Design Alert: Is Your Toilet Pink Enough for 2011?

Is your bathroom the wrong color? Think before you answer: according to the New York Times, bathrooms that were formerly the wrong color—namely, pink—are now

the correct color

. By the law of the Conservation of Correctness, this means that some formerly correct bathroom color is now incorrect:

They painted the bathroom of their shingled beach cottage in Santa Monica, Calif., seashell pink a few months ago; for years it had been a spa-like all white. “You don’t want to be assaulted by that kind of starkness first thing in the morning or right before bed, which is when you spend the most time in the bathroom,” Ms. Giannetti said. “We’ve found the pink to be much more soothing and enveloping.”

Just imagine yourself trying to defecate in a stark, white environment. Embarrassing, right? Or, God forbid, the even-more-out-of-date


. You need a toilet that envelops you, pinkly.

“That color palette languished for years, and now I can’t keep pink toilets in stock,” said John Vienop, operations manager for DEA Bathroom Machineries, a seller of salvaged plumbing fixtures based in Murphys, Calif.

Some people, the Times reports, are lucky enough to have such toilets and matching tilework because they never had the money or initiative to sledgehammer  away their unfashionable—yet sturdy—1950s or 1960s bathrooms.

Ceramic tile work done before the 1970s was usually of very high quality, according to architects and architectural historians. The tiles themselves were often more substantial and less prone to crack and the so-called mud job, or the way tiles are set in place, was more careful and adhesive.

“The tiles back then were laid in real mortar, which is why so many of the pink and other wild-colored bathrooms survived,” said Jane Powell, a restoration consultant in Oakland, Calif., and the author of “Bungalow Bathrooms” (2001). “It’s extremely labor intensive and expensive to get rid of them.”

So the lesson here is, be thrifty and sensible, don’t demolish a perfectly sound and useful bathroom, and eventually the design world will come around. Ha ha! Kidding! The lesson here is you have to go buy something pink for bathing in or pooping into

right now


And manufacturers of bathroom tiles and fixtures have been introducing more pink options. Noticing the trend, the color authority Pantone this month decreed that hot pink will be the “it” color of 2011.

Saying that Pantone has noticed a trend is a pretty remarkable reading of the way

color demand

in the durable-goods industry


. (Also Pantone is calling the

hot pink

color “honeysuckle,” which seems a bit like calling pale yellow “rose”—they do

come in that color

, the flowers, it’s true, but.) Still, I hope you didn’t get too attached to that ”


“-colored bidet you bought in 2009.