From pitch black and inky blues to slate grey and cool concrete, the dark side rules when it comes to blissful bathing.

After the colour shockers of the 70s, who could blame anyone for sticking to a clean and simple white bathroom palette? But that was then and this is now, and things have moved on considerably. So it's time to break out the Down Pipe and dispense with boring blanc.

It's not just paint shades that will lend a modish and moody vibe. Natural stone such as luxurious noir marble, beautiful basalt or elegant granite will darken the tone and take things up a notch, while polished concrete and raw textures will bring an earthy or industrial feel.

Dark ceilings create a cosy cocooning effect but break up the colour with different surfaces, so that it doesn't feel too imposing. Patterned floor tiles or warm timber will relieve an expanse of black or grey and lighten the look.

Sticking to white sanitaryware will create a cool contrast against subdued shades, and will give you more flexibility, as it's easy to change the wall colour around it at a later date. Likewise a painted freestanding bath, can always be resprayed and updated in a new hue if you want to change your scheme without a fuss.

Not always seen in bathrooms, luxe wallpapers will ooze opulence. Just keep them at a good distance from the bath, shower or sink areas, where they could be exposed to splashing – or team with smart tiles or elegant panelling in the watery zones for good measure.

Beautiful brassware can make an impact, too. Polished chrome, copper or warm brass or bronze taps, towel rails and shower fittings will shine out and lift a monochrome backdrop and the new generation of black brassware is gorgeous against a white bath or basin.

Add some plants for good measure, and sink into bathtime bliss.

 

IN THE BLACK

IN THE BLACK

Enter the dark side, where black gloss and leather are set against verdigris brassware. Get the look: The brassware was from Lassco. The bath is Waterworks. The paint is Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball.

BEAUTIFUL AND BOLD

BEAUTIFUL AND BOLD

A basalt basin forms the foundation of an inky palette. A horizontal window lets in light and acts as a mini hothouse for a row of ferns. The mirrored cabinets have been designed to conceal the planters. Get the look: The Pegasus basin is by Living Roc. The Eye encaustic tiles are by Marrakech Design.

LUXE LAVAGE

LUXE LAVAGE

Premium bathroom fittings combined with personal elements create a bathing zone that’s both cosy and luxe. Get the look: The bath is by Porcelanosa and the taps are from Vola. The chandelier is by Timothy Oulton at Harrods. The marble bust was found at Architectural Forum. The wall lights are by Buster + Punch.

MATERIAL GAINS

MATERIAL GAINS

This luxurious space, with its tadelact-style walls offers a peaceful retreat and has a lovely view of the lake – a good place to unwind after a long day at work. Get the look: The bath is a vintage find, which has been repainted. The pink curtains are from Lovely Home Idea.

BATHTIME BLUES

BATHTIME BLUES

The centrally placed tub and walk-in shower, accessed from both sides, create a sense of spaciousness. Get the look: The wall, cupboard doors and bath – a reclaimed design bought from Lassco – are all painted in Stiffkey Blue estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. The marble splashback, floor tiles and glass shower screen are all from Fired Earth.

CLASS ACT

CLASS ACT

The enveloping dark background is relieved by splashes of green foliage and black-and-white floor tiles, the traditional pattern giving a nod to the property’s Victorian heritage. Get the look: The Salcombe bath is by The Cast Iron Bath Company. The bronze brass-finish taps are by Bespoke Taps. The Devonstone floor tiles are from Tiles Direct.

BOHO BEAUTY

BOHO BEAUTY

This bathroom was given a bohemian facelift using a mix of antique pieces and modern touches, such as the Chinese cabinet and contemporary patterned floor tiles. Get the look: The basins are from Ksar Living, Ibiza. The wall lights are by Vaughan. The ceiling light is the Z1 by Ay Illuminate. The mirrors are by Pomax. The antique Chinese cabinet is from October Interior. The Lazy Sofa bath is by B Dutch. The tiles are by Popham Design.

SET THE STAGE

SET THE STAGE

This bathroom is a place to totally disconnect, relax and indulge. There is a working fireplace, generous steam room, shower and freestanding bath. Get the look: The antique fireplace, freestanding bath, vanity unit, lights and marble tiles are all from CP Hart.

ART DECO APPEAL

ART DECO APPEAL

Although the wallpaper is the main feature, it’s the painted black panelling and antique glass tiles that surround the bath that really help pull this room together. Get the look: This is Lotus wallpaper by Farrow & Ball. Try Farrow & Ball’s Pitch Black estate eggshell for a matching paint shade. For modern versions of these antique tiles, visit TST Mosaic Tiles.

RUSTIC RETREAT

RUSTIC RETREAT

The oversized bathtub was originally created for use as an animal trough, but it works great as a bath. The trough itself cost under £200 – though it took five men to get it in place. It could have cost four times that amount to have it made. Get the look: The bath is a concrete trough from Mole Valley Farmers. The white pottery is from Made.com. The bathroom sink is an old wood dough bowl from eBay.