The best and worst colours to paint bathrooms says Psychology expert

Colour Psychologist reveals the best and worst shades to paint your bathroom

Colour is a powerful source to enhance more than just the decor, it can improve wellbeing too.

One of the most important rooms to boost our mood is the bathroom. According to and Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant Lee Chambers MSc MBPsS, the colour you paint bathroom walls is of great importance.

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From waking up and feeling invigorated for the day ahead to winding-down before bed, bathroom wall colours play a vital role to our mood.

'Bathrooms are normally not considered to be a place to show your flamboyance,' says Lee Chambers. 'Despite this, the colour scheme of your bathroom can have a direct impact on how you feel. whether having the morning shower or brushing our teeth before falling into bed.'

bathroom with white tiled walls and white bathtub

(Image credit: Lizzie Orme)

The bathroom retailer surveyed 4,342 people on the colour of their bathrooms. The most popular bathroom wall colour is white, with an overwhelming 32 per cent of those surveyed having white bathroom walls.

Despite it's popularity Lee explains why this might not be the best choice. 'An all-white bathroom is very clinical, clean and spacious, but lacks character. White can be uninspiring, especially for females, studies have shown.'

The second and third most popular colours are blue and green, with 21 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. These may both be more beneficial than white walls.

bathroom with printed tiled flooring and bathtub

(Image credit: Alistair Nicholls)

As Lee explains, 'When it comes to helping us find a calmer moment of serenity in the evening or as you rush around in the morning, cooler colours that still have a bright element, such as brighter blue and greens can help us feel assured in ourselves. Conveying a message that we can handle the day's challenges.'

After blue and green came grey bathrooms and neutral cream walls. Red and orange came 7th and 9th on the list respectively, making them not the most nor least popular colours. However, Lee says these bold shades could be just what your bathroom needs!

Explaining, 'If you want to start the day with a stimulating boost, bold shades of warm colours like reds, oranges and yellows can really get you energised.' But it doesn't have to be on walls, 'This can be incorporated through accessories and decoration on a more muted colour.'

bathroom with handshower and white window

(Image credit: Oliver Gordon)

The least popular colour was black. Despite this becoming more visible in the modern home none of those surveyed chose this bold wall colour. To concur, Lee's in favour of avoiding black bathroom walls. He says, 'Dark bathrooms can feel enclosed and uninviting unless the lighting is beneficial, and mirrors are used to create the perception of space.'

Perhaps more surprisingly, 2 per cent of people had metallic gold or silver bathroom walls. Lee analyses this, saying it's worthwhile considering thinking outside the box and incorporating metallics and textures.
Saying, 'Natural materials are grounding, such as metallic, stone and wooden elements. They can help us to feel more connected to ourselves.'

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After evaluating the most popular colours for bathrooms, Lee explains, 'The last thing to consider is your colour preferences.'

Concluding, 'If there's a particular shade that you feel expresses you, you have a personal connection, and that is powerful when deciding what colour to use. Just ensure that the colours you choose let you have that moment of peace in a place that feels like home.'


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.