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13 colors from Kohler in 1972 — gimme Tiger Lily, Antique Red, and Fresh Green, please!

“Tiger Lily” kitchen sinks, “Antique Red” bathtubs, “Fresh Green” toilets — and new for Kohler in 1972, “Black Black”, too. The late 1960s heading into the early 1970s were chock full of interesting colors for bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixtures. These are some of my favorite colors ever — “Tiger Lily” orange, yes! — and don’t forget: Harvest Gold and Avocado galore. Let’s take a look at 15 photos from a Kohler catalog I recently added to my collection.First off, let’s get the color names:

That said, Google can’t read words in photos, so here’s the list:

Available on all products:

  • Kohler Mexican Sand
  • Kohler Peachblow
  • Kohler Harvest Gold
  • Kohler Avocado
  • Kohler Cerulean Blue
  • Kohler Fresh Green, introduced in 1971
  • Kohler New Orleans Blue

Available on selected products:

  • Kohler Black Black, new for 1972
  • Kohler Coppertone 
  • Kohler Antique Red
  • Kohler Tiger Lily 
  • Kohler Expresso 
  • Kohler Blueberry 

Now let’s look at some of the colors in action:

Kohler “Black Black”, new for 1972.

Above: My favorite, Tiger Lily, is shown in the “Trieste” kitchen sink. I also spy Coppertone on the “New Man’s Lav” and the “New Urbanite” sink is Harvest Gold.

I wonder how many kitchen sinks were sold in this color in America? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands?

Avocado Green must already have been a phenom, because there were three photos of products in the catalog. Including of: Urinals; no comment.

My catalog was mostly in black-and-white — it was a catalog for stores to order from, not a consumer-focused catalog. I’m featuring pretty much all the product photos in it.

Above: That the Kohler “Lady Vanity” in Mexican Sand, I’m pretty sure. Those Lady Vanities — and their countertpart, the Man’s Lav, were awesome. 

Above: I think the three photos above are all Cerulean Blue. The color is not identified.

Above: New Orleans blue is a deeper blue tnan Cerulean blue. The scan did not pick up the richness I see in the actual catalog image. 

Yikes, dig the poles — these were marketed as “stanchions” in sets of four. They included two stanchions with interior water tubing and shower arms.

I’ve seen this sanchioned bathtub in the wild [emphasis: wild!]:

I visited then wrote about this 1963 ‘Showgirl Chic” Palmer Krisel house when I spoke at Las Vegas Home & History Week. An incredible bathroom in an incredible house!

Back to the Kohler catalog: Peachblow shower insert… and a pair of bubblers. Yes, that’s what they call drinking fountains in Wisconsin, at least when I lived there many a moon ago.

Harvest Gold. And a Stangl wigstand in the photo shoot — I had one of those but I… dropped it.

Scrumptious, all of these colors.

If you had a time machine, which color would you choose for your new split level house?

  1. Gail M. says:

    My mother’s kitchen sink: Fresh Green, same sink as the square orange one with the disposal in the upper right corner in the ad. She probably remodeled that kitchen in 1975.

  2. Kimberley Hudacko says:

    On backing out my driveway about 6 years ago I saw my neighbor had put their pink and blue American Standard sinks and commodes at the street for trash pick up that morning.
    I jumped out of car and saw that the commodes were PRISTINE and the matching sink wear almost like new!
    The water tanks still had the paper labels on the side in perfect shape!
    I love mid century modern and hope to live in a MCM home here in Gainesville, FL someday.
    My dear husband said no to installing the vintage in our mid 80’s split level but my other neighbor helped me drag them across the street before I went on to work and then my nephew took pics of them and put them on Craigslist.
    A sweet woman from 3+ hours away purchased both sets and was as excited about them as I was when I spotted them at the street!
    Incidentally when the home went on the market I was able to check out the “new” bathrooms and they were poorly executed and bland 🙁

  3. Laurie says:

    I toured the Kohler factory in KohlerWI a few years ago. Interesting 2 hour tour where you get to see all aspects of production up close. They have ‘bathrooms of the future’ on display too but no pictures allowed!

  4. BEVERLY MAXFIELD says:

    We have the tub (the one shown in black with the posts) only ours is the bright red in our home in Maine. We used just the tub and never used the posts for some reason. Later when we remodeled we built a wooden canopy around it. The original posts/canopy that was with it was for the shower heads. At the time they called it the KEY LARGO. We also had the red kitchen sink, the bathroom had the black sinks and black toilets with fire pewter counter tops. Our place in Florida has the red Kohler birthday bath. I have a weakness for Kohler and for all retro! Love your site. Thank you for all the wonderful pics and stories.

  5. Donna Askari says:

    Oh Pam, I just gained 10 pounds from looking at all this eye candy! I love colored bathroom and kitchen fixtures. I always thought they looked glamorous and fun. please Kohler, bring them back.

  6. rick says:

    We had relatives that built a gem of a house in 1975. It had two bathrooms, one on each floor. Both had the lady vanity sink. One bath was Mexican sand, the other was copper tone. One thing the woman hated was cleaning floors around toilets. The solution was that Koehler made toilets that hung from the wall, rather than sit in the floor. This made it really easy to just swipe underneath. Sadly, the bathrooms were remodeled in the late 90’s by new owners and all that great stuff was thrown away.

    1. Susan says:

      Have a fresh green triest sink in my garage right now with 2 round Tiger Lilly bathroom sinks. I just installed 2 oval in my master bath. All n/o stock.

  7. Pam says:

    I found your Blog shows Kohler New Orleans Blue (color) is “Available on all products”. I’m looking for a toilet in that color. Can you provide some wholesaler suggestions on where I can purchase one?

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Pam, as far as know this is a discontinued product — this story is about colors from 1972.

      I think you will have to find this vintage….

  8. Ellie says:

    Having failed in my efforts to find a satisfactory 1920s-style kitchen sink with integrated backsplash, I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous 1974 Kohler Brookfield in Harvest Gold. But in person Kohler’s Harvest Gold turns out to be a gorgeous light butter yellow very similar to the 1920s pale yellows. The rolled rim enameled cast iron should work fine in the 1920s-style kitchen I’m planning, and the color will look fabulous with the blue-yellow-red liner tiles I snagged on eBay last week. Plus it cost me all of $40 at a local salvage place, compared to over $2000 for the Strom Whitney. Call me a very happy retro-renovator today :).

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