Our 1954 Home: Master Bathroom
Late last year Patrick and I started on several house projects, most of which involved painting. We painted the newly built wall (which you got to see in our Christmas decor post), we painted the former guest room (you can check out that reveal here), we painted the hall bathroom (a room that still needs some work), and we painted our bathroom which sparked a whole revamp of the space.
When we first saw this house, we loved that it has so many original elements, including original tile in the master bathroom. When we moved in we wanted to redo some of the floors (read more about that journey here), and while at the time I had no idea what I wanted to do with the bathroom, I knew the mausoleum chic faux grey marble floors had to go. So we went with a blue that matched some of the existing tile, and that’s how the room sat for a few years. Why? I was committed to installing a shower, so I didn’t feel like I could go all in with making this a fun space until that was done. But since the pandemic, I’ve felt less of a need for a shower in here, and it was time for something new.
I spend a lot of time in the bathroom. Between getting ready in the morning and lounging in the tub in the evening, it’s a place I need to wake up and then relax in, so for me the answer was pink! Additionally, our house was built in 1954, when pink was in in full force.
Growing up I wasn’t actually a huge pink fan. I liked it, but I wasn’t the little girl who had to have everything in Barbie princess pink. But lately I’ve discovered how much I love pink, like really love pink. And I’m not talking about clothes. I find pink to be96y8 a relaxing but invigorating color. I’m soothed by it, but it also gets me excited and happy, exactly what I need in the bathroom. Thankfully blue and pink are one of the best combos, and over the years I’ve really embraced gold, and ended up, on complete accident, purchasing three vintage gold shelf units that have matching edges! They hold a delightful mix of practical and decorative items, allowing me to fully embrace the desire I’ve had for years to buy vintage perfume bottles, make-up, etc.
Now before you get all “Oh my goodness! I can’t believe Patrick let you paint your shared bathroom pink!” on me, let me say, Patrick likes the color. But let’s also dive into the history of pink and femininity. Prior to World War II, pink was a color for everyone. In fact an 1918 catalogue said blue was a “delicate and dainty tone” and should be worn by girls. And who could forget Gatsby’s iconic pink suit? All of that changed in the 1950s. Vibrant colors were everywhere. Pink, turquoise, chartreuse, butter yellow, all were popular, but pink rose (forgive the pun, but I couldn’t help myself) to the top and began to become associated with femininity, all thanks to one woman, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower.
Pink was Mamie’s favorite color. She wore a pink gown with matching gloves to President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower’s inauguration, and had portions of the personal quarters of the White House done in pink, so much so it garnered the nickname of the “Pink Palace.” Mamie was very into traditional gender roles, a quote of hers that sums up this is “Ike runs the country. I turn the pork chops!” So between her public love of pink and being very feminine, she single handily made pink a “girl” color for the first time, while also inspiring the home trend to lean more into pink, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. In fact between 1946 and 1966, five million of the 20 million homes built featured a pink bathroom. Paint companies took Mamie’s influence with pink and ran with it, with names like “Mamie Pink” and “First Lady Pink.” Pink had taken American women by storm. Jayne Mansfield’s iconic pink bathroom with heart-shaped tub (which I would love to have) and Funny Face’s “Think Pink” number only reinforced the idea. So next time you think pink has always been a feminine color, realize it’s only been that way since the 1950s, just like the “Under God” portion of the Pledge of Allegiance, thanks to Eisenhower, in an attempt to distinguish ourselves from the “godless Commies.” I honestly think needs to be taken out, because, ya know, religious freedom. But I digress…Back to the bathroom.
I like a lot of different styles, and pink and gold made me feel like this was a chance to go for an Old Hollywood Glam meets Rococo vibe, but then I saw this amazing Las Vegas piece by a friend of mine, Hayden Evans, an incredibly talented artist and window designer for Disneyland. With its sparkles, starbursts and pink elements, it inspired a look of Atomic Starburst meets I Dream of Jeannie with a dusting of Old Hollywood Glam.
