12 reasons I love my new retro pink bathroom — Kate’s pink bathroom remodel

kate-in-pink-bathroomKates-bathroom-graphic3Excited, giddy, thankful, accomplished, proud — all of these feelings have been bouncing around in my brain ever since completing my retro pink master bathroom remodel a few short weeks ago. When beginning this project, I knew it would be a huge job, but one that felt completely worth the effort. The transformation that has taken place in this small space since then — both in terms of look and functionality — is enormous. Starting my day in this glowy pink bathroom every morning has been downright magical. Even my husband continues to sing the new bathroom’s praises. Let’s take a closer look around, shall we?

1960s-pink-bathroomBack in June of 2012, when announcing the impending remodel of my original master bathroom, you’ll recall my list of 12 reasons why I decided to start from scratch and do a full gut remodel. In this post-project reveal, I’ve decided to share my top 12 favorite features of the new bathroom — which are as follows in no particular order.

mid-century-vanity-retro

1. The retro modern vanity

An ode to my retro modern vanity: Oh retro modern vanity, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You fit perfectly in the allotted space and offer the maximum amount of storage possible.

retro-styled-vanityYour wood grain glows like the sun and adds visual warmth to the room.

vanity-drawerYour full extension drawer glides make it much easier to see the contents of each of your six spacious drawers.

Rock-of-ages-laminate-countertopYou were made with my own two hands, and are my proudest DIY construction project to date.

vintage-starburst-knobThe starburst knobs on your drawers are one of my favorite vintage touches in the whole bathroom. P.S. you’ve got some lovely legs too.

2. Spectra-LOCK epoxy grout

My husband recently pointed out that since we started using the bathroom daily, there have been no signs of any mildew funk showing up anywhere — a problem that had previously plagued the bathroom — especially in the shower. In fact, the shower still looks as spotless as the day it was finished. This amazing clean-ness can be attributed to two things: a much better fan and the Spectra-LOCK epoxy grout that I used on the walls and floor. It is very likely that sealed traditional grout would also look just as brand new at this point, so only time will tell how the Spectra-LOCK holds up. But just knowing that I’ll never have to seal the grout in this bathroom makes me oh so happy.mid-century-pink-bathroomvintage-cosmetics-box-mirror

3. Vintage mirror with cosmetics box

Since first discovering the existence of this style of vintage mirror, I’ve been enamored. Finding one to use in my bathroom was exciting, and using it is even better. One side holds my nail polish collection, keeping all 12 or so colors in easy view.

pink-bathroom-sinkThe other side holds small daily use items like deodorant, lotion, perfume, etc. that might otherwise clutter the counter below. The small shelf created by the top of the cosmetic box will be a welcome home to a few decorative pieces, and the mirrored doors are helpful to have when you need to look in the mirror up close and make sure there’s no left over lunch stuck in your teeth.

pink-tiled-shower

4. Spacious shower with built-in niche

The size of the shower is one of the key reasons we decided to remodel in the first place. Our old shower was less than half the size of the new one, with nowhere to keep bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. The new shower is quite spacious — giving my tall, broad-shouldered husband plenty of elbow room. Another bonus, we also raised the shower head to 6’6″ so that Jim doesn’t have to duck to rinse the shampoo from his hair. The recessed niche has proven to be another good investment, as it easily holds everything we need without jutting out into the shower space.

mid-century-retro-pink-bathroomvintage-shower-rod

5. Diverter valve and hand shower

Even though we are still waiting for that last shower knob, the new shower set-up has proven itself to be magnificent. Adding a diverter valve and a hand shower  — an idea borrowed from Pam’s bathroom checklist  — is a great feature to have. As of today the hand shower has only been used to test it, but think it will be a valuable tool when giving our dog Leo baths, cleaning the shower walls, or rinsing out hair dye.

American-standard-shower-fixturesAmerican-standard-Serin-showerchrome-light-switches

6. One switch turns on all the lights — fan is on a separate timer switch

Our last bathroom setup included a whole lotta light and fan switches — five to be exact. Before, Jim or I would often accidentally leave one switch on, thinking it was natural light coming from the window, only to realize hours later that a light had been left on all day. In the evening, flipping all those switches got tiresome, not to mention we would forget which fan switch was for the heater fan function, and would turn it on when we didn’t mean to.

vintage-vanity-light

That’s why we are super excited to have one switch that turns on all three lights — the vanity light, the square recessed ceiling light and the light on the fan in the shower — all at once. The fan is controlled with a timer switch, another idea from Pam’s bathroom remodeling list, and comes in handy especially since my husband likes to take his shower in the evening and hop right into bed. This way he can leave the fan on for the suggested half an hour after showering without having to get up again to turn it off.

