!

  1. Ann B says:

    Some of the Kohler colors are still available. Others came and went several times over the years. Mexican sand is still one of my favorites. I used it in my previous master bath and still love the look.

  2. Jacqueline says:

    Could I get some help about where to find touch up paint for sinks and tubs
    I work for a cleaning co. and run across different colored tubs and sinks with chips would like to get some standard colors to carry with me to repair these
    Yesterday it was an avocado kitchen sink
    Thanks for any help you can give

  3. AnnaB says:

    hey, glad to find this site! i just purchased a home built in 1929. bathroom fixtures appear to be original (spring green) i believe. the tub and sink are in excellent shape but the toilet is suffering. anyone know where i can find an ENTIRE toilet in color?

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      AnnaB, welcome. We generally recommend casting a wide net – but know, you are going to have to work at this! First, find a paint chip that matches your toilet – and carry it with you to do matching. There were many many different variations of these colors around. Then stalk: Your local ReStore/Habitat for Humanity and craigslist — so that you can go see what you are considering to buy. You can also watch: deabath.com, historichouseparts.com, ohmegasalvage.com … and there are likely others. Good luck.

  4. Susan, aka Kitty Mommy says:

    Yes, I’ve seen it. I was originally going to order one of these color match kits, but they are so expensive. That’s why I went with the ones on homeclick.com (only $13.60 each!). The seats I got are by Church, and they do the 94 color kits, as well as Bemis. Bemis owns Church, so I think they’re the same (the kits look the same in photos!). Anyway, nancyb posted that she got one from the Bemis color match kit. She said “The seat I received blends very well with the toilet, although it’s a little light”, so maybe I didn’t do too badly after all!

  5. Susan, aka Kitty Mommy says:

    I’m using them. They’re not that bad (MUCH better than what was there, and I didn’t spend a fortune on them!), but I’d love to hear about another option, if you know of one!

  6. Susan, aka Kitty Mommy says:

    I wish I could see something similar for American Standard! I have a ’61 ranch with its original yellow and pink bathrooms. I needed to replace the already replaced toilet seats (which were painted, but the paint didn’t match and was peeling off-yuk!) and thought about ordering the color match kit. However, I found a really good deal on homeclick.com (Round Hextite Hinge Molded Wood Seat- 540 by Church-$13.60 each!) and took a chance ordering the “yellow” and “Venetian pink”. The seats are really good quality and each is almost a perfect match, but slightly lighter (and the pink one is slightly more “pink” than the toilet). I’m probably being far too picky, but I am wondering if my toilets aren’t perhaps a different color than what I ordered…or does the color of the toilet change (e.g. darken slightly) over time???

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