Get your paint samples at the ready, because this round-up of the best bathroom colors is sure to inspire your next project. Perhaps it’s not a room you instantly associate with color and pattern, but bathrooms are increasingly becoming a space to unleash your creativity and go bold with exciting hues.
Whether it’s an energizing shower first thing in the morning or a relaxing bath at the end of a long day, we need our bathroom to support how we want to feel, and being more thoughtful about your use of color is a great way to do this. Color is incredibly emotive, so it makes sense to tap into this through design and decorating.
‘I love a deep color for a bathroom,’ says Victoria Sass, Principal & Design Director at Prospect Refuge Studio. ‘It’s such an experience and in a small space you can craft an immersive moment. Don’t be afraid to go dark or try on a jewel tone, both are lovely to sink into.’
With the help of expert interior designers, we’ve pulled together the hottest bathroom color ideas in design right now - and hopefully you’ll feel persuaded to try something new and inspired to get creative with color.
What are the best bathroom colors?
Bathrooms are no longer the purely functional spaces we might previously have considered them. They’re in fact a brilliant place to introduce color and get creative in a way you might not be able to with other rooms.
Try to think about how you want to feel when you use the space, and let this guide your decision. Deep and dramatic hues of black, and purple will cocoon you for a really comforting feel, while bold shades of orange help to energize. Trusty blue and white needn’t be forgotten, just think about what shade is right for your space, and introduce a little element of surprise to keep the space looking fresh.
Let’s start gently and ease into a tried and tested scheme first - and white is certainly up there with the best. Don’t be fooled into thinking a white bathroom color scheme lacks excitement or resolve, because used in the right way, it makes an incredibly sophisticated impact. ‘White is one of my favorite colors,’ says South Carolina-based interior designer Cortney Bishop. ‘It’s fresh, clean and adds a huge amount of light into a space.’
The trick to using white successfully is twofold; choose the right shade, and then pair it with right finishes. A common mistake in a bathroom is to opt for a bright, stark white - but in a space where we’re likely to feel our most vulnerable, you want to go for warm shades that feel comforting and cosseting. ‘I like to opt for White Dove by Benjamin Moore,’ says Cortney. ‘Not only is it warm, but it compliments other colors so well too.’
As for what to pair it with, again, stick to warm toned finishes such as brass and walnut woods, accessorizing with natural linens and soft rugs underfoot.
Another classic that remains enduringly popular, and for very good reason, is blue. Reminiscent of calm oceans and still waters, it’s an instinctive choice for a bathroom. As with many popular decorating tropes, the concern might be that it’s overused - but this certainly doesn’t need to be the case, as demonstrated in this gorgeous room by interior design studio Barlow & Barlow. The key is to add in an element of surprise and intrigue to breathe new life into a familiar blue bathroom color scheme.
‘We love adding something a bit unexpected in our interiors,’ explains founder and creative director Lucy Barlow. ‘Here, we played on the traditional shower curtain or screen - not the most glamorous of bathroom necessities - but we chose to introduce an upholstered shower curtain in Fermoie Tented Stripe fabric. It makes a statement that even bathroom basics can be beautiful, and there is something really quite regal about it, a four poster bath of sorts!’
Perhaps not the first color you think of for a bathroom, but definitely not one to be dismissed. If you want to feel cocooned and enveloped from the outside world, a black bathroom creates an intensely intimate setting to help you forget the worries and stresses of the day.
The key to introducing black into a bathroom is including a variety of textures. Matt black paint on the walls may fall flat, but a mixture of textural tiling, tactile marble and a range of finishes ensure this design by interior design studio A1000xBetter is a triumph.
A similarly unexpected, yet incredibly successful and beautiful shade for a bathroom is orange. For this powder room designed by Prospect Refuge Studio, the aim was to create something fun and memorable for guests to enjoy. ‘This color is walking a fine line between grounding neutral and high-energy orange,’ says principal and design director Victoria Sass. ‘This gives it a kind of sultry vibe and a bit of sex appeal.’
Of course, as with every color, there are a spectrum of shades to explore - and orange ranges from bright and bold hues that inspire zest and energy to more toned down and earthy terracottas and gingers. As for what to pair it with, Victoria suggests looking at the color wheel. ‘Complementary colors are always a lot of fun, and in this instance, navy blue leans into the richness and decadence of this color.’
Sitting in the same family as orange, yellow is a beautifully uplifting and optimistic shade to use in the bathroom. This colorful bathroom idea can’t help but put you in a good mood, and will make you feel warm and sun-soaked, whatever the weather outside.
‘Bathrooms are a great place to be a little more daring,’ says Barlow & Barlow’s founder and creative director Lucy Barlow. ‘Here, we used a color drench technique by walling the room with bold mustard tiles. To add softness, we added a sink skirt to the basin which provides a great opportunity to play around with even more color and texture whilst also serving a functional use by concealing bathroom products.’
We think you’ll agree that the combination of juicy purple tones with sophisticated brushed brass in this gorgeous bathroom by A1000xBetter is pretty irresistible. Offering a bit of a middle ground to dramatic blacks and bright tropical hues; fruity tones of mulberry, plum and fig sit between the two camps, providing just the right amount of coziness and intimacy while also feeling bright and ripe.
It would also be remiss not to mention the stunning use of bathroom wallpaper. Paint and tiling may hold the fort in bathroom design, but intricate wallcoverings deserve just as much time in the spotlight. Just be sure to hang it in areas that don’t receive too many splashes, and consult the manufacturer notes to ensure its durability in damp conditions.
If you want to feel connected with nature and your sense of wellbeing is important to you, a green bathroom is the perfect choice. Not only does it bring a sense of the outside in, but it’s also proven to have a calming and grounding effect when used in interior design.
For an immersive feel, paint the walls and all the trim in the room in the same hue - you could even take the color up to the ceiling to completely drench your bathroom in this incredibly feel-good hue. Style the room with beautiful plants as the finishing touch to your nature-inspired retreat.
Can I use more than one wall color in a bathroom?
Bathrooms perhaps aren’t typically spaces where you would look to introduce patterns in a myriad of shades, but they actually take color surprisingly well, as Jennifer Morris, Founder of New York-based JMorris Design explains.
‘Bathrooms are a wonderful place to go big with color,’ she says. ‘They are spaces that we visit momentarily, yet consistently, so they’re an ideal area to create a spectacular color experience. It can be a perfect spot for a bold statement with something dramatic - when you open the door a colorful room can create some serious joy.’
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Interiors stylist and journalist Amy Neason was the Deputy Style and Interiors editor at House Beautiful for years. She is now a freelance props and set stylist, creating work for a range of national publications and brands such as Imogen Heath. She has previously worked at Established & Sons, and her skills include styling still life and interiors shots for editorial features and sourcing unique products to create inspirational imagery.
She is particularly respected for interpreting seasonal trends into feature ideas and style stories.
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