susan-and-her-catPink bathrooms? Of course! But they are just symbolic of our enduring love for the pastel rainbow of midcentury bathrooms featuring tile and/or fixtures in coral, peach, green, blue — and yellow.  Reader Susan’s sparkling yellow bathroom is a real time capsule. It’s simple – but beautiful – with some great tips to either enhance your own midcentury bathroom – or recreate a new one. Read on for: Sinks, Tile, Knobs, Wallpaper – and more photos from Susan’s bathroom.


1. Colored fixtures can feel “risky” but they can pay off big. This bathroom proves it. You can do it! Kohler and American Standard, the two really big names, make bathroom suites – sinks, toilets, tubs – in a variety of colorways besides white. Kohler’s Sunlight Yellow is shown on a Tahoe sink here. Put these fixtures together with a complementary wall tile or wallpaper, and your bathroom will be very special. Soft pastel fixtures are not grating on your eyes – they are very soothing – perfect for a bathroom.


2. Salt ‘n pepper tile – It’s back “in” again. Okay, so,  so far, it’s only me declaring this. But look — American Olean now features salt ‘n pepper tiles in 1″ x 2″ mosaics in this designer marketing image! woohoo!

3. Remember your geometry. Susan – who we also know as KittyMommy on this site — received the new bath towels as a gift from her mother-in-law. The three brite yellow stripes not only work well with the fixtures but they also repeat the visual effect of the horizontal liner tiles. Where are there circles, squares and lines in your spaces? Work with them…repeat them (preferably in three’s)…for pleasing effects.

satellitemodernpull4. The little, cheap & cheerful touches are great – but control your clutter. Towels, shower curtains, hardware and a carefully controlled number of tchotchke’s are the easiest way to introduce accent colors. Look at those vintage cabinets pulls on the vanity – this tiny detail will bring delight into your life each and every time you touch it. SatelliteModern.com just reintroduced these pulls, by the way: A cheap thrill at $7 for both the knob and the backplate.

5. Love the bathroom you’ve got. This is the most important lesson. In this economy, most of us are workin’ with what we got. But our little 40s 50s 60s and 70s houses – well, they have a lot of great stuff already, if you assess it in the right frame of mind – one of thoughtfulness about the love that went into its creation in the  first place. And – go retro in tune with the original lines of your house – and your updates will never be…dated.

daisies-housevernacularThank you, Susan! Your bathroom looks terrific. The only thing I recommend considering – and you know I will say this – is: Wallpaper, dear. How about these circa-1945 daisies from housevernacular.com … or something else that floats your boat. Yellow can combine with so many other colors quite well.

More photos from Susan’s yellow bathrooms:

  1. sumacsue says:

    What a cheerful bathroom. I like the yellow stripes in the towel to go with the stripe in the tile. The brown Siamese cat also matches well!

  2. bsmet94 says:

    Why don’t they make that model of tub anymore? Why?!?! I had pink American Standard tub/toilet/sink in my old house in Denver (house was 1915, but the bathroom fixtured dated to the 40s). The tub was a very similar model, and I always liked it.

  3. Elvis says:

    We have this same tub, but in white. It had been re-coated by the POs and is sadly, now, looking a little “spotty.” Would it be worth trying to remove the re-coat?

    Lovely bathroom, Kitty Mommy!

  4. astrosonical says:

    My Uncle John, and Aunt Teenie (Ernestine) had a pretty house built in 1958 that had two bedrooms and a bath and a half. The half bath was in the left rear of the knotty pine den. Both baths were bright yellow, with the recessed sinks. The house for ages always smelled of Jean Nate. After my widowed aunt passed away, one of her dear friends who loved her and the house bought it. The fate of it beyond him ripping out the wall between the kitchen and den is unknown. I loved that house too, a very fond childhood memory.

  5. sablemable says:

    Yep, that’s the exact color of my fixtures in my 1955 built ranch. I can’t send a photo yet, as we’re still doing work around the house, but I have mint green wall tile and so far have only white towels to hang. Since the second owner of my home was disabled (and so am I), she had a wall telephone installed next to the loo. I will replace it with a period correct wall phone, hopefully in seafoam green, or white. Nice, nice bathroom, Susan!

  6. Pencils says:

    House Vernacular appears to be out of business, their website says they’re no longer taking orders. I like that daisy wallpaper a lot, I’ve had it in the back of my mind for a while. And now that I’m about to have a yellow bath….darn. On the other hand, since the walls are half-tiled in yellow, the fixtures are yellow, and the floor is yellow, maybe another color on the rest of the walls is a good idea.

  7. I want a yellow toilet and a yellow sink and some sort of white Formica for my ‘early ’70s, wood-paneled bathroom. We have the yellow tub, two kids in college, and no money for a remodel. And honestly, I don’t want to remodel. I just want to restore it back to it’s harvest gold glory.

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