Top 7 Bathroom Colours to Avoid

Val Watson
Authored by Val Watson
Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2024 - 6:33am

Selecting the right colour for your bathroom is more than personal taste; it involves understanding how different colours can affect your mood and the perceived size and warmth of the space. Colours that might be inviting and cosy in other rooms can have an unwelcome effect in a bathroom setting.

Let's dive into the top seven bathroom colours to avoid:

  1. Bright Red: Though dynamic and bold, bright red can be overly stimulating for a bathroom. Its intensity might be better suited for areas of activity rather than relaxation.
  2. Neon Yellow: This vibrant colour can be jarring, especially in the morning light, potentially leading to discomfort rather than an energising start to the day.
  3. Dark Brown: Rich and earthy, dark brown can make a bathroom feel smaller and less inviting by absorbing light rather than reflecting it.
  4. Black (in Excess): While sophisticated, excessive black can overwhelm a bathroom, making it feel more like a cave than a retreat.
  5. Bright White (Without Contrast): An all-white bathroom can feel too clinical and unwelcoming, lacking the warmth and texture needed for a comfortable space.
  6. Neon Green: Similar to neon yellow, neon green's intensity can be unsettling, clashing with the calm, soothing environment most seek in a bathroom.
  7. Vivid Orange: Though cheerful, overly bright or saturated orange can overwhelm the senses and feel oppressive in a confined bathroom space.

Subtle Integration of Bold Colours

While the previously mentioned colours present certain challenges in a bathroom setting, it's worth exploring how they can be subtly introduced without overwhelming the space.

For instance, using bright red or neon green in smaller, carefully considered doses, such as in decorative elements, linens, or bathroom accessories, can inject vibrancy and life into the bathroom without disturbing its tranquil atmosphere.

This approach allows for the introduction of bold colours in a way that complements, rather than competes with, the relaxing environment we aim to create.

The Importance of Colour Choices

While exploring colour options, it's essential to remember the psychological effects colours can have. A study by 34 St John suggests that certain colours can significantly influence our mood and emotional well-being with 46% of adults feeling home interiors impact mood more than the weather.

Thoughtful Alternatives and Recommendations

When deciding the colour scheme for your bathroom, choosing softer, lighter colours, or embracing rich, muted tones, can dramatically alter the space, transforming it into a tranquil and welcoming sanctuary. The palette you choose plays an important role in creating the atmosphere:

Soft Blues and Greens: These colours, inspired by nature—sky and sea, leaves and grass—creates a profound sense of calm and cleanliness. They are suited for bathrooms, where the goal is creating a backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation. Consider different shades of these colours to match the lighting and size of your bathroom.

Warm Neutrals: Shades like taupe, beige, soft grey, and off-white can add a layer of cosy luxury to your bathroom. These shades offer a timeless appeal, providing a neutral backdrop that allows for flexibility in decorating with bathroom accessories. Warm neutrals have the ability to make a space feel inviting without the risk of sensory overload.

Muted Tones: For those who desire a bit more colour without overwhelming the senses, muted tones of your favourite colours can be an excellent choice. Think of toned-down versions of lavender, peach, or teal, which maintain the essence of the colour but with a softer, more discreet intensity. These colours can introduce personality and warmth into the bathroom while still aligning with a restful look.

Accent Colours for Depth: Integrating colours through bathroom fixtures, towels, rugs, or wall art can add depth to the space. Choose accents that complement your primary colour choice to create a united look. For example, a bathroom with soft blue walls could be enhanced with navy blue towels and a sea green rug, subtly introducing variety while maintaining balance.

The Role of Lighting in Colour Perception

The impact of natural and artificial lighting on colour perception cannot be ignored. Colours can appear dramatically different under various lighting conditions, affecting the mood and ambiance of the room. Before finalising your colour choices, observe how different shades look in your bathroom throughout the day and under artificial light.

This step ensures the selected colours will consistently contribute to a soothing and comfortable environment, regardless of the time of day or season. Lighting also offers an opportunity to enhance the chosen colour scheme, with warmer lights complementing earthy or neutral tones and cooler lights enhancing blues and greens.

Final Reflections

The journey to selecting the perfect bathroom colour is a blend of art and psychology, where the goal is to create a space that resonates on a personal and emotional level. By steering clear of colours that can negatively impact the room's ambiance, and embracing those that promote a sense of tranquillity and well-being, you can create a bathroom that serves as a true sanctuary.


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