When was the last time you stepped into a pink bathroom? It has probably been a while. Just a few decades ago this would not have been the case. During the 1950s cotton-candy colored bathrooms popped up faster than any other interior design trend. Pink toilets, Pink sinks, pink bath tubs, and countless pink tiles were manufactured nationally to satisfy the public’s hunger for rosy hues. In the decades since however vibrant washrooms have been stripped, gutted, and may now be approaching extinction! The crisis of the pink bathroom and “Save the Pink Bathroom” movement was brought to our attention by a client who wanted pink vintage tiles to adorn her bathroom walls… and so our fascination with pink bathrooms began!
The rise of the pink bathroom is largely credited to Mamie Eisenhower who adored the color and outfitted every one of her many homes in pastel pink and other cheery colors. Her love for confectionary colors informed the decorating of her most famous home — the White House! In fact, for the years of Eisenhower’s presidency the famed home at 1400 Pennsylvania Ave was affectionately nicknamed, “The Pink Palace.” The public took notice of the First Lady’s stylistic choices and followed suit, installing what is estimated to be between 5 and 10 million pink bathrooms nationwide in the 50s and 60s. Blush-colored bathrooms became a point of pride for homeowners – a pop of personality and charm.
As time progressed, people became less enchanted with pink powder rooms and the peppy coloration of the post-war era. Pink bathrooms were jettisoned to make way for neutral palettes led by mild yellows, browns, and tempered colors such as “avocado green.” No longer was there a place for pink at the sink! Over the years, the pink fixtures and accents of the past have been torn out and replaced, making what was once an American design staple a relic of the past. Bathrooms instead have been decked out in quartz counter tops, white subway tile, and brushed nickel fixtures with the occasional subdued accent.
The near extinction of colorful bathrooms spurred a few vintage purists into creating a campaign to preserve and advocate for, you guessed it – pink bathrooms! The good news for the fine folks at websites like https://savethepinkbathrooms.com/ or https://retrorenovation.com/ is that pink is making a comeback. New wave pink appreciators have turned the hue back into a hot design trend spanning everything from paint colors, backsplashes, herringbone floors, etc. Pink is limitless!
In MAK’s own pink bathroom project we tiled the entire bathroom in a beautiful vintage-inspired tile, labeled “50s Pink”. Unfortunately, the tile has since been discontinued by the manufacturer, leading our client and us to exclaim, “Save the Pink Bathroom!”