Bathroom colour schemes – create tranquil retreats and standout schemes

Create an inspiring washroom to suit any taste

Bathroom with plaster walls, and large gold round mirror above a wooden vanity unit
(Image credit: Future)

Bathroom colour schemes can be hard to decide on – after all, whether you've got a spacious bathroom complete with roll-top bath, or a more compact shower room, picking colours that you love and that set the right sort of ambience is key to making it a room you enjoy using. 

Of course, there are plenty of bathroom ideas out there, but colours come and go so make sure it's a shade you're not likely to go off of in a month. Decide what feel you'd like your room to have – do you want it to be energising with hits of bright colours to make you feel awake and give you a great start to the day? Perhaps you'd prefer something more relaxing or luxurious, with a scheme that invites you to run a bath and shut the world out of an evening? 

This is the time to research some bathroom colour ideas and bathroom paint ideas.

Bathroom colour schemes

Adding a bold colour to your bathroom can lift your whole home, bringing this functional room into line with the rest of your decor. Or, why not choose some more muted colours and wood accessories to complement your otherwise neutral bathroom colour scheme? 

'Creating a cosy feeling in the bathroom will you that "ahh" moment as soon as you jump into the bath,' says Emma Bestley, co-founder of YesColours. 'Create this cocooning feeling by drenching the entire room in colour.'

'Opt for a classic dark blue, which promotes the feeling of tranquillity or perhaps a warming dark green, which creates a relaxed and comforting feel.  For those who prefer a clean, crisp look that gives a spa-feeling at home, it’s best to focus on uplifting shades of pale peach, pink or a warm white.'

We've got lots of ideas for bathroom colour schemes for you, so whatever your preference, you're sure to find something here that takes your fancy…

1. Enjoy a deliciously dark green

Dark green bathroom

(Image credit: BC Designs)

While dark colours don't always appeal to everyone, we think this luxurious green bathroom has a real depth to it. You'll also notice that the room has just one single colour used, from the green paint to the wall tiles and the colour of the bath, upping its drama. Warmth is brought in from the wood floor and the white of the inner bath and marble alcove helps break it up slightly.

'Bathrooms are a wonderful space in which to retreat and relax, and a deep, rich tone will envelop the space and create a cocooning and calming feel,' says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene.

2. Keep it simple with white

White bathroom with freestanding bath, walk-in shower, gold taps and wooden stool

(Image credit: Jeremy Philips)

White bathroom ideas are classic for a reason. It is bright, airy and the perfect match for a porcelain sink and bath. If you want a practical design that you can easily relax in, then white will be an effective choice. You will be able to see more dirt, but this is also handy for keeping it clean. 

Look to add texture through handcrafted tiles and fluffy bath mats and contrast with shiny brass fittings. 

3. Add depth with blue

bathroom with blue and white tiles wall white window bathtub and wash basin

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

Keep your bathroom colour scheme simple with a white suite and chrome brassware, then ring the changes with a deep blue-green wall colour – enabling you to switch up your style by simply re-painting.

Building out a shallow shelf and tiling with plain white tiles not only hides waste pipes but also offers the perfect ledge for fresh foliage, bringing in pops of vibrant green to the scheme. The oval bath cuts corners to enhance a sense of space – a great small bathroom idea.

4. Add tropical colours

bathroom with pink bath, blue vanity unit and palm print blind

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Feel the sunshine all year round with bathroom colour schemes that boast a mix of lush, tropical colours. From vibrant pinks and deep marine blues to the greens of lush foliage, this bathroom is channelling its inner holiday vibe. 

Having a mix of colours like this gives the eye more to take in, meaning it's interesting to look at, especially with all the patterns, too. 

The pale pink bath adds a softness to the scheme and the whole bathroom is lifted by the metallic accents in the taps, handles and lighting.

5. Pretty it up with pink

pink bathroom with egg bath

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Go pretty with pink bathroom ideas and give your space a feminine feel. 

