11 tips to tone down your pink bathroom

pottery craftsman sink in a 50s pink bathroom

So I get the question often enough: “I hear what your saying about pink bathrooms. But much as I try, I just can’t love mine. And, I’m not really into retro. What can I do to tone it down?” Fair enough. Here are some thoughts…

How to minimize all the pink in your pink bathro0m? Note — These tips apply to bathrooms with pink walls and either pink or white fixtures.*

  • No brite white. Do not paint the walls bright white. This will just accentuate the pink. How about a light brown or a gray that harmonizes nicely with your particlar pink.  The goal is: Balance…equilibrium…between the wall and the tile.

Two main colors: Pink and yellow, you kind of see them both first. Accents: bold yellow and orange — pretty close to both the yellow and pink on the color wheel. The green really makes everything pop.” src=”http://retrorenovation.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/pretty_in_pink-751×1024.jpg” width=”179″ height=”242″ /> Two main colors: Pink and yellow, you kind of see them both first. Additional ccents: orange and red — each adjacent fo yellow and pink on the color wheel. The green is what makes everything pop…and all color are unified on the rug.[/caption]

  • Yellow for perky-today. You can use the same technique using yellow paint for the walls. A year ago, Portland Amy sent this story from Real Simple magazine. I know a lot of folks love this bathroom. It doesn’t feel ‘retro,’ I think, because we are not accustomed to seeing pink and yellow together. Also, because it uses other, more contemporary floral references — especially in the shower curtain and rug.
This Shakira shower curtain is new at Target - you can see how putting this into a pink-tiled bathroom would give you numerous possibilities to use other strong accent colors to draw attention away from the pink tile. And it's not "retro" feeling, it's very "today."

This Shakira shower curtain is new at Target – you can see how putting this into a pink-tiled bathroom would give you numerous possibilities to use other strong accent colors to draw attention away from the pink tile. And it’s not “retro” feeling, it’s very “today.”

  • Two accent colors. Once you have your wall color, you want to choose two additional accent colors — A is your main accent color and B is your secondary accent color — and one that is super duper harmonious with your accent A.   So in the end, you have 4 colors: (1) Pink, (2) Brown or Gray, (3) Accent A and (4) Accent B.  You may also have white in your fixtures or floor – that’s great. Personally, I think that adding any more colors than this — and you risk getting too busy, unless you have a very careful hand. The idea here, for the most part: Elegance, quiet. I am guessing the pink is giving you a headache, so we are “toning it down.”
  • …Jewel tones. Accent colors should have some force — jewel tones are good.  Anything quieter than your pink will get lost. You want your accent color(s) to emerge — from the pink — and keep your eye dancing around the bathroom.
My bathroom. Design elements: Color, pattern, size, scale, texture. Patterns, for example: square (tile), atomic (wallpaper), floral (prints). Colors: rose beige, aqua, turquoise, brown, white.

My bathroom. Design elements: Color, pattern, size, scale, texture. Patterns, for example: square (tile), atomic (wallpaper), floral (prints). Colors: rose beige, aqua, turquoise, brown, white. The same formula works in ANY bathroom.

  • Artwork to scale. The first place that I would work to integrate an accent color would be in a good-sized piece of artwork. Look for a piece, or pieces, that use your two main colors (yes, including the pink) as well. Don’t be too dinky with your art — or, mass smaller things into one grouping. Continue adding art until you’re happy. Clutter isn’t good either, so take it slow, edit.
  • Shower curtain. When in doubt, match your shower curtain to your paint color. A subtle weave might be good – to add texture and visual interest. If you are feeling more daring, use your shower curtain to bring more color into the room – being sure to include references to your tile and paint colors, as well.
Probably too retro for anyone who already does not like their pink bathroom -- but it gives some ideas on how to play with color and pattern.

Probably too retro for anyone who already does not like their pink bathroom — but it illustrates some great ideas on how to play with color and pattern.

  • Soft goods. Towels and rugs can match the wall color or be a few shades darker…And, I’d buy a second set in an accent color as well. This can be really pretty.
  • Window treatments = pattern. Window treatments are a great place to add pattern — and fabric softens up the hard edges of tile. How about an inexpensive pleated shade for privacy and light control, and soft and decorative curtains on a pretty rod to frame the window.
  • Bathroom jewelry. Ensure you have an eye-catching light fixture…and mirror…and the waste-basket is a great place to have fun, too.
Cindy's bathroom has great balance between what's going on with the tile and what's going on with the walls. I'd call it -- artsy/eclectic...When I was in it, I didn't think "pink," I thought "pretty." That's my pretty sister Jenni BTW.

Cindy’s bathroom has great balance between what’s going on with the tile and what’s going on with the walls. I’d call it — artsy/eclectic…When I was in it, I didn’t think “pink,” I thought “pretty.” That’s my pretty sister Jenni BTW.

  • Alternative twist #1: Choose art, accessories, linens, and faucet handles that build out a theme that’s even bigger than the pink — like French,  Country, Artsy/Eclectic or…? That way, when you walk in, you think “French,” rather than “Pink.”
  • Alternative twist #2: Pick up some Rachel Ashwell books at the library — and consider the Shabby Chic look. Put up crystal chandelier light fixtures, add chippy shelving set with pastel colored vases shiny crystal, and add fluffy white towels, some embroidered hand towels and a luxurious linen shower curtain, etc.. If I went for this look, I think I’d paint the walls a very light slight dove gray. Anna over at Door Sixteen used Benjamin Moore Lacey Pearl (matte) on her walls and say “it’s like the world’s palest neutral gray.” That might work well.

*If you have pink walls and fixtures of yet-another pastel color: Embrace your pink bathroom. Get wallpaper that includes both colors. The retro decorating gods have sent you this jewel for a reason.

Get our retrolicious free newsletter.

Newsletter-sign-up-2NMAS

Comments

  1. Shelly says

    Wow! I must post a photo soon. I would love to “tone down” my pink bathroom, or even find a way to highlight what I have. The bathroom is pink tile throughout. I’m talking every inch of wall space, ceiling, sink, toilet and floor! Black tile for trim around the one window and doorway and as a baseboard. THEN, a pale yellow tub! Hmmmm. The only place to add any paint is one cupboard and the actual window, which I have in white for now. I have tried to use pale yellow towels and rugs, black, brown, white, and nothing is snazzy. I hope more readers will post photos of what they have done with their vintage baths!!

  2. Holly says

    I have a white bathroom with light pink tiles and a pink and grey tiled floor with pink grout. The sink and counters and mirror are all different shades of white. I have glass shower doors. The bathroom is small. Can anyone help me make a sensible color choice? The light colors just look too pink and I really didn’t want a gray bathroom. Are there any other options?

    Thanks.

    • Mommaduck says

      We just redid a small bathroom and I was happily surprised to discover that a Dremmel tool equipped with a grout blade really did make it easy to remove the grout. At least you could get rid of that layer of pink!

  3. Donnasu says

    My bathroom has white wall paper with little sprigs of mauve and a dark aqua prints .I have two old home interior shelves that are white.I want to paint the shelves to make my bathrooom look pretty.I need suggestions on color for the shelves that will really change the look .Anybody have a good idea for this .

  4. brittany says

    I have a lavender and white bathroom with lavender poodles in some of the tiles on the wall (i do love it), but i have no idea what colour towels and accessories i could use that aren’t lavender! Someone help me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *