DIY Doris – “Little Girls’ Room”

Dear Doris,

I have two rooms in my home that I need help with.  One is referred to as “the little boys’ room”, the other, “the little girls’ room”.  They are, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, bathrooms.  The little boys room is a small half bath with a baby blue toilet and baby blue sink.  The little girls room is a full bath with all pink fixtures, big pink tub and all!

I am working on a VERY small budget, everything must be DIY, and I am stuck.  I can’t replace the fixtures at this juncture, but I must do something!  Any suggestions for  paint colors that will play up the quirkiness of these two rooms?  There’s no way to disguise them, so I might as well embrace what I’ve got.  Right?

Thanks so much,

Bathroom Boondoggle


Dear Boondoggle,

Wow. That is a lot to take in. Well…let’s just dive in. Let’s start with the pink room.

Pink bathrooms were made fashionable by First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower in the 1950s. “Mamie Pink” was the colour to have in bathrooms of homes built at that time. If you are interested in a little more history, check out It has lots of little factoids about this phenomenon.

A classic colour combination in bathrooms with pink fixtures was creamy white tiles and walls, with black accents, either in the wall tiles in a border, or in the flooring. I think that one way for you to go is to embrace the era, and go for a retro or vintage look in your bathroom, but do it in a more modern and stream lined way…I am not going to suggest crocheted doilies to cover your toilet roll, or macramé wall hangings.

Looking at your pictures, I am tempted to say PAINT THE WOOD, but I know that may be a touchy suggestion at your house. So, I won’t say PAINT THE WOOD, but rather suggest that you PAINT some of THE WOOD. Perhaps painting the wood cabinets around the shower a creamy white would calm things down a little, and give the eye fewer things to look at. There are so many different surfaces and patterns in that small space, the eye has nowhere to rest.  I am also going to make the radical suggestion of painting the tile on the walls. There is paint for almost every type of surface, and tile is no exception. It requires a special primer, but the results can be amazing at a fraction of the cost of re-tiling, or a complete bathroom renovation. One surface I don’t suggest painting is the countertop. I know it can be painted, but it never looks as great as it promises to, and one little chip is all it takes to look wretched.

I kind of like the wallpaper…but it may just remind me of my Nana’s house. It is quite tender, with those little birds, but if you are going to embrace the fixtures, that means embracing the fish and bubbles shower door. Birds and fish? I don’t think so. I could suggest removing the shower doors ,a task I took on in my own bathroom one week-end when my husband was away, but I would not recommend it. It did look as good as I had hoped it would. It may be time for the wallpaper to go, and for the walls to become the backdrop to showcase the amazing colour of the fixtures.

Once some of the surfaces are painted, some cream and black accent pieces would be all you would need to set the stage for your vintage bathroom. I also suspect that perhaps once some of the wood was painted, an argument could be successfully made to paint the rest…and the closet door!

If you decide to embark on this adventure in painting, ask the advice from the professional at your paint store. They will have all the information on how to prepare the surfaces you are going to paint, and what types of paints and primers you will need to use. Plan your project carefully, and allow the appropriate times for drying, as recommended by the manufacturer. This will ensure that the paint cures properly, and will not lift, bubble or peel in the moisture of the bathroom.

More to come for the “little boy’s room”.

In design,

Doris ♥

3 thoughts on “DIY Doris – “Little Girls’ Room”

  1. Thanks so much Doris!! I’ve done a complete 180. I’m embracing my ‘Mamie Pink’ and running with it. I’ve already taken the ‘save the pink bathroom’ pledge on the link you provided.

  2. Pingback: DIY Doris – Little Boys’ Room | ………………………….theottomanempire

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