These 10 Paint Colors Have a Stunning Effect in the Bathroom
The bathroom is one of the best places to get inventive with color. With a few paint strokes, you can transform a small powder room or a sizeable two-sink bathroom into a relaxing spa-like retreat. Gone are the days of bulldozing the room and starting all over; instead, try a much cheaper solution: paint everything. Tweak your color scheme and decor. A few simple changes can create an entirely new vibe without breaking the bank.
As you reimagine your bathroom, think of the space as a place for boosting your energy in the morning or as a relaxing, bubbly hideaway after a long, busy day. Think about the mood or vibe you want in the bathroom—pursue those ideas for your bathroom.
- Color Family: Varies, runs the color spectrum
- Complementary Colors: Varies; the blues complement orange tones, forest green complements red tones, and neutrals go with everything
- Pairs Well With: White trim and white ceilings to brighten and give the room a larger feeling
- Mood: Bright, energetic, relaxing
- Where to Use: Bathroom, powder rooms, changing rooms
Here are the best paint colors for a swoon-worthy bathroom, according to decor experts.
1Sweater Weather by Sherwin-Williams
“The paint color I’m totally grooving with these days would have to be Sherwin-Williams’s Sweater Weather. I love the balance of warm and cool tones all wrapped into a neutral that’s workable with so many concepts and color palettes.”
—Quintece Hill-Mattauszek, Studio Q
2Cinder Rose by Farrow & Ball
“I love Cinder Rose in a traditional setting, painted above the dado with lots of white subway tile and a gorgeous basketweave marble floor. Please go ahead and paint the ceiling too! Every time you look in the mirror you will be rewarded with a gorgeous, healthy glow created by this beautiful, rich color.”
—Kimille Taylor, Kimille Taylor
3Adrift by Sherwin-Williams
“Adrift is a soothing shade to use in a seaside bungalow, or the perfect way to conjure those beach vibes wherever you reside!”
—Rayman Boozer, Apartment 48
4Teresa’s Green by Farrow & Ball
“Teresa’s Green is a light celadon that provides a soothing environment and complements a wide color palette of accessories. I often pair it with large-scale blue ginger jars to hold makeup remover wipes, and smaller blue-and-white accessories for other personal grooming items. Add in fluffy white towels and silver trays for linen-like cotton towels, as we are all washing our hands one thousand times a day.”
—Joy Moyler, Joy Moyler Interiors
5Fresh Kicks by Clare Paint
6Stone Blue by Farrow & Ball
“This watery blue tone is perfect for a bathroom, a space that we typically want to feel bright and clean. It may be a bit bold for a master bath, or for all the walls of a bathroom, but it’s just the right intensity for cabinetry or for a smaller powder room.”
—Christine Markatos, Christine Markatos Design
7Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore
“My go-to paint color is always Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore. It's the perfect warm white without the yellow undertones. I love pairing that with high-gloss Super White for doors and trims in the bathroom to add a bit of contrast and pop—creating the perfect balance of neutral warmth with a touch of modern flair.”
—Marina Hanisch, Marina Hanisch Interiors
8Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore
“I always start with the stone when designing a bathroom, and that begins to inform the color palette. Pale Oak partners well with most marbles, enhancing the vein in the marble, but equally works to soften a dark tile. Be careful, it can go gray or beige depending on the light. Personally I love that about it, but depending on the space, it can be tricky.”
—Bradley Odom, Dixon Rye
9Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore
“I love bathroom stones that have clean whites and light grays in them. I like to pair that with a light gray paint color—like Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray—to pull that color onto the walls. It's a crisp way of keeping things neutral but tying it all together.”
—Lauren Behfarin, Lauren Behfarin Design
10Softer Tan by Sherwin-Williams
“Sherwin-Williams’s Softer Tan is a beautiful color, especially in a Calcatta marble-covered bathroom. This warm neutral picks up on the veins in the marble, creating a gorgeous overall result. They pair well together, and the walls won't overwhelm the marble tile floors or countertops.”
—MA Allen, MA Allen Interiors
11Soft Chamois by Benjamin Moore
“I love clean white bathrooms, especially when they are en suite; it feels both classic and timeless. When it comes to a particular color, I love using Benjamin Moore’s Soft Chamois. For powder rooms with no baths and showers, I go all out with a great lacquered look or wallpaper for more drama.”
—Shelley Johnstone,Shelley Design
12Ashley Gray by Benjamin Moore
“I've been having a love affair with Benjamin Moore's Ashley Gray. It's got verve and reminds me of a Wendy's Frosty shake, and it offers the versatility of a neutral—but with some attitude!”
