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10 expert tips to help you choose the best colour scheme for your bathroom

From following the rule of threes to daring to go dark...

Spent months looking at the same few walls, and feel like your bathroom needs a bit of a refresh? We understand.

Repainting a bathroom is an easy upgrade, but many of us find it difficult to choose a colour; with so many shades to choose from, it can be hard to know which hue is the best for you and your space.

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10 TIPS TO HELP YOU CHOOSE YOUR BATHROOM COLOUR SCHEME

Luckily, help is at and... Whether you’re looking to make a statement or create a spa, these handy tips from Victorian Plumbing’s George Holland will help you choose the best bathroom colour scheme for your home.

1. START WITH A MOOD

Spending time looking for bathroom colours you like can be daunting. Simplify by first asking what you want the space to say. Is this a family bathroom that needs to be practical and sturdy, or a peaceful place to escape to after work? Finding the mood first will help you narrow down colour choices. Want to relax? Look to pastels and pale blues. Want a pragmatic space? In that case, go for something neutral! This is a good way to narrow down schemes from the start.

Tip: Pinterest is the perfect place to find bathroom inspiration.

best bathroom colour scheme

(Image credit: Damian Russell)

2. USE THE COLOUR WHEEL

Many people panic when it comes to pairing colours in bathrooms. This is because space is often limited and so colour clashes are highlighted. Take advantage of the colour wheel to make things easier. The wheel lets you see at a glance how colours relate to each other visually and has been used in design for generations. Opposite colours – say red and green – are complementary, whilst those next to each other – like green and blue – blend. Play around till you find your perfect combination.

Tip: Start with the colours you love and see what pairings and blendings you can create.

best bathroom colour scheme

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

3. STAY NEUTRAL

Neutral bathrooms are classics for a reason. They allow colours to inspire feelings of calm and serenity. But they can feel a little bit boring. Break this up by mixing two different neutrals together. You’ll be surprised at the difference this can make! Go one shade darker – i.e. grey and white, or beige and brown. This is a great way to future proof your bathroom too, as double-neutrals don’t really go out of style.

Tip: For a balanced look, paint two-thirds of the room the lighter neutral shade and the remaining third the darker.

best bathroom colour scheme

(Image credit: Michael Sinclair)

4. THE 7-2-1 RATIO

If you want to add a splash of colour to your bathroom but you’re not sure how far to go, choose three shades - one neutral, one colourful but light, and one bold. Then, divide these across the space with a ratio of 7-2-1. So seven-tenths of the room should be neutral, two-tenths lighter and colourful - leaving the final tenth bold. This will add colour to the space in a non-domineering and balanced way.

Pro Tip: Find three colours which conventionally go together, like white, grey and light green, and swap out one of the colours for a bolder version - i.e. lime green, to create a striking 7-2-1 colour scheme.

5. START BIG, GET SMALLER

When considering a new bathroom scheme, start with the biggest surface first. So begin by painting your widest wall. Then work down to the furnishings, bath and vanity and finally the accessories like the towels, taps and soap dispensers.

Tip: Remember the 7-2-1 ratio and combine it with this system of working down. Save the bold colours for the smallest elements of the room.

(Image credit: Polly Wreford)

See: An interior designers shares her five favourite kitchen and bathroom trends

6. GO DARK

Bathrooms are traditionally seen as white, bright places, but don’t be afraid to go a little darker. A dark colour, such as charcoal or indigo, can really make a bathroom pop, especially when used in stark contrast with bright light finishings. Matt black fittings are becoming more popular all the time, with many of us opting for black and anthracite showers, taps and fittings these days.

Pro Tip: Adding another hue to a dark colour scheme – a bright green for example – will create a modern, contemporary look.

(Image credit: Adrian Briscoe)

7. CONTRAST BRIGHT COLOURS

Bored with traditional bathrooms and want a more energetic and youthful space? Use two contrasting bright colours to create an invigorating combo effect that’ll really make your space pop. So think orange and blue, mint and white, pink and turquoise. Use white trims and lots of natural light to temper the space so it isn’t too overpowering.

Tip: If you want to add crazier colours but are worried about going off them, do it through towels and furnishings. You can swap them out if they start feeling too gaudy.

best bathroom colour scheme

(Image credit: Simon Brown)

8. THINK IN THREES

Want a good, sure-fire way to create a balanced bathroom colour scheme? Pick a colour you love, and make sure you use it three times. So if you have one red wall, add red towels or a red sink to accentuate. For white wallpaper, add white cabinets with a white toothbrush holder. Try and have at least one colour repeat three times.

Tip: Using the same colour three times makes it into an intentional design choice. Using the same colour just once or twice can look sloppy and accidental.

9. GO NATURAL

If you’re stuck, look to nature for colour inspiration. Colours like robin’s egg blues, coral pinks and oranges, coffee browns and sea-foam blues and greens are perfect for bathrooms. These hues feel natural and organic, and are a great way to soften the hard edges and corners often found in bathrooms. Bring some of the outside in.

Tip: Use the rule of three. Whichever natural colour you settle on make sure it repeats in cabinets and accessories to create a balanced room.

best bathroom colour scheme

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

See: 6 key bathroom trends for autumn 2020, according to Victoria + Albert

10. DON'T FORGET THE FLOOR

If you’ve got a wooden bathroom floor, you can really make the space pop by painting the floorboards. Make sure you prime the floor and sand it before adding two coats of paint to each board. This can give your bathroom a rustic, country-farm inspired look too.

Tip: Contrasting colours across each board can create a strong monochrome effect. Combine this with a white bathroom and it’s all the colour you’ll need.