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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. Reader Deb says:

    Come into my bathroom said the spider to the fly. You know you’re stuck in the web when you freeze frame Storage Wars to check out the stash of vintage toilets and sinks in a variety of colors at a place in Los Angeles that was on the show this week.

    1. 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…

  4. Ruth Kuntz says:

    My girlfriends grandmother had a stunning bathroom. The bath toilet and sink were red and the walls were black and red. I do not remember what the floor tile looked like. As a child I was shocked at such a fancy bathroom. The house is located in the middle of nowhere 10 miles from any sizable town.

  5. Amy says:

    My mom managed to get one cool thing in the boring house my dad had built in 1965: a cherry red drop-in sink in the main floor bathroom. Now that’s a color I wouldn’t mind seeing more of!

    Eventually she moved to a 1913 bungalow — much more her style.

  6. Randall Craig says:

    This is giving me flashbacks. I moved to Miami in 2000 and looked at many apartments before settling on one. Interestingly, most of them in my price range at the time had original (vintage) bathrooms. I can recall several of them in Miami Beach having this color in the bathrooms. It was combined with a peach-pink or sometimes gray. It’s hard to believe that was 16 years ago now. I am sure that none of those bathrooms are still intact today. They have probably been redone with in a special shade that I like to call Home Depot Bland.

  7. Ginene Nagel says:

    I enjoy this post with it’s red (maroon) ceramic toilets and sinks. We had a 1/2 bath with a maroon toilet and sink but I remember thinking it wasn’t the friendliest color for a sink because it needed cleaning every other day….toothpaste shows up vividly on maroon! I’d take pink or jadeite green any day.

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