Vintage Pink Tile Bathroom Refresh

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Vintage bathrooms can sometimes get a bad reputation, especially when it comes to colored tile. And while some homeowners might shudder at avocado-colored toilets or mustard-toned tubs, others take inspiration from the quirky vintage style. Kristi Waite fell into the latter category. She and her wife purchased their 1961 home straight from Kristi’s grandparents back in 2017—and while they’ve been slowly remodeling the whole place, there are some elements Kristi knew she wanted to keep, including the pink bathroom.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that with all its charm that it didn’t need any updates. “The laminate flooring, sinks, and toilet needed a refresh, and the walls desperately needed a fresh coat of paint,” Kristi says. “However, the pink tub and tile were in excellent condition and we knew we wanted to keep them as an ode to my grandparents.” Kristi and her wife hired a contractor to do the remodel, which they hoped would help revitalize the look of the old pink tub.

The contractor replaced the old dingy laminate floors with a brighter white floor for a clean slate. He swapped out the old pink toilet for a new white one, and scrapped the vanity and mirrored medicine cabinet altogether. Kristi and her wife chose a new one from IKEA, adding new drawer fronts from Semihandmade that they painted pink to match the tub. New Sleek gold pulls from Amerock are very 2020. And while the pair of mirrors above the vanity look super modern, they’re actually hand-me-downs from Kristi’s grandmother.

Crisp white on the walls breathed instant life into the bathroom. Kristi and her wife had wanted to install wallpaper but worried about the impact of room’s humidity. Instead, they chose vinyl decals from Etsy that they painstakingly installed themselves.

Kristi had a plumber replace the old tub filler and shower head with champagne bronze-colored ones from Delta. A leaky pipe ended up needing to be repaired, so they covered the area around the tub faucet with white mini tile laid in a chevron pattern. Repeating the tile accent in a new inset shelf makes it feel like an intentional design choice, not an accident.

The total bathroom redo came to $5000 including materials and labor. The end result looks fresh and welcoming while maintaining its vintage charm. “We love that we were able to modernize the pink!” she says. “As people have come through the house in the last couple of years, many have said, “you have to keep the pink!” Now that everything is done and we pulled the old and new together, we’re so happy with how it turned out.”

And to anyone else living with a vintage home, Kristi adds: “Don’t ditch an old bathroom just because of a bold color!”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.

Megan Baker

Home Projects Editor

Megan is a writer and editor who specializes in home upgrades, DIY projects, hacks, and design. Before Apartment Therapy, she was an editor at HGTV Magazine and This Old House Magazine. Megan has a degree in Magazine Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is a self-taught weighted blanket connoisseur.

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