Colorful bathrooms are on trend – but what do interior design experts think?

And should you make the move from monochrome?

Colorful bathrooms, green wallpaper and colored sink
(Image credit: The Curious Department)

Colorful bathrooms – and in particularly, sanitaryware, is set to be one of the biggest and most controversial of bathroom trends, as a growing number of homeowners inject elements of the kaleidoscopic 80s into their bathrooms. 

It is, however, fair to say that this craze is not for the faint-hearted, as statement sanitaryware is far from conventional and will stand out in any style of home. 

Are you thinking of joining in on this rainbow trend? Firstly, consider the arguments of these designers who are split over this unorthodox decor style. 

Colorful bathrooms: the vote 'yes' team

'As people spend more time at home, we are reflecting on its potential and how it can be transformed to give a better lifestyle. Color, pattern, and texture are simple and effective ways to do this,' open Alexander and Michael Christou, Founders and Directors of 1.61 London.  

Colorful bathrooms, pink bath and vibrant tiles in a bathroom

(Image credit: Original Style)

The designers continued, suggesting colored sanitaryware offers pockets of joy amid the pandemic when people are turning away from traditional bathroom paint ideas and are looking to brighten up their everyday lives.

'People are bored with the stereotypical five-star bathroom style and want to bring more character, life, color, and personality into their homes,' Alexander and Michael share.

They continue: 'People want to be bolder and expressive and create something unique to them and their space. That is why we see a big rise in vintage styles, patterns, and color trends. Even the simplest and smallest design purchases can make a big aesthetic difference.'

Colorful bathrooms, colored bath and vibrant tiles in a bathroom

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

If you're keen to incorporate a rainbow of bathroom color ideas in your space but are still slightly reluctant to invest in colorful sanitaryware, then the designers offered their expert suggestion on how to make a room more vibrant beyond the '80s craze.  

'At 1.61 London, we still keep the sanitaryware white but accentuate color and pattern with different marble and porcelain colors and textures. We also incorporate a lot of metal beading with pops of brass and antique, rustic brass to give a design contrast.

'We love to section off specific areas in a bathroom, to give them their own design statement, like feature tiling a full shower area, or using a different toned marble with a specific type of texture or backlighting.

'Colorful, textured wallpaper with a pattern popping against a brass tap can create real individuality and character. It's a bold move in the design industry narrative, but it's very exciting and leaves all options on the table, and anyone can get involved,' they add. 

Colorful bathrooms, wallpaper and gray bath tub

(Image credit: Lime Lace)

Alexander and Michael's enthusiasm is equally mirrored by Louise Ashdown, head of design at West One Bathrooms. Louise offered similar advice for those who remain unconvinced by this nostalgic craze. 

'Colorful sanitaryware is seeping back into bathrooms now, and we've had orders for stunning fittings in deep mustards, heritage greens, and teal blues. If you're still sitting on the fence, go for white sanitaryware with paintable exteriors, like cast-iron baths and [a] retro basin.'

'For a more discreet color pop, consider colored brassware, like Viola's classic HV1 basin tap, that comes in fiery orange and zingy limes,' Louise suggested. 

Colorful bathrooms, green freestanding tub

(Image credit: Waters Baths of Ashbourne)

Colorful bathrooms: the vote 'no' team

As with all bold trends, colored sanitaryware comes with its critics. While these designers are also fans of creating a bold and bright bathroom, they encourage us to take risks elsewhere, such as the powder room wall decor shown below. 

'I love using color and encourage my clients to take a risk with wall tile and flooring, but I draw the line at colorful sinks and toilets. I think that craze is always short-lived. There are a lot of great design ideas we can take from the '70s and '80s, but that is not one of them,' announces Rande Leaman of the Los Angeles-based design company, Rande Leaman Interior Design.

Colored bathroom trend, green sink and wallpaper

(Image credit: The Curious Department)

Rande's argument is similarly mirrored by designer Jeff Andrews who adds: 'Bathrooms are a great place to personalize your design with the use of color. I prefer introducing color through tiles, stone, paint, or wallpaper and keep the other elements like tubs and sinks classic and subtle.' 

Colorful bathrooms: what's your vote?

It appears the jury is out. If you're looking to incorporate color into your bathroom but want to avoid bright sanitaryware, we suggest beginning with a bold wallpaper or tiles, and then see where you progress – but we would love to hear your thoughts on social media. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.