Small bathroom color ideas – how to bring bolder hues into a tiny space

Get inspired with our small bathroom color ideas guaranteed to infuse tiny spaces with brilliant bright shades

Small bathroom color ideas with blue tiles and wallpaper
(Image credit: Sarah Hogan)

Small bathrooms, for all the hassle they might cause with layouts and configuration, you can't deny they are the best places to go really bold. Small bathroom color ideas needn't be restricted to the blah shades in the hope that you will 'expand the space' or 'make it feel lighter' just embrace those small proportions, lean into them and create a space that wows guests and feels you with joy too. 

Because the color of your bathroom can have a profound effect on the mood of the small space. Certain colors can make a bathroom feel calm and relaxing, some are mood-boosting and really energizing, the look you are after will come down to personal style but we have plenty of both bold and calming small bathroom ideas to get you inspired...

The best small bathroom color ideas 

1. Create a sea green sanctuary

Dark green tiled small bathroom with terracotta sink

(Image credit: Bert and May)

It makes sense to us that small bathroom color ideas should have an underwater quality, enveloping you in cocooning dark hues. This deep green bathroom is painted with a chalky textured finish and handmade tiles giving it a crafted and spa-like feel, that balances both brave color with a calming quality.

'Often the smallest room in the home, the bathroom has for too long become the victim of the ‘all-white makes it look bigger’ design philosophy.' says Justyna Korczynska, Crown Colour Consultant. 

"Thankfully upcoming color trends embrace a more creative and bold approach to what can be the most exciting spaces in the home. People are often reserved about using dark colors in their homes but bold, dark shades have an incredible power and are able to transform any room injecting character into it and work surprisingly well creating rich small spaces, even where there is no natural light.'

2. Make a statement with pops of color

Bright pink shutters in small bathroom with freestanding bath

(Image credit: California Shutters)

Picking out an item in a small bathroom to paint a bright hue is a fun and practical way to draw attention to a statement piece or historic detail. With windows and doors providing natural focal points in the home, colorful shutters are a great way of experimenting with bold hues without having to commit to a really bold all-over shade.

‘By incorporating vibrant shades on a smaller scale, shutters allow you to achieve the desired look without the color dominating the room.; Says Sam Tamlyn of Shutterly Fabulous. Many shutter brands also offer color matching services which provide the option of selecting tones to complement furniture and accessories or contrast with the existing bathroom scheme for a real style statement. 

3. Incorporate on trend colored concrete details

Bright green concrete sink with patterned floor

(Image credit: Kast Concrete)

Concrete has been a staple of minimal and modern homes for decades – immediately announcing your commitment to stylish interiors. And now we are seeing a new trend for colored concrete. Being a practical material that already lends itself so well to bathrooms, it's no surprise we are seeing such an increase in colored concrete sinks and even shower trays. 

Dyed concrete is a beautiful way to introduce the material and color into bathrooms bringing a unique patina and charm to the space. Using high-quality pigments that are integral to the character of the material, an added bonus is that that concrete is colored adds a layer of protection and durability to the finished product.

And another thing to take from this small bathroom, along with that eyecatching sink, is wall hanging your sanitaryware. 'Wall hung basins are both a stylish and practical solution when space is limited.' says Amy Bartlett, Product Design Manager at Kast Concrete Basins. “The compact dimensions help to optimize space while the minimal form and natural concrete texture create a strong design statement.'

4. Keep it classic with monochrome

Monochrome wetroom with band of black tiles and monochrome floral patterned floor

(Image credit: Mandarin Stone)

Monochrome is color too... a striking small bathroom can still be created even if you stick to a simple scheme. This beautiful curved wet room idea plays with height by creating a border of charcoal grey tiles at the bottom of the shower area and a pretty black and white carpet of floral tiles on the floor.

