Grey and white bathroom ideas – 11 inspiring monochrome schemes
Create timeless, elegant spaces with these grey and white bathroom ideas
Grey and white bathroom ideas are enduringly popular and elegant. A versatile pairing, grey and white can be used to create a huge array of bathroom looks, from cool and calming, to dramatic and opulent, depending on the tones you use, and the proportions in which you use them.
If you’re thinking of embracing grey and white in a bathroom, know that they can feel cool, and since we often use our bathrooms in the cool light of the morning and late at night, you may want to pair them with warm artificial lighting and accent tones.
But if you are looking for bathroom ideas that are timeless and smart, it's hard to get wrong, whether you love a traditional or contemporary look, or something in between. To get you inspired, we have rounded up our favorite grey and white bathroom ideas, along with advice from the experts on how to strike the perfect balance with a two-tone scheme.
Grey and white bathroom ideas
Grey and white bathrooms are often regarded as a safe choice when it comes to bathroom color ideas, yet they needn't be uninteresting, as any interior designer will attest.
And while gray bathroom ideas can be a little forbidding in north-facing spaces, grey and white bathroom ideas can be lighter, with real wow-factor.
1. Embrace marble surfaces
With their beautiful veining and myriad subtle grey tones, marble bathroom ideas are a wonderful way to bring texture and interest to a grey and white bathroom, but can also help to soften black and white bathroom schemes, as shown in this space by CM Natural Designss.
'Marble is classic material and since the client knew they wanted a black and white bathroom, the grey marble used here helps soften the high contrast and adds an element of sophistication,' says Corine Maggio, interior designer and founder.
In addition to the marble bathroom flooring and countertop, Corine Maggio has introduced metallic bathroom mirrors and wall lights to bring further interest and warmth to the room. 'Too much grey and white can make a space look sterile and spotty. The brass elements soften that intensity while maintaining and adding to the elegance of the space.'
2. Create a two-tone paint effect
Bathroom paint ideas are a quick and easy way to create a focal point in a neutral bathroom, plus using a selection of three different grey and white paint tones can help bring depth to the space.
Not only does the combination of grey and white on the walls here make for a playful feature, the grey base – Little Greene's Gauze Dark – serves to anchor the space and draw attention to the luxurious roll top, while the ceiling, painted in the lighter Gauze shade, highlights the height of the room.
3. Create texture with wall tiles
If you're planning on having a grey and white bathroom, then factoring in plenty of texture is essential to prevent it from feeling stark and lifeless.
In this bathroom by Kitesgrove, veined marble in soft grey adds texture and classic luxury, while the trapezoid bathroom wall tiles create a subtle feature wall with a contemporary twist, as opposed to those made up of regular rectangular designs.
4. Add a grey vanity unit
Decorating with neutrals can be tricky to get right, but provided you layer the tones and textures you'll have success. Here the light grey bathroom tiles have subtle variations in texture which brings movement and depth to the space, while a gray bathroom vanity idea helps create a focal point.
Grey and white bathrooms can run the risk of lacking atmosphere, so with this in mind, it's especially important to consider bathroom lighting ideas when designing a monochrome bathroom to ensure the space is fit for relaxation. Here sculptural wall lights make an attractive feature but will also help set the mood.
5. Make a statement with bathroom tiles
While having a monochrome palette might limit your scope with color, it needn't limit your ability to play with pattern, and getting creative with wall tile effects and combinations is a wonderful way to make a statement. Here the richly textured dark marble bathroom floor tile idea contrasts well with the white herringbone wall tiles to create an opulent and characterful space.
'One way to add further interest is to use different styles and patterns of grey marble flooring to zone areas such as wet rooms and the main body of the bathroom. By pairing with white tiles and a white bathroom suite, it doesn’t take away from the impact and visual treat that is marble flooring,' Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs.
6. Add drama with dark grey
As small spaces we don't spend huge amounts of time in, bathrooms are rooms where we can afford to be bold with decor.
Opting for a walls in a charcoal shade will bring a sense of sophistication and luxury, especially when teamed with white marble with dark veining and glamorous bathroom ceiling lighting.
