Is black a good color for small bathrooms? Design experts weigh in

We asked interior pros if black is a good color to use in a small bathroom and delved into their styling and design tips

Black small bathroom with marble counter
(Image credit: Divine Savages)

We're asking, 'Is black a good color for small bathrooms?' to get to the bottom of this design question. You may initially think black may look overwhelming or too harsh for a small bathroom but you may be surprised by what our pros say.

We asked interior design experts for their thoughts on how to make this moody color work in a tiny space and in this article, will dive into their industry tips and tricks for nailing the look in compact spaces.

Armed with some new small bathroom ideas, yours will be looking as good as new, no matter how little or how much you use black to refresh it.

Designers answer if black is a good color for small bathrooms

Black small bathroom with white tub

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

When space is limited, it's always important to nail the design choices to make things look bigger. The wrong styling can make a small bathroom look even more cramped and messy. It's often been thought that black bathrooms don't work because dark colors make spaces look smaller, but actually, it can have the inverse effect if styled the right way.

"Small bathrooms lend themselves to dark colors because dark colors recede to the eye and create a depth to the room. Black works wonderfully in a small bathroom because it really elevates the space to feel sophisticated, luxe, and dramatic," says interior designer, Emily LaMarque.

Lighting may be the key factor to make or break your black small bathroom. "Even though black absorbs light, it can actually make your bathroom look bigger if you use it wisely," says Courtney Cole, interior designer at Tile Cloud.

"Dark colors like black can add depth to a room and blur the edges of the walls together, making the walls appear bigger. This, when used with effective lighting and bringing reflective surfaces into the bathroom, can make a small bathroom visually expand. If you choose to use black in your small bathroom then it all comes down to how much light you can bring into the space," says Courtney.

How to use black in a small bathroom

Black bathroom by Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Styling a modern small bathroom with black decor is easy with a few key pieces. "Whether it's using black for the walls, as an accent color, or a black patterned wallpaper, black in a bathroom tends to feel bold and a tad edgy," says Emily. For an easy addition, peel-and-stick wallpaper is a great way to add black to a small bathroom. We love this waterproof black floral wallpaper from Amazon for a luxe look that won't peel off in humid bathrooms.

To prevent your dark small bathroom from looking too gloomy, add contrasting elements. "When using black in a bathroom, I tend to use white fixtures like sinks and toilets to keep some light elements within the space. Black pairs well with metal tones, which feel like jewelry for the bathroom. Consider using brass for accessories like the vanity mirror, decorative lighting, artwork frames, and towel rings to accent and play up the sophistication of black in the space," says Emily.

Then add some extra bathroom lighting to keep it looking bright and inviting. "It's easy to create a moody boudoir ambiance with some chosen task lighting and darker color decor. Or, you can get a bit more creative and add a wide variety of reflective surfaces to help distribute the light. This can be done with a nice big mirror and by using metallic fixtures," says Courtney. This highly-rated bathroom mirror from Wayfair should do the trick. 

"You can then add a bright pop of color, which will really stand out against the dark background, and, if possible, some greenery to infuse more life in the space," says Courtney. One of our favorite plants for small bathrooms should add some much-needed color and life to the space.

Turns out, using black in a small bathroom is actually a great interior design trend

"I find that black is a really nice color to bring a sort of elegance into a room, that will outlive some of the decor trends we see in the industry. This, and the fact that black is very versatile to pair with other colors and designs, make it a great choice if you want some flexibility," says Courtney.

Feeling inspired and brave enough to give black a whirl in your home? Head over to the dark side with some delicious black living room ideas.

Emily Lambe
Deputy Editor

Hey! I’m Emily and I’m the deputy digital editor at Real Homes. I’m here to bring you the latest decor trends, inspirational ideas, informative how tos, the latest celeb homes style and the best budget-friendly buys. I live in a rented apartment, making the most of small spaces and using accent pieces to make things pop. When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing yoga, eating chocolate or working on my skincare routine.