Kate’s resources for building a pink bathroom — 26 key items on her remodel list

pink bathroom sourcesKates-bathroomOne of the best compliments I’ve received about my pink bathroom was when the electrician asked if the wall and floor tiles were original, a remark that made me grin from ear to ear. Constructing a new pink bathroom that looks like it is fresh from 1962 — the year my house was built — was no small feat. Besides the actual work to install everything, I spent many hours sourcing materials, comparing samples and looking for vintage bits and pieces. Yes, sourcing all the products to build a retro pink bathroom is more work than sourcing a similar remodel using white fixtures and tile that’s popular today, but with a little determination, it is possible. For those just starting this journey, you’re in luck. I’ve compiled a list of all my resources — most of which are readily available  — to help you build the retro pink bathroom of your dreams.

  1. Vintage light — a gift from Pam’s hoard.
  2. Juno 8′ square recessed ceiling light with white trim and crystal diffuser glass (purchased through electrician).
  3. GE 60-minute spring wound timer switch — Home Depot.
  4. Vintage mirror with cosmetics box — Habitat for Humanity Restore.
  5. Grohe Arden 4 inch spread mid-arc bathroom faucet, chrome — Home Depot (now discontinued).
  6. Pionite laminate counter top, Rock of Ages — special ordered through Menards.
  7. Vintage pink sink with hudee ring — Craigslist.
  8. Vintage Amerock chrome dish knobs — Habitat for Humanity Restore.
  9. Vintage Amerock chrome knobs and starburst backplates — found on Ebay.
  10. Sherwin Williams Satin Duration wall paint, Abalone Shell (SW 6050).
  11. Vintage Star Line chrome starburst towel ring — Ebay (note, there is a reproduction starburst towel ring available through Rejuvenation).
  12. Vintage Star Line chrome starburst towel rod brackets — Ebay (reproduction starburst towel bar available through Rejuvenation).
  13. Sonoma life + style Ultimate Performance Bath & Hand Towels, Ivory — Kohl’s.
  14. Glazed ceramic wall tiles, 70W Pink — B&W Tile.
  15. Vintage Expan-Tite adjustable rod holder, NOS & chrome rod — Habitat for Humanity Restore.
  16. American Standard water saving rain shower head, Chrome.
  17. American Standard Hand Rain Shower, chrome .
  18. American Standard Serin shower knobs and trim, chrome.
  19. Hotel White Fabric 54 inch x 78 inch shower stall sized curtain liner, white — Bed Bath and Beyond.
  20. 1.28 GPF Elongated Ergoheight two-piece toilet, Gerber Viper, Bahama Pink — Decor Island.
  21. Church Elongated toilet seat, pink — Decor Island.
  22. Croft & Barrow solid bath rug, light pink — Kohl’s (color no longer available online, but still saw a few in my local store).
  23. Vintage NOS Hanson Bath Scale — a gift from Pam’s hoard.
  24. 6″ McCobb Mid Century Modern Foot, red oak — TableLegs.com .
  25. SpectraLOCK Epoxy grout, Natural Grey — Lowe’s.
  26. Merola Tile University Pink Porcelain Mosaic Floor and Wall Tile — Home Depot.

Click HERE to read all the stories about how I built a pink bathroom.

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Comments

  1. Mary Elizabeth says

    Great resource list, Kate! Thank you!

    Isn’t the cosmetics box also called a cabinette? Did it come with the starburst knobs? We had the same mirror and sliding mirrored cabinets in all the bathrooms in our 1978-built condo, but with peg knobs.

    People who cannot find the vintage chrome dish-shaped knobs should know that I found some in a similar style for my bathroom vanity, hanging cabinet and inset medicine cabinet at Lowe’s. At 1 1/4 X 1 1/4 inches, it looks like they stand out from the cabinet a little more than yours.

    Has Leo lost any dog toys under the vanity yet? I originally wanted legs on the one I designed, but DH was worried about what would collect under there (fur, cat toys, grandchildren’s Matchbox cars) and be hard to retrieve, so we changed it to a recessed kick plate.

    • Janet in CT says

      In CT now but soon to be in Maine! Good point on the vanity on legs – with us it would be the eternal battle with dog fur! Kate, did you have any extra hardware? I need one handle for my kitchen to replace one of the twenty that was stripped which in my opinion is not bad at all! And Mary Elizabeth, you will be interested to hear that five feet up in my kitchen is the same gray plastic tile as you have in your bathroom! My “new” house is an un-updated 1957 ranch and I am so thrilled to finally find one we both love! It is so much fun to see what others have done with their houses. I do so appreciate this site and seeing all the original features of the houses I so love.

