Learning to Love my Bathroom: Mamie Pink


I moved into my own apartment back in July in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.  I was absolutely excited to have a place of my own and be moving to such an adorable up and coming neighborhood.  The building that I live in is a post war apartment building.  When I first saw the place it had dingy carpets and a 1950s kitchen that was literally falling apart. Before I moved in they totally renovated the kitchen and tore out the icky carpet and replaced it with hardwood, I even got to drop off my own paint and the management company painted the walls to my liking.  Everything seemed perfect except for the bathroom! The bathroom was the only apartment that they left as is. Pink floor tiles, wall tiles, bathtub and sink and honestly I was kind of bummed. I’ve made it work but at times found myself wishing that my bathroom wasn’t so well Pepto-Bismal-ly.  That was until I read this article in the New York Times, Bathrooms: Pretty in Pink Again and it may have made me rethink my feeling towards my bathroom.

Mamie Pink

Mamie Doud Eisenhower was First Lady to President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953-1961 and can be the one attributed to the Pink craze that went on during 1954 through to 1960. But why this primose pink? Mamie thought that she looked best in it and it flattered her coloring.  Mamie liked pink so much that while she was a military wife and was constantly moving she carried around a stick of wood with her favorite colors on it that she would use in the military housing.  Those were green, pink and a creamy color.

Mamie had quite a lover affair with this pink. She wore a pink gown to Ike’s innaguration and once she got her hands on the White House it was dubbed by many as the “Pink Palace”. Ike sent Mamie pink flowers every morning and her bathroom in Gettysburg was completely pink, she even had pink cotton balls!

America took notice and followed Mamie’s lead and that is why the color was known as “Mamie Pink” or “First Lady Pink” It became one of the iconic decorating colors of the decade. It is estimated that the USA has 5 million bathrooms and I after learning this history I am proud to say that one of them is mine!

Pantone has dubbed Honeysuckle the color of the year, and while not quite Mamie Pink I wonder if we will be seeing a resurgence of pink bathrooms in the future?

If you want to learn more about the history of pink bathrooms please visit Save the Pink Bathrooms and Retro Renovation

(Top Photo: My apartment via flickr, American Presidents, and NYT)


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