Dark bathroom ideas: 13 dramatic looks that deviate from the 'norm'

Dare to consider some dramatically dark bathroom ideas? We show you why light isn't always a bright idea.

Dark Bathroom Ideas: Freestanding Bath with khaki wall paneling by Blue Sky Bathrooms
(Image credit: Blue Sky Bathrooms)

If you're bored of bathrooms that dance around color - then look no further than these dark bathroom ideas.

From unapologetic black bathroom decor to emerald green schemes that glisten, once you delve into these bathroom color ideas, it's hard to reconsider lighter-colored looks.

And it looks like the experts agree. When asked if painting with dark colors is as easy as painting with light colors, Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director, Dulux UK says: 'Yes it is! The thing about painting with dark colors is that you need a little bravery. So if you've never done it before, take on a small room like a bathroom and see how gorgeous it looks.'

So, will you join the dark side? We're convinced that after perusing these decorating ideas, you'll be easily seduced by the style.

Dark bathroom ideas to indulge in

These are a few of our favorite ideas...

1. Mix pattern in a maximalist dark scheme

Dark green tiled bathroom by Walls and Floors

(Image credit: Walls and Floors)

While we've seen softer shades of green in the form of sage and pistachio - it's their darker-hued cousins you need to keep a watchful eye on.

If you love green bathroom ideas, why not try out punchy pines and majestic emerald schemes. Rather than sinking seamlessly into a serene bathroom style, these colors make a bold statement. 

Richard Roberts, director of Sanctuary Bathrooms advises: 'Green is often associated strongly with health, well-being and nature, so it is unsurprising that this color is heavily trending at the moment and more people are searching for green bathroom ideas. Many people are looking to green to help create their own spa-like experience in their own home.” 

For an all-out maximalist bathroom idea, consider using a heavily patterned wallpaper and a statement flooring idea for a bathroom that means business.

2. Warm up a black bathroom with brown tones

Black and dark brown bathroom with glossy tiles by Original Style

(Image credit: Original Style)

Unassuming, but completely inviting, bittersweet notes of cocoa and coffee envelop you in this luxurious bathroom scheme. Mirrors and bold bathroom lighting ideas will stop this space from becoming claustrophobic, and instead transport you to a high-fashion space where you're top of the guest list!

However, remember to stay on your A-game by keeping these dark surfaces looking clean. You don't want your guests spilling the tea on unsavory toothpaste stains and streaky watermarks right?

3. Go regal with a dark blue and gold bathroom

Blue tiled bathroom with freestanding bath by Original Style

(Image credit: Original Style)

If Prince Harry and Megan Markle had to choose a dark master bathroom scheme for their Californian home, we think it'd look something like this.

Combining the royal-est of blues with Hollywood's favorite hue, this is a classy combo for His Royal Highness - and for you, too! Keep it high-brow but fun, by selecting abstract wall art presented in vintage frames for a modern bathroom idea.

We'd even go as far as searching on Etsy or Ebay for punky portraits of Queen Liz to liven up this look.

4. Go dark but soothing with khaki green walls

Khaki bathroom with wall paneling, freestanding white bath and framed wall art by Blue Sky Bathrooms

(Image credit: Blue Sky Bathrooms)

A contemporary mix of green and brown, khaki green is a classic color that has so many uses. Not just a shade that serves the military, it is a dark master bathroom idea that can battle (or form an ally) with any washroom décor.

If you have walls that have seen better days, then cover up war wounds with wall paneling. Used as a backdrop to camouflage and correct, paneling can also upscale a bathroom's aesthetics and also provide an element of soundproofing. This is particularly useful if young children create quite the war cry during bath time!

To style, pair with soft shades such as dusky pink for a feminine scheme or turn up the heat with bold, jewel-like colors like ruby or emerald. 

5. Add warmth with an earthy red or hot ocher scheme

Ocher tiled bathroom with white basin and circular mirror by Walls and Floors

(Image credit: Wall and Floors)

Want to turn up the temperature in an otherwise cool bathroom? Turn to terracotta and ocher tones. Bringing Sub-Saharan African vibes to your bathroom, these dark, earthy tones add warm spicy notes to your washroom. 

Encapsulate the look and feel of a bathroom near the equator with tropical bathroom plant ideas and style with accessories that demonstrate a global sense of style.

Think Aztec towels, a Persian rug, or maybe even a clay vase or two. Moroccan-inspired lighting will also help to achieve that Arabian night aesthetic. It'll create an interesting silhouette when you take your evening bath.

George Holland, design expert at Victorian Plumbing explains: 'Lighting is key. 'Dark reds radiate in well-lit rooms with lots of natural light. Strong, ambient lighting is essential to stop dark corners looking dull. For smaller, dark bathrooms, this color might not be for you'.

And Daisy Coombes, marketing manager for International retailer Sass & Belle agrees. "Incorporate a spectrum of spicy hues into your interiors with bursts of golden turmeric and deep terracotta," she says. "Suitable for the warmer months to create a scheme that feels reminiscent of the desert and warmer climes, as well as creating a cozy feel as seasons change."

As for the color palette to pair it with, Coombes says these shades work well with today's trendiest hues. "[These colors work] perfectly when paired with pops of plaster pink to create an on trend look, whether you opt for updating your soft furnishings, prefer to incorporate simple accessories such as vases and dried flowers," she says. "Or take the plunge and update your walls with the on trend palette, these earthy hues will get your home looking insta-ready."

For a more rustic look? '"Maintain the rustic look with the addition of Boho accessories and plenty of ceramics in shades of turmeric, terracotta and muted pinks for that tousled, lived in aesthetic that doesn’t feel too polished a la Mojave Desert," Coombes says. 

