I was raised in a mid-1960’s three-bedroom ranch house with one full bath and a half bath. While bedrooms, kitchen and living room were updated over time, the home’s bathrooms seemed to be frozen in time for forty years. Both baths featured classic mid-century color palettes, fixtures, and unique plumbing designs. Their four walls were tiled with the full bath having pink tiles while the half bath’s tiles were an aqua blue. The floors were white linoleum with a funky gold scribble pattern. The toilets were pink and blue to match their respective tile walls. They both had single cabinet style vanities with laminate counter tops and drop-in sinks. Like all mid-century plumbing, the faucets for the bathroom sink and tub were chrome. The handles were truly unique to the period, resembling the bottom portion of a three-finned space rocket. To a young boy filled with imagination, the handles looked like the tails of rockets embedded deep into the sink vanity and tiled walls of the shower. Six years ago the full bath was gutted and remodeled to a more contemporary, but traditional, style. Gone were the funky linoleum, pink tiles, and faucet with rocket-ship handles.
A few years after the bathroom remodel, Mid-Century Modern design became vogue and the style’s
|Mid-Century Modern Freestanding Tub|
popularity continues. Today’s revival of Mid-Century design, however, is every different form the Mid-Century vintage design of pink and aqua bathrooms of my boyhood home. The revival of Mid-Century Modern design draws its inspiration from post World War II Europe that filtered into American industrial design during the late 1960’s through much of the 1970’s. Mid-Century Modern revival bathroom fixtures and plumbing are sleek; favoring straight lines and geometric shapes. Chrome remains the finish of choice for Mid-Century Modern faucets but the color palette for tiles and bathroom fixtures are much more subdued compared to the aqua, turquoise, and pink that were common to bathrooms of the late 1950’s and into the 1960’s. Tiles now tend towards natural shades of brown, black, gray, and white. Sink, toilet, and bath fixtures are a more modern than mid-century standard white. Curved forms of these bathroom fixtures provide contrast among the angular cabinetry, tiles and plumbing.
|Mid-Century Modern Faucet|