It’s Official: These are the Best (and Worst) Colors for Your Bathroom, According to Experts

published Oct 14, 2019
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Credit: Minette Hand

The bathroom is one place in your home that you’ll pass through every day, multiple times a day. And, unless your house is chock-full of them, it’s likely that your babysitter, dinner party guests, and maybe even the occasional repair personwill spend a few minutes in that same space, too.

When it comes to choosing a paint color for this space, it can be incredibly tempting to go off the beaten path and try something new. After all, you don’t need to worry about coordinating with furniture items. However, there are still some very important guidelines to follow.

“Bathrooms tend to be enclosed spaces, so greige-y, muddy colors can make the space feel smaller and dingy,” says Ariel Okin, a New York City-based interior designer. “Lighter colors like bright crisp whites, powder blues, and spring greens always play really well in a bathroom, as do moodier shades such as inky navy and hunter green.”

But according to Kelly Bernier, a design consultant and color expert, the biggest bathroom faux pas is a bit brighter.

“The color I avoid most for a bathroom color is a gold beige,” she explains. “It is not a current color, doesn’t work with any recent tile, and will make your room look dated.”

When selecting a shade, Bernier advises homeowners to choose something that coordinates with their existing tile and countertop. Practical and cost-efficient? We’re sold.

While having more than one bathroom gives you the freedom to get a little creative with your color palettes, Lifestyle and Product Stylist Sara Raak recommends prioritizing the space’s purpose.

A powder room is a perfect room to try that dark or daring color you’ve been dying to use somewhere,” Raak says. “Pair a bold color with bold wallpaper and all your friends will be envious of your bathroom.”

When it comes to a master bath, it’s all about keeping your space zen.

“Bright and neutral paints, such as soft grays, blues, and white paired with textures and color in the finishes of the bathroom will create a bright and calm room to get you energized for the day and calm you down at night,” she says.

And when it comes to a space that kids use, don’t forget to bring on the fun!

“That means bright colors like teal, orange, blues,” Raak adds. “These can be on the walls or go against the fray and paint the bathroom vanity a bright color like orange and pair with blue or gray.”

What are you waiting for? Whip out that paintbrush and get started!