—Corey Damen Jenkins, Corey Damen Jenkins Associates
13Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore
“I personally love clean (white) bathrooms, as it is good for the lighting, while creating a fresh feeling. Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore is a beautiful white that I use.”
—Liana Reid, REIDesign
14Cornforth White by Farrow & Ball
“I love a bathroom that feels clean and calm. Farrow & Ball's Cornforth White is my favorite versatile color that creates the perfect palette for adding texture through stone, tile, and small accessories. It is almost like the chameleon of paint colors taking on endless shades of gray.”
—Margaret Naeve,M Naeve
15Tranquility by Benjamin Moore
“It’s a soft blue-green shade, with enough gray to give it some nice depth and keep it from going too pastel. It looks lovely when paired with a black accent tile.”
—Karen Vidal,Design Vidal
16Gray Cloud by Benjamin Moore
“I recently used this Benjamin Moore color to go with a beautiful light gray blue Argent marble. The color kept the wall neutral but nicely went with the marble and complemented the color of blue gray tiles.”
—Mia Jung, Ike Kligerman Barkley
17Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore
“A dark bathroom balanced with white is a great way to go. Hale Navy is one of my all-time favorite colors. It works perfectly with marble or white cabinetry. White is such a crucial color to consider in a bathroom because it always feels fresh and clean. The darker navy tone also works perfectly with the warmer metal trends like brass and copper.”
—Hannah Collins,Hannah Collins Designs
18Borrowed Light by Farrow & Ball
“Borrowed Light is the most exquisite and calming color in a bathroom when combined with gray marble finishes. It's an effortless light blue that doesn't try too hard and feels like a breath of fresh air.”
—Erin Gates,Erin Gates Design
19Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball
“Farrow & Ball is always my go-to as far as paint brands go, but this particular blue has been speaking to me for the last few months now. I'm currently using it in a New York penthouse library built-in, but this rich navy would also work seamlessly in a bathroom, kitchen, or on a front door.”
20Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore
“I love this gray because it works with both warm and cool color palettes. It’s a rich enough color to be used as an accent wall, but is still neutral enough if you wanted to paint more than one wall. This color also pairs really well with your most commonly used bathroom marbles, such as Carrara and Statuary.”
—Karen Asprea, Karen Asprea Studio
21Sable Calm by Valspar
“I tend to like colors that are hard to read, and Sable Calm definitely falls under that category. The color changes depending on the time of day. It's like a mood ring: Soothing and dark at night and refreshing during the day. Watch out navy! Dark green is moving in!”
—Joann Neenan, Homepolish
22Passive by Sherwin-Williams
“This pale gray has beautiful light-reflective qualities that accentuate the architecture through subtle shadows without distortion. It's sophisticated and subtle, yet warm. It's a color I keep returning to for bathrooms without hesitation.”
—Jeff Andrews,Jeff Andrews – Design
23Cheating Heart by Benjamin Moore
“My favorite bathroom color is a warm dark gray and I find it to be a really good color to get dressed by in the mornings. It’s always easier to see how you look against a dark background, with good lighting of course, and this gray is very complementary to every skin tone.”
—Tim Campbell,Studio Tim Campbell
24Elephant's Breath by Farrow & Ball
“Farrow & Ball’s Elephant’s Breath pairs beautifully with stone and adds a timeless and holistic feel to any bath.”
—Melissa Lewis,Lewis Giannoulias Interiors
25Newton's Indigo by Portola Paints
“For the guest bath? Go crazy. Try Newton’s Indigo with brass hardware.”
—Jamie Davis, Portola Paints
26Super White by Benjamin Moore
“It’s a beautiful, cheery and clean, warm white that doesn’t lean yellow or blue or gray. It also isn’t blinding. It works well in most lighting, so it’s a go-to for me, especially with the by-video clients I help since I can’t be there to see the light with my own eyes.”
27Ballet White by Benjamin Moore
“Usually I like my bathroom tiles to be the main event and I let the walls relax into a pale shade of one of the colors in the tiles. The Benjamin Moore color #OC-9, Ballet White, is warm and soft and it doesn’t steal the attention away from the tile design. It accomplishes a sophisticated and overall finished appearance for the bathroom.”
—Hilary Unger,Perianth Interior Design
28Temptation by Benjamin Moore
“San Francisco is full of bathrooms and split baths with traditional Edwardian detailing: White hex mosaic floors, white subway tile showers and wainscots and thick window and door moldings. A great way to add unexpected contrast and class to these spaces is by painting the walls and ceiling deep charcoal gray.”
