top of page

#TBT - The Iconic Pink Bathroom

Ever see a pink bathroom and wonder "what were they thinking back then??!!" Just think, that was 70 years ago.

The iconic pink colour that decked out bathrooms across North America back in the 1950s was a trend largely credited to the former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. She applied the colour throughout the decor of the private living quarters of the Whitehouse, earning the popular pink colour to be referred to as "Mamie Pink". Then-President Eisenhower also contributed to his wife's passion for the colour by giving her pink flowers every morning.

The pink trend of today is referred to as “Millennial Pink".

Image: A second-floor bathroom used and decorated by Mamie Eisenhower.

More about 1950s Decor...

The 1950s was a memorable, history-making decade that brought massive change into the homes and families of North America. It was the age of space exploration, science and innovation. People were much more optimistic, and most middle-class families were thriving in the prosperous post-war time.

Family life in the suburbs was gaining popularity, and home decor styles were changing. Post-war homes (late 40's to the 70s) were considerably smaller and uniform in design. The lack of architectural character was due to the insurgence of the construction boom. Basic "cookie-cutter" homes merged into the suburban landscape. Developers had to build faster, and economically in order to accommodate the sudden demand for housing that lacked in previous decades. It was very common for the kitchen to the backyard and a picture window facing the street in the living room.

Current events of the time started to reflect in interior design. Science and space exploration influenced the futuristic design of furnishings, such as the boomerang-shaped coffee table, chrome and vinyl chairs, low profile sofas as well as laminated furniture with clean lines.

Fast Facts:

  • Entertaining at home and dinner parties became mainstream, leading to innovative design, decor, furnishings and accessories.

  • Home bars became popular, along with outdoor BBQs and patio sets. Everything needed to entertain.

  • Popular colour choices were pastels in the bathrooms and kitchens. More dominant colours were pink, mint green, yellow, blue and turquoise.

  • The Scandinavian palette was deeply influenced by nature and showcased tones of brown, creams and green. This created a more

  • The Eames chair style was invented by Charles Eames and is still very popular today. There are several different styles to chose from, here is one of the more popular options sought out today:

  • Popular flooring options were wall-to-wall carpeting (GASP!) and linoleum that came in several colours, however black and white, red and white checker being the top choice.

  • Household accessories were produced in plastic.

  • Upholstery, wallpaper, drapery and tablecloths adorned prints of flowers, fruit, abstract atomic shapes and also space/science-inspired designs.

1950s design was based around current events such as science and innovation, post-war attitudes became more optimistic, family and entertaining at home were extremely important. This was a time of much-welcomed growth and optimism that followed after two decades of difficult times from the depression to WWII. Post-war family life changed forever.

There is no doubt that once we emerge from the current pandemic that things will look different. Life as we know it will forever be changed, as it does after any major historical event that happens, whether its human history or natural history. We will adapt to the change. The future of design and the built environment will reflect what we are learning today and how we are currently dealing with the pandemic situation.

Design trends from the '50s fell out of style over time, but have recently been making a huge resurgence. Let's all hope that it also brings new hope and optimism as well.

Interested in learning more?

25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page