Ellen’s light-up fish panels from World of Tile, now restored and in place

vintage-light-up-fish-panels-2My good friend Ellen lives very close to the now-closed World of Tile, and during the liquidation sale two years ago, she was able to go multiple times to make her way through the seemingly infinite amount of New Old Stock tiles and accessories. Her most prized purchase: A set of reverse-painted, backlit fish panels made in Italy and imported by World of Tile who knows how many years ago. After a significant amount of effort, Ellen now has two of the three working panels installed in a condo she owns along the ocean in Oregon. Gorgeous!

vintage-light-up-fish-panels-2-2Above: That’s me, with owner Chippy, five years ago on my first visit to World of Tile. The visit that also resulted in the big New York Times story about Retro Renovation. To the far right of the photo, you can see two of the three panels that Ellen was able to buy, including the third panel not ultimately restored.


Ellen’s condo includes two stories. She put the panels right at the top of the stairs, so that you can see them from below and when you are going upstairs.


Aren’t they spectacular? I know from knowing Ellen that she had her eyes on these panels for several years. The price, when World of Tile was still fully operational, was pretty steep. But once the liquidation sale started, she was able to snap them up for a song. I won’t say how much, it seems crass. That said, Ellen still needed to spend some serious dough-re-mi to get them operational. An electrician needed to fix all the wiring and get it up to current U.S. standards. Only two of the panels could be made to work. The third one is for … parts. Then, she had to transport them from New Jersey to Oregon and have them installed. I still think the whole thing ended up costing a chunk of change.

Honestly, I don’t know who else would have had the creative vision, the patience, and the tenacity to bring these delicious, priceless vintage fish panels back to life.

vintage-light-up-fish-panels-1-3 vintage-light-up-fish-panels-2-3Above: Anyone else remember these all-plastic bathroom vanities with matching mirror cabinets? They were in the same room as the fish panels. They were fantastic. As far as I know, they never found a buyer and went into the garbage. It just makes me weep. I waaaaaaaanted to save them. But even I have a limit to how much room I have in my house to save lost puppies.

Thank you, Ellen!

See all the many fabulous stories about World of Tile here —
including a number of stories from readers who used WOT products

World of Tile now closed. NO UPDATE on any reopening anywhere else.

  1. Ranell says:

    Pam, loved the lighted panels. About the plastic vanity- you have to give yourself a Doris Day moment! (Kay Serah Serah whatever will be will be!
    Love your blog, been reading since 2010 when I found you while recouping from foot surgery!

Comments are closed.