The fascination with the gentle, rose-tinted hue hasn’t been fully explained, but several theories have been offered.
Save the Pink Bathrooms suggests both post-war cheeriness — particularly after so many years of drab shades — and mentions the influence of former first lady Mamie Eisenhower, for whom the color “Mamie Pink” was named.
1. Vintage pink bathroom with double-sink island
As interior decorator Mary T Luscher told the Cedar Rapids Gazette in 1953, “I never suggest light blue because it’s a cold color. Yellow makes most women look sallow. And light green is a combination of blue and yellow.
“But pink is a wonder color… It’ll remind you how nice it is to be feminine — just like wearing a lacy slip under a tailored suit.”
2. Bubblegum-pink wall tiles in a rosy retro bathroom (1958)
The bathroom plumbing fixtures are white, but the thousand pink tiles still dominate this restroom
3. A mid-century pink tiled bathroom from the sixties
4. Pink plumbing fixtures plus black & white damask vintage bathroom decor (1960)
5. Pink, red, and flowers everywhere in this retro restroom
6. An old-fashioned ’50s bathroom for kids
This room has pink and white striped sink area, and there’s a big pastel circus mural on the wall.
7. Pink marble-effect Formica bathroom decor
8. Vintage pink bathrooms: A thoroughly feminine midcentury suite (1957)
9. A pink sink and tile offset the gray bathtub and flooring
10. Pink bathroom fixtures with yellow decor
11. An old-fashioned pink and grey bathroom (1951)
12. Vintage dark pink bathroom with grey accents and thistle motif (1954)
PINK AND BLUE VINTAGE BATHROOMS
13. Pink bathroom with blue sinks, bath & toilet (1953)
14. Retro ’50s pink bathroom with blue fixtures
SEE MORE LIKE THIS: 35 vintage 1950s bathroom tile design ideas
15. A rosy corner bathtub with matching sink and commode, accented with green
16. Pink and blue retro ’50s bathroom
This bathroom had pink wall tiles — plus a pink, white and blue mosaic floor — that would greet the lady of the house each morning.
17. Pink and red retro bathroom decor (1957)
18. Pink, white & black flooring with blue fixtures
The floor is so striking in both color and the basketweave pattern, it almost looks like an optical illusion. The blue sink and tub are interesting choices.
19. A nosy friend checking out Nancy’s new pink and blue bathroom decor (1958)
20. Fanciful pink & navy blue bathroom decor (1949)
Yeah, there’s a lot going on in this loo decor from the late ’40s.
21. Retro pink bathrooms: White sinks, inset in pale pink angled cabinetry (1955)
22. Vintage pink bathrooms: Montgomery Ward bathroom suites (1961)
23. Retro bathroom style with decorative rectangular wall tiles (1959)
24. Vintage 1950s tiled bathroom design in cream and pink
25. A perfectly pink dressing table for her, with just a touch of red (1958)
26. Carpeted vintage pink bathroom in the Los Angeles mansion home of Mrs Alfred Mathes (1964)
27. Vintage pink bathrooms, celebrity-style: Jayne Mansfield’s restroom in Holmby Hills, California
Here’s the beautiful model-actress Jayne Mansfield (and mother of Mariska Hargitay) stepping into her heart-shaped bathtub inside her “Pink Palace” home. (Now don’t you want to put up shag carpeting on your walls, too?)
28. Vintage pink bathroom from the sixties with pink marble-clad bathtub (1968)
29. Bright pink paisley patterned sixties bathroom decor (1969)
Finally, from the very end of the ’60s comes this all-paisley all-the-time decor with super-colorful wallpaper on nearly every surface… including the ceiling.
Why pink bathrooms? Top actress Greer Garson’s pink bathrooms – and rosy home (1955)
By Louella O Parsons, Motion Picture Editor, International News Service, as published in the San Francisco Examiner – February 6, 1955
THE SURPRISE of this early new year is the thousands of dollars that conservative, thrifty Greer Garson spent on a pink bathroom. Greer admits it cost $10,000 — but from a source close to her, I’m told the price is nearer $15,000.
I had my first glimpse of Greer’s “sensational” bathroom and her remodeled house at a party she gave, and I must say she has done a job that interior decorators might well envy.
Greer Garson’s pink bathroom
Pink, her favorite color, dominates not only the pink tiled marble bathroom from floor to ceiling and all its appointments, but the downstairs as well.
“Tell me, Greer, has pink always been your favorite color?” I asked the redhead. “I thought you favored green — even to your clothes.”
“I’ve always loved pink; it’s so alive and so gay. When I told my business manager what I had spent remodeling my house, he didn’t denounce me as I feared, but said I was honestly in the pink!” she laughed.
I looked at Greer when she said this, knowing she has saved her money and that her husband, Buddy Fogelson, has made a fortune in oil.
When she saw my startled expression she laughed and said, “He didn’t mean I was in the red. He meant I was in the pink as an investment, not only in happy living, but financially wise, too.”
“What made you do this extensive remodeling job on your house?” I asked as I looked at the sunken bathtub and the pink flowers — azaleas, camellias and primroses — placed around the bathroom, which has no perfume or toilet water bottles, only soap and towels.
“My house was perfect for my mother and me before I married Buddy, but it definitely was not large enough for a dynamic man like Buddy. So the only sensible thing to do was to literally push out walls so that he could have his own quarters. The elevator, too, is for Buddy’s comfort, so he doesn’t have to walk upstairs.”
We walked out on the lanai adjoining the bath where Miss Greer suns herself, then she took my arm and we went downstairs.
EVEN MORE PINK: Pink washers & dryers from the ’50s & ’60s
Greer loves the sun, and downstairs, there is one of the biggest sunrooms I’ve ever seen. It is solid glass from floor to ceiling on three sides, and, of course, the glass walls are movable doors.
The centerline is interrupted by a ceiling-high fireplace made of golden-colored stone.
“The stone,” Greer said, “is sub-soil from the state of Texas, and is a tribute to my husband.”
But wait until I tell you — and I couldn’t believe my eyes — that high on this self-same fireplace there are niches at intervals from which orchids grow. So help me!
The actress added pink to her dining room, too
“I want you to see my dining room,” Greer said.
“Oh, I hope you haven’t touched it,” I told her, remembering the pleasant dinners we’d had in that room.
But she had. Here again, the pink touch was everywhere. The dining room is now pink and black in the Regency manner.
“Don’t look so surprised,” Greer said. “This is just old furniture I had repainted. Today, when there are no formal dinners anymore, I decided to make this a room where I could serve buffet dinners.”
More than the lovely house and the beauty of the treasures Greer has collected in her interesting life is her happiness with Buddy. They seem to have worked out their life together so well, even though their careers and interests are widely separated.
“You’re a very lucky girl, Greer,” I told her, “with a man of Buddy’s charm, the knowledge that you can stop work whenever you wish to and your new picture, ‘Strange Lady in Town,’ which I hear is very good.”
MORE BATHROOMS, LESS PINK: 60 vintage ’60s bathrooms: Retro home decorating ideas