A Guide to Choosing Bathroom Colors

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Choosing a color scheme for your bathroom can be fun. With these simple ideas, you can create an updated look.

What's Your Bathroom Style?

Before deciding on a bathroom color combination, you must first choose a style in order to narrow your options.

  • Modern: This is a sleek look with clean, sharp lines. The modern approach is minimal and uses few accessories. In bathrooms, this translates to glass and chrome finishes with square vanities or above-counter sinks. Colors can be bold and sharply defined.
  • Traditional: These bathrooms contain floral patterns, wood finishes, or any combination of eclectic design elements. Colors can be soft or bold, depending on the size of the room and style of the permanent fixtures.
  • Thematic: If your bathroom has a theme, your guests will immediately know. A theme is a cohesive design scheme that is reflected throughout the room to create a visual appearance of a specific place, such as jungle, beach, mountain, or spa. Colors in this space will reflect the theme, such as green for a jungle, blue and tan for a beach, and muted colors for a spa.

Size Matters

When determining colors for your bathroom, the size of the room definitely matters. The amount of space will help determine which colors to use.

  • Small to Medium Bathroom: These spaces often require soft colors, such as lavender, dove gray, peach, and pale blue. Do not overwhelm the space with bright, loud colors. Doing so can make the room feel even smaller. Use colors that will enhance and brighten in order to create the illusion of more space.
  • Large Bathroom: With a large space, you are less limited in your color choices. Try bold, rich colors such as burgundy, gold, or deep purple. You can create a powerful visual impact by choosing a strong color in a large space.

Extra Tips

Bring paint samples home. The lighting in your bathroom is different than the lighting in the store or your living room. The only way to know exactly how a color will look in your bathroom is to take the paint swatch into the space. It is possible that the soft peach you love in the kitchen looks pink in the bathroom.

Purchase a small sample of the colors you like and apply patches to the wall. Look at them during different times of day as the natural light comes and goes. Make sure the colors complement each other before you commit to painting large sections.

Stretch your imagination. Go beyond the typical combinations that you have used before. Don't be afraid to pair new colors, such as lavender and khaki. You might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome, and you will have a fresh new look in your home.