These popular 1950s bathroom color schemes are the epitome of mid-century suburban decor

1950s bathroom decor and fixtures (2)

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Oh, how 1950s bathroom color schemes have endured!

With post-war optimism and a growing economy, homeowners of the 1950s were eager to decorate their homes with the latest trends — and the bathroom was not excepted. From pastel pinks to baby blues, these iconic bathroom color schemes were a defining element of mid-century bathroom decor. 

Bathroom color schemes and decor from 1958

While one wouldn’t dare go so far as to say that 1950s bathroom color schemes are back in style, this vintage aesthetic certainly has some devoted fans.

Many owners of mid-century homes aren’t necessarily in a hurry to demolish those blush pink, mint green or powder blue tiles and fixtures that somehow managed to survive the decades intact — in fact, they’re just as likely to incorporate those retro colors into their updated decor with accessories like this 50s-style shower curtain.

Take a look below at some of the most popular shades and styles for bathrooms back in the fifties, and see how much has changed!

Tile in 1950s bathroom color schemes

1950s bathroom color schemes: Planning personality for mid-century decor (1957)

Text from “Planning Modern Bathrooms in Color,” by American-Standard (1957)

The era of stark, lifeless bathrooms is quickly disappearing. In its wake is an exciting trend toward colorful, interesting bathroom design.

Today, style-conscious homeowners insist on planning their own bathrooms as they do the other rooms in the home . . . they are proud to “leave the bathroom door open.”

What goes into a “comfortable” bathroom? Fixtures, of course. They must be “right” in color, size, convenience and style — those features which will contribute so much to the comfort of your bathroom.

By attractively planning other elements around the fixtures, your own bathroom design will materialize right before your eyes.

Tile Council Of America 1958 pink blue bathroom

Selecting the right fixtures presents no problems because American-Standard fixtures are available in many different colors and styles.

Three exciting new shades — Regency Blue, Manchu Yellow and Tourmaline Green — have been added to the five already popular colors of Persian Brown, Platinum Gray, Tang Red, Ming Green and Corallin.

ALSO SEE: 130 vintage ’50s house plans used to build millions of mid-century homes we still live in today

There is a color here to suit any taste. The variations of color combinations that can be developed around any one of these “lifetime” colors are limitless… no matter how small your budget.

There are other elements to be considered, such as accessories, design, convenience, light — just to mention a few. Even if you have an architect or decorator, this booklet will help put your ideas together… help you plan a bathroom with personality — atmosphere — sparkle. You will discover it to be an exciting and gratifying experience.

Retro bathrooms - American Standard 1958 (3)

More color in the bathroom (1957)

From the Sheboygan Press – April 29, 1957

Pink and yellow bathroom fixture sales increased sharply last year, reports the Plumbing Fixture Manufacturers’ Association. White bathroom fixtures continued to lose ground to color.

Sales of other colors, including blue, gray, green, ivory, deep red, and tan, remained fairly stable.

Fourteen percent more pink lavatories were sold than a year ago, says the PFMA. Pink toilet sales showed an 18 percent increase, but pink bathtub sales dropped about 10 percent. Yellow lavatories registered a 10 percent sales gain. Yellow toilets and bathtubs were up 4 and 6 percent respectively, the PFMA says.

Sales of white fixtures were down 10 percent for lavatories, 13 percent for toilets, and 16 percent for bathtubs, PFMA points out.

Pink and blue colorful vintage bathroom decor of 1950s

The 1950s bathroom: Colors become brighter

From the Racine Journal Times Bulletin – December 28, 1958

The top basic colors in bathroom fixtures are now yellow, pink, and baby blue. Standard white has taken a back seat.

Color-scheming the bathroom with these new fixtures can be fun. Try stained plastic-finished wood walls, and red brick-or-tile patterned linoleum or brown-and-yellow tile with harmonizing accessories and yellow fixtures.

1950s bathroom decor and fixtures (3)

A delicate or bold effect can be fashioned from pink bathroom fixtures, contrasted with black or brown. The delicate or bold effect can come from charcoal accessories, the bold from using brown walls and floor.

Baby blue is a good color for the family bath. Try plastic finished wallboard of the same color as the blue fixtures, and use gay red accents.

For a powder room, use delicate blues and greens, and hang Venetian blinds of the same color as fixtures.

Midcentury bathroom with red toilet

Midcentury bathrooms: How to add charm and convenience

There are many simple economical ideas that can be used to give that new look and add convenience when remodeling your bathroom. Perhaps one or more of these suggestions can be worked into your bathroom plans easily. Also notice how the attractive patterns and colors of floors and walls can add style and interest to a bathroom.

