A Lilly Pulitzer palette for Diane’s vintage pink tile bathroom

lily-pulizter-designWow, Diane is a decorating dynamo! We featured her Retro Design Dilemma just last week and already, she has transformed her vintage pink tile bathroom with paint, towels and Lilly Pulitzer design draperies. It works!

vintage pink bathroomDesignDilemmaThis was Diane and her bathroom a mere one week ago, can you believe it?

Diane writes:

Hey Pam, it’s Diane from last week’s design dilemma bathroom. Wanted to tell you that you were right!  After my posting a message on that thread telling how I had put my turquoise accessories back into the bathroom, you responded by saying “ok but i still think you need to pull everything together in the window treatment”.  That was the thing that was still nagging at me, also.

vintage pink bathroom

Well, as luck would have it, while at a consignment store, I stumbled across  2 Lilly Pulitzer curtain valances in pink with the same color green accent as in my bathroom wall –  for $12 total! Although they didn’t have any of the turquoise in the print, I decided that I wouldn’t be out much if I tried them.  Well…. Surprisingly, the pink ended up looking great against the backdrop of the green walls!

vintage pink bathroom

I decided to put the 2nd valance on a shower rod & hang it above the tub shower doors.  Although not as full as the window valance – and a tad higher, I think the look of continuity really adds to the room. Of course, now my turquoise accessories no longer go with the room, so once again they have been removed – so it goes in the trial and error decorating world!

vintage pink bathroom

Found some towels in a kiwi green color which looked to be a good match, and they work nicely accented alongside the vintage yellow towel I already had.  I still need to pick up  a few more towels (green, yellow or pink?) I don’t really care for,the white hand towel here – I may bid for some on ebay with the same Lilly  Pulitzer print trim, “pink sorbet”. Also possibly switch out the toilet seat cover to a similar shade of green.

lilly pulitzer fabric

I am bidding on a flamingo paint by number picture with the same color green & pinks in it to put on wall to the right of the vanity – and am trying to figure out what to put above the vanity for lighting in place of the giant hideous fluorescent thing we currently have going on there. But other than that, things really do appear to be coming along!  And yes you were right, the correct color curtain certainly makes all the difference in that bathroom! Yes, there still needs to be a bit more tweaking, and although the valance are not a tropical print per se, I am loving all the bright, happy colors and the vintage Florida Lilly Pulitzer sweet look of it! 🙂

kitsch vintage

Here are a few photos I took to give you an idea of what is going on in the bathroom now. I added one of me wearing a vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress that I happened to find at the same consignment store (only $35 – woo hoo!) Talk about some bright, vivid colors! This dress dates from the mid to late ’60s according to the tag — Lilly had such a crazy, fun, timeless look! A few days before I picked up the valances, I bought it with the original idea of possibly pulling a Scarlet O’Hara, deconstructing it and using the fabric as curtains, (which I really didn’t want, to do as the dress just so happened to fit me perfectly! 😉  ).  Then I serendipitously stumbled across those other two other valances – and fate worked its magic.  Love it when that happens!

vintage pink bathroomPut up the Christopher Cross album to just to see how it would look – the colors are right, but  I think I still prefer the kitschy-ness of the Anita Bryant one 😉 The roses are from my front flower bed..

Great job Diane — and holey heck you are fast — very impressive! Your bathroom is shaping up wonderfully — love the pink/green/yellow combination and how you repeated it around the room and in the curtains. Pam always says that the curtain pattern should contain every color used in the room, and I think you nailed it with your vintage curtain find. Mega thanks for sharing your update with all of us, and enjoy your bathroom.

Paint colorColor theory

lily-pulitzerOne of the reasons we think that Diane’s bathroom color scheme is working better now is that the pink and light green — essentially, light red and light green — are complementary (opposite to each other) colors on the color wheel. Complementary colors ‘play nice’ together — they balance each other well.