'If space allows, adding curves into a bathroom is the ideal way to add character and interesting architecture to an otherwise quite often, box-like space.' says Louisa Morgan Creative Director of Mandarin Stone. 'The tile combination of Oblique Sand and Dark Grey on the walls with the Casablanca Hexagon Mono Decor 10 on the floor, is a classic, slightly earthy and less stark, monochromatic combination. The unusual tile textures and patterns, create a more authentic feel to the space, combined with the traditional brass fittings, it’s the perfect spa-like space.'

5. Choose a calming mellow yellow

Bright yellow chequered tiled shower with brass fixtures

(Image credit: Studio McKinley)

Retro patterns and vintage hues are all the rage and a little trend-driven playfulness can really pack a punch in a sliver of space. This sweet and small bathroom shower idea by Studio McKinley is adorned in sunshine yellow chequered tiles from Heath Ceramics and teamed with vintage fixtures in high shine brass hardware bringing the space up to date.

'Colour chosen well can add a real sense of luxury to a space.' says Damla Turgut, founder and creative director, Otto Tiles. 'For example, a colorful bathroom floor can really ground a small space and make it look a lot larger than it is by tricking the eye. Striped tiles are a great way of making a small bathroom look wider or longer and we highly recommend them as a way of adding interest to a small bathroom or wet room.'

'Likewise, a checkerboard tile can have a similar effect. An accent wall is also a great way to add color to a small bathroom. Using a fun color or patchwork tile to define and zone a shower or bath area can create a real statement and a wow factor.'

6. Create a serene space with neutral hues

East London modern house with pink plaster walls throughout

(Image credit: James Merrell)

We love the idea of layering natural hues to create an earthy, calming sanctuary. Take influence from this small bathroom tile idea as add interest to a peach neutral hue by choosing tiles with textured and a slightly varying hue – the natural variation in zellige tiles can work so well to give those more... classic neutrals something more.

'Colours of nature, such as earthly beige and warm clay and all shades of green have been a firm favorite for the last seasons; explains Judy Smith. 'However, over the past year nature has become even more important. The outdoors has been an escape, somewhere to go to recharge our batteries or even just take a break from everything. We now want to channel that feeling in our home too, with warm, cosy shades inspired by the natural world.'

7. Go all over with a confetti of color

Multicolored tiled bathroom with white sink and wooden shelf

(Image credit: Fired Earth)

Using busy patterns and multiple colors to create a maximalist small space detracts from the size of the room and takes your attention to colors, patterns, or contents of the room creating a wonderfully encompassing feeling.

'Pattern can work really well in a compact bathroom but always think about scale.' advises Colin Roby-Welford, Fired Earth’s Creative Director. 'A really large and ‘busy’ design might swamp a small bathroom, whereas a more delicate motif or a pattern created from just two colors in simple shapes can look stunning.'

'Think about using the same tiles across walls and floors as well as washbenches and bath surrounds. This creates a seamless and contemporary wetroom-effect, and it will also help to draw the eye around a small bathroom, instantly making it appear larger.'

WHAT COLOUR IS GOOD FOR A SMALL BATHROOM?

Choose light and bright colors that reflect light to create the appearance of a larger space. White paint is often the most recommend choice for small bathrooms because it reflects the most light. But don't let that deter you from going bold if that's more your style, as many of these small bathroom color ideas have proven, something it pays to be brave, and those brighter, bolder or darker hues can end up making a room feel even larger than classic lighter shades. 

WHAT COLOR MAKES A SMALL BATHROOM LOOK BIGGER?

According to basic design principles, light colors such as white, cream, pastel blue, gray, or yellow will visually expand a room, while dark colors such as a deep red, green or brown, will make a room feel smaller. However, color experts (and the Livingetc team) will argue that darker colors will give the effect of disappearing edges and ceilings in a room and give the illusion of it being larger.

Rohini Wahi is Content Editor for Livingetc Online. With a decade-long career in the interiors and design industry working as a journalist for premium lifestyle publications then delving deeper into the business as a trend forecaster, Rohini has amassed a wealth of global design knowledge that informs her work. She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home.