Midcentury 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
Our 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.
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.
… 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.
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.
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
Above: 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
Pam 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
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.
Above: 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.
Above: 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: