I’ve written about Hall-Mack Relaxation Units before — but looking back at some old stories on the blog, I was reminded that Satin Glide — a maker of steel bathroom vanities <– see 1963 brochure here — also made this nifty recessed bathroom cubby that ensured… you would never be bored while you… went about your business.Heck yeah there is more →
Being ever on the lookout for bits and pieces for my retro modern master bathroom remodel — I spend a lot of time hunting around on ebay. Imagine how thrilling it was to find this beautiful Satin Glide metal bath cabinet — complete with the coordinating mirror, cosmetic box and light combination. After picking my jaw up off the floor — I contacted the ebay seller — tjmoon — who kindly gave us permission to feature these photos.
You may recall, Pam added a 1963 catalog of Satin Glide vanities to her collection last year, and loaded the pages online as an archival reference. But now here is a good lookin’ Satin Glide with all the parts — spotted in the wild, in terrific shape. 🙂
Now here is some serous vintage bathroom porn: Satin Glide bathroom vanities, medicine cabinets, shelving — and even a Relaxion Unit to compete with Hall-Mack — all from a 1963 brochure. We see these metal vanities occasionally — I do not know if they really held up well to the humidity in a bathroom. We also see slanted wood vanities like this — like in Chris and Angela’s 1964 bathroom. Heck yeah there is more →
There was a lot of cigarette smoking in the 1950s and 1960s, so much so that bathroom fixture designers were on a competitive rampage to sell you special cigarette and ashtray holders that could fit right into your sleek, new bathroom. Above: A New Old Stock Hall Mack bathroom ash tray for sale on ebay right now, new old stock, is the most basic of what we see out there. Let’s take a closer look at this, and then, at 7 other designs of vintage recessed bathroom ash trays and cigarette holders that really dial things up a notch:Heck yeah there is more →
There are only a few places to find metal kitchen countertop edging for a midcentury, vintage or retro kitchen. On this page, I outline where to find this kind of edging, which is meant to edge laminate — Formica, Wilsonart, etc. — countertops in authentic period style. I also point you to examples from readers’ actual kitchen project… I show a video of my own steel-edge kitchen countertop, and I point you to historic references. All with the goal: To help you decide which style of metal edging you might prefer and to help make it easier for you to find it.
1. Stainless steel countertop edge:
U-shaped snap-on stainless steel countertop edging is my favorite — I used it in my kitchen remodel. To do my countertops we used three different pieces — (1) a snap-on countertop edge, (2) a “cove” molding to connect the countertop with the backsplash, and (3) a smaller snap-on top edge of the backsplash.
The only source that I know of for this stainless steel edging is >> New York Metals <<. Note: For stainless steel, go straight to the pieces named “SS”-followed by a number. My husband gets huge credit for discovering New York Metals. They have been making this edging for decades. 10+ years now into my kitchen, this edging is looking as great as the day it went in!
Above: In this video, I show you my stainless steel edging including all the pieces and how they work. I also talk about how I designed the countertops. Here is a story in which I write out and show the three pieces that I used.
2. Aluminum countertop edges:
- RetroTrims aka Eagle Moulding — manufactures a variety of aluminum countertop edgings. They tell me: “Eagle Mouldings is the largest supplier of aluminum retro trims and mouldings. We stock corrugated or fluted face nosing, angles, bar and tee’s, coves, and plain or smooth nosing and tees. Our retro polished aluminum and chrome looking aluminum trims are available in polished, Brite Dipped, satin or clear, bronze, and black or standard mill finish. Our custom and OEM aluminum extrusion services allow us to meet any need our customer may have. We can cut to length or miter, punch, drill and countersink, form or bend any extrusion to specifications as well as offer many standard and custom anodized colors.”
- Bars & Booths has 1.5″ flat, ribbed aluminum countertop edging. There are also other sizes. They offer metal edging with space to insert vinyl or laminate as an accent — but this is 3″ wide, typically a size reserved to for tables, not countertops.
- Brunneret has a number of aluminum banding pieces. In addition to straightforward 1.5″ step-nosing edging design, it also looks like it offers a 1.25″ aluminum molding designed to hold price tags — but instead, you could insert a colored strip of laminate or vinyl (?) and get that banded color edge look— worth a try or call to see. Note: Typical kitchen countertop edging, per my experience, is 1.5″ — but that is not a hard and fast rule. They have a similar such design in 7/8″ width. Thanks to reader Bill for this tip.
- New York Metals — also carries a variety of aluminum countertop edge pieces. You can get it either with a brushed/matte finish or with a shiny polished finish.
- One reader used aluminum tee-molding from McMaster-Carr.
- Jean’s husband found some aluminum molding at Home Depot that he used to trim the Satin Glide-style bathroom vanity he made. Also see this Alexandria Muolding at Home Depot. Be aware: A kitchen countertop is usually 1.5″ tall; if you choose a narrower/less deep countertop edge, you will need to plan accordingly. Joan also said she jury-rigged some aluminum molding found at Home Depot: “When we put a new layer of Formica on our kitchen counters, we went to Home Depot and got some inexpensive metal edging, carefully bent it around the corners, glued it and then put some decorative screws in. I think it was a very inexpensive option and it still looks great!”
- Note, for this story I aimed to call out the actual manufacturer-retailers; their products also may be found at other online retailers. For example, in the past readers have recommended Outwater Plastics as a source, but my recent check of their online catalog now indicates they are getting their trim from one or more of the manufacturers I have just identified above. I also received this tip from reader Bill about another company, Orange Aluminum that I *believe* is retailing trim from one or more of the manufacturers above. Thanks, Bill!
3. Look locally and save on shipping:
I have heard from some readers in the past that local stores may carry some of these products. If you can find stock locally, you may save a lot on shipping, as this stuff often ships in 12′ lengths — oversized and a potentially relatively high shipping charge. I have no research on unique local retailers — this may be determined by local and regional preference. If you have the time to do your research locally, you may be able to save money on shipping.
4. Faux metal edges:
5. Installing metal countertop edges:
On this question, I refer you to consult with the professionals / manufacturers who are selling you the edging.
6. Metal trim to edge your stove:
7. Historical references:
8. More research on countertop materials and ideas:
- See all my kitchen countertop research — including where to find laminate — here.
- Also popular: Readers and their kitchen projects — real-life experiences from readers like you!
Perhaps the next best thing to a well-maintained time capsule bathroom is a … blank canvas? Setting that annoying issue of money aside, don’t we all dream about creating new retro bathrooms — from scratch? Jean had pretty much this opportunity — the old shower was made of cinder blocks — so she took the whole thing down and designed and installed a new “super groovy” bathroom into the “basement bunker” in her 1951 house. Let’s take a look inside the new, wee loo — and like all wonderful Retro Renovators, Jean shares her complete list of resources, too >> Heck yeah there is more →
Longtime readers surely know about “Relaxation Units” — recessed caddies for the bathroom situated next to the toilet to hold all your necessary supplies — toilet paper, magazines, even your cigarettes — in one easy-to reach spot. Some 1963 publicity indicates that some of these even had towel bars that were heated! Hall-Mack Relaxation Units (image from a catalog in my collection, shown above) seemed to have been the most widely distributed, but over the years, with the help of readers — thank you, all! — I’ve collected examples of five different makers: Hall-Mack, Family Hospitality, Satin-Glide, Perma-Bilt, and one “mystery” unit. America was booming … errr, relaxing! — with Relaxation Units!Heck yeah there is more →
First we discovered Hall-Mack Relaxation Units … Then, Satin Glide Relaxation Units … And now, what is likely a very rare vintage recessed bathroom accessory: A “Family Hospitality” Relaxation Unit. Thanks so much for reader Kristopher for sending in three photos of this treasure! And: Oh my, what a gorgeous original bathroom you have, Kristopher!Heck yeah there is more →
Taking inspiration from his grandmother’s vintage pink bathroom along with the help and resources he found on Retro Renovation, Jim used his mad DIY stills to tackle a complete gut remodel of the main bathroom in his 1961 midcentury modest home. The results are fabulous — a black and pink bathroom that looks like it has always been there — but brand new! Heck yeah there is more →
1960, I love you. I recently heard from reader Lynn, who has just bought a 1960 brick ranch house that includes some great original features — like this amazing laminate-covered vanity. She call it a “giraffe” or “leopard” pattern. I’ll call it “Wilma Flintstone’s”. Luv. Read on for Lynn’s story and 6 more photos of this rare and delicious time capsule bathroom.