—Emilie Munroe, Studio Munroe
Kate McGregorKate McGregor is the Market Assistant for ELLE Decor covering all things home decor, design, and style.
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These Are the Most Popular Bathroom Paint Colors for 2019
Gone are the days of standard all-white bathrooms. This year, experts predict that colorful bathrooms will finally have their long-awaited moment. From gentle blues to soft pinks, expect to see pops of soothing color turn up in the room dedicated to refreshing and relaxation in 2019. The best news? You don't have to go all-in to start introducing color into your bathroom (which is good news for neutral fans). Read on to see what designers are envisioning for bathrooms everywhere this year, and get their best tips for choosing a color palette for your space.
RELATED: THESE ARE THE BEST BEDROOM PAINT COLORS FOR 2019
These feminine hues are perfect for lifelong neutral fans looking for a foray into the world of color. "Pink continues to maintain its position as a popular color that is surprisingly versatile and brings an appealing ambiance to a room," says Andrea Magno, Color and Design Expert at Benjamin Moore. To start, Magno recommends exploring Benjamin Moore's Head Over Heels AF-250, whether wall-to-wall or as an accent. "It's very flattering as a wall color, or follow the painted cabinetry trend by using this color on a vanity."
"Bathrooms have gotten so ice cold in terms of color, it's time for an authentic re-warming of the room we spend one and a half years of our lifetime in," says Carolyn Dicarlo, New York City-based architect and interior designer. That's why her go-to colors are celestial-inspired shades, like a calming Benjamin Moore Titanium 2141-60 and Opal Essence OC-73. "These subtle, uplifting, almost metallic colors still keep the simple lines of bathroom fixtures, but make [the room] atmospheric instead of sterile," says Dicarlo. In other words, light a few candles and fill your bath with Epsom salts and soon you'll be thinking you've been transported to the spa.
Whether you crave a proper space to get in more Sunday self-care or simply want a room that'll both relax and gently wake you, a cooling palette of blues might be your calling, according to Valspar Senior Color Designer, Sue Kim. "Rejuvenate this little sanctuary at home with a healing airy blue, like Valspar Angelic Blue 5003-9B, or a luxurious midnight blue like, Valspar Indigo Cloth 4009-7," she tells us. Or, try Erika Woelfel's suggestion. The Color Expert and VP of Color and Creative Services at Behr says to use a subtle, atmospheric blue like Watery HDC-CT-26 to help create a sense of calm to start the day. After all, with science saying shades of blue can not only suggest ideas of serenity, peace, and clarity but also stability and creativity, who wouldn't want a little more blue in their life?
RELATED: 10 AMAZING WAYS TO DECORATE YOUR WALLS WITH PAINT
While bold color will be taking the spotlight in bathrooms this year, the paint world's most versatile palette is still making a case for sticking with what works-and not feeling bad about it. In fact, Woelfel is predicting you'll see warm neutrals confidently taking over wall colors in bathrooms, either all the way or as a baseline for adding in color. "A soft gray like Behr's Cotton Grey HDC-NT-20 works as the perfect backdrop for other colorful hues on cabinets, tile or accessories," says Woelfel. She also recommends playing with a warm and soothing "greige" like Behr's Elephant Skin PPU18-16 to help you create a space for ultimate unwinding.
9 Bathroom Paint Colors Interior Designers Swear By
It's no secret that paint can transform a space. Whether you're looking to refresh your small powder room or revamp your primary bathroom, a fresh coat can quickly take a bathroom of any size from drab and dreary to open and bright or moody and sophisticated. But, as anyone who's wandered down the paint aisle at their local hardware store can attest, choosing a paint color is easier said than done.
The term “Primary Bathroom” is now widely used to describe the largest bathroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
When it comes to selecting the right bathroom paint color, there are a number of factors to consider, particularly if you're freshening up an especially small bathroom. Will a dark hue make the room feel sophisticated and modern or cramped and cave-like? Will a crisp shade of white look too cold and stark in a room without windows? Because paint colors can be so hard to envision, naturally, we turned to the pros to narrow down our swatch selection. Read on for the best paint colors for bathrooms.
Benjamin Moore White Dove
When we asked interior designer Jordan Shields to reveal her go-to bathroom paint color, she immediately replied with Benjamin Moore White Dove. "It's a nice warm white that has a subtle pop when mixed with whites and contrasting colors," she says. "I love combining it with a white trim for a really fresh and clean-feeling finished space."
