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November 13, 2013


English Delight

I saw the pink bathroom in a ton of houses. I personally really don't like it.

Karen in Ohio

Pink, eggplant, grey, maroon, powder blue, sick-room green--all with tile runs 54" from the floor. I've seen dozens, and replaced several in my brief career as a kitchen and bath designer.

Who knew we were ruining a design heritage?


I grew up in a home with a pink bathroom. At the time, I probably thought that I hated it, but now when I think back to my childhood home that is one of the first memories I always have.

Pink tub, toilet, sink, tiles (with a black tile band that ran around the tub area about midway up).

So would not go with the current craftsman style home, but a nice memory. Happy to hear that others have fond memories and want to save this design icon.


Couldn't agree more. It was really depressing, when house-hunting, to see cottages from the 40s that had had some character once upon at time before they were swept away on a sea of beige. What's *with* all the beige? It's such a non-colour (even if you call it stone, taupe, or sand). And have you looked at the carpet section in a big store recently? It's like the Soviet Union of beige.

Elaine Viets

LOL, Catriona. Soviet bloc colors seem to be the rage.

Elaine Viets

My grandmother had a pink bathroom, Kristopher, and the walls were sandpainted? Anyone remember that? And early example of adding texture. If not done right, the walls had sandy lumps in them.

Elaine Viets

Depends on the shade of pink, English. Not so fond of Pepto-Bismol pink, but rather liked the delicate shades. The problem with the 1950s pink bathrooms is they all looked alike.

Elaine Viets

Must be something wrong with me, Karen. I liked that green. It looked cool, in all senses of the word. Maroon, not so much.


The house we bought in the end had a chocolate brown bathroom suite, including sunken bath with gold taps and brown carpet up the side and I didn't call it 70s character and vow to preserve it. (Hypocrite.)

Elaine Viets

Burt Reynolds' houseboat was up for rent in Fort Lauderdale and Don and I toured it. He had an all-brown bathroom with mirrors everywhere.
Just saying . . .

Karen in Ohio

Elaine, when we bought this house ( built in 1939) 28 years ago it had a blue bathroom and a green bathroom. The problem with both of them was that there were two different, clashing, shades of blue, and three clashing shades of green. They were truly hideous, both of them, and paired with really ugly wallpaper and nasty shower doors.

I had them both gutted and retiled, but one now has a shell pink tile tub surround. It wasn't supposed to be shell pink; it looked different in the store. But it's grown on me after 15 years.

Elaine Viets

Yep, gutting sounds like the only solution, Karen.

Charlaine Harris

My grandmother's house (into which we moved after she passed), built in 1951, had a pink (two shades) bathroom and a blue (two shades) bathroom. We sold it a couple of years ago, and I'll bet those bathrooms are gone. But I kind of liked it!


Like lots of others from that era, I grew up in a house with a pink bath, and nobody would ever convinced me to go back to that. I always thought it was so cute it made my teeth ache. But my current ivory bath would be too bland, if I hadn't juiced it up with a lively shower curtain and towels.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, hurray! We live in a house from 1894...happily, the bathrooms were renovated along the

But my bathroom fixtures are turquoise! That 1950s turquoise! And i love them! SO, ELaine, happy to hear it. If pink is okay, turquoise must be okay, too, right?

Elaine Viets

Turquoise is okay, too, Hank. You're in, you're really in.
(But not as in as pink.)

Elaine Viets

Anything connected with Grandma's house -- even the bathrooms -- always have good memories, Charlaine. My grandma had those plaster fish blowing gold bubbles. Remember those?

Elaine Viets

That's the advantage to bland beige and white bathrooms, Kris -- you can add any color scheme you want with towels and curtains and change it easily and cheaply without ripping out the fixtures.

Kate Adams

I have a rule of thumb: if Barbie would put it in her dream house, I will not put it in mine. Horrors!

Elaine Viets

LOL, Kate. That goes for Ken, too, as far as I'm concerned.


Styles change so much. Look at some of the clothes that have been in style at times. I know I've worn the garment-equivilents of pink bathrooms.

Elaine Viets

I'm just grateful there are no photos of some of my 1970s clothes, Kris.

Kate Gallison

I was just getting set to paint my bathroom pink when I read this. Fashionable! Yay! The fixtures are all white, though. I was thinking, black-and-white window and shower curtains, and a big poster in tomato red, black, white and a little splop of yellow.

Elaine Viets

Sounds good, Kate. You might want to check savethepinkbathrooms.com for other ideas, but your scheme gives the traditional pink a nice edge.


My father's first big remodeling project was to gut our 1920's bathroom, (claw foot tub, wall mounted sink, etc) which had been painted flamingo pink by the previous owner during the early fifties. This was the early 70's and that tub (so hip today) and color, were seen as seriously outmoded by my parents. Now their early seventies bathroom is outmoded and in need of a remodel, but my dad uses his favorite expression when my mother brings the topic up, "It'll see me out!" (He just turned 81.)

Elaine Viets

I'm with your dad, Peach. By the time he's gone, the 70s styles will be back in again.

Storyteller Mary

A friend had a hot-pink bathroom in her condo. When the condo was sold to a man, I was sure he would repaint it. He just used different colors in accessories, and it became a red bathroom -- amazing!
Great book, Elaine. I've learned that life goes on hold when I open one of your books -- also amazing!

Elaine Viets

Why, my cheeks are turning pink with praise, Mary. Glad you enjoyed Josie's latest adventure.

Alan Portman

I grew up in a 1928 built house in University City. The first floor bathroom had yellow tile that my mother added black fixtures and gold wallpaper.

Upstairs was pink with robin's egg blue tile in one bathroom and green and black in the other.

My brother and I turned out fine even after several decades of showering in a pink tile shower.

Elaine Viets

LOL, Alan. Not only did you turn out well, you produced two beautiful princesses.

Marcia Talley

Can I vote for avocado bathrooms? That was in the first house Barry and I bought in Annapolis.

When I was 3, my parents lived in Oakland, CA and the bathroom was purple! I don't remember much from age 3, but that bathroom was unforgettable.

Elaine Viets

I'd remember a purple bathroom too, Marcia.I was in a plumbing supply showroom and they had a royal purple tub. I lusted after that tub.


Our first rented apartment had a pink and black tile bathroom. I loved it. The tiles seemed modern to me since I grew up with a claw foot bathtub and v-joint walls.
Elaine, I love the relationship between Josie and Amelia. Josie displayed such respect toward her daughter and I loved it.

Elaine Viets

Thanks, Marie. Amelia knew enough to solve the mystery of who put up the Facebook page that humiliated her.
Good to know someone else appreciates pink bathrooms.

Donna Andrews

I have friends who remodeled a pink bathroom. It wasn't so much the pink fixtures that drove them to it as the wallpaper which featured pink poodles. The matching blue poodles in the other bathroom also met the dust.

Elaine Viets

They got rid of the poodle wallpaper? Oh, no! That's historic, too.

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