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Should Bathrooms be Light or Dark?

Should bathrooms be light or dark

Traditionally, bathrooms have tended to be white or light-colored. Light colors are considered calming and relaxing, and can make a small space appear larger. But should this be a rule?

When should you buck the trend and go with a darker room? Here are some things to consider:

Small Space

Light colors can indeed make a small space seem larger. They will open your bathroom up (but don't forget to add some texture to keep it from feeling uninviting. Most bathrooms are on the small side, so the common wisdom is to go with light colors.

However, there is another approach, and that is to use darker colors to create depth and a cocooning feel. Use contrast with lighter shades or patterns, and choose gold or silver fixtures. Add in layered lighting.

Which is best? Light colors tend to work well if your bathroom receives plenty of natural light. But if you have a windowless bathroom, consider darker colors.

Maximizing Natural Light

Not all bathrooms have windows, but if they do, you want to make the most use of them. This means going with lighter colors and polished tiles to reflect sunlight. Darker colors will absorb it. Off whites and light colors are also good for applying makeup.

Make sure, though, that the reflections don't end up looking "busy" and distracting. You want to be in a relaxing retreat, not feel as if you're on display.

Seeking Sophistication

Bluntly, a white or light colored bathroom can look generic. It looks like a hotel or a rental. Add personality and sophistication with darker colors. Ombre shading can look particularly elegant, making sure to use the lighter shade closer to the floor and the dark shade near the ceiling.

Dark colors also look great in your powder room or cloakroom, where your visitors go to freshen up. You can experiment and add personality with such things as colored, polished marble or mirrors. Powder rooms tend to have little or no natural light, so make sure to use lighting properly. People appreciate the experience of a pretty, jewel-like powder room.

Building a Relaxing Retreat

You can do this with light or deep and dark colors. With light colors, you are going for airy and invoking waterfalls. But deep colors can do it well too. Blue is generally the most relaxing color, so consider blue or teal with lighter accents. Wood accenting can also help make a bathroom that envelopes you in its warmth.

Navy is a particularly elegant and relaxing color and goes well with a more traditional feel for the rest of the house. Trim it with white, beige, and ivory fixtures and furnishings for a timeless look.

Support Period Features

Does your home have interesting architecture? Are you using grandma's old vanity? Period furnishings tend to be on the darker side and go well with a darker scheme in general. On the other hand, light colored furniture works well as an accent against a darker wall or in an overall lighter scheme.

Build your bathroom around these period features and avoid repainting precious furniture to match your idea of the right color scheme. Radiators, on the other hand, can easily be painted to match whatever color you prefer.

Should bathrooms be light or dark? Ultimately, the answer is yes. Choose light colors to invigorate, to make the most of natural light, or to make a small space look bigger. Go with darker hues to create an interesting powder room, match period furnishings, or create an enveloping cocoon. For more bathroom ideas and to discuss the best look for your new bathroom, contact Edesia Kitchen & Bath Studio today.


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