While a cultural revolution was underway in ’60s society, a color revolution was taking place in America’s bathrooms. Avocado green and other colors were all the rage beginning in the late ’60s and lasting through the late ’70s for bathroom tubs, sinks and toilets. Over the years, avocado bathrooms went out of style, but not all of them went away. If your home has a bathroom with avocado fixtures, you have several options for giving it an update.
If you inherited a bathroom with avocado green fixtures from your home’s previous owners, try taking an if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them approach. Embrace your bathroom’s retro vibe and decorate it 1970s style. Paint the walls pale green and choose mod-print fabrics for the shower curtain and window treatments. You want the end result to look retro and cool, not dated and dingy, so choose accessories that are authentic, but in good condition. Search secondhand stores for wall art, vanity mirrors and other period pieces and give them a good cleaning before putting them on display. To complete the look, cover the floor with a fluffy green rug and illuminate the vanity with vintage sconces or pendant lamps.
Although an avocado green bathtub may not represent your design aesthetic, it doesn’t have to be an eyesore. Use browns and neutrals to complement your avocado bathroom fixtures and create a soothing earth-tone palette. Paint the walls beige or mocha and, if possible, paint cabinetry a deep shade of brown. If your budget allows, install ceramic tile that mimics planks of dark wood. If not, camouflage existing flooring with a textured cotton bath rug. When decorating your earth-tone bathroom, choose items made from natural materials, such as wood, stone, terra-cotta and cotton. Tuck a basket filled with brown, beige and avocado green towels in a corner to unify the room’s palette. Botanical prints in simple wood frames and potted plants enhance the bathroom’s earthy feel.
Create a Spa
When paired with white, avocado green looks fresh and clean. To create a spa-style bathroom around an avocado tub and toilet, keep the decor light and simple. Paint the walls with a satin or semi-gloss finish white or linen paint and choose a crisp, white shower curtain and window coverings. Consider installing pure white wainscoting on the walls for a cottage feel. If the sink is freestanding, as many are in older bathrooms, add a small white or pale green cabinet to the room to hold toiletries. Add a stack of fluffy towels to add texture to the room. To keep your spa bathroom from feeling sterile, echo the green of the fixtures in accessories, such as throw rugs, apothecary jars, storage bowls and soap dishes.
If budget constraints compel you to live with your home’s avocado bathtub and toilet, use them as inspiration for the bathroom decor that’s bold and new. Instead of trying to play down or camouflage the green, pair it with orange or yellow for maximum impact. Paint the walls or cover them with wallpaper in a graphic print in your new color scheme. If you can afford the splurge, swap out old faucets and handles for sleek, modern fixtures that give your tub an instant facelift. Decorate with an eclectic blend of art and accessories to create a look that’s innovative and cohesive.