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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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

  1. Jan Muckensturm says:

    Love it! Beautiful job! The only decor’ you’re missing is the caulkware fish and bubbles!

  2. Len Brown says:

    I need to replace my fresnel splay shower light. Square 6″x6″ metal housing is fine but I lost the cover, It is 9 3/8 (238mm) white.

    Can you help me?

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Len, I don’t sell anything on the blog. Use the search box, I think I did a story on recessed square lighting resources, they might have what you need.

  3. Alex P says:

    Dig your bathroom! What type of stain/finish did you do on the vanity? What type of wood is it? I’m trying to figure out how to strip and refinish my ash kitchen cabinets – the grain is prominent like in your vanity, and I want to do it the right way!

Comments are closed.