The Pink Bathrooms of the Past

The bathroom has always been a place that we love to decorate, and oftentimes its décor is so different from the rest of the home. Maybe it’s because we want to add a personalized touch to a very personal space. But back when indoor plumbing first became a thing, home owners went to extremes when it came to decorating their bathrooms, with one of the most popular colors for the room being pink.

While the look has not made much of a comeback, there are many people who fondly remember getting ready in the morning inside a brightly colored bathroom. Sometimes you may find a pink sink or toilet in an older home and the colors say a lot about vintage décor.

The colorful fixtures can often be seen in homes that were built between the years of 1920 and 1960. You could find bathtubs, sinks and toilets in every shade ranging from deep eggplant to pastel yellow. Colors were becoming readily available starting in the 1930s and one of the most popular was the pastel pink that resembles a dull Pepto Bismol. You may have seen one at your grandparent’s house and wondered why anyone would choose such an odd color.

Pastel and peach colors were very popular in the early days when consumers first had a variety of different shades to choose from. It was an exciting time for home decorating since not only some people were getting a bathroom inside their home for the very first time, but they also had the opportunity to decorate it any way they wanted to. Pink was a very intense color and what homemaker in the 1950s wouldn’t want to have something unique inside their homes to show off to the neighbors? Even if it was their toilet.

Bathrooms were often seen as a very feminine room and therefore pink became the go-to color when you wanted to have the best of the best for your bathroom. Elaborate bathroom plans were sold to American home buyers during the 1940s and 50s and were often intended for home that had more than one bathroom, which was a great luxury at the time. And with multiple bathrooms came multiple themes or color schemes, which is something that we still do today (usually minus the pink toilet, in most cases).

The idea of a his and hers bathroom could have prompted the popularity of so much pink. And some homeowners would also consider designating one bathroom for the adults and the other for children. Of course, these plans could only be carried out if the house had existing plumbing and/or space for multiple bathrooms to be added. In some older homes that were retrofitted, you can sometimes find a pink bathroom as the only bathroom in the house. The vibrant colors could be found in paint and tile back in the day, but the ceramic and porcelain elements were the most expensive, and represented a modern approach to decorating at the time. Some of the most popular color combinations that you may have seen in your youth or had in your home at the time include black and white with pink, lavender and pink, or jade green and pink.

As the fad of having a Barbie-style bathroom décor began to fade away, it became harder to find replacement fixtures for the pink bathrooms of the past that had been worn or broken from years of use. The trend toward less vibrant colors and more blanched tones became more prevalent. And having an oddly colored room for some people became a deal breaker when it came to reselling a home. The unique and unusual colors of vintage toilets can often be found at thrift stores since there are eager to get rid of them. But, at the same time, there is also a great movement these days to save these pieces from extinction.

Avid collectors who love the appeal of vintage bathroom fixtures are now working hard to save the existing pink bathroom from the landfills and they are attempting to return the pink hue to homes where the pieces may have been ripped out of, replaced or completely damaged. Some of the vintage colors just cannot be found today in newer products, although there are some resources out there to help you if you are searching for one of these antique products to place in your own home. For many, these bathrooms bring back a lot of fond memories, whether you loved them or hated them, there is no doubt that one look at these vintage style bathrooms will remind many of us of a happier time.