Benjamin MooreWhite Dove$47Shop
Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue
"I recently painted the wainscoting in my primary bathroom this color, and I love the deep, moody yet sophisticated hue that it brought to the room," says Emily Henderson of Farrow & Ball's Stiffkey Blue, her pick for the best bathroom paint color. "A dark blue bathroom might not be for everyone, but I love how much drama and color it brought to the room."
Farrow & BallStiffkey Blue$110Shop
Farrow & Ball Wimborne White
White is a failsafe option for a small bathroom, but it can often look too cold and stark. The solution? Farrow & Ball Wimborne White. "In my vintage bathroom, I knew I needed something that wasn't going to make the space feel smaller (like a bold color) yet something that still would keep it feeling open and bright, which is why this color was perfect for the space," explains Brady Tolbert. "It's a slightly off-white tone that still feels clean enough to read as white but not so stark that it goes cold and modern."
Farrow & BallWimborne White$110Shop
Portola Paints & Glazes Fade to Black
Don't be afraid of the dark. "Fade to Black is a soft black that is simultaneously modern and classic," divulges interior designer Stefani Stein. "It lends a dramatic touch to a powder room while still working well with an overall neutral palette. It was the perfect addition to this Venice beach home."
Portola Paints & GlazesFade to Black$10Shop
Benjamin Moore Simply White
"This is my go-to white paint color when designing. It's clean and fresh but also has a subtle warm undertone," reveals Nicole Newkirk. "I like that I can use it in traditional and contemporary spaces, and it still looks amazing." And Newkirk isn't the only one who's a fan. Homepolish designer Mandy Cheng agrees that Simply White is a winner in a bathroom. "One of my go-to white paint colors for bathrooms is Benjamin Moore's Simply White," says Cheng. "It's such a cheerful, bright white with the tiniest bit of warmth. Whether you have a lot of natural or artificial light, it keeps your bathroom feeling light and airy and doesn't lean yellow or gray."
Benjamin MooreSimply White$47Shop
Benjamin Moore Polaris Blue
"Polaris Blue by Benjamin Moore is one of my favorite paints," says Shea McGee of Studio McGee. "It reminds me of a perfect French blue. It's vibrant with a subtle gray undertone that keeps it understated and relaxing—just what you want your bathroom to feel like."
Benjamin MoorePolaris Blue$47Shop
Farrow & Ball Off-Black
Go bold or go home with a matte black. "My favorite bathroom color is matte black," notes Tali Roth. "I love a dramatic black bathroom with a penny round mirror. I think black or a dark, moody color is great—particularly when you can't update the finishes, as it adds drama."
Farrow & BallOff-Black$110Shop
Benjamin Moore Moonshine
If you need a neutral shade that doesn't look too bland or boring, look no further. "We love Benjamin Moore Moonshine for bathrooms because it is soft and muted but bright and luminous at the same time," says Jessica Helgerson of JHID. "Any little bit of natural light is bounced around and reflected in the prettiest way, almost like candlelight."
Farrow & Ball All White
"Crisp and fresh yet subtly warm, Farrow & Ball's All White is one of my favorite white paint colors to use in a bathroom," says Katie Hodges. "Because it lacks the colder, blue undertones of many whites, it beautifully reflects light without feeling stark. It's also brilliant at picking up undertones and hues from the surrounding environment, rather than clashing."
When choosing a white paint, make sure to pay attention to undertones. Some paints can look warm or cool depending on the shades within it.
Farrow & BallAll White$110Shop
Paint best 2019 bathroom colors
10 Beautiful Bathroom Paint Colors for Your Next Renovation
Bathrooms are very personal spaces, for obvious reasons. So even though it might sound a bit odd, when you’re thinking of redecorating this space, you need to ask yourself an important question: How do you use the bathroom? (Go ahead, get all your giggles out of the way before we move on.)
What we really mean is thinking how and when you spend your time in this room. For example, are you the shower and run type who needs a space to wake you up in the morning as you rush around? Are you looking for a spa-like space where you can let the stress melt away as you soak in the tub at night? Or do you need a family-friendly style to accommodate busy mornings that also serves as your quiet space for some relaxing in the tub?
Your answers to this question will help guide your bathroom color choices. Once you know what sort of vibe you’re after, it’s a bit easier to pick a hue. Here are some of our favorite bathroom colors of the moment to help you get inspired!
