Pink Bathrooms: To Praise or Raze?

Pink bathrooms were ubiquitous in the 1950s. Many have since been deemed “horrendous” and been demolished, but a fledgling movement is on the rise to save them or even recreate them.

 

The question is what would you do faced with a pink bathroom? After reading this article, you may not be so sure…

 

Supposedly popularized by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, SaveThePinkBathrooms.com estimates there were at one point as many as 5 million of them in the United States.

 

The trend was solidly underway by 1953 and faded out of fashion by the early 60s.

 

Nowadays, on home design tastemaker outlets like Home & Garden TV (HGTV), a pink bathroom would be the first thing to go on a typical renovation show.

 

Two preserved pink bathrooms, in all their retro glory

 

Why the resurgence of appreciation for powder pink-hued powder rooms? Much of it can be credited to the increasing popularity of mid-century modern (MCM) design.

 

Pink bathrooms get grouped with the mid-century renaissance along with Eames chairs, retro credenzas, and artichoke lamps.

 

The Eames chairs, lamp, and coffee table are all relics of Mid-Century Modern design

 

While some purist may argue for keeping the bathroom as authentically MCM as possible—the founder of SaveThePinkBathrooms.com had one rebuilt from scratch identical to originals from the period!—others tout blending the old with the new.

 

Though pink tile can be polarizing—people tend to love it or hate it—it can also be toned down or played up to meet the tastes of either camp.

 

If this has piqued your interest in pink privies, you can find one in our current listings: 829 Cross Street in Passyunk Square.

 

Bold wallpaper gives pink tile a contemporary feel (left), which could be done with the bathroom of 829 Cross St. (right)

 

The lucky buyer will be faced with an important decision when it comes to their new bathroom: to praise or raze?

 

First three pink bathroom images courtesy of RetroRenovation.com, pink tile with black and white wallpaper courtesy of Lonny Magazine.