White bathrooms don't have to look boring! 7 ways to inject personality instantly

Simple yet effective - these ideas will spruce up a white bathroom while maintaining a minimal look

White bathroom with freestanding bath and plant
(Image credit: Future)

In a room where relaxation comes first, a simple white bathroom scheme is an obvious choice. It's easy to switch off and clear your mind in a bright white space, but it also runs the risk of becoming stark and clinical if the design is slightly wrong. Knowing how to make a white bathroom more interesting will ensure your space feels like a true sanctuary.

Choosing a bathroom colour scheme can be a tricky task when you want the look to last through changing trend cycles, so sticking to an all-white look will take some of that stress out of your hands. Whether it's through accessories, tiles or even flooring, there are so many ways to add interest to a chic, minimal bathroom that will maintain the crisp base shade.

How to make a white bathroom more interesting

A bathroom is a big investment, so you want the style you choose to last for years to come. So what better choice than an all-white scheme? The shade won't date and it will look bright, modern and clean.

But with the rise of dopamine decor and statement paint shades around our homes, we might want to reflect this in our bathrooms too. Knowing how to add character to a bathroom will ensure it reflects your personality and remains a creative, invigorating space.

1. Upgrade hardware

White bathroom with gold hardware and mirror

(Image credit: Future/James French)

To add character to a white bathroom without forgoing the simple and pared-back neutral palette, turn to your hardware for a subtle yet impactful update.

'One of the most budget-friendly and easiest ways to give your bathroom an upgrade is by replacing the hardware. Changing up taps, light switches, and door handles can instantly elevate a space, giving it a much more luxe feel,' explains Alex Woods, bathroom expert at Victorian Plumbing.

'Brushed brass hardware has become increasingly popular this year. By incorporating this into your bathroom you can achieve a luxury upgrade with little budget and effort.'

2. Bring in premium patterns

White bathroom with freestanding bath and plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Adam Carter)

White bathrooms lend themselves well to a premium look thanks to the clean lines and bright surfaces. So, lean into this with marble-effect tiles and wall panels that stick to the pared-back palette but add some interest and colour through the veining detail.

When adding stone-effect surfaces to a white bathroom, our advice is to go big. Envelope a shower area with a marble-effect bathroom wall, create a wet room or make flooring the focus with a statement pattern.

3. Add black accents

White bathroom with black accents on shower and flooring

(Image credit: Future)

If you want white to remain the focus of a bathroom design then consider punctuating with black accents. Instead of acting as a secondary colour that takes the focus, white will remain at the forefront and will be enhanced by clean black lines such as in grouting and shower enclosures.

Add chic soap dispensers and a bright green plant to create an industrial hotel-inspired black and white bathroom scheme.

4. Create an artful display

White bathroom with canvas above sink

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mary Wadsworth)

Art might not be your immediate thought when decorating a bathroom, however, it's an affordable and effective way to make a white bathroom more interesting. The beauty of bathroom wall art is that it can be changed, allowing you to keep the white scheme as the base that will last for years to come.

Whether it's a gallery wall or a singular statement piece, find something that speaks to your taste and it will inject joy into the monotony of daily life.

5. Make an interesting pattern with tiles

White bathroom with small bamboo tiles

(Image credit: Ca' Pietra/Roper Rhodes)

When white bathroom tiles form the base of your design, focus instead on the lay pattern. From herringbone to hexagonal, and not forgetting classic subway, there are many ways to create pattern in a white bathroom that doesn't hinge on colour.

You can either make a statement in a smaller zone, like with these bamboo tiles from Ca' Pietra in a shower area or choose to make an impact across an entire room by tiling the entire wall.

6. Warm up with wood

wooden wall hung vanity in white bathroom

(Image credit: Big Bathroom Shop)

Occasionally, white bathrooms can veer on the side of cold and clinical, so you might need to focus on adding warmth back into a design. A bright look is great for waking up on early mornings but when it comes to creating ambience for evening soaks, you'll want a bathroom to feel cosy and inviting.

Wood features are great for this - whether it's a stool sat in the corner (we love this solid oak option from Dunelm) or an entire cabinet that grounds the white design, it will instantly feel like a Mediterranean-inspired escape.

'In a white bathroom, don’t be afraid to play with different textures and materials, to create the interest. If you are wanting to keep your bathroom white, it doesn’t mean it has to be plain white walls and plain white tiles,' recommends Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs.

'Bring in materials such as painted wood, where the grain and panelling add in a new dimension,' he concludes.

7. Feature eye-catching flooring

White bathroom with blue floor tiles

(Image credit: Future/Colin Poole)

Bathroom flooring is a simple way to add interest to a white bathroom without taking over the whole look. Keep walls, tiles and sanitary-ware white and choose two-tone patterned tiles for the floor.

By positioning the pattern below eye level, it will ground the room so that the top half remains feeling bright and spacious. Plus, it will help to disguise daily dirt and grime.


Is an all-white bathroom a good idea?

All-white bathrooms are a no-brainer if you want to create a bright and spacious environment to wake you up first thing. A simple scheme is easy to design and creates a spot that you can switch off in, but it does have its pitfalls.

While a white bathroom will look clean, it will also show up dirt and dust easily. For an en-suite that isn't used as intensively this might be fine, but for a family bathroom you might want to include some colour to disguise any marks.

How can I make my white bathroom tiles more interesting?

If you don't want to add interest via colour to a white bathroom then experimental tile patterns are your next best bet.

'If you are looking to make your white bathroom more interesting, think carefully about the tile shape and whether you can create a pattern that adds depth and texture this way,' explains Grazzie Wilson, head of creative at Ca’ Pietra.

“Our go-to would be a tile such as Bamboo (stick-like mosaic tiles) as they can become a feature in their own right. They add depth and texture to a bathroom and they don’t compete with other patterns or prints that you may add to your white bathroom. Lay them vertically and they elongate a room, their slim format means that they also create a waterfall-like effect which enhances the relaxed feeling that you may want to create in a bathroom,' Grazzie concludes.

Are you happy to stick to al-white or does one of these tips for adding interest tempt you to make a change?

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).