A homeowner is free to choose any type of color scheme for their bathroom. If there is a law against painting the walls of the bathroom fire engine red, it is probably one of those arcane laws that legislators forgot to repeal in the 1940s. But the bathroom is a place of rest and relaxation, and most homeowners choose pastels or neutrals. Here are some of the best color palettes for a bathroom:
Shades of Blue
Because blue puts a person in mind of bodies of water, a homeowner can mix a darker shade of blue such as ultramarine or Prussian with lighter shades that recall the sky over a beach on a summer afternoon. One idea uses large, Egyptian blue ceramic tiles on the vanity and the backsplash that are echoed in the tiles on the wall of the shower stall. The rest of the stall and the area around the sink and vanity are covered in mosaic tile of several shades of blue. The other walls and ceilings are left white or painted a very light shade of blue whose color is also found in the shower curtain.
A small bathroom has the upper two thirds of the wall painted pale blue and the lower decorated with cream colored subway tile that wraps around two sides of a footed tub. The Alice blue of the wall is repeated on the medicine chest and the window frame, and there’s a band with a darker blue pattern on an otherwise white shower curtain. A smaller band of red on the top of the curtain keeps this color scheme from being too predictable.
A plain, turquoise-painted wall with a lower third of bluish stone tile contrasts beautifully with a bathroom that is made mostly of darker hues, including the black engineered stone of the vanity top, the wooden linen closet and a dark copper vase holding a bunch of manzanita.
A predominantly white bathroom bounces both natural and artificial light around and makes everything bright. It also puts people in mind of a room that is scrupulously clean. The drawbacks of a mostly white bathroom are that it is a bit challenging to keep it pristine, and it may remind people of an operating room.
One way to keep a white bathroom from looking sterile is to make it really luxurious. Arrange loads of thick, thirsty sets of white towels around the room, install a Victorian footed tub with glittering chrome fixtures, put textured porcelain tile on the floor and white marble with subtle gray veins and clouds on the bottom half of the wall. The top part of the wall can stand to have the tiniest bit of color in it. A vase of colorful flowers on the vanity, beautiful wall sconces by the mirror or mirrors and a crystal chandelier lets visitors know they won’t be undergoing a procedure in this room.
Another way to humanize a mostly white bath is to place white beadboard wainscoting on the bottom two thirds of the wall, then paint the rest of the wall a lovely pale pastel. A dark floor of tile or wood keeps the color scheme from being too floaty.
Neutrals are colors that can be happily used with any other color. White is technically a neutral color, as are beige, ivory, black, gray and taupe, a brownish gray that is the color of a mole’s pelt. One way to use taupe or any neutral is in a bathroom with a bow window where a white slipper tub with lead chrome fixtures rests. Paint the walls and ceiling a lighter shade of the neutral color, and hang the curved curtain rod with drapes of a slightly lighter shade. Top everything off with a chandelier and anchor everything with a black and white penny tile floor.
A rustic bathroom might have beige shiplap on the wall and a repurposed wooden chest of drawers for the sink vanity. An old ladder can serve as a rack for towels or bins, an old fashioned mirror can have an antique bronze frame whose color is matched by the wall-mounted fixtures over the vessel sink. The floor is laid with lino or laminate in an old fashioned, black and white pattern.