Put soap and towels within reach … a recessed soap dish at both bath and shower levels eliminates bending and fumbling– combination grab and towel bars add safety and convenience. Extra room for toilet articles … a dashboard-type cabinet with sliding doors over the lavatory puts toilet articles within handy reach.

1950s bathroom decor and fixtures (1)

Whether you are building a new house, adding a bathroom or remodeling your present one this service has something for you. Even in something as simple as buying new towels or shower curtains, these color schemes offer many helpful ideas.

With this assistance in color planning your bathroom, you will achieve “professional” results that you will want to “show off” to your friends and guests . . . and you’ll have fun doing it, too.

Full length — full light . . . make this mirror a welcome addition to any bathroom. Built-in seat facilitates dressing and doubles as a storage area for cleaning materials, shower slippers, etc.

Built-in laundry hamper . . . a feature housewives bless many times over. The large medicine cabinet is easily accessible from both sides of the counter, too.

Decorative tiles . . . mean distinctive, colorful bathrooms. They can add exciting design to solid color walls . . . make bathroom cleaning easy.

Shelves with style . . . are ideal for double lavatory bathrooms. These back-to-back shelves and mirrors offer more personal bathroom convenience for two people.

Decorative towel holders . . . and other accessories accent the decor of your bathroom. This is an excellent way to put the finishing touch to a luxurious bathroom.

1950s bathroom decor and fixtures (4)

Midcentury bathrooms: Modern fixtures suggest “a touch of tomorrow”

Plan your new or remodeled bathroom so that it will stay new for years. By selecting these modern fixtures— completely new in design— you can change the accessories as often as you like and have a “new” room each time.

Notice how accessories— the bright rug, striped shower curtain and matching seat — accent the Ming Green fixtures to give this bathroom that “always fresh” look of tomorrow.

The tub and lavatory were styled by Walter Dorwin Teague, nationally known industrial designer.

Midcentury bathrooms: See the most popular color schemes of the '50s

1958 bathroom in blue

ALSO SEE: 50 vintage 1950s bathroom tile design ideas

1950s bathroom decor and fixtures (6)

16 popular 1950s bathroom color schemes from the — including samples

The following pages show sixteen original color schemes specially prepared by Miss Lee Childress, a nationally-known color consultant. Each scheme has been developed around an American-Standard Lifetime Color.

Appropriate colors for walls, tile, floor coverings, towels, shower curtains, and accents have been selected with discrimination to make each scheme tastefully correct and attractive.

Each scheme is arranged to make it easier for you to visualize what your new or redecorated bathroom will look like. You will even find the name of the manufacturer, color and pattern of all materials shown.

MORE: See some fancy decorated vintage bathroom sinks that used to be so popular

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (16)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (1)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (2)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (3)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (4)

ALSO SEE: See 50+ retro bath towels from the 1950s

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (5)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (6)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (7)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (8)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (9)

DON’T MISS: 60 vintage ’60s bathrooms: Retro home decorating ideas

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (10)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (11)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (12)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (13)

Midcentury bathroom home decor color schemes and samples from the 1950s (14)

ALSO SEE: 20 glamorous ’50s housewives who REALLY loved their toilet paper

Midcentury bathrooms: Vintage toilet & tank colors from the ’50s

Midcentury bathrooms: Vintage toilet & tank colors from the '50s

ALSO SEE: Check out these 10 fuzzy toilet covers from the ’70s to see totally retro bathroom decor

Old lavatory (sink) colors from American Standard – 1950s

Old lavatory (sink) colors from American Standard - 1950s

1950s bathroom with matte blue brickwork, plus brown and black accents

Striped vintage floor for the bathroom from 1956

NOW SEE THIS: 60 vintage ’60s bathrooms: Retro home decorating ideas

Briggs Beautyware vintage 1950s bathroom suites (1951)

Beautyware bathroom in your choice of colors can now be yours at a price you’ll find surprisingly low! Modernize . . . glamorize your home with stunning Briggs Beautyware fixtures in one of four distinctive, pastel colors.

The beauty of this magnificent plumbing ware will give new life to your home — new loveliness to a room which, all too often, suffers in comparison with the rest of your house.

It’s so easy to make this change which will brighten your existence — easy because of Briggs’ moderate cost, simplicity of installation, and the perfect way in which striking Briggs Beautyware blends with any number of handsome color schemes!

Briggs Beautyware fixtures in one of four distinctive, pastel colors.

