Adding color with paint is a quick and easy way to add style and personality to a bathroom, but if you get it wrong, you could risk ruining this important room in your home.
Color (even if you’re using neutrals) should be the first thing to consider when you’re looking for bathroom ideas. Ensure that the colors you’ve chosen work well in your room by applying paint testers to sheets of white paper, then gluing them to each wall or piece of furniture that you’re considering using that color on.
Leave them for a few days before making any final decisions, noticing how light affects color at different times of the day, as well as checking that they work well alongside other items, such as curtains or dressers.
If you’re not confident about choosing a bathroom color scheme, go with a predetermined palette already chosen by the paint brand you’re using, or follow our advice later on working with matching, matching, and contrasting colors.
5 bathroom paint colors that will go out of fashion in 2024
As with any outdated decorating trend, one of the biggest mistakes is avoiding bathroom paint and color ideas altogether for fear of aging your space poorly.
Here interior designers, decorators, and color psychologists reveal which bathroom paint colors slip out of style, how to approach choosing paint ideas for rooms that truly sing, from using the color wheel to help you avoid making disastrous color mistakes to finding the paint colors that will make you feel happily at home. .
1. Swap your white for a warm, earthy pink
Bathrooms are no longer the soulless, clinical, functional space they once were. These days we see designers and decorators experimenting with more colorful bathroom ideas, and this makes a welcome change to the pure white bathrooms of yesteryear. However, there’s one color we didn’t expect to see make a comeback and that’s pink—once a popular addition to the American bathroom during the 1950s.
First Lady Mamie Eisenhower played a pivotal role in popularizing the color, which is often referred to as “Mamie Pink” or “First Lady Pink”. It was believed that her husband, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, sent her pink flowers every morning. She redecorated private spaces in the White House in pink — so much so that reporters dubbed her the “Pink Palace.” But pink decorating is back and we welcome its return.
It’s attractive, graceful, and easy to decorate with, so it’s no surprise that pink is now seen as a neutral interior design. But with options from pastels to bubble gum, the right shade can be a tricky task. But what do the designers think?
“Shades of pink are very versatile and have been a popular choice in interiors for centuries,” says interior designer Natalia Meyer. Pink is a really cool shade to use as an accent color in a bathroom. There is an incredible array of shades to choose from and dark pink can add depth and personality to a design scheme. It’s bold and vibrant and works well when used with white sanitary ware.
Interior designer Elizabeth Hay believes earthy pink can bring unparalleled sophistication to a scheme. This tone works perfectly in a rather dark scheme, or one that is lacking in natural light. Not only does it inject brightness and cheeriness into the bathroom, but it will also accentuate and accentuate any accent colors in the room.
2. Swap out the gray for a taupe or muted beige
A former favorite grey, he’s definitely had his time in the sun. This cool, often cool color scheme is giving way to the return of beige and taupe decorating.
Reminiscent of velvety cocoa, a medium taupe is an eye-catching color for any bathroom. Depending on the combinations and accent colors offered in tandem, have the flexibility to range from sleek and tailored to soft and playful.
The bathroom is the perfect place to invite warmth and comfort. “For me, neutrals like taupe are the earthy colors of the walls,” says Henriette Von Stockhausen. “It’s important to remember that sometimes a classic interior is just the ticket: muted colors, gentle schemes, traditional fixtures and fittings—no clashing of patterns, no huge color pops, just comfort and a quiet space to relax in.”
Jean-Frédéric Nothombe, founder of Argile, shares a similar admiration for this versatile neutral: “Taupe is an effective color for providing warmth to any space.” It creates a reassuring atmosphere without being too strong and also pairs easily with pastel or bright colors, adding either cool or warm tones.
3. Choose pale green over darker variations
Classic, soothing and synonymous with nature, pale green is a color that keeps peace. Color trends come and go, but this warmer tone has a long life thanks to its neutral nature.
Pale green can liven up any room while adding a touch of nature. “For this bathroom, I chose Celadon from Edward Bulmer—it sits softly with marble, which keeps the space open,” says Caroline Riddell Interiors. Ideally, the color should be used in a natural, light-filled bathroom. It’s a lovely shade to relax in for an evening shower, too.
4. Ditch the blue sky for the deep blue of the ocean
Sky blue is still a popular color, but we’re seeing fewer designers decorating this pale shade in favor of darker, bolder variations of the same color palette.
The sight of the sea is always an expected source of excitement. Whether you’re approaching Hamptons Beach for a vintage seaside vacation, or you’re flying to a faraway destination, there’s nothing quite like catching that first glimpse of vast blue waters stretching to the horizon and crashing waves to get you in the vacation mood.
From the alluring aquamarine hues of sandy Caribbean beaches and the shimmering hues of pebbled Mediterranean beaches, to the inviting blues and midnight notes of the deep Atlantic waters, ocean hues are as serene as they are stunning and provide a versatile spectrum for decorating the bathroom.
Choose a cool navy blue in the bedroom for guaranteed spa-like relaxation. To add depth to a watercolor scheme, take inspiration from ripples and reflections and layer different textures, including glass and stone with marble effects and a glossy finish.
It’s safe to say that blue decor will always be admired in a bathroom, but maybe it’s time to turn our attention towards the darker side.
5. Choose red and brown instead of yellow
Previously, yellow was seen as a fun way to add color to a bathroom. After all, it’s a heritage color known for infusing cheerful warmth and sunshine into every surface it touches. But was yellow in the spotlight?
This season, we’re seeing more designers choose to deck out in red and brown instead. Earthy shades of red and brown can transform interiors, adding a sophisticated flair to a playful aesthetic.
“When using red in a color scheme, it’s best to choose shades that are rich and warm rather than loud and persistent. Maroon, burgundy and rose work brilliantly with shades of green, while deep pinky red is very adaptable and blends well with khaki or stone,” says Simon Temprell. “Dark red pairs best with gold metallic accents and carries a degree of heritage, especially when mixed with dark wood,” says Neptune’s head of interior design.
Interior designer Georgie Wykeham, founder of Georgie Wykeham Designs, loves using pale red in the bathroom: “Rhubarbi is my favorite color; added to a neutral scheme, it creates warmth, depth, and a touch of the unexpected. Used on its own, it’s an easy color to live with and yet so comforting.” Also works beautifully with blues, greens, pinks, and reds.
When choosing paint colors for your bathroom, it’s worth considering what colors you should never paint in a small room, too, and also use colors you love and that you can live with—not just the color trends that are in style.