Retro chic? 1950s-style pink bathrooms are being embraced
Anyone thinking about renovating their older bathrooms may want to think again. Retro-style bathrooms with pink and pastel tiles seem to be making a return.
The streets of Rockaway Township are lined with tidy homes built in the 1950s suburban boom. One of those homes, belonging to Kelly and Frank Rodimer, still features one of the most-patented and now treasured relics of that era – a pink bathroom.
Long out of style and the bane of homeowners trying to sell their homes, vintage bathrooms are now being embraced as retro chic.
“We don’t seem to hate it. So, we’re planning to embrace it for now,” says Kelly.
The Rodimers added few modern touches and are planning a paint job, but they're keeping the pink porcelain.
“I changed the shower curtain and that’s about it,” Kelly says.
And the family is not alone. There is even a website – savethepinkbathrooms.com – started by Massachusetts designer Pam Kueber, who’s hoping to convince people to keep what she calls a "wonderful part of our home design heritage."
Kueber credits first lady Mamie Eisenhower with popularizing the decor after she decorated the White House with lots of pink. Because so much of New Jersey's housing stock was built in the post-war years, the Garden State has a lot of them.
Besides embracing a retro aesthetic, there's a larger message about rejecting the consumerism that demands people always buy the newest, flashiest thing. In Pasippany, Pam and Brian Wheelock are embracing the two retro bathrooms in the home they bought in 2019. The pink toilet kept the purchase price down, the tile and fixtures still work - so why replace it?
As Kueber puts it on her website, sometimes, instead of longing for what you see on those remodel TV shows, sometimes, it's best to just love the house you're in.
According to savethepinkbathrooms.com, more than 1,000 people have taken a pledge not to tear out their old pink bathrooms.