A color scheme for a pink, maroon and white bathroom

pink bath with white fixtures and maroon shower curtainReader Naomi’s new-to-her house came fully equipped with a retro pink and maroon bathroom — which she loves. However, there are a few problems — the toilet is broken and must be replaced, and there is also a non-repairable crack in the sink. Naomi is okay with replacing the broken maroon fixtures with white, but she doesn’t want to replace the still-perfect maroon tub. Her dilemma — she’s not sure how it will look to have two white fixtures and one maroon tub.

pink-and-maroon-bathroom-vintage bathroom

Naomi writes:

pink-flamingo-bath-tileI just bought a house with a classic pink bathroom. As soon as I saw the main second floor bathroom in this house, I thought of the “Save the Pink Bathrooms!” site — it was so emphatically a classic vintage 1950s pink bathroom. It has Mamie pink tile on the lower half of the walls and on most of the floor, with maroon accents: TP holder, soap dish, edges of the tile…….and all the fixtures. The toilet, sink, and tub are all that same maroon.

I am planning to paint the upper part of the room something other than gray — probably a very light pink.  My issue is the toilet and sink.  The toilet HAS to be replaced, because the tank leaks and a plumber was unable to fix it.  The faucet in the vintage sink also leaks, and was also not repairable. Fixtures in these colors are no longer made — I’m probably going to need to replace them with white fixtures. Since I don’t want to replace the tub, and the tub is that same deep burgundy, what are some ways to tie the room together?

vintage-retro-pink-and-maroon-bathroomCan you give me any suggestions on how to deal with this? Are there any pictures in your Flickr group from people who had colorful fixtures but who had to replace a toilet?


This issue hits home for me — since my minty green hall bathroom has a mint green tub, white toilet and white sink — that all work together in the room. Fear not Naomi — I have some ideas to help your bath.

Check with deabath.com first, regarding your fixtures

First up, though: Are you really sure the old toilet and sink are goners? Pam says the sink looks to be a Crane — and deabath.com is the expert in vintage Crane — so you might want to consult with them before ripping these lovely vintage fixtures out. If your old fixtures must go, yes, it seems white is the answer. You may also want to stay in touch with deabath.com, though — because over time, true replacement fixtures in your vintage maroon color may well come up. For example, was this your color in this photo of Crane Marcia sinks from our deabath past?

pink bath with white fixtures and maroon shower curtainPull together your bathroom colors with the shower curtain

*may* be too purple, but you get the idea…

If your maroon sink and toilet really must go — yes, replacing them with white makes sense. To pull the whole room together: Find a shower curtain that had all three colors — pink, maroon and white. I managed to find this Hometrends Ashdown shower curtain at Walmart.com that is not only pink, maroon and white. Assuming the maroon color worked in person with the tub, the walls could be painted to pick up the fourth color in the shower curtain, light beige. Use maroon rugs, and mix and match your towels to any or all of the colors in the shower curtain.

pink bath with white fixturesIf the first shower curtain didn’t work out, a simple white shower curtain would repeat a large area of white over by the tub, helping to evenly distribute more white around the room. Painting the walls a light pink — as Naomi suggested she might do — would brighten up the walls and make the whole room look cohesive.

Since there are a lot of maroon accents — the soap, towel and toilet paper holder, the border tiles, the small mosaic floor tiles and the decorative bird tiles — that even though the bathtub is the only maroon fixture, it will still make sense in the room. The key here is repetition of color. All of the colors are already repeated around the room — which is good design. Changing out the sink and toilet for white fixtures will not ruin this good design, but simply change the distribution of color in the room. Instead of pink and maroon being the dominant colors, white and pink will be the main colors and maroon will be more of an accent. The key to getting this color balance right is just choosing the right shower curtain and wall color to blend with the existing elements.

Good luck with your new pink bathroom, Naomi!


Oh and — come back and noon today, we asked Bungalow Bill, and — with no hesitation — he identified your gorgeous accent tiles!

What do you think, readers?
And, can you find some additional shower curtains online that would pull these colors together?

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  1. Jamie D says

    I know a few people mentioned having a new white sink and toilet coated burgundy to match. This option was mentioned for us by a bathroom contractor to match our light blue tub. My only concern about it would be keeping the toilet clean – as I understand, you can’t use harsh or abrasive cleaners on the coating, and I’m wondering how a toilet would hold up to scrubbing & buildup. We have hard water and get lime scale as it is…I don’t want to think about how a re-coated toilet would look when it’s already difficult enough to keep a factory glazed toilet and tub clean.

