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Our best colour ideas for your new bathroom

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
La Lucia Eclectic style bathroom by ARRCC Eclectic
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Whether you’ve opted to contact a professional Bathroom Designer or are flexing those DIY muscles, changing a bathroom’s colour palette doesn’t have to be tricky. But it can be. But it doesn’t have to be. 

So, to help you sidestep some design blunders (and save who knows how much time and expenses), let’s take a look at some trendy and timeless colour ideas that can give your bathroom a fresh new look. 

1. How to choose your bathroom colour scheme

First of all, ask yourself what vibe you want to have in your bathroom. And then consider how much available space you have to play with, plus the amount of natural light filtering in. 

If your bathroom is rather small, there’s no reason why you should stick to light colours only. In fact, a small bathroom with very little lighting can be the perfect canvas for a bold/bright colour like cherry red or basil green. 

2. Trying out the colour wheel

ALTERATION FRESNAYE, CAPE TOWN Modern bathroom by Grobler Architects Modern Marble
Grobler Architects


Grobler Architects

The colour wheel can help you determine which colours complement which ones (they appear opposite one another on the colour wheel) and which ones are analogous (they’re right next to each other).

3. What kind of paint is best for the bathroom?

The kind that will have no trouble with high levels of moisture! This type of paint is ideal for bathrooms and other wet/humid spaces as it’s more durable than standard paint, plus is created to withstand steam and condensation more appropriately. 

4. A split colour scheme = visual height

Splash Eclectic style bathroom by Pixers Eclectic



Got a small bathroom at home? Did you know that painting the lower half of a wall in a stronger colour than the top helps in stretching the room’s height? Of course this is nothing more than an optical illusion, yet it’s a trick that has worked for quite a few decades now. 

5. Keeping it soft

La Lucia Eclectic style bathroom by ARRCC Eclectic

La Lucia


Light neutrals are usually the go-to options when it comes to colours, but have you ever considered splashing a soft pastel into your neutral palette? Pairing up neutral shades (like mocha beige) and diluted pastels (duck egg, anyone?) is perfect for creating visual interest – plus, it leaves your bathroom scheme fresh and straightforward. 

6. Getting all dark and dramatic

Be very careful when playing with dark colours in small spaces. Although those dark greys, blues, blacks, etc. can create a claustrophobic effect (when done incorrectly), pairing them up with the right décor and metallics (gold and brass continue to remain trendy) can result in quite the elegant look. 

7. Monochrome

Bathroom Renovations Modern bathroom by Beton Haus (PTY) LTD Modern
Beton Haus (PTY) LTD

Bathroom Renovations

Beton Haus (PTY) LTD

The black-and-white look has been considered classy since it first became popular during the Art Deco period. But even modern- and contemporary styles can make this timeless colour scheme work, especially when pops of colour show up via décor and textiles. 

8. Mixing two neutrals

For a super calming colour scheme, consider blending two neutrals. But keep an eye on the proportions – in this case, a 70/30 split can work to ensure the combo works on a visual level without letting any of your two colours dominate the space. 

9. Bathroom colours and lighting

Plettenberg Bay - Beach House Modern bathroom by DV8 Architects Modern
DV8 Architects

Plettenberg Bay—Beach House

DV8 Architects

If you’d like to try dark and dramatic colours, commit to first-rate lighting (artificial and natural) to illuminate, cast and reflect as much light around as possible. 

10. Contrasting coloured tiles

Rescue + Refurb Rustic style bathroom by Solving Spaces Rustic
Solving Spaces

Rescue + Refurb

Solving Spaces

Of course paint isn’t your only option to bring new colours into your bathroom. How about treating yourself to new towels, bath mats, window treatment, or décor accessories? Or take a style step further and opt for coloured tiles (do your research on the colour wheel first!) and maybe even an enticing geometric pattern (chevron, clover, stripes, etc.). 

But remember: less is always more. Thus, don’t include more than three tonal shades in your final palette.

Next up: Your traditional kitchen is just 7 style steps away.

How will you be spicing up your bathroom via colour(s)?
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