vintage-starburst-towel-ring

7. Starburst towel holders

starburst-towel-rack-retroThere’s no need to say much about these awesome vintage starburst towel holders other than I. Love. Them. So. Much. Read how I cleaned up this vintage chrome hardware here.

vintage-starburst-towel-bar

They add just the right amount towel hanging space and vintage twinkle to the room.

vintage-pink-bathroombathroom-closet-retro

8. One well organized closet with plenty of space

The old bathroom had two closets that offered vast amounts of storage space, but the position of the doors on the large closet made it awkward to access. In fact, there was so much space in the two closets, that most of it sat empty — space that would have gone to better use in the cramped shower.

retro-bathroom-closetThe new closet is smaller than the two old closets combined, but has enough space for two large laundry baskets and three 20″ deep wire shelves that offer plenty of room for storing extra towels, toilet paper, shampoo, soap and other necessities. Another bonus was the relocation of the closet opening, which now allows both the closet and entry door to be open at the same time, a great feature when it is time to carry the laundry baskets out to the washing machine.

vintage-pink-sinkretro-style-faucet

9. Pretty pink fixtures

Finding a vintage pink sink for the space was surprisingly easy, but getting the new Gerber Viper Bahama Pink toilet proved to be a bit more of a challenge. After having no luck trying to order it through a local distributor, reader Mary Elizabeth clued me in about the toilet’s availability on DecorIsland.com. From that point the pretty pink potty and matching seat arrived quickly and without incident. True, white fixtures would have looked very nice in the space, but the pink fixtures really do amp up the vintage charm.

gerber-bahama-pink-toiletAll that is missing now is my own personal white whale of this bathroom remodel: finding a vintage starburst toilet paper holder. Sure, another style of surface mount vintage toilet paper holder would fit right in, or perhaps even a new reproduction starburst TP holder from Rejuvenation would look great, but for now, my search continues for vintage. Perhaps the Retro Decorating Gods will reward me for bringing back a pink bathroom and bestow upon me the finishing touch. Only time — and patience — will tell.

retro-modern-bathroom-vanity10. Radiant heat flooring

As I write this post, it is currently 16 degrees outside and feels like a balmy two degrees when you factor in the wind chill. In our bathroom on the other hand, it is 70 degrees. If you close your eyes and stand on the warm pink tiles, you may almost feel like you are outside on a summer day standing on a sun-warmed concrete sidewalk. Hands down, the heated floor is our favorite new feature in the bathroom. As an added bonus, the radiant floor heat seems to dry help dry the towels faster, keeping them fresh longer.

vintage-bathroom-scaleretro-pink-bathroom11. Higher ceiling

On day three of demo back in May, my husband Jim and I stood — exhausted — in the 80 degree, dusty bathroom and contemplated whether or not to take out the lowered bathroom ceiling. Removing it meant more work: tearing out more debris, replacing insulation and having to drywall a ceiling. It was downright scary and overwhelming. A few calls to my Dad confirmed what I already knew — a little more pain now would mean a big difference in the finished space. Like usual, dear old Dad was right. The bathroom feels so much larger now, after we raised the ceiling from 7′ to 8’1″ to match the ceiling height in the rest of the house. Having more head room also meant we had plenty of space to do that all-important raising of the shower head. The process of raising the ceiling was not fun, but the results — so worth it.

retro-pink-toilet

12. The lovely pink color

Listing the best parts of the new bathroom wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the new color scheme. Having a light pink tile on the walls makes the room feel so much brighter, larger and more cheerful — not to mention the whole glowy thing pale pink does to your complexion. Before, the dark, muddy looking mauve tile made me depressed. Being someone who is so sensitive to color in their surroundings, walking into the master bath in the morning made me frown a bit. Now I find myself springing from bed and waltzing into my beautiful pink bathroom with a huge smile on my face. This bathroom — which used to be my least favorite part of the house — is now the room I love the most. The personality of the new pink bathroom matches the vibe of the rest of the house so much better than before.

There’s so much to love about my retro pink master bathroom now —  and my decision to make the space mostly retro with a touch of modern feels so right. Thanks to all the readers who have followed me through this epic remodel step-by-step with words of encouragement and praise. I’ve so enjoyed sharing this journey with all of you.

Read my complete resource list to create my pink bathroom here.

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Click here to read all of the stories about Kate’s pink bathroom remodel

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Comments

  1. Josie says

    It’s beautiful and looks original-in-the-best-way. Perfect condition time-capsule!

