“…We had color in the bathroom; now we have the bathroom in color — a complete color ensemble, a new color charm…. six lovely permanent shades…”
1927 was a momentous year in bathroom history — that’s when Kohler became the first company to introduce complete suites of sinks, tubs and toilets, in six glorious colors. I found this old catalog from 1928 that features beautiful, glowy photos of the bathrooms in the six colors — Horizon Blue, Old Ivory, Spring Green, Lavender, Autumn Brown and West Point Gray. Gorgeous! Golly, though, the Lavender fixtures in these illustrations sure looks like Pink to me. I asked Kohler archivist Angela Miller, and she confirmed, “Lavender does look pinkish in the literature, a little more lavender in person. Although, still more on the pink side.” So there: Our first pink bathroom fixtures, I declare it so. And blue and green and yellowish and yes, even beige and gray. Continue clickin’ to see the rest of the historic bathroom colors, along with bathroom illustrations that suggest just how beautiful high-end bathrooms could be in the roaring ’20s, before the party shut down –>
The catalog says:
This is an age of color. Recent years have seen a remarkable increase in its use in interior decoration — and not alone for its mere decorative value, but for its effect upon happiness and well-being. Color in the world out-of-doors affects our moods, our outlook upon life. And properly employed within the house, it has a like effect.
The bathroom has, of course, shared in this growing use of color. Bright touches have appeared in towels and rugs and window hangings, and latterly, in shower curtains. It has crept into walls and floor, and sometimes to the very rim of the bath tub.
But there, in most instances, the color stopped. The most important things in the bathroom — the plumbing fixtures — were white. We perhaps got to thinking that they had to be white.
And the like was true of the kitchen and laundry.
Kohler Fixtures in Color: So the announcement of Kohler Plumbing Fixtures in color was really a major innovation. We had color in the bathroom; now we have the bathroom in color — a complete color ensemble, a new color charm…. six lovely permanent shades, of blue, green, gray, brown, lavender and ivory.
It’s so interesting to see the color combinations in 1927. Lavender and yellow and green — why not! Also, I love tile run this high all around a room… and a tub/shower that’s arched or built in: Yum.
- See Kohler’s excellent timeline capturing the history of their color introductions — although the color rendered on the computer screen seems questionable.
- Thanks to archive.org for featuring this catalog.