      • Kate says

        I used up all of the starburst backplate/knob combos, but I might have another dish knob laying around if that is the one you are looking for. Let me know and I’ll check my stash… 😉

        • Janet in CT says

          Kate, it IS the round dish knob that I need! I don’t know if they came in various sizes back then, but if it isn’t the same as mine, I would return it to you in case you or someone else needs it. But I sure would appreciate it and thanks!

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        Janet, so sorry you will be going away to Maine. Connecticut will miss you. But congratulations on finding the house you both love.

        I think that tile will be easier to maintain in the kitchen than in the bathroom shower. To get grease, mildew and tobacco stains off the tile, you can wipe it down with a mild solution of vinegar (1/2 cup in a whole pail of warm water). I discovered this when I was doing general spring cleaning shortly after I moved into my house. The vinegar cuts grease, is antiseptic and causes less damage to surfaces than bleach.

        If you keep the tile, let me know, and I will give you some of my extra dawn gray tiles for repairs. Otherwise, just send photos of your renovations. Enjoy settling into your new house.

    • Kate says

      Mary E — not sure about the cosmetics box/cabinette — I thought cabinettes were typically found in the kitchen, but Pam is more of an expert on that area than me…

      I used the knobs you mentioned in my kitchen — Home Depot and Lowe’s have nearly the same style of smaller vintage looking dish knobs available. The knobs on my vanity are all vintage, and the mirror didn’t come with the starburst knobs, I added those.

      Leo doesn’t go in the bathroom unless we ask him very nicely, so very little fur and no dog toys get in there. He doesn’t like water and taking baths, so he steers clear of any room with a “water monster” in it. 🙂

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        I looked at your blog to see the old bathroom and loved the kitchen, too. The knobs look great in there. The whole house has such nice, interesting features that you’ve played up well.

        BTW, that color combination in the old bath was h******. I’m surprised you didn’t demo it before ever planning the new bath, so I admire your calm restraint as well as all your other skills! 🙂

        Maybe I could have lived with mauve and something or peach and something, but together? They just didn’t seem to belong in the same room, never mind the same house. The minty green bath is very pretty, though. I’m thinking of going in that direction for my next bath redo. But since the second bath is only a year old, talking about fixing it up generates looks of horror from my darling husband.

        • Kate says

          My minty green bathroom is in need of some fixing as well. I had a new fan put in — at same time as the one in the pink bathroom — which has helped immensely, but there are still issues in there that need to be addressed. I’m looking for options for a new floor (current floor has cracked tiles, icky stained white grout), need to repair grout in the shower that is stained, missing, etc, and though I like it, the laminate vanity is coming apart in places…also the counter top is a little worse for the wear (from the excessive moisture over the years), so I may be making another vanity and counter top in the future…YIKES!

          The green bathroom will be much less work than the pink, as most of it will stay as is, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done in there! Maybe after the holidays…. I need a break!

          • Mary Elizabeth says

            Yes, you do deserve a break. And you can’t do everything at once, or what is the fun in that? 🙂

            Plus, you need to sit on those decisions. I have friends that gutted and redid their entire house in the course of a year, and they had to make so many decisions at once–lighting, changes in radiators, kitchen cabinets, appliances, bath fixtures, window treatments and so on. The result was that at the end they were shell-shocked and realized that they had made some expensive mistakes that now were difficult to undo.

            I think part of the fun of this project (your fun and ours following along with you as cheering squad) was all the planning, searching and decisions made over time.

            That being said, is this the right sort of green?
            http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-OLD-STOCK-1973-Vintage-Green-Round-Drop-in-Vanity-Bathroom-Sink-3-Hole-/36080

    • Joe Rankin says

      Love the pink bathroom especially the mosaic floor tile. The radiant heating system embedded in the floor completes a good timeless design, hats off to a great job!!!

  2. says

    We are doing a “coral” bathroom ourselves in our Cinderella Storybook Ranch. B&W 50W “tan” tile (black accents), vintage Norris Thermador toilet and American Standard sink, and the starburst hardware to name a few. Once completed, will post and share pics…

    • Janet in CT says

      Mark, just wanted to share an experience we just had. When we moved into our ranch a couple of weekends ago, there was this high-pitched whistle that took us awhile to find. The inner toilet bowl had cracked due to poor winterizing and the air somehow escaped to cause this annoying whistle that kept us up all night long. The next morning when it started up again, Phil took the tank off as he had been doing all night long to wiggle something, and the fill tower blew right out of the toilet tank right in his face. The shut-off valve was frozen and before he could get down in the basement to shut off the main, the city water pressure caused a geyser that left us with quite a flood in the bathroom. Actually, it was pretty funny to us but I was a little annoyed that there were only two replacement choices in the entire small remote town, a high one and a low one. Anyhow, when he took the old one out, the gasket between the tank and the lower bowl section was completed disintegrated. So my advice to anyone who has an old toilet is that it would be a good idea to replace this gasket and the wax floor one at the same time to be safe, or even replace all the works in the tank too. He said it could have gone at any time and since we are not there permanently yet, we could have had a major flood had it let go. Just a thought.

