See Jane design: A vintage style green and pink tile bathroom for her 1939 brick Colonial house

“My architect groaned when I told him I was using pink,
but I think he secretly loves it now.
It always gets ‘wows’…”

vintage green and pink bathroomWe’ve been on a bathroom bonanza for the last few weeks — featuring reader bathrooms and amassing 99 ideas to decorate a pink bathroom. Then we heard from reader Jane, who sent us photos and the story of her vintage style, gorgeous green and pink tile bathroom — which she lovingly designed for her mother Jenifer. Thanks to a mix of carefully selected old and new pieces — including new green and pink tiles from B&W Tile and vintage ceramic bathroom accessories from World of Tile — this brand-new pink and green bathroom looks like it has always been inside Jane’s 1939 brick Colonial house. We are absolutely in love with this color combination — it’s radiating happiness!pink and green vintage bathroom

July 2014, Jenifer, still wearing her defibrillator vest, Eric, and Jane.

Jane writes:

The Retro Bathroom that Almost Wasn’t

In 2013 my mom, my husband Eric, and I decided that we would build an addition to our 1939 Kentucky house that would include a garage with an apartment over it for my mom. My only goals at the time were to recreate the look and feel of the existing house while also matching the original bathrooms as closely as possible.

green vintage bathroom
One of Jane’s original bathrooms with mint green mottled tiles.

One of the original bathrooms is black/white tile, and the other is mint green mottled tiles with solid green trim. I wanted to do something like the existing bathrooms, but a little different, and I’ve always loved the green-pink combo. But after we had hired an architect and before ground had been broken, my mom was diagnosed with a massive cancerous tumor in her colon. So my main goal shifted to helping my mom.

In December 2013, we moved her from her house in Indiana into our living room and prepared for emergency surgery. Not knowing what her prognosis would be, we put the whole building project on hold. Amazingly, after the colectomy, she was cancer free!

vintage green and pink bathroom

The building commenced, and I hunted retro materials around the country. I had wonderful architect — David Wittmer of Prajna Design and Construction — and tile guy — Kelly Doyle — who were very patient and helped me get the look I wanted. I also want to give a shout out to my plumber, Buzz Fetick, the world’s nicest guy.

vintage bathroom tile

They laid out the daisy pattern on the floor and added fun little details like the alternating green-pink line by the shower door. We also put in radiant floor heating. All the great look of the past without the discomfort!

vintage green and pink bathroom vintage green and pink bathroom

Then a couple of months later, mom’s chronic heart failure flared up. On June 15, 2014, I found her collapsed in full cardiac arrest. We called 911 and Eric did CPR. The EMTs and the ER staff worked on her for nearly a half hour but got no pulse. They told me if she awoke, she would have no quality of life, and I needed to make the decision whether to continue efforts. But then she astounded all the doctors when she awoke and began answering questions! After a week in the ICU, she came home and made a full recovery. She is now happily in her new apartment and enjoying her fabulous green and pink bathroom!

vintage green and pink bathroom vintage green and pink bathroom

I’ve been so pleased and gratified by the reactions to this bathroom. My architect groaned when I told him I was using pink, but I think he secretly loves it now. It always gets “wows” from the subcontractors and guests.

And 1939, the year our house was built, is also the year my mom was born!

vintage green and pink bathroom


Source list:

  • The wall tile is from B&W — pink 70W and kiwi 43W. They actually messed up the kiwi the first time, so they sent me a whole new order free of charge with no hassle!
  • Floor tile is from a local shop. (Note: Home Depot sells Merola hex tile in a flower pattern similar to Jane’s bathroom)
  • The tile fixtures are from World of Tile, bought about a year before they liquidated (thanks for the help, Chippy!).
  • Light fixtures and switchplates from Rejuvenation. I think I bought the last green ones they made!
  • Square glass towel bars from two Kentucky architectural salvage shops.
  • Sink from Signature Hardware.
  • Faucet probably from Vintage Tub and Bath.
  • Medicine cabinet is from zoro.com, I think. And I think it is made by Ketcham.
  • Deco drawer pulls from Etsy.
  • Cupboard latches from Rejuvenation.
  • Deco towel hook from eBay.
  • Fluted and framed shower door from local glass shop.
  • The wall paint is Valspar “Apricot Fluff” #7001-24

Jane, the bathroom is amazing and really looks like it could have been original to your 1939 home — bravo! Both Pam and I are wishing we had pink and green bathrooms in our homes — it is such a fantastic color combination. Thanks so much for sharing your Retro Renovation story — we hope your mom will be able to enjoy this bathroom for many years to come.

  1. Lisa R says:

    Jane-love the medicine cabinet! I found it on ketcham website but it is listed as a surface mount. Is yours recessed or just a mirror?

  2. amy says:

    Love the room; Love that you are taking such great care of your mother. WANT that sink- couldn’t find it on Signature Hardware site, any recollection to name/ model?

  3. Marcia says:

    Finally, someone who has the foresight to preserve a time period without delving into early American! This is why decorators are influenced by the French and Italians,they imbraced their history in design and decor. Pink is a beautiful color choice. The design is clean, functional, and doesn’t scream girly. Gray,steel,brown need a pop of color. I bet if fuscia or hot pink were available earlier in history, the Puritans might have had a whole different sense of decorating style and fashion!

  4. Amarissa Parker says:

    What a beautiful thing- both the project AND the love you have for your mother. It shines through the loveliness you created for her enjoyment.

  5. Dana says:

    I’m totally jelly over that light fixture! I hadn’t thought of the color combo, but it looks great. Your mom is a special lady and will completely see the love built in.

    1. Bill says:

      The electrician has the glass cover set upside down. The diffused light is to shine downward and not up at the ceiling. Some folks turned theirs around like that to avoid the need to clean out dead bugs that would accumulate on the bottom. Later on the fixture manufacturers had the back of the covers facing the wall and were mounted to hinges so they could be swung up for changing the bulbs.

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