R

Romantic reds: T’ang Red, Rouge, Persian Red, and more — in bathroom fixtures!

vintage burgundy bathroomMidcentury bathrooms trimmed in maroon may not have been as popular as their pink cousins, but there are still plenty of homes built from the late 1920s – 1950s that featured this bold color. Today, we mostly refer to these bathrooms as ‘maroon’ or ‘burgundy,’ but the marketing names for these colors were much more romantic: T’ang Red, Rouge, Persian Red — even Pagan Red! 

American Standard burgundy — T’ang Red

towerlyn sinkOur favorite restoration supplier, deabath.com, recently scored the American-Standard Towerlyn pedestal sink — in T’ang Red. They say it is from the late 1920s. So, this color goes back that far, at least.

vintage burgundy bathroom vintage burgundy bathroomvintage burgundy bathroom

I first spotted this rich red in a 1930 catalog — American Standard’s T’ang Red. Above images: 1930 American-Standard T’ang Red bathroom fixtures from the MBJ collection/archive.org.

vintage 1950s maroon bathroom… And the color had legs: 20 years later, American Standard’s T’ang Red was still going strong. Above from: 1950 American-Standard catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org showing T’ang Red bathroom fixtures.

Kohler — Rouge

A few years ago, Pam wrote about the very first year — 1927 — that Kohler offered its bathroom fixtures in colors besides white. While there was no deep red in that first palette, it wasn’t too long before Kohler added Rouge to its lineup.

1936 Kohler bathroom colors

Kohler had it own competing red, Rouge. Above: We see Kohler’s color lineup 1936 Kohler catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org. Note that while Rouge was not one of their four most popular colors — it was subsidiary to the more popular Tuscan, Spring Green, Lavendar and Peachblow illustrated in the larger swatches shown above.

1948 Kohler colors bathroom

Rouge looks to have continued until 1948. Above: In this 1948 Kohler catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org, we see the whole palette for the year, which includes Rouge. By 1949, Rouge was dropped from the Kohler color lineup.

Crane — Persian Red

list of Crane fixture colors 1940While I can’t find any actual images of Crane’s fixtures in Persian Red, this  1940 Crane catalog from the MBJ collection/archive.org lists it as one of the color options.

marcia-sinkAbove: The color was still available in 1956 — and you can get a New Old Stock Crane Marcia in Persian Red from deabath.com!

Eljer — Pagan Red

vintage bathroom colorsPam spotted this 1939 Eljer catalog from the MBJ Collection on archive.org showing Pagan Red as one of the color offerings.

Reader’s vintage burgundy/maroon bathrooms

vintage maroon bathroom

These reds are what Pam says she considers “deco” colors. High-contrast bathrooms were more popular in prewar America and the early postwar years. After about 1953, the high-contrast palettes start to fade in favor of lighter pastel combos. Above: Jodi’s 1949 maroon and pink bathroom with amazing vintage tile.

pink-and-maroon-bathroom-vintage bathroomAbove: We gave Naomi ideas to decorate her vintage pink, maroon and white bathroom. Pam says she thinks that’s a Crane sink — if so, this would be Persian Red.

burgundy-wall-sinkAbove: Kate spotted a maroon and gray bathroom during her visit to the Comer House in Tennessee.

midcentury bathroomAbove: Dana built her own pink and burgundy bathroom to reverse a bland, big box remuddle. 

vintage-ceramic-tile-bathroom-vanity-top-peach-and-mauveAbove: Marsha saves her maroon and peach tile bathroom with help from B&W Tile. Yes, B&W still offers a rich maroon color tile.

See our other stories about vintage bathroom colors:

  1. Mary Anne S says:

    The upstairs 1/2 bath with pink and red tiled shower in my former neighbor’s 1923 house has a red sink and toilet. I have no idea what the new owners are doing with it but it is a lovely little room. Sink is a sort of console so I am guessing this bathroom was added mid-50’s or so. Original bathroom on main floor with huge tub is all white. I love the colored fixtures but did remove them [and recycle] from my previous home, a 1912 bungalow. Thanks for the great stories!

  2. Kay says:

    The only bathroom in my little 1950 ranch is gray with maroon trim. The original sink and toilet are gone, but I’d love to have matching red ones!

  3. Alyssa says:

    You never know! My grandma’s family was from Tennessee, when her mother was a child, they bought a house in town for her father to be closer to the mines. That house was a major part of my grandma’s life, and stands across the street from her aunt’s (who grew up in it, too) house. The current owners love when the family ask to see it, and were proud to show what they did with it. Hopefully, I get to go see it next time we go down there. They’ve kept the outside pretty original.

  4. Dana says:

    I know what you mean!
    I watch shows like “I Dream of Jeannie” and even “Mad Men” just to look at set decorations and vintage jewelry…

  5. ChrisM says:

    I do not have much to say about the beautiful colored bathrooms but I do have a wonderful story of touring the house my grandfather built around 1910.
    My parents and I were visiting NJ and drove by the big old house. When we were staring at it the current owners came out and were kind and generous enough to give us a tour of the entire house. Very nice people who had added a kitchen on back but kept the rest of the house beautiful with original woodwork and pocket doors. I think they enjoyed talking to the man who had lived there as a young boy and we were certainly pleased to meet them and get to see the house.
    So it is possible to view an old family home.

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