Adding the pale yellow — the color that is “analogous”, or next to green on the color wheel — also creates harmony in the room’s color scheme — and adds freshness.

Take a look at the Lily Pulitzer fabric — and at other Lilly Pulitzer designs — and you will see how she combines complementary and analogous colors to great effect. Diane: What do you think about hot pink flamingo color hand towels? See how you could layer strategic pops of that color, too — ala those flowers by the towel bar. Don’t overdo it — just pops.

While we don’t think it is impossible to use turquoise with pink (Diane’s original color combo), achieving color harmony buy using complementary and/or analogous colors is a tried and true method that may be easier to manage.


CategoriesPink Bathrooms
  1. Kathryn says:

    I love how green and LP pattern lifts the beige-y-pink away from the brown-tone I saw in the before-pix!

  2. Carol says:

    Who knew! I take back what I said in the original post about pink being hard to work with. It just takes a great eye. I’ve always been color shy. I LOVE color, I just can’t commit. Something I have been trying to work on. Your bathroom looks awesome!

  3. lynda murray says:

    It looks fantastic! Wow. you did a great job. (I cant beleive the person above me, in the comments ,spells her name the same as me!)

  4. lynda says:

    I think Lily saved the day! Lucky find for you–just love when things just seem to come together. However, we tend to forget how hard we worked for things to finally come together! Fast work, and good job.

  5. virginia says:

    I hate flourescent lighting and refuse it in our house. Am also, weirdly, not a real fan of ceiling embedded lighting. Anyway …

    I can hardly wait to see the next bathroom renovation at your house!

    This is totally off point, but when I saw your bathroom initially — and I was among those calling for that shade of green, I thought of growing up in Rio. That city’s most famous “samba school” (or club) boasts the colors pink and green. When I was little those Carnaval parade colors tended to be more muted than they sometimes are today. I always think of being very young and in a fun, tropical spot when I see that combo. The name of the escola de samba is Mangueira. Apropos of nothing really.

    And just to add that that dress looks fabu on you.

  6. Juniper says:

    That is unbelieveable! It’s amazing the difference the lime green makes. It makes that tile sing. The turquoise brought it down, and you wouldn’t think it would, because they’re both cheerful colors. Great job!

  7. tammyCA says:

    Wow, that was fast. It looks great…love the vintage “Palm Beach” look. My suggestion was to go with the green and pink of the flamingo statue and you nailed it with the citrus-y green paint and the Lily Pulitzer fabric…don’t ya just love the thrifting gods? 🙂 Funny, today I stopped in Home Goods store and saw some Lily Pulitzer pink/green items & I’ve seen her stuff at Marshalls, too.
    I hear ya about the flourescent lighting..I have it in my kitchen and it bugs the heck out of me and feels like a laboratory so I have to always put on the other lights to bathe it in the golden light that makes me happier.

  8. Geronimom says:

    Awe… Thank you guys! Could never have done it without everyone’s encouragement & support, that’s for sure! Thanks to my overly zealous husband, despite,my not being totally in love with the color once it was actually up on the walls, it then became much easier to pick a direction ( or two – or three!) and start to play with it. The lucky find of those curtains certainly didn’t hurt, either! I did end up winning my flamingo paint by number (discovered if you do a search for just flamingo painting & leave the paint by number description out of it, there’s less competition ;-). ). So, as soon as it arrives, I’ll put it up. After looking several places, I surprised myself by finding some perfectly colored pink (“pink cheer”) hand towels at Walmart, of all,places… They are just the perfect touch – thanks for that little bit of advice, Kate! Now I’m trying to find the perfect vintage style ceiling light – preferably in salmon pink – and something complimentary with lots of light for above the vanity – and then I’m done! At least with that bathroom, that is :-). My next project will be the small baby blue master bath – and thanks to all the fun I had doing this, I already have a fun, brightly crazy color scheme in mind! (http://www.midcenturyhomestyle.com/inside/bathrooms/1950s/gallery/page09.htm )

Comments are closed.