New beauty and convenience in your home!

Four beautiful colors: Thanks to modern production techniques pioneered and perfected by Briggs during years of development work — and proved in many thousands of American homes — you now can have color at only a very little more than plain white when you buy a complete set of Briggs Beautyware fixtures! Take your choice of Sandstone, Sea Green, Sky Blue, Ivory or White.

MORE: Bathroom colors become brighter and more varied (1957 & 1958)

Stain-proof: Briggs Beautyware bathroom fixtures are stain-proof and resistant to acids normally found in the home. They are impervious to medicines, washes and lotions! Briggs’ four famous pastel colors are fade-proof! This is true of all Briggs Beautyware fixtures!

Lighter weight: Briggs Beautyware fixtures are sturdy — built to last! Yet they are much lighter in weight. While the Briggs Safety Bottom bathtub weighs only one-third as much as other types, it is second to none for durability and service.

This is gorgeous Sandstone

You’ll find it a pleasure to select from the great variety of colors that blend attractively with Sandstone fixtures. Walls of pale green or soft chartreuse; ceiling of light tan or yellow; floor of yellow or copper red; curtains and accessories of yellow, peach or red violet— whatever your choice, you can be sure that your bathroom will have added eye-appeal with these fixtures of gorgeous Sandstone.

This is gorgeous Sandstone

This is refreshing Sea Green

Cool Sea Green is a highly popular shade because home planners have discovered how well it harmonizes with many decorative schemes.

Suggested combinations include walls of appropriate blue and gray or a light rose; a floor of deep navy blue or yellow; a ceiling of gray or light blue-green; ivory or yellow curtains; accessories of coffee or aquamarine. You’ll find that all Briggs Beautyware fixtures are designed to enhance the beauty and charm of your home.

MORE: Retro bath towel styles of the 1950s

This is refreshing Sea Green

This is lovely Ivory

You’ll adore the stunning, regal beauty of this striking shade, and you’ll find it blends perfectly with the other elements in your new bathroom. Decorators recommend walls of olive or aquamarine; a ceiling of leaf green or ivory; a floor of English red; copper red or aquamarine curtains; accessories of bright yellow or deep rose. You’ll be proud of your bathroom with fixtures of Briggs Beautyware in lovely Ivory.

This is lovely Ivory

This is heavenly Sky Blue

The invigorating freshness of Sky Blue fixtures makes them the choice of many homeowners and decorators. Excellent results have been obtained by combining Sky Blue with walls of dusty rose or ivory; a ceiling of gray or blue; a floor of dusty rose or yellow; white or brown curtains and accessories of deep rose or brown and green. You will find Sky Blue fixtures lend a permanent color appeal to your bathroom.

This is heavenly Sky Blue

DON’T MISS: 20 vintage ’50s bathroom floors in vinyl & linoleum

This is sparkling white

There are many interesting possibilities for decorating your bathroom in a colorful, attractive manner, using white as your fixture color. Walls of light green or blue are suggested, as are ceilings of yellow or ivory; floors of yellow and white or blue and yellow; curtains of white or green and accessories of deep violet or brown.

Vintage 50s white bathroom fixtures

1950s bathroom suites suited many home styles


America’s most popular architectural style, the Cape Cod house features small-parted windows and a paneled front door. The architect aims for an atmosphere of coziness and warmth. If your house is Cape Cod, there are many bathroom plans you can use with great success from a Briggs Beautyware beginning.


If your home is a Rustic Ranch Type dwelling — and this type is rapidly gaining in popularity — you’ll have no difficulty in designing the perfect Briggs Beautyware bathroom for it. The picturesque, rambling, one-story house which typifies this style offers many opportunities for originality in bathroom planning.

Cape Cod and Rustic Ranch style homes


Another old favorite, Colonial is a traditional American style, richly formal in exterior appearance and distinguished by a spacious, orderly interior. The bathroom, like the other rooms in the house, is usually large. With Briggs Beautyware fixtures in color, this room will be quite as handsome as the rest of your house.


The Contemporary Modern style offers an impressive example of the manner in which American homeowners will accept a new idea — once it has been proven worthwhile. If your home is in this highly functional and adaptable style, you’ll find Briggs Beautyware’s smooth, modern lines made to order for your bathroom needs.

Colonial is a traditional American style for bathroom decor

Dark pink and light pink bathroom decor from 1955

Dark pink and light pink bathroom decor from 1955

ALSO SEE: 28 vintage pink bathrooms: See some wild bubblegum-era midcentury home decor of the 1950s & 1960s

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