Brady Bunch “bittersweet” orange kitchen counter tops — from Pionite

bittersweet colorWhen reader Ann told me she had used Pionite laminate in Primary Yellow for her 1965 kitchen Retro Renovation, I jumped on over to Pionite to look at the chip. And golly, Ms. Molly, wouldn’t you know it, but sitting right there in the same row of color chips was: Bittersweet. I didn’t know that any laminate maker still produced Bittersweet.


stangl bittersweet
photo courtesy dixie-too on ebay

I think that Bittersweet is a super classic 1960s and 1970s color. I first learned about it, because we collect Stangl pottery, and one of their patterns is “Bittersweet”. It’s a color that endured many years — more than I guess I knew, as here it is again (or still?) today.

I tend to believe that the kitchen counter tops in the Brady Bunch kitchen were exactly this shade of orange. Here’s short clip from CBS that shows Mike Brady struggling to do women’s work, ugh, in the Brady kitchen:

bittersweet colorReaders, what do you think? Are Bittersweet and Brady Bunch orange one in the same?

Anyway, this Pionite palette of solid colors is pretty darn nice. There are two pages of color options — with lots of off-whites, which are always classic, and with many true retro colors — French blue, Boxwood, Surfin’ USA, Burgundy, Royal Burgundy — and a nice Primary Red.

Orange is my favorite color. It was the first Retro Renovation Color of the Year, in 2011.

I also loved the Brady Bunch, of course. Looks like you can see lots of, or maybe all of, the episodes here.

Oh. Yes. This blog is about decorating. Want your own Brady Bunch orange countertops? Get them, along with other retro solid colors, here: Pionite solid laminate colors — 2 pages

  1. maude says:

    I would encourage everyone to watch the episode of The X Files that was titled “Sunshine Days”…. It takes place inside the brady bunch house and revolves around a man who is obsessed with the show. Very cool episode:)

  2. YNONA says:

    I adore the brady bunch house and am wanting to have the stage house built when I win the lottery or make alot of money. I have a program called “House Beautiful” and am working on trying to make the stage house but the upstairs doesnt co-inside with the downstairs. The boys room is I believe is suppose to be above the family room but it just doesnt work out that way. the upstairs bath room and girls room from what I can tell is suppose to be above the kitchen but from the hallway at the top of the stairs it just isnt working out that way. I dont know if I am just not seeing something or it just doesnt work.

  3. Cassiola says:

    You want Brady Bunch counter tops? you can have mine! house was built in the 80s, dark cabinets, dark linoleum on floor and as backsplash, house is small, the dark colors and orange is too much. I have tried painting the cabinets but can’t find the right hue to counter the countertops. Just what color goes with this? And, I grew up with the bittersweet plants which I always used to love. . . but I hate these countertops. Don’t say use green–that was my ex’s favorite color and I am boycotting it for a few years. . . .

  4. Karen Evanskey says:

    I love love love this, I am all over it! Love the orange, love the Brady’s! I will save for the day we finally do something with out kitchen. We have some retro tile and although I don’t love it, I think I might miss it. It’s something I’ve never seen here. It has a white background with splotches of yellowy green. We painted the kitchen walls a light-ish avocado green (left cabinets white) to give it a little Brady-esque feel. This Bittersweet would look, well, fab to us, hideous to most of our friends! Maybe darker avo cabinets would be groovy with it? And of course a new floor.

  5. TappanTrailerTami says:

    Well…..I do know this color well. My parent’s first house was built in 1953, and they bought it complete with original birch cabinets and gray linen style laminate counters. The whole house was in 1950s gray and pink. My mother had the gray laminate redone in this exact color in 1972. Not sure what she was thinking, really!

  6. Lilypad says:

    The kitchen in the 1969 house I grew up had those orange counter tops. “The Brady Bunch” was one of my favorite shows—this was in th emid 1970’s a few years after it originally aired and we used to watch it every day after school. The bathroom my sister and I shared had an avocado toilet, bath tub, and sink. So groovy!

  7. ILTim says:

    I’m about to replace ceramic tile counters in my 1968 house. Some exploratory demo has revealed orange laminate under the tile! I doubt the laminate is even close to recoverable, but I hope to expose it for a photo shoot. Tile was installed in a 1993 renovation. The house is architecturally significant, roughly a usonian style. I shopped for orange laminate but ultimately couldn’t bring myself to do it… now I get a chance to live with the possibility for a short time.

    1. JustanotherPam says:

      I’ve seen photos of this colour in one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses which surprised me but it does look fabulous.

  8. JustanotherPam says:

    This laminate is in the kitchen of the 1973 time capsule house we move into in mid July. When himself posted photos for friends and family on FB people went mad for it which, considering where we live, surprised the heck out of me. The kitchen has pop art-ish floral tiles for the back splash with orange as well and the bulkhead has more orange flowers on the wallpaper, the latter has to go as it’s just too much and takes the eye away from the tiles and that’s not a good thing. Great to know that if it ever needs replacement more can be had as I can’t break that many hearts.

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