Our Picks for the Best Bathroom Paint Colors
- Soft Gray
- Bright White
- Light Blue
- Light Green
- Creamy White
- Cerulean Blue
Taupe is a perfect choice for those who want to go with a neutral, but still give the space some warmth. This gorgeous brown-gray shade is classic, but with a modern twist. There are several variations of taupe to choose from, each lending a slightly different feeling to the space. A more brown-heavy taupe gives off a more earthy look, while a more gray version is a mit moodier and more modern. For a hint of color, try a lighter shade of taupe with a more purple base.
2. Soft Gray
A soft, light gray is a great way to keep things neutral while adding some edge. It brings in the cooling colors of granite and concrete, but is still quite soothing. To balance out the cool tones, try mixing in dark wood elements (perhaps in flooring or furniture) to warm things up. For a classic look, go with simple neutral accents. For a more vibrant option, accent with pops of color in your accessories, like bright towels or a patterned shower curtain. You can really go wild with your color choice here, since soft gray goes with pretty much everything from soft pink to bright orange.
3. Bright White
A clean, crisp white bathroom is the ultimate in classic bathroom style. Though white walls are a relatively simple concept, this look can be quite striking and sophisticated. We love the idea of using different textures to break up the look. Try different shapes of tiles on the floor and in the shower, with crisp paint on the walls and all white accents. If top to bottom white is a bit too much for you, try warming things up by using light wood accents or softer neutrals. To keep things bold, go with bright accessories: think yellow, pink, or green.
If you’re looking for a more dramatic bathroom look, try charcoal. It’s a more moody, sophisticated alternative to soft gray. While it’s a bit on the darker side, it has has warm elements, which makes it quite versatile. It gives your bathroom a cozy feel, but still keeps that contemporary edge. Charcoal pairs well with natural wood tones and metallic accents for a space that is very chic, yet still relaxing.
5. Light Blue
We’re talking about the gorgeous shade of blue you see when you look up to the sky. You can’t help but feel relaxed when you’re surrounded by this dreamy hue. Using light blue as your wall color creates a very spa-like feeling, but you can also get that same feeling when you use it as an accent color. It’s a perfect match with white tiles and white trim details, for a palette inspired by a brilliant blue sky with fluffy white clouds on a sunny day. For a slightly more muted version that truly gives you a tranquil feeling, try a version of this shade with more of a gray base instead.
6. Light Green
When you decorate with green, it gives you the feeling of bringing the outdoors in. It’s a very calming color that helps to bring a cooling effect to a very bright and sunny room. This shade mixes well with other earthy tones inspired by nature, like brown, taupe, and sand. A few variations of light green to consider are a dusty jade or sage for a more earthy feel, or seafoam and mint for something a little more bright and fun.
7. Creamy White
If a bright, sharp white feels a little too intense for you, try a creamy white with a buttery warm base. This classic version of white adds some warmth to a colder, dark space. This gorgeous neutral pairs well with softer accent colors like light pink, soft lavender, or metallics with a vintage patina. It’s a choice that’s definitely classic, but certainly not boring.
This green is a little more vibrant than the light pastel greens we mentioned earlier. This shade brings a burst of energy to your room without being too in your face. It pairs perfectly with bright white accents to create a sleek and sophisticated bathroom style. If you want to tone it down a bit, pair it with natural woods and browns for a more earthy vibe.
If you want to create a bathroom with a very calm, earthy look, brown is the way to go. In any shade, brown creates a very relaxed, spa-like atmosphere. A dark chocolate brown creates a more dramatic feel and looks quite sleek when paired with metallic gold accents. A medium tone is more soothing and pairs well with details in lighter tones. A softer light brown works well as a neutral backdrop to feature accent colors like cream, beige, or soft blue.
10. Cerulean Blue
This bright and beautiful blue is the color of the sea—specifically, the kind of gorgeous water you see at a tropical beach. Even though this color is bright, it’s incredibly calming, making it a perfect choice for a family bathroom. It instantly creates a relaxed, beachy style that will leave you feeling those vacation vibes all year long. Try pairing it with crisp whites for a more traditional nautical-inspired look, or more vintage-toned whites and pops of tropical brights for a beach house style.
Want more inspiration? Read our other blog posts:
Easy Home Improvement Ideas to Increase Home Value | 9 Peaceful Paint Colors to Help You Relax | The Best Paint Colors For Selling A House | How To Use A Paint Color Wheel | How to Find a Good Painter
Ready to renovate and repaint your bathroom or the interior of your home? Click here to schedule your free estimate:
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