Colorful bathroom ideas – 10 bold and playful schemes
Be inspired to create a head-turning space with these fun colorful bathroom ideas
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Colorful bathroom ideas are growing in popularity as more of us seek fresh and exciting ways to make our homes unique.
As practical spaces we don't use for huge amounts of time, bathrooms can sometimes be an afterthought and can have a tendency to feel cold and sterile, however, they can be fabulous spaces to decorate differently.
Increasingly we're seeing homeowners and interior designers alike embracing playful bathroom color ideas that bring life and personality to the space and turning their backs on bland bathroom ideas.
Whether you're looking to decorate a small bathroom, a master bathroom, or simply want some interior inspiration, these colorful bathrooms, and expert tips will open your eyes to the endless decorating possibilities.
Colorful bathroom ideas
There are lots of ways to introduce colorful bathroom ideas, from fun bathroom tile ideas to statement bathroom wallpaper ideas. When it comes to bathroom trends, we're seeing interior designers increasingly experimenting with bold color combinations and prints across multiple surfaces, rather than opting for just one room color idea.
'We love playing around with pairings – sometimes surprising combinations are the most successful,' says Lucy Barlow, founder and creative director of interior design studio, Barlow & Barlow (opens in new tab).
'Bathrooms can be clinical spaces, so I work hard to make them the very opposite. I want them to feel homely and inviting, by injecting color with a considered choice of tiles or painted joinery. For example, a vanity unit, painted in an unexpected color, can make a standout piece that instantly introduces warmth.'
1. Try color blocking
Decorating with pink is not always been associated with bathrooms, but we're seeing it everywhere right now with pink bathroom wall tiles, proving particularly popular. With its wall-to-wall pink tiles, this girl's bathroom could feel sickly, but the addition of chic gold fittings and a striking yellow bath idea gives the space a sophisticated edge, plus, the colors cleverly complement the striking bathroom art.
'This house was completely transformed to suit a busy family with three young children. Our products were specified for each of the property’s four bathrooms – combining candy pink tiles and bespoke mural art with gleaming brass finishes and a handpainted yellow Usk bath, the girls’ bathroom achieves the perfect balance between the playful and the timeless,' says James Lentaigne creative director at Drummonds (opens in new tab).
2. Get creative with paint
'From walls to floors to the tub itself, repainting is the quickest and most cost-effective way to refresh a bathroom,' says Chalk Paint creator and color expert, Annie Sloan (opens in new tab). 'So many of us inherit bland bathrooms and don't have the budget to start from scratch.'
Using contrasting colors on different surfaces is a simple way to create a head-turning look, alternatively, you could get creative and try bathroom paint ideas with a geometric pattern or an ombre feature wall.
3. Create a feature floor
Paint is also a wonderful way to create colorful bathroom flooring ideas. Here interior designer Alison Kandler used a beautiful wallpaper as a starting point for a colorful palette picking out colors for the bath and a head-turning chequerboard painted floor. 'This bathroom was created for a young girl – we wanted it to feel traditional but still whimsical,' says Alison Kandler (opens in new tab).
4. Choose a colorful wallpaper
Provided it's hung in a splash-free area and the room is well ventilated there's no reason why you can't use wallpaper in a bathroom, plus, if this is a worry, there are waterproof wallpapers you can buy, too. Pairing a small-scale geometric wallpaper above neutral paneling is a wonderful way to embrace kaleidoscope color without overwhelming a space, as demonstrated in this scheme by Nash Design Group.
'Modern, graphic, water-resistant wallpaper is just what this colorful kids' bathroom needed. We added our favorite blue hues to the bathroom vanity and sconces to bring the space together,' says Kendra Nash, founder of Nash Design Group (opens in new tab).
5. Use tiles to create a fun feature wall idea
There's no need to stick to just one type of tile when designing a bathroom – combining different colors can be a wonderful way to create a unique design, as demonstrated in this small tile bathroom idea by Cave Interiors.
‘Taking inspiration from London’s tube map, we incorporated a geometric grid of colors on an otherwise white backdrop of tiles to create a sense of fun, whilst keeping the space light, bright and bang on brief,' says Georgina Cave, founder of Cave Interiors (opens in new tab).
6. Use color to highlight architectural features
To give a bathroom a playful twist while keeping it feeling bright and airy, try picking out features like ceiling ideas or window frames in bold paint colors as demonstrated in this blue and white bathroom.
