Foolproof Bathroom Color Combos

Four bathroom makeovers teach you how to combine colors that create a fresh look.

By: Susan Kleinman

Similar Topics:
  1. Bathroom Colors
  2. Bathrooms
  3. Color
Vibrant Blue Bathroom

Vibrant Blue Bathroom

Pair white fixtures with colors that make them look fresh. Design by Gail Drury.

White sinks, tubs and toilets are classic bathroom fixtures. Learn how to pair them with colors that make them look fresh.

Although there are some absolutely gorgeous boutique lines producing sinks and toilets in rich, deep colors, white is still by far the most popular choice for toilets, tubs and sinks, says Bob Garder, Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer, and president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

For clean but comfortable look, Los Angeles-based interior designer Nicole Sassaman loves Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage with white bathroom fixtures. "Or," says Nicole, "try some of the metallic blue paints in the Ralph Lauren line." Choosing a darker paint color also gives you an artistic backdrop against which you can install colorful hooks or hang vibrant towels.

If you will be putting on makeup in the bathroom, says Marcia Walter, ASID, an accredited member of the International Association of Color Consultants, colors flattering to your skin tone can be very important. "That would include peach, terra cotta and pink tones," says Marcia. "But steer clear of gray and deeper yellow-greens."

Other deep colors can work very well in bathrooms, however, even if your bathroom is tiny, says Catherine B. Stein, founder and president of THE COLOR COUNCIL. "Don't try to hide the fact that it's a small space," says Catherine. "Instead, treat the room like a little jewel box, painting the walls and the ceiling the same color, and make it really special."

Bathroom Sparkles With Bright Apple Green Walls

Bathroom Sparkles With Bright Apple Green Walls

Use the colors in the floor to find inspiration. Design by Steven Miller.

Whether it's Jerusalem limestone or Pennsylvania slate, stone is the most popular flooring today, says Jennifer E. Wilson, a spokesperson for Lowe's. And because the flooring material is often more dramatic than a white toilet or tub, it is important to consider the hues underfoot when choosing paint for the walls.

But that doesn't mean matching the color exactly, says Margaret Walch, director of The Color Association of the United States. "If you try to match a natural material like wood or stone exactly," says Margaret, "it always comes off as lesser." Instead, she says to use the natural color as an inspiration for a second shade that will create a harmonious, but multi-colored look.

"Many people put plants in their bathrooms," notes Margaret. "This paint color allows you to have a mix of natural green and manmade green."

But remember that natural colors needn't just be green and tan, says Joan Osburn, of Osburn Design in San Francisco. "Earthy colors really include not only the greens of grass and trees," says Joan, "but also flower colors in every hue."

Elegant Master Bathroom With Silken Canopy

Elegant Master Bathroom With Silken Canopy

Choose paint colors that will bring out the natural beauty in marble. Design by Jackie Glisson.

Marble tub surrounds make any bath elegant. Learn how to spotlight them with paint color to enhance their natural beauty.

Marble, known for its elegance and classic good looks, is the chameleon of the bathroom, able to span the range of styles from cool and contemporary to warmly traditional. National Kitchen & Bath Association's Bob Garner says it's particularly popular when used as a tub surround.

Many bathrooms have a marble tub surround with gray veining. To bring out the beauty of the stone, Becky Spak, senior designer with Sherwin-Williams, recommends choosing a deep violet paint. "Like the gray in the marble," Becky says, "purple is a cool color, but the deep shade creates some visual interest that plays nicely off the cool tones."

If you prefer to balance the coolness of the marble with some warmth, try a blue or green with a yellow undertone. "These are colors that are between cool and warm," says Donna Schroeder, Color Design Specialist with Dutch Boy paints, "and they can bridge the cool/warm gap."

Simple Yet Stunning Bathroom Vanity

Simple Yet Stunning Bathroom Vanity

Pair your antiques with colors that will bring out their unique beauty.

Get expert advice on pairing your antique (or antique-style) vanity with colors that bring out its unique beauty.

The most popular vanities today are antique cabinets and dressers retrofitted for sinks — or new pieces designed to recreate that "furniture" look in the bathroom. These furniture-style vanities have great presence, and if you've chosen one for your bathroom, it will be a big factor in choosing a wall color.

"If you have a period piece," says Sara Ann Busby, Certified Kitchen Designer, 2007 president-elect of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, "do some research into the period: what colors were used, what sorts of finishes. If you have a Victorian piece, for example, stay away from colors that scream 21st century, like a trendy blue or a sherbet color. Instead," says Sara, "choose a color that was popular in the Victorian era, such as raspberry or sage green."

Next Up

Bathroom Color and Paint Ideas

Explore bathroom color and paint ideas, and get ready to add a vibrant and lively design to your bathroom space.

Can't-Miss Color Tips from David Bromstad

Take it from David Bromstad, host of Color Splash and the season one winner of Design Star , these color tips will help you successfully design any room you're working on.

Paint Glossary: All About Paint, Color and Tools

Learn what type of paint to use, which tools will work best and the basics for picking color schemes.

Discover the Latest Bathroom Color Trends

From peach to lavender to turquoise, our experts weigh in on the hottest colors, trends and palettes for your bathroom.

Bathroom Color on the Quick

Need to inject some color into your bathroom but don't have time for a total redo? Try these quick color tips from interior designers.

Color Me Beautiful

Enhance the mood you're setting in your garden with great color choices.

Strategies for Going Green in the Bathroom

Follow these energy- and water-conservation tips for the greenest bath around.

Bathroom Lighting

Spread it around with recessed fixtures and indirect lighting.

The Psychology of Color

Use color as a mood-lifting design tool that evokes calm, drama, cheer or comfort.

Three-Quarter Bathroom

Get tips for designing a just-the-basics bath for guests or secondary use.


Rescue My Renovation

6:30am | 5:30c

Selling LA

7am | 6c

House Hunters

7:30am | 6:30c

House Hunters

8:30am | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30am | 8:30c

House Hunters

10am | 9c

House Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

House Hunters

11am | 10c

House Hunters

11:30am | 10:30c

House Hunters

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Good Bones

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Good Bones

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Catch Up With Our Blogs

We're serving up the latest news, gorgeous style, DIY projects, clever entertaining tips & more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.