6. Add Gothic charm with distressed cabinetry

Black bathroom scheme with monochrome floor tiles and mirror by Benjamin Moore

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Gothic glam doesn't have to look shocking. So before you march into this dark bathroom idea thinking you've got to look like Marilyn Manson - think again. Instead, we're taking inspiration from the mid 12th to 16th century *checks history book* to create dark master bathroom decor that's full of character. 

To get the look, start off with dark walls and add a distressed wooden bathroom cabinet idea. Floor tiles with a masonry-inspired mosaic motif will also complete the look. But if the expense of raw materials and labor is too scary to think about, go faux with luxury vinyl tile.

If you do want to inject a pop of color into this space, shop for colored vases. This will emulate the look of stained glass windows seen in Gothic architecture. A large ornate mirror with a pointed arch will also pay homage to this period.

We'll call this one Frankenstein on fleek.

7. Combine shades from nature

Mink tiled wall with mirror and brown bathroom storage unit by Walls and Floors

(Image credit: Walls and Floors)

If you want to bed in gently with the idea of dark master bathroom decor, then it's time to take a trip to the woods for some washroom interior inspo.

Firstly, forage with some forest green decor or wall paint for woodland wow-factor. Then add mink tiling for an earthy and organic feel. 

Just like the wild animal it's compared to, mink can come in a range of colors ranging from tawny brown to mellow mushroom and can even contain a pink or mauve tinge. Imagine the creamy color of toadstools without the poisonous characteristics.

To style, add in a walnut wood bathroom vanity, as shown, for mid-century modern bathroom decor that will mesmerize.

8. Pair black and pink to make the boys (and girls) wink!

Black and pink tiled bathroom with black sink by Original Style

(Image credit: Original Style)

We often see pink as an easy color to soften an interior space in your home. However, what if we were to flip this notion on it's head to create a cool and edgy scheme with a bit of grit to it?

By adding black to an existing pink scheme, you can quickly transform a bathroom idea that may have become outdated into something fresh and fierce. 

Add as much or as little as you want to gauge how far you want to take this dark master bathroom idea. Because even Barbie has evolved with the times.

9. Add a punchy plum to a powder room or cloakroom

Purple metro tiles in a small bathroom by Tile Mountain

(Image credit: Tile Mountain)

If you're scared to experiment with harsh black paint or dark grey schemes, especially in a small bathroom space, then purple could be the perfect color for a tiny washroom or cozy cloakroom idea.

By combining rich shades of berry or pigment-rich plum, you can still create a colorful bathroom that's still dark by definition. From wine-like Mulberry emulsion to eggplant glazed metro tiles, you can create a master bath that gives off an intimate and romantic French boudoir feel. 

So if you want to create a Moulin Rouge inspired room - 'gitchie gitchie ya-ya' self down to the hardware store pronto.

10. Have fun with texture

Italian blue agate wall in bathroom by CP Hart Bathrooms

(Image credit: CP Hart Bathrooms)

If you think the idea of paint or wallpaper is a little two-dimensional, but don't want the hassle of tiling or wall paneling, then why not experiment with different textures in your dark bathroom design?

From tortoiseshell to animal print, agate and geometric shapes, you can achieve big impact results. We're inspired by this multifaceted effect that takes its inspiration from Mother Nature's common rock formation. Quartz never looked so classy!

11. Add copper for an industrial feel with impact

Freestanding copper bath with window shutters in bathroom

(Image credit: Shutterly Fabulous)

From warmth-retaining freestanding copper baths, to twinkling towel rails and gleaming basins, copper is a trend that isn't going anywhere. And rose-gold fixtures are an easy way to bring bling to your bathroom if brass or chrome isn't your thing.

A versatile finish, this bronze babe is quite the color chameleon. While it may appear girly and glam when paired with white, it takes on a tougher, industrial façade when used as part of a dark bathroom idea.

Add candles and lanterns to further illuminate your dark bathroom decor. As the light beams, it will reflect off any metallic surface. 'Glow' get it girls!

12. Color block with contrasting shades 

Green bathroom with purple freestanding bath and Jaguar leaf motif by Benjamin Moore and Kips Bay Decorator Show House

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore / Kips Bay Decorator Show House)

Color blocking is a trendy technique that can be incorporated into any dark bathroom idea. While it's more traditionally executed with light or bright bathroom color ideas - don't underestimate the effect that dark shades can have in creating a seductive scheme.

Create a dynamic scheme by using natural breaks, such as corners, alcoves, shelving to start and stop different color selections. We love this look which incorporates different shades of green with a pop of purple and a big black cat mural for good measure. Meow!

13. Consider a black toilet in your dark bathroom design

Black toilet by Rutland with marble backdrop and planted pot by Rutland

(Image credit: Rutland)

'It goes without saying that WCs are an integral part of the bathroom, but they often go forgotten in terms of design and aesthetics of the space.', says Gordon Riddoch, Managing Director of Rutland London.

'Dark WCs are striking and offer a further design element to an otherwise standard and often plain bathroom essential. Add to the dark aesthetic and create a striking look by introducing darker brassware finishes such as Bronze to WC flush pipes and levers.'

Should you paint a bathroom a dark color?

'Absolutely,' says Real Homes' Amy Cutmore. 'I inherited an all-white bathroom, but found the space too sterile and lacking in character. I was quick to paint it a deep teal – Burlington Arcade by Mylands, and haven't looked back.' 

'The shade creates a cozy atmosphere, perfect for relaxing in the tub, but is still fresh and dynamic enough to give off a good energy in the morning when I'm feeling too sleepy!'

George Holland, Design Expert at Victorian Plumbing adds: 'A teal ceiling can also truly elevate a space. A dark teal ceiling will draw the light up, making the room appear bigger. This works best for bathrooms with lots of natural lighting'. 

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.