How to Make a White Bathroom Feel Warm — 5 Tricks Designers Use For a Cozier and More Restful Spaces

Give your all-white bathroom a glow-up with these tips for bringing warmth to the space

A white bathroom with wood accents and warm hardware
(Image credit: Shade Degges. Design: Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop)

Gleaming all-white bathrooms were once all the rage, and they continue to be a popular choice for homeowners who want their bathrooms to have a contemporary feel. But there is no denying that the dazzling, all-white look alone can end up feeling a little sterile, cold, and unflattering.

The trick to warming up the space is all about balance, enlisting the help of warm natural materials, lighting, and a gentle dose of color to add a cozy feel. This doesn't mean you need a full bathroom revamp to bring warmth to the space, and there are relatively easy tactics you can employ to bring that necessary warmth. Here are five top tips from the experts for modern bathrooms that need a little glow-up.

1. Bring in the warmth of natural wood

A white bathroom with wooden accents

(Image credit: Shade Degges. Design: Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop)

Creating an inviting atmosphere in a white bathroom can easily be achieved by incorporating natural materials that add depth and warmth. Bring in touches of wood to add honeyed coloring that contrasts against the stark white background, and your bathroom will feel all the more soothing as a result.

Wood might not be the most obvious go-to bathroom material considering the way the material reacts to moisture and dampness, but if properly protected and sealed, it can bring a homely look to an all-white space.

'Adding warm wood-toned cabinetry is a great way to introduce a touch of natural color that offsets the starkness of white,' says designer at Access to Design at The New York Design Center, Kati Curtis. 'It provides a cozy and organic feel, acting as a visual anchor.'

From a wood bathroom wall panel for a sauna-like feel, to properly sealed wooden flooring that has a rustic look, to those smaller details like a wooden bath stool or tray, wood is your best friend when it comes to bringing warmth to a cold space.

2. And don't forget natural stone

A bathroom with marble trim

(Image credit: Austin Leis. Design: Ome Dezin)

For Alexandra Coxon of My Habitat Design, looking to nature is a great source of inspiration for bathrooms in need of warmth, so it's worth seeking out other natural materials too for a layered finish. ‘Incorporating natural and organic materials into your bathroom is a powerful way to create a warm bathroom,' says Alexandra. 'Materials like wood work with minerals and stone to bring nature indoors and create sanctuaries of serenity and natural warmth.'

Ina Rinderknecht, owner and creative director of Ina Rinderknecht Interior Architecture AG agrees: 'To create a calming spa-like mood when designing bathrooms and add warmth, I always tend to use beautiful natural materials in pale tones, such as grand slabs of lovingly selected marbles, limestone, or travertine, combined with pastel toned natural wood it brings a certain warmth,' she says.

If your budget allows, marble bathroom flooring can feel elegant and considered, but on a smaller scale and for an easier update, something like this marble bath accessories set might just be all you need to bring elegance and warmth to the space.

3. Upgrade the hardware for a golden glow

A white bathroom with warm hardware

(Image credit: Unique Lapin. Design: Crina Arghirescu Architecture)

Swap out white metals for anything with a more bronze or golden glow and the result will be an instantly elevated look that ushers in warmth to your all-white bathroom. White white and silver can feel crisp and cool, but hardware made from the likes of polished nickel or unlacquered brass can warm the space up.

Characterized by a slightly dull sheen, polished nickel is one of the bathroom hardware trends set to make an impact this year. 'Hardware is the jewelry of the room,' designer at Access to Design at The New York Design CenterGenevieve White Carter of boutique design studio, Carter Design. 'Brass plumbing fixtures is another great material that really warms up a white bathroom,' she says.

4. Layer the lighting

A white bathroom with overhead lighting

(Image credit: Chango & Co)

Another element to embrace for a warmer white bathroom is bathroom lighting. Like all other rooms in the home, a layered lighting scheme achieves the best results. In a modern all-white bathroom, you're likely to find overhead recessed lights that glare brightly downwards. These aren't the best source of lighting, so mix things up with wall lights at head height, statement overhead lighting, and remember the flickering glow of candles too. Turn the big light off and layer the scheme with a subtle glow from your favorite aromatherapy set.

For added warmth, look to the color temperature of your lighting too. Go for anything between 2,700k - 3,000k for a calming glow. These bulbs on Amazon are perfect, and only $6 for four.

Think about the actual fixtures too. Fixtures with golden metallics are a good choice to warm up that white scheme. 'Consider installing vintage-inspired fixtures that emit a softer, warmer hue, contrasting with the crisp white surroundings and contributing to an antique charm,' says Kati.

5. Bring in some character

A modern bathroom with a white, built-in tub

(Image credit: K Interiors)

Finally, don't be afraid of bringing your personality in with pops of color that reflect your character. Personality will always make a room feel warm, so bring in decorative accents and even texture. 'A wonderful way to make a white bathroom feel warm is a vintage rug or a piece of vintage furniture,' says Genevieve.

Don't be afraid of color. 'Incorporating bathroom wallpaper or a rug with contrasting patterns or textures can break up the monotony of white, adding visual interest and making the room feel more lived-in and inviting,' says Kati.

'Opt for designs that have subtle, warm hues or motifs that evoke a sense of nostalgia and comfort.'

Perfect Buys For Your All-White Bathroom

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.