Out With the New, In With the Old

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman


I’ve done it again. Waited so long to update the house that it’s now in style. It only took twenty or thirty years. That would be great if I wasn’t sick of looking at our green bedroom and beige and blue bathroom. Our house is filled with the ceramic tile that is the newest thing in-demand for 2020. That’s hard to believe.


Piles on the bed preparing for paint


Who knew that our blue tub, our green tub, and our purple tub would be so popular after fifty-two years of existence in our old farmhouse, my husband’s family home? I asked Siri if ceramic tile was really back in style and he, (my Siri is an Australian man’s voice), showed me samples of tiny tile squares like the formerly white ones on the floor in our blue bathroom. Oh my gosh. I should put out a warning that you cannot keep that grout clean, no matter what kind of sealants you put on it. DON’T DO IT!


I have no plans to remove the tubs although the matching toilets are all gone except our glorious blue one. I hear that people would pay big bucks for our non-water-saver powder blue potty. It flushes great. We still have the purple sink in our youngest daughter’s bathroom and the pair of green sinks in the bathroom between our sons’ rooms. The boys don’t realize how in-style they are.


For kicks and belly laughs years ago, the boys’ bathroom was painted orange above the green wall tile thanks to their older sister’s obsession with the color. It was her room at the time. Now I’m ready to say, “Out with the orange grove.” A blending light green paint will do. Like a peaceful meadow.


After: Peaceful Meadow since I can’t remember the real paint name

That funky green in our bedroom is back in style, and of course I want a pale barely-gray bedroom. I hear gray is on the way out—replaced by beige or greige as the with-it people call it. Oh my gosh. I’ve been there and done that whole earth tone beige, antique white, and tweedy looking fashion, complete with country curtains and wooden accessories. I refuse to go back there.


Really cool range but a fire hazard so it had to go. That was kinda sad. 

I had my fill of Harvest Gold, Avocado Green, and the Coppertone appliances from the sixties and seventies in our farm house. Around here, we don’t get rid of things until they are really, really dead. Or dangerous. We had not one but two brown stoves that canned decades of produce, but thanks to some remodeling four years ago, they were declared a fire hazard and had to go.



Note the cup on the stove and manuals lying around. And the white kitchen that was so in style two years ago. Not anymore. This is real life. Not a stage. 


Today, the painters are coming, and I lied when asked in a text, “Have you picked paint colors yet?” I replied, “Yes.” But from five am this morning until seven, I searched my phone in the darkness of my newly in-style green room that I used to love but now detest. I looked at paint colors galore with fabulous names. Potentially Purple would work in our purple bathroom if I didn’t abhor the color. It’s my husband’s favorite color so I won’t mention this name to him. Dragon’s Blood is the new orange which would go well with my sons’ affinity for fantasy novels with fiery creatures. Practical Beige would be ok if I had not disavowed beige tones.


That’s a textured rug on the floor. Not dirty tile. 


Our newly remodeled kitchen is painted in now out-of-style Agreeable Gray and Acceptable Gray with white trim. I hear white trim is now a no-no and darker trim and doors are in. Well, that figures. I just read that black kitchens are the newest rage. All the celebrities are getting them. Nope. Give me light.



I’m thinking of using a whiteish sky color called Sigh for our bathroom and Icicle for our bedroom. Maybe the chilly name will help cool off my hot flashes. The hall and foyer may be coated with Comet Dust, the paint color, not the actual thin film along the baseboards it will cover.


Icycle is so cool.


I’ve always been a step behind the latest “in” thing so why change now. I’m into doing life in my own way whether it’s hairstyle that’s long and shaggy because I don’t want to go to Great Clips during a pandemic, or paint that lightens my house. There’s enough gloomy darkness in the world now that I need to brighten the corner where we are. Dark may be the new bright but not here. Out with the new, in with the old, paint, that is.


18 thoughts on “Out With the New, In With the Old

  1. Bathtubs used to be easy to clean. The last few I’ve had I can’t seem to get them clean no matter what I do.

  2. Fun post! I agree on dark paint colours.. so NOT my thing! We need bright, light and airy! Great choices! love the vintage plumbing fixtures!

  3. If you get rid of that purple tub I will be VERY SAD.

  4. I so love a paint makeover….instant gratification! Like a whole new mojo courtesy of bucket and roller.

  5. Really enjoyed seeing your before & after. I’ve painted a lot in the past 3 years. When we moved into our current house, they had all dark colors on walls… in autumn shades – mustard yellows, deep greens, dark grays. We painted over everything … from a light lilac in one bathroom (yeah, purple but pastel) to peach in the dining room (yeah, orange, but pastel) and lots of light blue and light sage green. Basically every single room got new light colored walls! Same in our new Florida home… everything was beige. Everything. So there, I went all bright beach colors – blues and greens. I’ve never followed trends and am happy with using colors I like. I do love the old blue toilet and purple tub – how fun!

  6. What a fun post! When we moved into our house 26 years ago, we not only had one pink bathtub, but also pink kitchen appliances. Our late-50s era housing tract came with the buyer’s choice of turquoise, yellow, green, or pink cooktop, oven, and fridge. They are all long gone but it was kind of… um… interesting to decorate around them until we were able to start our whole-house remodel. I love your purple tub! I hope you keep that!

  7. Lisa, I’m a big fan of the mid century colored tubs, wall/floor tiles and toilets. A friend in Chicago lives in a mid century home with an all pink original kids bathroom including the tub, tiled walls, floors and toilet. Even the light fixture and mirrors are original but not pink. I love all your color choices for your house. Enjoy!!

  8. I’m waiting for paneling to come back in style. We have lots of that. LOL

    • We have our share of that and have painted some of it long ago. I’m about to paint some more just for the heck of it. I’m sure the dark color will be in style five minutes after I paint ours.

  9. Our first apartment had lime green tiles in the bathroom, with yellow trim. It is funny how those retro looks are coming back in style!

    • Isn’t that the truth. It’s fun to watch fashion cut hema short Because that means when the trend goes back to Long whether it’s Gertz or pants you have to buy new ones because you can’t glue that fabric back on there. It’s easier just to wear the same all thing and never change. The same with decorating. Same old sofa and chairs. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it must be my motto.

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