        • says

          Janet, no worries there. I not only replaced all the inner workings (flush valve fill tube, all gaskets and wax ring), but also set it up as a low-flow unit (it is a “washdown” style as are the newer ones). No winterizing necessary as we are in Los Angeles. It works great, much better than the replacement in our master bath (which will be replaced by a matching yellow unit to this coral one). Have a ways to go on the bathroom yet, haven’t had much time as I’ve been too busy working on OTHER people’s houses, LOL…

          • Kate M says

            Mark do you know if I can convert my original case toilets to low flow? I have done some research but had no luck yet.

            Kate, thank you for the comprehensive list and know that your remodel has swayed me to be a time capsule renovator. I will be using the same floor tile only in blue. I was so excited to see it because it matches my existing concrete tiles. Also the beige will go nicely in my jack and Jill bath. I also love the starburst pulls, I will be on the hunt for some. When I first saw the picture I thought it had original tiles you have done an amazing job. Did you built the vanity yourself?

            Kate M

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        Egad! What an ordeal you went through! Strange night noises are either ghosts or toilets, in my experience. I’d rather deal with the ghosts! 🙂

        I’m lucky in that I live in the woods but 10 minutes from a small city and 20 minutes from big shopping centers with Home Depot and Lowe’s. Up there in Maine, you may have to drive some distance to have a choice of home repair materials. Maybe you should have a spare toilet (from a re-Store, maybe) in your basement for emergencies.

        • Janet in CT says

          Mary Elizabeth, thanks for the offer of the tile. We will be in CT for at least a year, or my husband will be until he retires. We need to get together! Our new house is in Millinocket and we ended up going to Bangor which is sixty miles away to get bedding and carpeting! Quite different from being in a suburb of Hartford where everything is ten minutes away! If anyone is ever hiking the Appalachian Trail or up in our neck of the woods around Mt. Katahdin, you will have to drop in! The neighborhood we live in was built in the fifties to provide housing for the workers at the growing paper mill and has some absolutely amazing retro homes. The exteriors of many of them are original, including front doors and the fake stone fronts. Some day I intend to knock on doors and meet some of these people AND their houses! Everyone is so friendly up there. And I love the way the streets are named after states like New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Rhode Island. I was drawn to the neighborhood immediately; it’s like being transported back in time!

  3. LoquaciousLaura says

    My question is, how to find not-crazy-expensive bathroom lights if you don’t have access to Pam’s stash 🙂 I remember one of Kate’s original options but I had a hard time finding anything else on the site she referenced. If you go with Rejuvenation there are obviously gorgeous options but pricey. Any ideas?

    • Kate says

      If you have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore nearby, they might have what you are looking for. This type of light can also still be bought very affordably on Ebay, you just have to keep looking for a deal!

      • Robin, NV says

        Estate sales might also be a good place find light fixtures – if they’re trully in “sell everything” mode. I generally find my local Restore is a disappointment – although they did have a complete pink bathroom suite last time I was there. Tub, sink, and potty.

  4. Jay says

    Kate, that is one incredibly beautiful palette (sp)! Thanks for sharing. Of course I should have known the light fixture was vintage. I scrolled down to see the source as my eye was taken by it immediately. Very kind of the blog mistress. The glass diffuser is sharp looking. Haven’t had the opportunity to view the video yet. You must be very proud of yourself. Probably the hardest project you’ll tackle.

    • Kate says

      Yes Jay, I do believe this was the hardest project I’ve ever done. I did a gut remodel of the kitchen at my first house and that was LOADS easier than this bathroom.

      I told some of my family and friends that I thought remodeling this bathroom was more challenging than college — simply because I had to learn so much in such a short time!

  5. vegebrarian says

    Thanks for the resource list, Kate! My husband and I are looking at redoing our bathroom next year and your project really inspires me to check out my Restore for fixtures and mirrors.

    I’ll bet you were so excited when you found that mirror!!

    • Kate says

      You are welcome! I visited the ReStore and shopped Ebay and my local Craigslist for about a year before I started anything. It takes time to gather supplies!

  6. Paula Webb says

    Again, such a beautiful, beautiful job. I am so jealous of your ebay finds. I can never find really great stuff like you and Pam do! I am also really envious that you were able to make use of the mirror/makeup cabinet. I wanted to badly to use one in our remodel but we just couldn’t make the spacing work.:(

    • Kate says

      The key to finding good stuff on Ebay is to look for it ALL THE TIME. I get sort of obsessed with finding something I am looking for and I know Pam can get that way too.