If you're thinking of dark bathroom ideas then it's a good idea to factor in space for a large mirror, as here, as this will help the space feel bright and uplifting.
7. Add a feature floor
Making a feature of your bathroom flooring ideas is a great way to add personality to a small grey and white bathroom.
With no clear start or finish, a tessellated small bathroom tile idea will trick the eye and make a small bathroom look bigger than it is.
8. Finish the space with a window treatment
Bathroom window treatments can easily be overlooked, however they have a vital role to play. Not only do they allow essential control over light and privacy, they can also be beautifully decorative and help bring a scheme together.
In this grey and white bathroom by interior designer Tracy Morris a bathroom blind in a timeless vertical stripe brings subtle pattern to the monochrome scheme and provides an antidote to the strong horizontal lines that run throughout the space.
'Contrast is a great way to enhance the grey paint color. The white trim and dark shale cabinets allow the walls to have a personality of their own,' says Tracy.
As well as on fabric, subtle pattern is also embraced through Tracy's choice of flooring.
'In this bathroom we knew the tile was going to be the star of the show. Brought together in a herringbone pattern, its mix of Bardiglio, Thassos and mother-of-pearl certainly catches your eye,' she says. 'We needed a paint color that brought all these tones together without competing in the space,' adds the designer who opted for walls in Benjamin Moore's Silver Chain.
9. Try wood wall paneling
Wooden bathroom paneling is a wonderful way to bring texture and rustic charm to a grey and white bathroom, and can look particularly effective in a country bathroom.
Boasting beautiful a silvery grain which varies from plank to plank, this wooden paneling is bursting with texture and makes a striking feature in this spa-like space, while a statement metallic bath adds an element of luxury.
10. Add pattern with wallpaper
'The transient nature of a bathroom means it is an excellent room to have fun and bring in a sense of personality,' says Kate French, creative director at Dado Atelier. 'Wallpaper is a fantastic way to bring the joy of color and pattern into what is often a stark space.'
This ditsy paisley design brings pattern without being overwhelming and makes a beautiful backdrop for a show-stopping double sink with a marble countertop.
If you're thinking of adding bathroom wallpaper make sure your space is well ventilated and the paper is used in a splash-free area, plus consider pairing it above wall paneling finished in wipeable paint finishes for bathrooms for practicality.
Powder rooms which are used infrequently a great places to experiment with bold eye-catching designs.
11. Be bold with high-contrast charcoal and marble
Many people like to play it safe when it comes to ceiling ideas, but for those that are looking to be more daring with decor, why not make a statement in the bathroom with dark grey overhead as done here in a design by Meyer Davis?
Paired with veined marble and metallics this this dark charcoal shade is perfect for achieving a luxury bathroom look or for bringing an element of surprise to a guest bathroom.
What colors go with grey and white in a bathroom?
The beauty of grey and white bathrooms is that they are neutral and work well with many most shades on the color wheel. What color you put with grey and white will depend on the tone and temperature of the shade you choose.
'Accent colors should be used to highlight and work in tandem with the base shade rather than against it,' says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene.
'When choosing greys, go for something well-balanced like our French Grey family. These greys can be paired with other shades with ease, combining well with blues, greens and pinks,' she adds.
How do you accent a grey and white bathroom?
There are many ways to accent a grey and white bathroom to successfully lift the two-tone look. If you want to stick with a monochrome palette then adding in pops of black will bring definition and depth to the space, be it through window treatments, accessories or through architectural details such as a Crittall shower screen.
If you're looking to add a pop of color then pretty much anything goes. For bold accent colors for grey, try vibrant blues and or teal – with their watery connotations, these make fitting bathroom accent colors. Alternatively, for for a softer, more elegant look, turn to blush pink pastels or tranquil pale blues.
However, accents needn't be just introduced in the form of color. Grey and white bathrooms have a tendency to feel cool, so adding warm metallic details such as gold or brass fixtures, fittings and accessories, is a great way to balance a monochrome scheme while also introducing a touch of glamor.
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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