11 colourful bathroom design ideas

If you're looking for an alternative to monochrome, our colourful bathroom design ideas are here to inspire

Bathroom by John Lewis
(Image credit: John Lewis)

Are you looking for a modern alternative to monochrome bathrooms? If you're in the process of designing a bathroom and want to incorporate colour, our selection of happiness-inducing colourful bathroom design ideas are sure to leave you feeling inspired.

Whether you're set on a striking bright scheme or want to inject colour using understated accent features, there's something to suit every style. Check them out then take a look at our guide to designing a bathroom to get your room transformation just right.

1. Draw subtle tones out of patterned floor tiles

If you've decided on patterned floor tiles and want to design a bathroom with a cohesive colour scheme, consider opting for a bathroom paint colour that draws out the more subtle tile tones. This approach ensures a stylish finish, without the room feeling overwhelmed. Add interest to the space with house plants; they will successfully break up a room and prevent it from feeling too 'matchy.'

We've got loads more inspirational ideas in our best bathroom floor tile designs

millenial pink toned bathroom with white subway tiles and several hosueplants

We love the millennial feel of this blush bathroom scheme. Find all fittings at Bathroom Takeaway

(Image credit: Bathroom Takeaway)

2. Combine complementary colours

Modern printed wallpapers are a striking addition to a bathroom; in particular those with high ceilings and abundant natural light. Opt for paintwork in a similar hue to ensure that a bold print or bright colour fits within the space.

This Camellia wallpaper is paired with Smalt Paint, both from Little Greene, for a modern floral feel.

If this blue botanical wallpaper has caught your eye, we have plenty more botanical wallpaper designs to inspire you.

blue floral wallpapered bathroom with great natural lighting

(Image credit: Little Greene)

3. Create a focal point with a coloured freestanding bath 

The addition of a brightly coloured, freestanding bath is an effective way of injecting colour and creating a striking focal point. We love this bold red tub, for a modern take on a traditional freestanding bath – and there's plenty more where this came from in our pick of traditional free standing bath designs

red freestanding bath in bathroom with panelling

(Image credit: Drummonds)

4. Achieve a calming ombre paint effect 

When it comes to bathroom paint ideas, an ombre accent wall is a popular choice (and it's easy to see why). Stick to a variation of cool blue tones to create a soothing effect that encourages relaxation and an opportunity to unwind. Couple with calming house plants, fragrant candles and an at-hand stool that's perfect for storing fresh towels or (more likely) a glass of wine. Get ready to feel totally zen. 

We love this calming combination of Ombre Aubusson Blue Wall Paint and Provence Chalk Paint, both from Annie Sloan. If you fancy giving the ombre effect a yourself, we've got a step-by-step guide for creating an ombre feature wall to help you out. 

ombre finish blue toned bathroom with roller bath

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

5. Create an iridescent effect for an understated injection of colour 

Striking yet understated, iridescent-effect bathroom tiles create a unique look in a bathroom with their colour changing slightly dependent on the light. A statement feature, this look is best achieved as part of a feature wall in an otherwise white scheme. Find out how to pick the right sized tiles for your bathroom.

Recreate this unique look using the Radiance Collection from Original Style. 

holographic style bathroom tiles in pink and blue hues with white sink

(Image credit: Original Style)

6. Create a patchwork-effect tile wall

While patterned floor tiles are a popular choice for bathrooms, when arranged to create a patchwork effect they make an equally impactful addition to bathroom walls. Recreate this look by grouping an eclectic selection of patterned tiles or, as an easier option, opt for a tile-effect wallpaper.

We love this Portuguese-inspired, tile-effect wallpaper from Limelace.

Find out how to choose the best tiles for your bathroom in our practical advice guide.

brightly coloured Portuguese inspired tiles in batrhoom with sink and freestanding unit

(Image credit: Lime Lace)

7. Experiment with on-trend paint ideas

Colour blocking is an on-trend technique that's ideal for bathrooms. To achieve this look, use natural breaks, such as corners, alcoves, shelving, dado or picture rails, to start and stop different colour choices. If you want to try this trend in other room of your home, check out these colour block paint ideas

If you don't have a picture or dado rail, try using masking tape to draw a line at the height where there would be one. Choose a different shade for either side of the tape and paint accordingly. If this effect has caught your eye, you may want to take a look at our bathroom paint ideas for more inspiration. 


8. Pair bright accent features with deeper, moodier tones

Break up a deeper toned, moodier scheme with brightly coloured accent features for added interest in your bathroom. To prevent the space from feeling overwhelmed, opt for a light wood or tiled flooring and other light coloured accessories.

Bathroom by John Lewis

Bathroom buys, John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

9. Choose deep spicy shades for a bathroom lacking natural light 

Don't let a lack of natural light dissuade you from using colour in your bathroom. Deep spicy shades calmed by muted naturals will make the room feel instantly welcoming. Ensure the bolder shades have earthy rather than citrus tones, and match them with flooring in a natural material and furniture in dark, richly grained wood for a look that oozes character.  

Orange painted bathroom

(Image credit: Dulux)

10. Inject colour with stylish shutters 

Shutters are a great solution for bathrooms, allowing daylight in and ensuring privacy when needed. If you have a neutral scheme, try using a bold colour at the window; tying the space together with vibrant accessories. Try painting old shutters yourself or find something similar at Shutterly Fabulous.

If shutters don't suit you style or budget, we've got your covered, with plenty more bathroom window treatment ideas


11. Paint panelling for a period feel

Wall panelling is a practical choice for bathrooms; you can DIY install it then paint to suit your scheme, whether period-feel or more contemporary. Want a bathroom that feels more like a living space than a bathroom? Match the panelling with bathroom-suitable wallpaper and put generous swathes of water-resistant fabric at the windows.

Find more wall panelling design tips and advice in our guide.

traditional bathroom with green panelling

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

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