Make a pledge to Save the Pink Bathrooms, and you never know: You might become the lead story on Retro Renovation. Sheila’s story about her vintage pink bathroom was so perfect (and her bathroom, so dreamy) that I just had to feature it.


All photos are of Sheila’s updated bathroom. Her Pledge:

When my husband and I bought our 1950 ranch-style home in Michigan, we had a definite consensus on one room being that “the pink bathroom has got to go”. The bubble gum pink tile with burgundy trim; the floor that gives some a sense of vertigo if it is stared at too long was the epitome of a bathroom that I could not picture myself owning, let alone liking. I am a practical person though. That pink bathroom was obviously built to last. The tiles and floor were solid. It was hard to justify ripping this room down first as our house was one fraught with “opportunities”. Many more pressing projects were higher on the agenda. So dropping the bomb on the pink nightmare was postponed.


I pondered this bathroom for several months, confounded. The previous owners had given it battleship grey cupboards and trim; grey wallpaper with a burgundy floral design. It had gold metal glass shower doors that were impossible to keep clean, a door and a ceiling with obvious mould issues. It had two hideous glass light bars on either side of the mirror, also impossible to keep clean. Still I was completely stumped on how to tone down what felt like screaming pink. Inaction was really my only option, figuring one day the solution would come to me, and barring that a wrecking ball was an option.

After a kitchen renovation, new furnace, basement waterproofing, basement makeover and 2 kids later, my attention turned once again to fixing up what my daughter calls “the Barbie Dream House bathroom”.

pink-bathroomStill, dang it — that tile was solid as the day it was installed. Then it occurred to me that I should just learn to love this bathroom, play up how incredibly campy it was and stop thinking about ways to tone it down or minimize it. I turned to the internet.

The day I Googled “fun pink bathroom” was the day that I found this website. Suddenly I began to think that maybe I actually owned something kind of cool. You can be the judge on the final product but I honestly am so proud of how it turns out. Bright, clean, unique and above all, PINK. And I’m finally more than OK with that.
Thanks Pam!

Sheila, Defender of Old Pink Bathrooms


Of course, I had one more question for Sheila, to which she responded:

My dog’s name is Maggie, rescued from the pound on Memorial Day weekend this year. She is very sweet and being a JRT, she is a handful.

And,  Sheila confirms that is indeed a fluted (reeded?) piece of built-in glass between the bathroom countertop and adjacent dressing table. Yowza. Serious Love. Now that I look, Sheila, where did you get the new light bars that flank the mirror? I love the effect…very glamarama Hollywood backstage dressing room-like. Works really well to light up the bubble gum pink.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that there is pretty much nothing that makes me happier than pretty pastel bathrooms – saved… and their owners, converted. Sheila, your bathroom is spectacular! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.


CategoriesPink Bathrooms
  1. Sarah says:

    Is there a specific name for that style tile flooring? We have it in our powder room in shades of brown

  2. Sheila S says:

    When I first looked at the house we were planning on buying, my first thought was “WHOA, PINK!” The house was pink. All the walls were painted pink. The bathroom was pink. The kitchen had pink metal cabinets and even a pink oven! I thought that it was just way too much pink.

    But now that we bought it and have moved in, I cannot justify tearing out such great craftsmanship! It is all perfectly and wonderfully functional. So, I have decided to embrace it and go with the flow.

    For the kitchen, I am going to add some turquoise and green and play it up, shabby chic style.

    For the bathroom, because of the HUGE vanity, I am going to go all out Hollywood glam with grays and silver. Very excited to get going on these projects.

    Unfortunately, we have to finish up on the projects at our old place first so we can get THAT sold!!

  3. Monica L. says:

    There was a philosophy among my parents generation, who survived the Depression, that if you made a major investment, you bought it to last. So my mom and dad purchased good, solid mahogany furniture in 1952 that they kept their whole lives. There were a few re-upholsterings and updating in other areas, and yes, we had a pink and black bathroom too. In the 70s, 80s and beyond, that decision was a big regret for mom but she never changed it. Too practical to rip out something perfectly functional. Now 91 and in assisted living, she so enjoyed reading about the resurgence of pink bathrooms in our local paper.

  4. Brenda says:

    I also want to know what is the best way to clean the pink tile in the walls and floor, I have exactly the same tile.

  5. Brenda says:

    I have a pink bathroom with white sink and white bathtub that is very difficult to clean. Can you give me any advise? yours looks very clean and shiny.

  6. KE Smith says:

    Does anyone know the names of these colors of tiles (the pink field tiles and the darker trim), and/or where I can find them? We have a tub enclosure from the mid 50s that needs some repair in what appears to be the same colors as are in Sheila’s bath. So far, I have not had any luck with either color names or manufacturer names and I have visited the largest tile stores/distributors in this area.

    1. pam kueber says:

      KE, see my category Bathrooms / Tile for all the tile suppliers we have identified. B&W and Anne Sacks may be your best bet — but study the posts.

    2. mary garland says:

      I am starting a bathroom restoration of a 1960s style with pinky beige fixtures. I want to keep the same vintage look. The toilet and tub are in good shape but the sink and tub surround need replacement. Although my fixtures have a pink hue they are really a light beige. Can you give me ideas where to find a beige sink and tiles? Mary

  7. Sydney says:

    THESE ARE MY COLORS!!!! HELP HELP!!!! BUT… bathroom is much smaller!!
    It has only a mirrored medicine cabinet over the sink. There is not even room for two people in this bathroom, so the shower curtain is important, and I cant tell what is on the wall! White?? PLEASE someone help and suggest shower curtain, paint color??

  8. Cheryl says:

    I loved your pics, reminds me alot of my bathroom, I live in a vintage European style cottage and I LOVE it!!!

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