It's so easy to overlook the range of colors available for bathroom decorating when you're making a design update. For years, the standard bathroom color schemes have been very neutral. The good news is that color is back, and that means your bathroom decorating just got easier (and much more colorful). Whether you're extending a palette from an adjacent room, or prefer to shake things up with an artistic vibe, you'll want to start your journey with bathroom color inspiration.
How to Choose Bathroom Decor Colors You Love
The myth has been debunked that bathrooms and other small rooms must be decorated in light colors as to not make the room look smaller. The basis for this decorating idea was a basic color theory that dark colors advance and light colors retreat. While this is sound color science, it turns out it really doesn't override personal style and taste. Will your bathroom look smaller with navy blue wall paint? Possibly, but there is a real-life understanding that bathrooms are small, and there's no benefit to having it appear larger when it still functions in all the right ways.
Before You Commit to a Bathroom Color Palette
Now that you know you're not limited to neutral color palettes or light colors, you're free to choose based on your personal taste. You'll want to ask yourself a few questions before you commit to any bathroom color palette:
- Does it complement an adjacent room? Your bathroom color scheme doesn't have to match nearby rooms or halls, but it also shouldn't clash. Consider the colors that are visible from the bathroom, and adjust your color palette to include shades of that color, or ones that coordinate well.
- Have you sampled this color in your bathroom? If your color makeover includes paint, this is a must-do. Before committing to any paint color, it's essential to sample it in the room. Painting a board or sample sheet can help you see it more clearly on every wall and at every time of day.
- Do your new colors coordinate with the fixed elements? Your tile, flooring, and cabinets are essential considerations when creating a bathroom color scheme. Unless you're doing a remodel, these are fixed items and your palette will need to be created around them.
- Do you love the color? It's so important to love the colors you live with. Even if you're stuck with fixtures and surfaces that are not your favorites, you can still plan a color scheme around them using shades and tints of coordinating hues.
Bathroom Color Scheme Ideas
Most bathroom color schemes include paint, but when it's impossible to change wall color, these palettes can be used for choosing bathroom decor colors in accessories and linens. Using color inspiration, you can apply them to any aspect of your bathroom design, switching wall color with accessories to get the look you want.
Gray + Green
Pale gray bathrooms are everywhere, but there is room for dramatic shades of charcoal. Pair deep gray with bright colors for a contemporary look.
Burnt Orange + Gray
Rediscover the toned-down vibrant colors of the 1970s with burnt orange. Retro colors like gold, avocado, and orange are easily updated with a rich neutral like gray.
Blue + White
Blue and white is a classic color combination for any style of bathroom. A medium blue with soft white trim brings a vintage style that has a high-end vibe.
Mix beige, gray, white and black, for a sophisticated bathroom color scheme. With black as the only deep shade in the palette, the other neutrals create a soft and relaxing style.
Beige + White
A neutral beige and white bathroom color palette is stunning when texture and pattern are included. When your palette is simple, you can take more design chances.
Vintage Brown + White
As a wall color, brown is usually not the first thought you have when updating your bathroom. A vintage brown color with white trim is an excellent choice for a simple no-hassle color scheme with unlimited options for styling with accessories.
Dark Brown + Orange
Layers of dark and medium brown with just a pop of vibrant orange is a dramatic choice for a minimalistic bathroom. To create a dramatic space, choose one vibrant color and use in one location, like a backsplash, as a focal point.
Black + White
Decorating your bathroom in black and white gives you unlimited options for expressing your style through pops of colorful accessories. Unlike cool and warm neutrals, black and white complements any accent colors you may love.
Colors for Kids' Bathrooms
If there's a bathroom in the home that is used specifically by the kids, paint is a great way to personalize the space. Creating a kids' bathroom color palette should ideally include shades that can be changed within a few years. A budget-friendly idea is to use timeless wall colors, and create a palette with accent colors that can be changed easily as children age.
Blue + Pink
Blue and pink doesn't have to be pastel for children's spaces. Choosing a vibrant blue and pink is a fun color combination, and it can stay relevant well into the teen years.
Yellow + Orange
Sunny bathrooms are popular for kids because of their cheerful appearance. Yellow and orange is a timeless combination that gives you several options for updating as your kids move into different ages and interests.
Palettes for Small Bathrooms
Color is more important than ever in small bathrooms. The necessary bathroom elements including sinks, tubs, and toilets are typically white. With a light floor and counter, a small bathroom can lack character. Adding color to a small bathroom adds personality and character to an otherwise plain room.
Aqua and other spa colors are in the top three choices for bathroom color schemes. All shades of this relaxing and refreshed color are wonderful choices for your bathroom, and look especially fresh with white trim and accessories.
Gray + White
Pairing gray with white is the most popular bathroom color combination for a good reason. With so many design elements, including tile, fixtures, and flooring, gray and white allows you to effortlessly mix several shades in one small room.
Powder Room Color Schemes
For a powder room, the color choices are limited only by the fixtures and finishes you can't change. These tiny rooms are considered the jewel of the home, and your powder room color scheme can express your style in a creative way.
Orange + White
Combining orange, or any other vibrant and warm color, with black and white, creates a stunning vintage palette that can add interest to a bathroom in need of a boost.
Peach + Beige
The secret to adding a soft color like peach to a warm neutral bathroom palette is to choose deeper shade. Pastel colors pair well with cool neutrals like gray, but can get lost with light neutrals.
Wallpaper is also appropriate for powder rooms if they don't include a tub or shower, which can creative moisture problems. There are so many gorgeous wallpaper options available, including temporary wallpaper that can be removed.
More Opportunities for Bathroom Decor Color
A new paint or bathroom decor color is a simple and budget-friendly way to update your bathroom, but if you're diving into a bathroom remodel, you can add new color to fixures and surfaces. A colorful tile backsplash is a great way to add an accent color to your bathroom. Trendy faucets in bright colors are becoming more popular and can be a focal point for an otherwise neutral bathroom for a dramatic look.