This morning while searching my favorite design blogs, I came across a section dedicated to vintage pink bathrooms. You know the kind: designed in the 1940s-1960s, pink square tiles all over the walls, pink bathtub, pink sink, pink potty and maybe even some mosaic tiled pink floors.
I started clicking around, doing a few searches and ended up on a website called Save the Pink Bathrooms that is completely dedicated to preserving these pink bathrooms. After browsing the site for a few minutes, I learned that there’s a whole history behind the pink bathrooms!
The iconic pastel pink color in bathrooms is often referred to as “Mamie Pink,” after Mamie Eisenhower. Pink was the first lady’s favorite color and she had it around her constantly; she wore a pink gown to Ike’s inauguration, the president sent her pink flowers every morning and everything in her bathroom in Gettysburg was pink, even the cotton balls! She went on a mission to redecorate the private quarters in the white house pink, and reporters began to refer to it as the “Pink Palace.” Pretty cool, huh?
American women began to pick up on the trend in the post WW2 era, and the color began to symbloize the remaking of the American domestic landscape as women were returning home from the work force.
….And here I was thinking that pink bathrooms in the 1950s were just a meaningless fad of the time!
The community of Save the Pink Bathrooms feels that these bathrooms are an important part of American history that ought not to be destroyed, but loved. They urge homeowners to redecorate around the pink tile and appliances if they feel the need to update their bathrooms. And if you must completely re-do your pink bathroom, there are contractors you can hire who will preserve the tile and appliances so that you can sell them to someone who will appreciate them.
Even after learning all of this, I have to admit that whenever I see a retro, bubblegum pink bathroom my brain feels conflicted: on one hand I love the all things vintage and the color pink, on the other there’s something about the styling that doesn’t quite click with me. I fear that I might be one of those people who completely demos their pink bathroom in favor of something more modern, despite the historical significance of the pink bathrooms.
Here are some pictures of vintage pink bathrooms:
What do you think? If you bought a home with a pink bathroom, would you love it or leave it?