Everything Old is New Again: Pink Tile in the Bathroom, Then & Now

Everything Old is New Again: Pink Tile in the Bathroom, Then & Now

Nancy Mitchell
Jul 31, 2014

Some of you love it. Some of you hate it. But one thing is for sure: everyone has a pretty strong opinion about this 50s bathroom design staple. A few years ago, when Katie posted pictures of her super-retro pink and black tiled bathroom, opinion was divided between EW GROSS and THIS IS FABULOUS. So you'll all be either delighted or horrified to learn that pink tile in the bathroom is making a comeback. Read on for some modern examples.

The bathroom pictured up top (from the Better Homes & Gardens Decorating Book, 1956 Edition, via Hooked on Houses) and the one above (a 'before' shot from Amy Ryder's bathroom renovation, via Pinterest) probably look familiar if you've ever owned or rented a house built in the 50s. But could you imagine this in a modern bathroom?

Here's the pink tile, making an appearance in a modern bathroom from AD Russia. Compare this picture to the one above. The basic idea is the same — pink tile, black border — but the newer bathroom had a few details that help it feel up to date. Instead of square tile, this bathroom uses subway tile, laid in a running bond. The black trim is much more inconspicuous here, and the black floor helps to ground everything.

Here's another modern bathroom with pink tile. This time it's the tiles themselves that steal the show. These oversized tiles by Portuguese maker Made a Mano have a glaze that gives them a little bit of movement, and a timeless appeal.

This might be my favorite modern take on the look: beveled subway tile in a pale pale pink. Design by Hearth Studio; you can see more photos of the bathroom here.

And finally, a bathroom from House Beautiful that may make you do a double take. When I first saw this photo, I honestly thought it was a picture of a vintage bathroom. But the whole bathroom is brand new — it's just (very convincingly) designed to look old. Good news for anyone who wants to recreate the vintage look in their own home — and vindication for anyone who's been secretly hoping, all those years, that someday the pink tile would be back.

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