What colors should Jamie use for her turquoise, burgundy and pink bathroom?

Jamie is in the final stage of renovating her 1950 bathroom, which has an *unusual* combination of tile, trim and fixtures: Turquoise tile, burgundy trim, and pink sink, tub and toilet. You can see an unmasked photo of the colors on the jump, but I had to use this one for the lead because: Oh my goodness, haven’t we all been here, amidst CHAOS. Now that the walls are prepped and the vanity and window are stripped of their old layers of paint (I hope you tested for lead and used proper safety/enviro precautions, Jamie), Jamie wants some “okay-now-I-must-really-make-a-final-decision-so-let-me-torture-myself-some-more” advice on what to do with the walls and the vanity to tie everything together. Okay, I am only assume she’s torturing herself — because that’s what I do, no question. Jamie has asked our help. Read on for her complete explanation… see some more photos (great curved ceilings!) and then let’s hear what you have to say, retro renovators. Jamie writes:

The bathroom "before" the wood vanity and window were stripped of old paint, and "before" the walls were prepped. AWESOME gorgeous basics, wouldn't you agree? That turquoise is LUMINOUS.

I was hoping you and the other readers could possibly give me some ideas for my bathroom. I have included a before-picture and a picture of how it looks now. The window frame and cabinets have already been stripped of all paint. When prepping the walls we came to the conclusion that the original paint was a pink that was an almost exact match to the sink, tub, and toilet. We were thinking that the cabinets may have originally been pink too….seems like a lot of PINK! Toying with the idea of staining the window and cabinets, but…not sure. I honestly would just love a fresh opinion…I have poured over the site and books but I am just not having any luck on ideas… I think the problem for me is trying to figure out all the different colors….pink , turquoise, and burgundy.  I look at other bathrooms and haven’t quite found the same color combination…

Thanks so much! Jamie

So, readers, what do you think? What should Jamie do with the walls… and the vanity and window frame… to tie everything together in one sparkly jewel box bathroom package? I am going to hold back and let you readers run today’s show. A few more photos are below — delicious!


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  1. ang says

    Hi, love your jewel box of a bath! The walls and cabinets should be painted a pale pink, 2 or 3 shades lighter than the tub and sink, the trim around the windows needs to pick up the burgundy shade. The hardware on the cabinets needs to match the fixtures in chrome.

  2. genjenn says

    Hi Jamie-
    how about using vintage wallpaper? I found a few choices at Second Hand Rose that would work perfectly. Check these out:

    These three selections have light grey as an accent. I would consider painting the cabinet and window trim in this neutral color, the wallpaper’s background color or in white (all high gloss). The ceiling pan would be great in pink (mabe a lighter version of the sink’s color). Pink makes every skin tone look better. What’s better in a bathroom?

  3. julie harrison says

    READ THIS! Has no one said wallpaper? You probably think I am crazy but you need to find a fun vintage style wallpaper that combines all the colors (turquoise, pink, burgundy). I am thinking something inspired by a barkcloth fabric? Big banana leaves, retro Hawaii feel? that is your solution! do it! then post photos. –Julie

  4. cateyeglasses55 says

    I like to look at vintage fabrics, like bark cloth and wall art, such as Turner tropical birds. These accents are usually found in those incredible wacky color combinations. Growing up in an atomic ranch in the 60’s, I thought my parents were color blind due to these color combinations. They were actually very much in touch with the trends when they built their dream house in 1955!!! Our master bath was fully mirrored on all three sides of the vanitiy. (Their kid is now addicted to MCM style!).

  5. keith says

    I have this same turquoise tile in my house (was my grandmother’s from the 50’s). Someone suggested going with a sea scape decor and it’s turned out pretty good. I painted the walls a glossy white and used seascape pictures with blues, green, sandy colors from the beach, and then used seashells and starfish for accents. I like the idea of stripping the cabinets and using a light stain. I wish I could redo mine in bamboo, but they are still a hideous green that matches the tile. I will probably paint them white and get new hardware.

  6. Pat says


    I would go with a vanilla-cream color sort of like this color I’m writing on but a shade lighter. ( By the way, I’ve designed wallpaper.) You can always find a wallcovering in a color combination to match what you have, just have to hunt for it.

  7. Rosalie Nickol says

    Wow! Did not realize that others had the same colours in their bathroom that we got when we moved into our 1950’s home which we bought 15 years ago from the original owners. We had those green tiles with the pink tub etc. I have to admit that I thought it was just someones crazy, weird taste so we got rid of the green tiles and replaced them with white ones with pink grout to match the pink. We then painted the cabinets burgundy and added burgundy towels etc. People are always amazed at us keeping the pink. and just decorating to match but I am glad that we did. It keeps the feel of the house. I wish now that I been aware of whole style of the 50’s and kept more of the original features.

  8. Barb23 says

    I have a pink bathroom, and intend to go with a pink that is almost white for the walls. I’d pick a color between the three, probably turquoise or pink and go with a very pale version of it for the walls.

    I’m a stain girl, myself … I love that yellow birch color or the mahogany contrast color. I have both in areas of my house and am pleased as punch.

    I haven’t sent in any info about it yet. Still moving in. But I will …

  9. Ray says

    If the cabinets show signs of pink as an original color, it was probably a good choice then and will be now. Appleblossom from the Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern collection for the cabinet and window frame. Bradbury’s Atomic Doodle Turquois for the walls has a faint pink to tie everything together. And a pink toilet seat!

  10. Jim says

    What’s really missing here is the floor. A mosaic tile floor with turquoise, burgandy and white (don’t gasp) would finish the bathroom. Or maybe burgandy, pink and white. Or maybe just burgandy and white. You can look up mosaic tile floor patterns at Dal tile. I think they let you pick the colors. You can also search this website since I think mosaic floor tiles have been featured here before.
    With such a floor the cabinets would look good in either pink or white depending on your tolerance for pink. I’m leaning towards white. White cabinets, white toilet seat, white window trim. Shear white curtains with embroidered something. White or pale pink walls.

  11. Jim says

    I’m absolutely sure that I’ve seen a 50’s pink and turquoise mosaic tile floor before. The pattern was based on a square turquoise dot surrounded by four rectangular pink tiles arranged into a square. I think it was a mass produced pattern and is probably what was supposed to be in this bathroom. They also had the reverse pattern with a pink square dot surrounded by four turquoise tiles. In the bathrooms of the 50’s the “busy” pattern was often the floor with the other elements of the bathroom taking their colors from it.

  12. javagirl500 says

    1. I agree…. paint the vanity cabinets the same pink as the fixtures.
    2. Floor is tough… I like Jim’s idea of the pattern…. the room has tons of turquoise so I would go with burgundy dot and pink tiles surrounding….. if you can find the same pink….
    3. Stripes always manage to tie things together…. maybe a pink and turquoise vertical stripe… or even pink, burgundy and black.

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