Pink tile was a global default for mid-century bathrooms and shows up on kitchen counters and backsplashes in early 20th-century kitchens. It might also make the odd appearance on hallway walls. Wherever you are facing vintage pink tile and the requirement to decorate the surrounding space, use paint as your principal instrument for transforming the room. Work with, not against the tile, to lower its effect and tame it into your layout style.
Play with Gray
Pink is such a lighthearted and warm color that a polar opposite helps balance it. Paint the walls above pink tile — whether it is on the countertop, lower wall or merely on the floor — a shade of grey to decrease the temperature and maintain that pink from looking too candyfloss. A dark or light cloud of smoky grey in matte end tones the pink down. Add deepest charcoal trim with a ceramic baseboard or “chair rail” border and, in a pink tile toilet, think about oil-rubbed bronze fixtures to decrease the glare. For sheer glamor, apply shiny platinum paint into the walls and ceiling in a room with tile. A room rug or runner with a oriental or abstract pattern in grays, ivories, and black and pink accents underscores the ornate color treatment inside the room.
Pink tile counters in the kitchen on the walls and shower stall in the toilet are a tiny bit retro. Go with it, and paint walls or cabinets light or deep teal — the green in teal is the energetic contrast to the red in pink. Add decorative accents in a exotic or tropical motif: jungle-flowered patterns; a border of ocean creature tiles; complex geometric mosaic patterns in carpets, shower or cafe curtains, or towels. Consider the space more as a point set or a magazine background while you’re decorating, which means you produce a story to incorporate the teal walls with the tile.
Transform a cliche — a pink-tiled room — into an elegant jewel-box with ivory walls and ceiling, and a creamy ivory, burgundy, red, pink, green and lilac oriental rug on the floor. Whip the whole space into a light froth of pretty colours where pink is just 1 element in a visual bouquet. Ivory walls, trim and ceiling — maybe even ivory tile on the floor — softens the color palette as opposed to highlights the very intrusive pink. The pink tile is there, but it looks pretty, not mass-produced and predictable, even as it mixes into a thoroughly romantic color scheme.
A Hint of Mint
Mint, the lightest of those true greens, could be saccharine when paired with pink tile, but it is a frequent choice for a motive. Green and red are opposites on the color wheel and create a balanced but energetic balance when they are juxtaposed. Your job is to maintain the mint paint and pink tile from looking dated and unimaginative. Do that with surprising accents — a daring black-and-white striped carpet on the floor, green-and-white leaf-patterned drapes, a chartreuse pellet bowl of orange clementines, a verdigris and crystal chandelier. Pick accent colours sparingly and base them about the presence of the mint — leaving the pink tile to fend for itself in the mix. Experiment with decorative touches if you’re not sure how much to go to make some excitement in the room.