‘When planning your scheme, consider the ceiling too, this is the fifth wall of your room and can create real impact. Use a bold, contrasting hue to draw focus to the height of the room,' says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene. (opens in new tab)
7. Use a mix of colorful patterns
If you love the idea of bathroom color ideas but are worried about them feeling too dominant, then try introducing colorful patterns as this will help soften the look. While yellow bathroom ideas are hugely uplifting, going for wall-to-wall yellow can be overwhelming for some. In this space by Barlow & Barlow yellow subway tiles are teamed with pink Pradena porcelain floor tiles from Bert & May (opens in new tab) and a dotted sink skirt to achieve a more gentle approach to flat color blocking.
'We went for mustard and pink in this family bathroom because it’s appropriate for a child's space without being too sickly for any adults who have to use it as well,' says Lucy Barlow, founder and creative director of interior design studio, Barlow & Barlow (opens in new tab). Adding a sink skirt is a great opportunity to incorporate some fun prints into your bathroom. Adding color and texture can really make a smaller space sing, plus it's a great way to conceal storage space.'
8. Choose contrasting colors
Being transient spaces and rooms often used by guests, cloakrooms are wonderful areas for embracing colorful bathroom ideas with a wow factor. A feast for the senses, this cloakroom by Barlow & Barlow is packed with color, pattern and texture and proves that small bathrooms can be just as showstopping as large bathrooms.
9. Choose a statement wallpaper
Just like cloakrooms, powder rooms are spaces where you can afford to be more experimental with decorating. Statement wallpapers are guaranteed to create a talking point, and don't be afraid to pair them with luxurious materials as done here by Jeffrey Neve Interior Design (opens in new tab).
'We are huge fans of Emma Shipley here at Jeffrey Neve Interior Design and as soon as we saw this Amazon-inspired wallpaper with orange jaguars, we knew this was the right choice for our client's powder bath. The soft veining in the marble vanity with integrated sink compliments the exotic pattern on the walls and the agate sconces add another natural element to the room,' say the interior design team.
10. Add in colorful accents
To bring life to a bathroom with neutral walls try adding in colorful window treatment or painting a bath. Bathroom lighting ideas can easily be overlooked, but they can be another great way to introduce a pop of color into a pared-back space. 'I like using fabric and card shades on wall lights, often from Vaughan and Pooky, to introduce texture and more color,' says Lucy Barlow of Barlow & Barlow. Here the Mini Elbow red wall lights from Pooky (opens in new tab) fit perfectly with the primary palette.
How can I make my bathroom colorful?
There are so many ways to make a bathroom colorful. For a head-turning look embrace vibrant bathroom wall ideas such as a bold paint shade, wall tiles or a statement wallpaper. You could also try creating a feature floor.
‘Paint is an effective way to transform a space quickly and easily. Use color to add personality and character to your bathroom. Create focal points that highlight different areas within the room by using color blocking to provide a zoning effect,' suggests Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene (opens in new tab).
Plain subway wall tiles in a beautiful shade can be a cost-effective way of introducing impact, especially when paired with joinery painted in a contrasting color,' adds Lucy Barlow, founder and creative director of interior design studio, Barlow & Barlow.
Alternatively, for something a bit more laid-back try introducing pops of color by painting a bath or adding a fun fabric skirt or window treatment.
'Adding accents of red or pink help soften and warm up as space, and we love adding a cozy blind in a fun print to enhance the atmosphere,' adds Lucy Barlow.
What colors work well together in a bathroom?
There are many colors that work well together in a bathroom. The color wheel is a great place to start when designing a bathroom color scheme. Contrasting colors are a big trend at the moment, with blue and orange and green bathroom ideas paired and with pink proving particularly popular. Blue and white are a classic combination for a bathroom but to give the look playful twist interior designers are adding in bold accents in red and yellow.
Pippa is Content Editor on Homes & Gardens online contributing to Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors print issues. A graduate of Art History and formerly Style Editor at Period Living, she is passionate about architecture, creating decorating content, interior styling and writing about craft and historic homes. She enjoys searching out beautiful images and the latest trends to share with the Homes & Gardens audience. A keen gardener, when she’s not writing you’ll find her growing flowers on her village allotment for styling projects.
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