Beyond White: 11 Alternative Hues to Color Your Bath

The all-white bathroom is a familiar design icon: crisp white walls, marble vanity top, gleaming porcelain, plush white towels. But after years of being considered a classic, this minimalist palette can leave many people wanting more. A dash of color can enrich the space with energy, and—depending on the shades you choose—your bathroom paint colors can help invigorate you in the morning, relax you in the evening, or simply make you smile at any time of day. Use the power of paint color in the bathroom to set a tone. A blue bathroom that pulls from hues of the sea and sky will feel tranquil, while a stately navy blue or a steel gray bathroom promotes a sense of stability. Or, choose something altogether refreshing: A sunny yellow bathroom is sure to help wake you up in the morning, and a green bathroom in nature-inspired tones will feel grounded in cool earthiness. No matter your color choice, a paint with a semi-gloss finish will be your best bet to lay down the color; as a matter of practicality, these work best in the high-moisture environment of the bathroom. They'll be easy to clean and aren’t blighted by the occasional splash of water. While you're at it, use an especially durable paint on trim work, as windows and doors in the small space of a bathroom take extra abuse. A good paint job is at the foundation of nearly all bathroom decor ideas; whatever your style, there’s a palette to suit it. To inspire you, we’ve gathered images of 11 bathroom color schemes that range in hues from pale and ethereal to dark and dramatic—and really make their mark.

  1. Straw

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    46d46c3e2606b16261fb88ada7da5ae6

    gelottehommas.com

    The peaceful quality of pale straw combined with white is undeniable. Elegant details in this serene setting include thick ceiling molding, glass knobs on the vanity, and a corner cabinet. The valance, upholstered ottoman, and bath towel carry the straw color around the room.

  2. Brown

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    93b3463d6993293431ada28a39e0223c

    janelockhart.com

    Brown walls create a cozy feeling in a bathroom but can run the risk of feeling too dark. To find the right balance, choose a light-to-medium shade like this one and balance it with white on floors and woodwork. The crystal chandelier adds a playful touch to the space.

  3. Periwinkle

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    5773ac14518e5bbba7602e8e0df90aae

    avenuebdev.com

    A cheerful blue-purple as fresh as the flower itself, periwinkle is a fun color to use in the bath. The beadboard and clawfoot tub underscore this room's cottage charm. A single, bold work of art looks stunning against the colorful backdrop.

  4. Caramel

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    D764a0e6906c5791b1419ec580518252

    rwandersonhomes.com

    Delicate details like an etched glass mirror and a crystal chandelier reflect the easy elegance of this powder room's caramel-and-white palette. A pedestal sink and brass accessories keep the look simple, allowing the walls to command full attention.

  5. Sage Green

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    84ad713607b13794e7f12b2b614ff748

    diynetwork.com

    The soft sage chosen for this bath recalls the beauty of the great outdoors. White tiles and warm wooden floors complement the color of the walls. The narrow band of green tiles around the room adds a pleasing accent.

  6. Gray

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    27e0bf6f8422df2e1835032d781cf8e9

    dylynnedecor.com

    Shades of gray from pale fog to deep charcoal are widely used in American homes today. The sophisticated appeal of this color family is apparent in this master bath, where light-gray walls set the tone.

  7. Peach

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    06212be5b12a45680c032cfa34dc3b44

    bhg.com

    Not only does the color peach look beautiful when it's combined with white, the hue also casts a warm glow over the skin, enhancing one's complexion in the mirror. Fresh flowers—especially an arrangement that coordinates with the colors in the room—are always a pretty touch in a bath.

  8. Sky Blue

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    1a4fc0f4cac236143a320ac38a586dad

    rwandersonhomes.com

    The inspiration for the tranquil blue walls of this master bath came from the view outside the window. The color also complements the old-fashioned details of the room, including the fixtures, subway tile, and marble-topped wooden vanity.

  9. Beige

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    Ffc2f487d91bca0022888f7a9a29a8c5

    brucekading.com

    A few shades darker than traditional white, a warm beige on walls and woodwork creates an enveloping sense of calm in this luxurious bath. Choosing a pale tan marble pattern for the vanity and tub surround continues the room's monochromatic look.

  10. Lavender

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    4c6c4261b0b366530527e8b54e561b82

    mandarinastudio.net

    There are endless choices for nearly white paint colors that have a hint of another hue—like this ethereal lavender—making them a good option for anyone who just wants to turn up the volume of a white bath ever so slightly. A playful pattern on the Roman shade and towels in a deeper shade of purple add a bit of whimsy to the room.

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