'When selecting a colour for your bathroom, consider shades that exude tranquillity and serenity so you can create a haven within your home,' says Little Greene's Ruth Mottershead. 'For a scheme that provides you with a calm retreat, use colours with warm undertones that really bring a natural comfort to a space.'

Of course, you don't have to go for this shade of pink – try a more vibrant shade or an on-trend plaster look (you'll see an example of this further down). And, if you want to give your pink colour scheme more clout, why not team it with stainless steel for a contemporary look that's not overtly girlie?

6. Try a black and copper combo

black bathroom with copper bath and gold gilt frames

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Think black would make your bathroom dreary? Think again! Team a black bathroom with a copper bathtub and hey presto! – you've got yourself a dramatic scheme that's a definite conversation starter.

The juxtaposition of deep black and warm copper makes for a striking combo, and you can see here that you add in other metallics easily, from the gold bath legs and gilt frames, to the chrome bath shower head. 

7. Get graphic with colour blocking

A green-painted bathroom with a pink bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark C. O'Flaherty)

Bamboozled by all the lovely colours on offer when it comes to deciding on your bathroom colour schemes? Why not mix a few by colour blocking? This doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds - you can simply combine a few colours in a statement way by painting your walls a different colour to a bright bath. 

It has a graphic effect without committing to bold primary colours which might be daunting for a space. 

8. Work with shades of grey

bathroom with dark blue panel wall and bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

For a cosy, cocooning feel, grey bathroom ideas make the walls feel like they are closing in on you. Painting the bath in a paler grey and adding wooden accessories will give an added dimension and prevent the grey walls from becoming overbearing.

Creating a panelled effect in the bathroom will not only add character but also break up a flat area of painted grey wall – light will hit the panelling at different points and change its shade and tone, therefore adding interest.

9. Combine mustard and aubergine


(Image credit: Otta Design/Jonathan Bond)

Mustard and aubergine might sound like a bit of an unsightly combination but it's effective for creating a homely and vintage bathroom idea. The warm undertones of these shades add to an inviting feel which is perfect for a family bathroom designed for relaxing.

Go all in with a small-scale floral wallpaper, a panelled bath and wall sconces for a traditional aesthetic that is anything but dated. 

10. Choose nautical blues

A dark blue bathroom with rectangular tile and ribbed cladding decor, white wall-hung toilet, framed wall art, indoor houseplants on shelving area

(Image credit: Future PLC / Kirsty Noble)

Evoke a summery image of bright skies and deep sea by teaming Azure blue walls and blue bathroom tile ideas with fresh white sanitaryware. 

This simple nautical bathroom idea creates a relaxed yet confident scheme by boldly mixing a Mediterranean palette with tiles and bright green plants - it's holiday-inspired without being too themed.

Accessorise using texture with the addition of wooden pieces and lots of art.

11. Pick plaster pink

Bathroom with plaster walls, and large gold round mirror above a wooden vanity unit

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

We've seen plaster pinks take the interior world by storm and it's great for bathroom colour schemes, creating a relaxed, laidback feel. Here, the plaster-pink walls have been teamed with vintage-style accessories, from lace embossed tiles and a flourish of pretty pre-loved accessories to complete the look.

If it is a small bathroom or cloakroom, paint all walls (including the ceiling) in the same colour for a super immersive feel and choose an off-cut of scalloped-edged lace to dress the windows, too.

12. Be bold with black and gold

bathroom with bathtub black wall designed flooring and plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

We showed you black and copper, but you could also consider black and gold for  new bathroom colour schemes. Add drama by painting the walls jet black – and do the ceiling too, to give the room an immersive feel and help 'smooth' out the lines of a sloping roof.

Add designer touches by choosing statement tiles and brass clad units for a real touch of luxe. The gold brassware echoes the glamorous feel of this bathroom whilst the addition of fauna and foliage keeps the look grounded.

13. Pair yellow and grey

bathroom with yellow and grey wall bathtub white window and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future)

Yellow and grey are a surprise colour match made in heaven. Make the duo work in your bathroom colour ideas with a two-tone wall like this one.

