Friday, September 5, 2008

Save My Mamie Pink Bathroom

Raise your hand if you live in a 1950s ranch. We do! The style is not for everyone. Long, low, and open, the floor plans send chills up the spines of colonial fans. And then you have the colors. My God, the colors. When we moved in we had a turquoise kitchen, a pink bathroom, and two yellow bathrooms. Some people were horrified, others loved it. We were in the love it category, although we did get rid of the turquoise kitchen. This morning I felt a pang of guilt; someone on Flickr tagged it as a favorite.

Speaking of Flickr, my pink bathroom is on there as well. Not long after I uploaded the pictures (terrible pictures, as you intend all 'before' shots to be), 50s Pam from Retro Renovation commented something along the lines of, 'Keep it or you suck.' Or, at least that's what I understood her to mean when she said, "I love it and I hope you keep it!" Then she asked me to add it to her Flickr group "Save the Pink Bathrooms!" She is also the blogger behind the popular blog of the same name, Save The Pink Bathrooms. I've been reading the archives for the last few months in search of inspiration.

The Mister and I fell in love with the bathroom the minute we saw her in all her Mamie Pink glory. Well, maybe we didn't love the floor.


Or the shower enclosure.

Pink tub

Or the white toilet seat festooned with hummingbirds.

Pink toilet

Or the grandma wallpaper and lights.


But the pink tub, toilet, and sinks outweighed all that other stuff, and God knows we've tried to think of some ways to spit-shine her and make her pretty.

That was three years ago. We got rid of the wallpaper and on the advice of many, embraced the pink and painted the walls a pale, pale shade of the fixtures (Cameo by Ralph Lauren).

That's as far as we have come. Meh.

Eventually we have to remodel the bath. There are problems with the fixtures, and their time is fast approaching. But, until then, I really want to make my little pink bathroom something special. Because, let's face it, when we remodel we aren't going to buy a pink toilet. I want to have fun with it while I can.

I've done my research and found plenty of pretty pink bathrooms, most of them remodeled on the cheap. My favorite to date is this one from Real Simple.

Mabel liked it, too, and it was part of the inspiration behind her own pink bathroom redo. Here is her bathroom. I think she did a great job. Her fixtures are white, as are the fixtures in the Real Simple picture. In reality, they have more pink in their bathroom than I do, which I think if part of the allure for me.

But as pretty as these bathrooms are, I don't think they will work for me. It's not just the lack of pink tile for me. I have another major problem. My pink bathroom? It's the boys bathroom. As much as I would love to paint it yellow and go wild with the flowers, the Mister wants their bathroom to have, "at least one filament of testosterone somewhere." Fair enough.

So how do you take a pink bathroom for two little boys and dude it up? My sister-in-law shared a pink bathroom with her brother growing up and her mom had it decorated in a frog theme. Pink for her, frogs for her brother. I looked at frog stuff but didn't find anything I liked. Besides, I still have fantasies of pink and yellow. It's just so damn chipper! I like the idea of the boys starting the day surrounded by happy colors (and maybe they won't fight me every time I try to brush their teeth).

And while I was always opposed to silly, little kid themes and accessories like frogs and puppies, that all changed when I had my own silly, little kids. I believe that is rule #4582 of "Things I will NEVER do when I have my own kids," in case you were wondering. They just get so flippin' excited to pump soap out of a lion's nose that you end up getting excited, too, which is the only reason I can explain my enchantment with this set from Target.

It's the giraffe. He kills me. He absolutely kills me with his little rubber mane.

So pink and yellow? With yellow, little-boy-friendly giraffes?

That still doesn't solve the problems I have with the floors, wall color, curtains, lights, etc. Maybe I should just call in John and Sherry and let them handle this mess.

EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to mention that I am going cute kid stuff because I've tried doing everything else 3 times without success. I even went against the Mister's suggestion and tried to recreate the Real Simple room with a 2+ hour shopping excursion to Anthropologie. No dice. I returned it all because it looked like ass. Appropriate for a bathroom, yes, but not the look I was going for. Boo-hiss-cry.

If you can tell me how to make it look cool without kid stuff, go for it. I am all ears.