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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mid-century bathrooms

The Baby Boom after World War II, combined with the prosperity of post-war years, prompted the design of homes with at least two bathrooms or the addition of an extra bathroom to existing homes.

In the very early 50s, bathroom styles remained much the same as in the 1940s, but by 1955, a modern look was becoming much more common. Popular colors were pink, green, gray, yellow and chartreuse.

By the late 50s, luxurious bathrooms were becoming the norm, as reflected in these ads found on an excellent site called Mid-Century Home Style. (I'm only showing you a few of their great images. Visit the site for more.)

Text and all images from

American Standard, 1951
Formica, 1952
Eljer, 1953
American Standard, 1954
American Standard, 1955
Briggs Beautyware, 1956
Briggs Beautyware, 1957
Eljer, 1957
Sears, 1957


  1. Hmm, my house must have missed the "luxurious bathroom" deal when they built this housing track. One is the size of a post card, the other, the size of a postage stamp!

    The only good thing, is the postcard is pink. :) The postage stamp is an awful brown and pink trim.

    The bad thing, both bathrooms have to be completely redone.

    I only wish I could somehow make them a little bigger....

  2. Even the bathrooms had style! Do you imagine one day someone will look back at white low flush toilets next to pedestal sinks with nostalgia?

  3. @1950sarh: My house was built in 1950, and no one ever bothered to add a second bathroom...and the one I have is small. To top it off, the previous owner redid it "spa style," so it doesn't even have any mid-century charm. All that tile, completely gone! If I ever redo it, I'll try to take it back to what it might have been.

  4. @DearHelenHartman: People are starting to look back at the 70s and 80s with nostalgia, so I guess anything is possible! :)

  5. Almost every home built in the 40's and 50's in Richmond Virginia had black and white tile.

  6. @John Bachman: Interesting...I didn't know that. Over the years, I'm sure that's been easier on the eyes for homeowners who aren't mid-century mavens.

    Here in Texas, builders loved color...tile, tubs, toilets. In the 60s, my parents bought a late-50s house with one pink bathroom and one green one, and my mother couldn't stand them. My daughter and SIL had one bathroom that was grayish lavender and maroon and another that was yellow and a brownish apricot color. (As much as my daughter and I love mid-century, even we weren't crazy about those color combinations.)

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