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.
We wonder if basic vanity wasn’t a big motive, as the color pink is flattering to many complexions. 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.”
Vintage pink bathrooms from the fifties and sixties
Vintage pink bathrooms: Pink and red and flowers everywhere you look!
Vintage pink bathrooms: A thoroughly feminine midcentury bathroom suite (1957)
Vintage pink bathrooms: Pink tiles plus a pink, white and blue mosaic floor would greet you each morning
Vintage pink bathrooms: All the pink fixtures!
A rosy corner bathtub with matching sink and commode, accented with kelly green
Double-pink sinks and matching tub and toilet, accented with orange walls (1957)
A perfectly pink dressing table for her, with just a touch of red (1958)
Pink bathroom with blue suite from 1953
A pink sink and pink tile offsets the gray bathtub and flooring
Vintage pink bathrooms: Dad and daughter both apparently seem to love the bathroom that features pink and blue
Retro pink bathrooms: Pink, white and black flooring
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.
Vintage pink bathrooms from the ’50s: New beauty!
A pink sink cabinet, tub and wall shelf plays against red and black
Retro pink bathrooms: Pink meets yellow meets teal
Yellow is the main color in this lavatory, making the pink tub, toilet and sink stand out just a little less
Retro pink bathrooms: White sinks, inset in pale pink angled cabinetry (1955)
Bubblegum-pink wall tiles in a rosy retro bathroom (1958)
The bathroom fixtures are white, but the thousand pink tiles still dominate this restroom
Vintage pink bathrooms: A very fanciful yellow and pink home decor (1951)
Yeah, there’s a lot going on in this loo decor from the early ’50s.
Vintage pink bathrooms Montgomery Ward bathroom suites (1961)
Elegant vintage pink bathroom in the Los Angeles mansion home of Mrs Alfred Mathes (1964)
Vintage pink bathrooms, celebrity-style: Jayne Mansfield’s restroom in Holmby Hills, California
And, finally, here’s actress Jayne Mansfield 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?)
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.
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 center line 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.”