Keep the grey to the bottom half and match with grey accessories to ground the room. The yellow shade is the cherry on top, brightening up the entire space.

14. Turn to the dark side with black fittings

bathroom with white tiles wall bathtub and table

(Image credit: Future)

Black interiors are a trend that shows no signs of ebbing, but if it's a little too bold for you or you think your small space might feel even smaller, dip your toe in the trend with black fittings instead.

Here, a bath and wall panel create a more subtle dark bathroom idea, while the rest of the room is kept bright and breezy in white and wood. 

15. Stick to earthy terracotta and copper

bathroom with red brick and white wall copper bathtub wall shelf and designed flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Pink is everywhere at the moment, but if you're thinking of fluffy candy-floss colours then this strong earthy take on the shade will change that.

Add the warmth of pink into your bathroom colour ideas with terracotta shades and copper fittings. The deep earthy colours perfectly complement the exposed brick wall, softening the industrial look.

16. Add height with a split colour scheme

bathroom with white and grey panel wall bathtub and white window

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

It's an oldie but a goodie for bathroom colour schemes: use a stronger colour on the lower part of the wall to stretch the height of the room (an optical illusion, of course). This simple trick helps to break up the wall and create the feeling of space – ideal for use in smaller bathrooms.

In this stylish example, a sophisticated shade of green is used on wood panelling to add definition to the colour break. A brilliant white above helps to elevate the colour contrast. Smart walnut cabinetry and touches of monochrome add a touch of characterful elegance to the look.

17. Keep it fresh with pastels and off-white

bathroom with hexagonal and rectangular tile wall bathtub and wooden drawers

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

All tiled everything works a treat in this chic bathroom space. The simplicity of pairing neutral shades and diluted pastels in different tile choices helps to add interest, while allowing the scheme to remain fresh and unfussy.

The paired-back nature of the lime wood cabinetry helps to keep the feel light and airy. The fresh colour scheme welcomes metallic touches to stand out, just enough without looking too gaudy.

18. Strike a balance with monochrome

bathroom with dark blue and white tile wall bathtub white window and designed floor

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

Choosing a monochrome colour scheme always helps to create a striking finish, without overpowering with accent colours. In this sleek bathroom, the walls and furniture choices are black, while the freestanding bath and metro tile surround are kept classic in white.

The patterned flooring helps to marry the shades and add further character to the scheme.

19. Add interest with contrasting coloured tiles

bathroom with designed tiles wall bathtub and ladder shelf

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Brown)

Decorate your space with coloured tiles. For a look that is highly contemporary and original, lay wall tiles, in contrasting hues, and chevron style to create a bespoke space, as per this bathroom tile idea. A mix of blush pink, teal green and black combines well to enhance the modernity of this bathroom.

Remember, less is more, so think of petal pinks as an accent and include no more than three tonal shades in your palette. Use black as the base. Like white, it's the colour that sets off any pink to its best advantage.


What colours are best for bathrooms?

Colour is very much a subjective thing and what works for one, won't work for another.

 'When selecting your bathroom colour schemes, consider shades that exude tranquillity and serenity so you can create a haven within your home,' says Ruth from Little Greene. 'To create a scheme that provides you with a calm retreat, use colours with warm undertones that add a comforting feel to a space.'

You should also think about what your priorities are for your bathroom colour ideas. If it's to set you up with positivity for the day ahead, why not choose a shade that brings you joy? Likewise, if it's a family bathroom, picking practical colours that will disguise visible dirt might be a wise choice. 

What colour is best for a small bathroom?

For small bathroom colour schemes, consider if you want it to feel cocooning or light and bright. 'Often, people opt for light neutrals in small bathrooms as it is commonly thought that adding a deep or bright colour to such a small room will make it appear enclosed,' says Helen Shaw, UK marketing director at Benjamin Moore

However, bold shades also work well in compact bathrooms to create a cosy feel. Consider a navy dark palette or even go bolder with black to lean into the lack of space. 

Which shade takes your fancy? Stick to one or dip your toe into a few, the opportunities are endless... 


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street. 

With contributions from