    I think new white fixtures would look just fine if you carry the white over to the shower curtain and paint.

    Another option – if you want to go with pink fixtures, Gerber makes new toilets, their Viper model, in a couple shades of pink.

  2. tammyCA says

    Also, let me add…if the tub is in great condition then keep it as is…and if you really need to replace the toilet/sink (if it can’t be fixed) then keep searching on craig’s list, ebay, for the maroon…like it’s been said by others eventually you will find the right match. Don’t ever reglaze the tub to white if it is in great condition! We have reglazed sink/tub because the previous owners must’ve done it and when we bought it was in need of it again. With re-glazed tubs/sinks you CANNOT use anything but Softscrub to clean and you CANNOT use suction cup bath mats because it will pull the glaze up. Even dropping something on the tub could chip it…it is a PITA, especially with kids…and, I’ve had a few heart pounding scares with hair dye and tie dye! (I sure wish I knew what the original ’50s color was in our bath.)

  3. Jackie says

    Get a second opinion on fixing always! Go to recycle places to check also, because there are used appliances out there like crazy. One guy said he couldn’t fix my ’50’s oven but then did and admitted he just hates old stoves and didn’t want to fix it.

  4. Cindy says

    My grandparents had the exact same fixtures in their bathroom… although their bathroom was paneled 3/4th up with dark pine planks, but i still thought it was the grooviest bathroom ever!

  5. Lynne says

    Another thing you can do is TELL your plumber what fixtures you need, then tell him to tell his other plumber buddies. My plumber was doing work, and I said Travis, I need a pink potty and new pink sink. He said that he pulls colored fixtures out of peoples homes all the time, and just throws them into his dumpster. He said he would save me the next one he came across that would match. So, moral of the story is, TELL your favorite plumber, and they’ll watch for what you need.

  6. Hillary says

    I love your bathroom, Naomi! I hope your fixtures can be repaired, because they are just too cool!

    Your bathroom has the same color scheme as mine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29858210@N02/4320548465/ – but mine came with white fixtures (though the sink and toilet aren’t original). I think white would work just fine, naturally, but the maroon would be best if it can be repaired/replaced.

    It’s interesting how similar even your floor is to mine, but your maroon tiles are more sparse. Are they shiny ceramic and the others matte porcelain?

  7. Cathie says

    Companies that refurbish/restore/repaint bathtubs can repaint & color match the paint of your tub for your sink/toilet.

    You also can try and find matching toilet/sink on Ebay, Habitat for Humanity Stores, Architectual Salvage companies, and many websites

  8. Wendy W. says

    If you live near Portland OR, go to The Rebuilding Center in the Mississippi district. They have perfect old toilets in pink, turquoise, etc. It’s vintage heaven!

  9. Mike S says

    Just go light gray, like in my grandmother’s bathroom. The palette was purple, black, and pink, with a gray sink, tub, and commode.

    There are cool grays and warm grays. For your maroon bath, I’d go warm.

  10. Heather says

    I did this in San Diego. I moved into a house with the exact tile colors in the bath and kitchen but the tub and toilet were pink. The previous owner had already replaced the sink with a white pedestal but the pink toilet and pink tub remained. I was forced, when selling, to replace the toilet with a new white one and honestly you didn’t even notice the difference. I lived with it this way for about 6 months before it sold and wished I had done it earlier. It was so much better to have a fully functional toilet!

  11. lady of the house says

    We had an old wall-hung toilet with a broken tank which we thought was not repairable. My boyfriend, who has done a lot of work with boats, ended up fixing it with marine-grade two-part epoxy and fiberglass cloth (which is the same way you would repair a boat hull.)

    This is not a repair for the unskilled or faint-of-heart, and frankly, we don’t know how long it will last. But it can be done.

  12. Mary Elizabeth says


    Someone mentioned that you can get colored toilet seats to match your fixtures from Bemis. The link is on this site. But even if you don’t get a maroon toilet, you can do what I am doing–put the toilet seat that matches your bathtub on the white toilet! They send you color chips so you can match it exactly. This is another color tie-in that helps integrate the white and the color.

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