    Dreamy!

    However, it is responsible for one tiny facet of dashed hopes… my husband doesn’t generally like pink, (black-and-white retro is his retro, lol) and he looked at the first shot and said “cute!”

    I said: “Really, you like it? It does look so cheery and clean doesn’t it?”

    He said: “I was talking about the girl. The girl is cute. The dress is cute. I guess the bathroom is also all right.”

    Maybe I will use it for associative therapy! Cute girls in pastel rooms! 😉 Funny how his last positive reaction to a pink kitchen had Dita standing in it. lol

    • Kate says

      Hehehehe…that little story just made my day Josie. Thanks so much for sharing it. Here’s hoping that your hubby will warm up to pretty pastel potties one of these days! 🙂

  2. Robin, NV says

    Kate, you left out that fabulous floor tile (or maybe it was subsumed under the “lovely pink color”). I remember when you first put it in, I kept thinking “oh my goodness, it looks amazing. I can’t wait to put the blue version in my bathroom.”

    I went back and looked at the “before” photos of the bathroom. The transformation is amazing.

  3. Beth says

    This is stunning and beautiful. Pink is my favorite. I saw the Aqua bath makeover yesterday on RR. I liked that, too. I would also love to see a bath renovation with a bath tub. Nothing like a good, relaxing soak after a hard day.

  4. Debra Leissner says

    I am looking fruitlessly for the kind of tile on the bathroom floor in these pictures. I’ve read the whole thing and looked everywhere in my area and online, and I have three weeks to find some or settle for something else.
    Can anyone help?

  5. says

    It’s so beautiful, you did a fantastic job. It reminds me of my great-grandparents’ pink bathroom, which I used to practically hang out in when I was a little girl because I loved the color so much! My favorite feature is the shower, you’d have to pull me out of there in the morning.

  6. Joe Felice says

    Love it! It is so period-authentic, and does not look one bit “re-done.” I think anyone who lived during that time would be hard-pressed to detect the old from the new. The only thing I would add would be a folding plastic shower door (accordion-style) that people used back then. Kate, you’ll be able to feel the very essence and spirit of the times every time you go in there.

  7. John says

    To be honest I’ve never liked pink bathrooms, sorry Pam just me… however there is something about this one. I really like it. Good job Kate. And what an accomplishment! You have to walk in sometimes and think, yeah I did this!! I do loath pink, though it has gotten me thinking. My master bath had a receiver tub which I want to put back in, (thanks to Pam and her story on these I was able to make sense of the floor plans). I found one in pink a while back and was very disappointed…. However looking at this bathroom pink isn’t as horrible as I was feeling it was. I could butch it up with brown tile and have pink as trim on the tile and the fixtures in pink. My bathroom had an exposed brick wall which was covered by sheet rock and I will rip that out. Actually I think, with the color of my beautiful brick the pink and brown might go well with it. This is years away, I thoroughly enjoy dreaming of the future of my home though. Not to say I will have a pink bathroom… but this one has me thinking, thats half the battle right Pam? LOL

  8. says

    One other authentic touch that gets overlooked is the aluminum ring around the sink! Its those little touches that are right on point that are really important. We all gravitate to the amazing starburst drawer pulls, but that little ring really brings it home for me.

    Suggestion for art, if I may. There is a lady on Etsy that has taken vintage post cards and has blown them up to 8×11, 12×12 etc… they are really cool and have great vintage color to them. These aren’t the photo post cards but the drawn/painted kind so they have that authentic color to them. I am getting some for my home. I included the link to her shop. Just a thought. =)

  9. Eileen says

    Hi Kate you posted a pic of Dougs retro kitchen with the plasticoat painted cabinets, where can I buy those wall hangers for pots and pans?

  10. Stephanie Radin says

    Your vanity is exactly like ours except ours is not on legs and it is orange Formica….yes….orange! We bought our house….a circa 1955 ranch house in October 2012…..we believe not much has been done to it since probably the early 70’s…the irony is the estate of the woman we bought it from was worth over $5 million….and she was too cheap to modernize it. We are slowly modernizing…which is our taste…… but I have to say I am truly enjoying this website. Thank you. If anyone wants a 42″ wide circa 1955 bathroom vanity please give me a shout!

  11. Mandrake says

    Love the floor tile. I looked but didn’t see the source in these? Would I’ve to have a pink and gray bathroom.

  12. says

    I have almost the exact same vanity,and sink, in a pink & black bathroom ca. 1958! Loved seeing that you have the same kind!! Mine is really worn out and needs a facelift, but the pink& black retro tile is staying!!

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