As mentioned earlier, for years I avoided putting anything on the walls above the bathtub because I believed we were going to tile the wall and install a shower, but ultimately I decided I didn’t want that, and once the wall was painted pink, I knew I needed something. I had a variety of ideas, but then I found this fantastic white and cold shadow box at Long Beach Antique Mall II, but there still needed a little something extra on the wall, what exactly, I wasn’t sure. Then I stumbled upon these amazing stars at TJ Maxx and knew they were it.
Once everything began to settle in, I remembered a piece I had at my dad’s, a created animation cel, in the style of the opening of I Dream of Jeannie‘s later seasons, even framed and matted in pink. I requested my dad bring it when he came to visit earlier, and it fit perfectly in the space.
Of course the bathroom is always in a state of flux. There is a constant need for new make-up and hair products and I’m always keeping my eye out for fresh vintage treasures to add. I’m especially looking out for a matching shade to the light fixtures. While the same style of shade, the one on the right I thrifted way back in college, and have yet to come across a matching one! Hopefully one day I will!
I hope you enjoyed this peek into our bathroom! Stay tuned for future house projects, and if you want to check out other projects, click here!
New Product Source List and Information (Contains Affiliate Links)
Paint: Sherwin Williams’ “Peach Whisper” via Lowe’s
Drawer & Cabinet Knobs, Towel Bars, Hooks: Arthur by Anthropology
Vegas Print: Hayden Evans, custom frame by American Frame
Hand Towels: Target
Large Towel: Target
Rug & Toilet Seat Cover: Amazon
Gold Starbursts: TJ Maxx
Komar, Marlen. “The Delightful History of the Pink Bathroom.” apartment therapy, 30 July 2019. Accessed 16 March 2023.
Wright, Jennifer. “How Pink Became a Color for Girls.” Racked, 20 March 2015. Accessed 16 March 2023.
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10 comments on “Our 1954 Home: Master Bathroom”
It looks SO dreamy! Love all the special touches. Very relaxing!
Fantastic post! The bathroom is looking amazing, and the care, thought, and attention to detail are evident. The vintage touches are très chic and the art is beautiful. Also, I, too, am fascinated with pink as a color and cultural marker, both over the course of history in the USA and its relevance elsewhere on the globe. Thank you for sharing this step on your dream home journey!
Great job, Janey. Love the I Dream of Jeannie film, the bottle, and the Vegas artwork. Put together beautifully – as usual, you thought this one through!
So fun! It looks just right for a ‘50s bathroom. You got it right. I know because I lived during this time.
I love it! We grew up with a pink tile bathroom so I’m used to it and my Dad never made any fuss about it, either. My Mom had pink and gold foil wallpaper later on (sorry, but yuck) and when I inherited the house I had to remove it cause they had a drop ceiling installed years ago and the paper didn’t go all the way up. But the tiles stayed and the walls were painted pink. The trim was black and the floor was also. I loved it. Unfortunately when I sold the house the new owner removed all the pink tile and painted the whole thing…gray. 🙁 If I could figure out how to send you a picture of it I would.
Do love your bathroom! If a guest visits your bathroom, do they ever come out? There are a lot of fascinating things in there! Thanks for sharing.
I can’t tell you how much I love this bathroom! Every detail is perfect 🥰
What a wonderful oasis! Your bathroom definitely looks like a place that you’d want to spend time in. I love all of the gold accents and the shelving.
Thanks also for sharing the Anthropologie hardware! I just painted our bathroom cabinet and those pulls are exactly what I was looking for. I wish the other stuff in the Arthur line came in silver, too, as our bathroom is silver/chrome.
I love your pink bathroom, I am always so sad when I read about people ripping up their old tiled bathrooms. But I never would have thought a color called “Peach Whisper” would be such a perfect pink! One design idea to consider: when I was a little girl I had walls painted pink in my bedroom, and one wall, the one where my bed was, was wallpapered in a little floral print. How I would love to have a sample of that today!