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Friday, October 28, 2011

Pink is the New Green - Bathroom Blogfest 2011

Bathroom Blogfest 2011

Pink is the New Green

Happy Bathroom Blogfest 2011! I’m so happy to be invited back to Flooring the Consumer to guest blog with C.B. Whittemore, who is one of my very favorite consumer experience experts.

As always, I have a lot to say about bathrooms — retail bathrooms, airport bathrooms, gas station bathrooms, workplace bathrooms — but today, I want to focus on private bathrooms. More specifically, I want to focus on pink, private bathrooms.

Three years ago, my friend and her husband bought an old, renovated farmhouse just outside the St. Louis city limits. They loved every single thing about this house. It had a renovated second floor, an adorable kitchen, a huge backyard… and a sickeningly sweet pink and purple bathroom. They did not love the pink and purple bathroom. They hated the pink and purple bathroom.

But because the pink and purple bathroom is fully functional, it’s still on the bottom of the home to-do list. For the past three years, my friend has rolled her eyes every time she talks about the bathroom.

“We have to renovate this room,” she would say. Until recently. That’s when she discovered an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch titled, “Preserve the Pink: How to Enhance the Retro Bathroom’s Charm,” by writer Amy Burger.

Here in St. Louis, many homes in the city were built in the ‘40s and 50s, just after World War II, writes Burger. And of course, they were built in the style of the time, often with candy colored tile coating a home’s single bathroom. Even more often, this tile was pink. Bright pink. We’re talking bubble gum pink.

It turns out that there’s a huge group of people who adore their pink — and mint green, turquoise and yellow — tiled bathrooms. The article interviews Pam Kueber (RetroRenovation.com), who began a blog called SavethePinkBathrooms.com, which strives to save retro bathrooms.

“The reality is: Pink bathrooms are a wonderful part of our home design heritage,” reads the mission statement of SavethePinkBathrooms.com. “And there is no doubt in our minds whatsoever that they are poised for a comeback — starting here, starting now.”

(You need to check out this website — so much fun! It’s full of photos of pink bathrooms and the owners who love them.)

In the blog post that spawned SavethePinkBathrooms.com, Kueber talks about feeling horrified when an HGTV show ripped out a vintage bathroom to put in a sleek, modern bathroom. What about vintage charm? Doesn’t that have a place in today’s design world? And, she poses, isn’t it wasteful to rip out a perfectly good bathroom?

And so, dear Bathroom Blogfest readers, I echo Kueber’s cry… what about vintage? When you’re helping your customers decide what to do with their bathroom remodels, do you always steer them toward new and improved? Or is there room for reuse and recycling as well? With the economy as it is, with job growth slow and money tight, I ask you… Shouldn’t we be saving more pink bathrooms?

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