      Sorry your mirror didn’t work out! I was nervous about ours fitting (we had to amend part of the plan when we opened up the walls, which left less space for the vanity than originally accounted for) but in the end, there was JUST enough room for it! 🙂

  7. Martha says

    Oh my goodness, that mood board makes this project look effortless! (I know it was not, because I was following this story). Great job, Kate! I have two tile floors just like that — one in “the green bathroom” and one in “the blue bathroom.” (1971 ranch). This project has inspired us on many levels, from ceiling fans to floors, but I sure don’t have your patience and tenacity! Enjoy your pink and your starbursts and your fans!

  8. lynda says

    So… what is next? Project people can never stop! Great job. How much did the custom Pionite counter cost at Menards? How big is it?
    I know you spent hours thinking about this project even before you started. Your meticulous plans paid off in so many ways.

      • lynda says

        I guess you just bought a sheet of laminate and whipped it up! A little plywood, a little glue, a saw and some laminate and you can do it. If you did do this, I am impressed again. Maybe you should go into business as a contractor. You really have the eye for the details.

  9. Scott says

    The dream bathroom collage is certainly inspirational. What is the GE timer hooked up to, the fan? I would have never guessed that to be something you could still get today, I need to pay more attention when I am out shopping. 🙂

    • Kate says

      Yes Scott, all the lights are on one switch, and the fan is on a timer. We have it wired so that we can change it if we want to in the future, but we really like the current set up.

  10. Devona says

    So happy to have provided a small part of your FAB bathroom remodel!! (#9 – Vintage Starburst Cabinet Hardware). I’m still amazed at how you were able to get them looking sooooo good!! They had some real “patina” when you purchased them from me! 🙂

    Congratulations on a project well done!!

  11. carole custer says

    Help! Our plumber said that our original 48-year-old pink toilet has “limed up” and can’t be repaired. This bathroom has all pink fixtures so I want to make every effort to keep the toilet. Can anyone advise me if “limed up” really means the death of our toilet? If not, what do we need to do to keep the toilet operating?

    • pam kueber says

      If you need a new-vintage-color toilet — see Kate’s links in this story. We have two places to get them, Peerless & Gerber (see story and category Bathrooms/Toilets).

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Ask your plumber for more details about what he means. Explain the importance to you of refurbishing rather than replacing. Bat your eyelashes at him if necessary. 🙂

      1) If he means there are lime deposits and other mineral deposits in the toilet tank and bowl, you can take the toilet out and clean it with a strong vinegar and water solution and/or a caustic lime remover, available in hardware stores, if the vinegar doesn’t work. Use in a ventilated place, such as an outdoor deck or driveway, and use rubber gloves. (We did this in the driveway with an old blue toilet we didn’t want to replace, to the great amusement of our neighbors.) While you are cleaning, inspect for any cracks in the bowl or tank, which would render it unusable. When the toilet is sufficiently clean, have the plumber re-install it, with a new gasket on the floor and completely new workings inside and a new handle. (These parts are all availableExpect him to charge you the same as he would for installing a new toilet.

      2) If you are convinced it truly cannot be made workable, by a brand new pink toilet like mine, Kate’s, and Amber’s. (See all our pink bathroom stories.) Be patient and persistent, and call the plumbing supply places recommended on this site if it isn’t clear from the web sites that pink is available. Mine came from Decorisland.com, and I got great service on the phone.

  12. Kay says

    Hi! Great job! Wonder if anyone has ideas for trim paint colors for my pink bathroom? What brand and color would you recommend? The walls are Benjamin Moore pink damask, and they look off white with the pink tile.

    Thanks!

    • pam kueber says

      Hi Kay, so hard to say without actually seeing the room. Have you seen our entire category of Pink Bathroom stories? It’s in Bathroom Help / Pink Bathrooms.

  13. annacolleen says

    This is the 1st time, that I have ever considered what the home I live in should even look like, and I’m going to be 59 in a few days!! My other homes, were your standard suburban homes, in standard suburban 1980’s neighborhoods. They had your basic things to choose, like countertops, flooring for rec-room, kitchen, carpets, and cabinet finishes. Each home was boring, but we merely wanted a home in which to raise our kids, that was still near enough to DC, so my husband could commute, into the city each day.
    Now that the kids are grown up, and have families of their own, we finally bought a home out in the country. It is a home that a couple built. I mean that they built this home, with their own hands. It’s a cool house, and it has a personality all it’s own. Not a drywall in sight.
    I am trying to make it my own, and have always wanted a pink bathroom. I’ve always wanted a pink kitchen too, but probably will try a multi-color instead. I hope this site will help me make the decisions I need to, to make this home even better than it already is.
    I’m so happy to have found this site, with all the ideas therein. My Ma would have been choosing from some of these ads.

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