Reader 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.
I 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?
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?
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 (link now gone) 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.
If 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!