Is black a good color for a bathroom? Experts weigh in on whether you should decorate with this moody hue

Moody palettes are having a moment, but is black a good color for a bathroom? According to experts, it absolutely is!

Is black a good color for a bathroom?
(Image credit: Little Greene/Benjamin Moore/Davey Lighting)

Moody hues are trending, but is black a good color for a bathroom? The darkest shade of the palette, it was once a color people would avoid, fearing it would create an unwelcoming darkness in a room. But with the right design and paired with the right finishes, can black create a chic and sophisticated bathroom scheme?

When you think of classic bathroom ideas, light airy spaces probably come to mind. But while darker hues have been less prevalent in recent bathroom designs, the revived appreciation for moody palettes has seen designers embracing more dramatic schemes.

So, is black a good color for a bathroom? We've asked interior designers and color experts to share their thoughts and discuss the best ways to introduce black to a scheme, from color-drenched spaces to moody accents.

Is black a good color for a bathroom?

Black marble shower with gold accents

(Image credit: Ripples)

While you may associate black interiors with dark rooms, this hue can create beautifully classic schemes, especially in a bathroom. 'A black bathroom is a striking choice that immediately captures your attention, exuding a sense of daring style,' says Jennifer Davis, of Davis Interiors.

In large and small bathrooms, black can make the most of your space, embracing naturally darker rooms or adding a sense of understated drama in spacious rooms. 'It is an unexpected and unconventional design that transforms a typically utilitarian space into a statement room, combining chic elegance and avant-garde flair,' Jennifer adds.

Often, it's assumed that black will make a bathroom feel small and compact, but the right hues can have quite the opposite effect. 'When applied correctly, deep, sophisticated black paint colors can blur the lines in the space and make it feel more expansive,' says Arianna Barone, color marketing manager at Benjamin Moore.

Bathroom with a textured black wall and a matte black roll top bath tub

(Image credit: Davey Lighting)

A successful black bathroom scheme relies on the right shade – consider the atmosphere you want to create in your space. Do you want a calming bathroom, or a more striking, dramatic design?

'When choosing bathroom paint colors, it’s always important to consider the overall feeling you are trying to evoke in the space and bring that through in the design. Black walls can be sophisticated, moody, and even relaxing – it depends on all the design elements that make up the palette,' she explains.

Black can also have a more unexpected effect on your bathroom that would usually be more commonly associated with muted or earthy tones. 'Dark, moody colors can provide the same comfort and relaxation that light blues and greens are known for,' explains Arianna. So, it seems the answer is yes, black is a good color for a bathroom.

5 ways to introduce black to a bathroom

Black is a great color for a bathroom, but a successful scheme relies upon the right balance. From contrasting colors and patterns to interesting textures, here's how interior designers make black work in any bathroom.

1. Introduce a black bathroom wallpaper

Black bathroom wallpaper used behind the vanity

(Image credit: Davis Interiors/Spacecrafting)

Black is an unexpected yet wonderful color to introduce to a bathroom, but paint isn't the only way to do so. Depending on the space and how much ventilation there is, a black bathroom wallpaper will make a lovely addition to add softness and texture to your scheme.

'If you're not quite ready to fully commit to black walls, consider using black wallpaper instead. Wallpaper allows for more depth and texture than a flat wall, providing an opportunity to experiment with patterns and finishes that add dimension to the space,' suggests Jennifer.

There are a few ways to introduce black wallpaper to a bathroom – in this scheme, a textured paper had been added to the wall behind the vanity, adding contrast to the white walls and light wood cabinetry.

2. Introduce mirrors to a black bathroom

Black bathroom with gold mirrors

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Black is a moody color, so a bathroom can feel quite dark without the right design elements. While it might be tempting to add additional light sources, there are other, more decorative ways to make the space feel lighter.

'Mirrors help to reflect the light in the room, making it feel brighter. Consider opting for an oversized mirror to play with the proportion and scale of the room,' suggests Arianna. In a small space opt for wall mirrors, but in larger bathrooms, add a statement full-length mirror.

In this black bathroom scheme, a gold arched mirror has been introduced above the sink to bring more light to the area, instantly brightening the vanity.

3. Work plants into a black bathroom scheme

Black bathroom with patterned floor and plants

(Image credit: Future/Colin Poole)

Bathrooms are always a great room to introduce indoor plants – they instantly thrive in the humid environment while adding a lively decorative element to the space. The contrast of the greenery works particularly well in a black bathroom, too.

'Incorporating lush green plants can bring a refreshing burst of natural color, softening the overall look and adding a layer of vibrancy. Plants also introduce a sense of tranquility and life, making the space feel more inviting and harmonious,' says Jennifer.

Choose a variety of plants, from tall indoor trees to trailing plants on a shelf to add dimension and interest to your bathroom. Taking one step further by introducing contrasting plant pots – in this scheme, gold pots have been used for a pop of metallic decor.

4. Choose the right shade of black

Black bathroom with white accents

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Just like white paints, there are so many shades of black to choose from, so choosing the right hue for your space is crucial for achieving a space that embraces black. This will ensure you achieve the right atmosphere in your bathroom.

'For a finish with immediate impact and a touch of opulence, opt for an all-over color using a deep, moody hue like Lamp Black. The strength of the color will provide a sophisticated scheme that can be complemented with white porcelain and high-shine accessories,' says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene.

The contrast between the black walls and white accents works beautifully in this bathroom. This simple color pairing feels elegant and elevated, with plenty of light filtering into the space to soften the dark walls.

5. Add a touch of elegance with metallic accessories

black bathroom ideas, black bathroom with herringbone tiled walls, black marble basin, brass figures, mirror, pair of matching pendant lights, wooden floor

(Image credit: Julie Geyer Studio / Country Floors & Marble Systems)

One of the simplest yet most elegant pairings is black and metallics, especially gold and brass tones. The contrast between the two feels timeless and elevated, perfect for a black bathroom that endures.

'Brushed gold or brass fixtures and hardware introduce a touch of opulence and warmth, creating a beautiful contrast against the dark backdrop. These metallic accents not only elevate the design but also prevent the space from feeling too stark or cold,' explains Jennifer.

Keep things simple with gold hardware, faucet, and decor so as not to overpower your black scheme. This bathroom vanity is a striking example of how a few gold additions can really elevate a black bathroom scheme.

With the right design, interior designers agree that black is a good color for a bathroom. Whether you color drench a space or pair black with a brighter shade, it's important to introduce the right amount of contrast, whether it be color or texture, for a space that feels inviting and complete.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.