Bathroom color ideas – for a scheme that is bright and beautiful

Gone are the days when a serene scheme was limited to neutral colors and plain finishes...

Bathroom color ideas
(Image credit: Future / Jake Curtis)

The bathroom might not be the first place you think of when planning a color scheme, but it should certainly not be an afterthought. 

A good bathroom color scheme is essential for creating the look, feel and design you want in your bathroom or shower room. 

Adding a bright and beautiful hue to your bathroom will really lift your whole home, bringing this functional space into line with the rest of your decor. Keep reading for our favorite bathroom color ideas.

  • See: Bathroom ideas – 30 stylish decor ideas for washrooms, ensuites and more

1. Play with animal prints

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Catherine Gratwicke)

From timber grains to tropical patterns, natural beauty has long been a strong interiors trend, but animal prints in particular have found new popularity over recent months.

Fierce and exotic, big cats are the most glamorous creatures in the 
animal kingdom, so no wonder we're adopting their spots and stripes 
this season. Leaping into homeware too, there’s a touch of the feline on everything from furniture to flooring, but consider taking it to accessories for a look that can be changed with each trend.

2. Make subtle changes

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

There is no need to dramatically change your style; in fact a neutral background can be the perfect base for bringing color into a bathroom. 

A bold bath mat is a simple and affordable way to add color to your scheme in an instant – and can be changed to fit current bathroom trends or, if you simply change your mind. 

3. Add a theatrical element

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Polly Wreford)

This bold hue is often considered a daring choice for interiors, but used creatively it can introduce a welcome burst of energy and flamboyance.  

Here, pale aqua makes a wonderful backdrop for vibrant accents of red that have been given a light-hearted, theatrical note using stripes and checks. 

4. Revitalise a classic theme

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

Breathing new life into the classic coastal look, this scheme features a breezy palette of blues, from soft shades of pale sky through to Breton navy, teal and denim. 

For a cosy fisherman’s cottage feel, try a new twist on tongue-and-groove by painting it in a shade that evokes the sea. In this bathroom, the painted panelling and a plinth help define the bathing area. 

5. Introduce interest with wallpaper

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Chris Everard)

Mixing and matching delicate designs and bold motifs can have remarkably different effects, depending on how they are used. 

In this inviting bathroom, the block color of the wall panelling and floor allows a wonderfully whimsical wallpaper with a strong motif to shine. 

Meanwhile, understated border details on the curtain and the towels help to pull the look together for a cohesive feel. 

6. Redecorate in an artist’s palette

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Damian Russell)

A palette of playful pastels is the perfect antidote to the current socio-political climate we find ourselves in.

This bathroom takes inspiration from the colors and distinctive style of David Hockey’s style of work, translating his signature tonal palette into a playful and uplifting interior.  

Hockney’s work eschews the traditional mien of the macho art world and pastels often play a starring role in his paintings. Quirky accessories, such as this mirror, reflect the artist’s witty, provocative nature. 

7. Take a leaf from nature

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Chris Everard)

We take a pick of the latest foliage and floral motifs to bring uplifting color and decorative interest to the bathroom. 

The delicate but impactful nature of florals can add a new dimension to any  scheme, whether traditional or contemporary. 

Here, a rich tropical-style wallpaper sets a relaxed mood in this inviting space centred on an elegant bath.

8. Be bold with an all-over color

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Jake Curtis)

Do you have a favorite color? Then opt for decorating your whole space in a color that will make you happy day-after-day.

Beloved by ancient Chinese dynasties, the Moors and the Greeks, this enduring blue and white color combination takes on a fresh, modern feel with the latest indigo and denim tones. 

This bathroom, with strong wall color and chequered flooring echo the palette of the adjacent room to ensure a unified look. 

How do you add color to a bathroom?

To add color and personality, try incorporating upscaled period furniture into the scheme, turning an essentially functional room into a more personal space. Try combining tile finishes too, mixing and matching both natural and man-made options to add texture and depth to a space.

Gone are the days of carpet in bathrooms. Use tiles, stone or timber to bring texture, color and pattern into the room. Try creating a feature wall to add interest. A bathroom will also look lighter and brighter if it’s uncluttered. Fit sockets in the cupboards to charge toothbrushes and incorporate a drawer where the hairdryer can be stored and plugged in.

What is the best color for a bathroom?

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future)

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in any house, and careful color choices here can go a long way. Although its principal purpose is functional, a bathroom should also be a calm, relaxing and decoratively enticing space.  

Simple, white fixtures and fittings are timeless, but consider making an impact when it comes to surfaces such as walls, ceilings, floors, windows and counter tops. 

High quality bathroom furniture adds a luxurious effect, but it is the background elements that really underpin the feel of the space and allow experimentation with color, texture and pattern.

What colors are best for a small bathroom?

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

If your bathroom is big enough, consider drawing attention to one wall with a vibrant wallpaper, tile arrangement, over-sized mirror or striking artwork – making sure it is framed appropriately to avoid condensation damage.

Small bathrooms can take bold colors just as well as larger rooms. Either stick to the same wall treatment throughout in a small en suite or cloakroom, or in a larger area, don't be afraid to ring the changes by using dark stone or tiles in a walk-in shower to add contrast and a really stylish impact.

What is the most relaxing color for a bathroom?

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Richard Powers)

Color has a huge impact on mood, and bathrooms have a tendency to sidestep  polarizing hues in favor of pale neutrals and whites, which are refreshing and easy to live with. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, darker shades of grey including slate, are also popular for creating a cocooning spa-like effect. 

Bathroom color ideas

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Bathrooms should be restful sanctuaries as well as utilitarian spaces, and a well-thought out decorative scheme will reflect both practical and aesthetic elements.

Current bathroom trends including Modernist units and bold patterns are making a splash in this room just as much as any other in the home, so make sure that yours isn’t neglected.