How to add a splash of colour to your bathroom

With spring finally arriving, many of us are starting to feel the need to perk up our homes with the addition of some bright colours. It’s the perfect time to banish the winter greys and add some warm tones that reflect the joy of living. But while we tend to give ourselves free range to indulge our interior design ideas in the lounge, the bedroom and even the kitchen, we tend to be a bit more restrained in the bathroom.

A splash in the wet room

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t bring colour and style to the bathroom just as with any other room. We’re maybe put off by the functional nature of the space; it is, after all, a wet room, and there are practical arguments against wall-to-wall carpets, delicate hangings and items that may be damaged by moisture. Traditionally, we tend to think of the bathroom as a white room, with white tiles and surfaces suggesting cleanliness and simplicity.

But while colourful bathrooms may be out of fashion and certain accessories may not work, a splash of colour in the bathroom can add warmth, style and comfort to a space that is after all for relaxing in and pampering yourself. Following the principle that less is more, you can use colour to make your bathroom reflect your personality. Funky or formal, classic or quirky, the look is entirely up to you.

Design ideas

The best way to start is to look at your bathroom and decide what is your favourite feature. What would you want to keep? It might be a tile pattern, a shower curtain or a vintage mirror. Once you’ve identified the item, you can start to design a colour scheme around it. Keep your tonal palette to a maximum of three shades, with one predominating and the other one or two used as accents.

Paint and tiles

If you decide to keep the bathroom predominately white or neutral then adding colour via paint or new tiles is the obvious thing to consider. An accent wall painted in a vibrant contrasting colour, or a focal point decorated with patterned or colourful tiles can work wonders. You could also paint the bath itself; that can be a striking modern feature in an otherwise white room, especially if the bath is freestanding.

A single line of brightly coloured tiles, either vertical or horizontal, can bring the room to life. For more subtlety a graduated paint effect is very trendy right now, shifting from a lighter shade at the top to darker down below.

Wall features

Feature wallpaper in a striking pattern can work well in the bathroom, as can a piece of wall art, so long as it is water resistant. Another idea is to add brightly painted window shutters from the shutter store. Not only do they come in a range of colours they’re also more practical than curtains or blinds in the bathroom, letting light and fresh air in when wanted but providing complete privacy at other times.


Colourful accessories and décor items are a great way to add colour without making any permanent alterations, so they’re ideal for those that rent their home. Don’t bring in too many pieces or you risk making the bathroom seem cluttered, but colour-coordinating necessary items like waste bins, toothbrush holders and even toilet seats have a surprising impact. Rugs, bathmats and towels in vibrant colours are also effective and can regularly be rotated.

The natural touch

Some plants and flowers thrive in the bathroom and can bring a bit of living nature into the space. Scrolling features, natural light and paintings can be used to accentuate the effect. The strategic positioning of mirrors, which are a standard bathroom feature anyway, helps create an illusion of more space, especially when combined with the effective use of lighting. Try colourful candles, spotlights or LEDs to alter the colour and texture of the light itself, and see how this plays off the features you’ve already installed.

A splash of colour can reinvigorate your bathroom without overwhelming it. Whether you go for a lick of paint, patterned tiles or colourful accessories and décor items, there are many ways to add some vibrancy and character to the space. The only danger is that once you’ve made your bathroom into a stylish place of luxury and comfort, you may well find that you are spending too much time in there.

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