Home Decor

8 Vibrant, Soothing & Unexpected Bathroom Paint Colors to Try

Who says bathrooms always need to be neutral?

June 10, 2022
Photo by Bobbi Lin

If your space is starting to feel just a little bit… blah, and you’re looking for a simple (and affordable!) refresh—well, you’ve come to the right place.

One of our go-to solutions for giving a home a quicker-than-anything makeover? Painting the walls, of course—specifically our bathroom walls. In such a small space, paint can have truly transformational powers to add depth, create zen vibes, or even fake light and airiness. There are so many directions one can go in when it comes to making over this space; practically any color is fair game.

If you’re trying to determine the perfect hue to use in your loo (ha!), we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up eight of our favorite bathroom paint color picks below and asked interior designers to weigh in on their top choices, too. And if you’re just trying to dip your toes into color, we’ve also shopped for essentials that’ll give you a sense of how your bathroom could look before you even pick up a paintbrush.


Photo by Bobbi Lin

Heather Goerzen, Managing Editor of Design Content at Havenly, says that dusty mauve is the color she keeps going back to for bathroom designs. “This tone brings a romantic sultriness to bathroom spaces with all the depth and sophistication one could hope for,” says Goerzen. After two plus years of a pandemic, it’s safe to say we are all craving more warmth and comfort at home—cue: the rise of mauve, berry, and rusty paint backdrops. Add it to a bathroom space, coupled with marble features, black accents, and brass finishes, and the paint perfectly sings.

Blomus Sono Toilet Brush & Waste Bin | Shop on Food52, $53–$100 Photo by Julia Gartland
Cloud Cotton Robe | Shop on Parachute, $109 Photo by Parachute


By no means does a pink bathroom have to be ultra feminine and sweet. Pink is an excellent color choice for those looking to go bold in a small space, regardless of aesthetic. Incorporate additional vibrant touches with plants, framed artwork, and storage containers, all of which will take a basic bathroom to the next level in no time. This particular pink is 36 Hours in Marrakesh by Backdrop.

Leslie Murphy, owner and creative director at Murphy Maude Interiors loves how accessories can transform a bathroom quickly. “Rather than completely overhauling your space, choose trend-forward accessories and items that can be easily updated. I find it's a great way to balance your space, and it makes it a lot easier to rotate in pieces as new trends start making waves.”

Matchpoint Candle | Shop on Otherland, $36 Photo by Otherland
Addis Pink Ethiopian Cotton Bath Towels | Shop on 54Kibo, $128 Photo by 54Kibo


Many designers will agree that there’s nothing wrong with painting bathroom walls a classic white (like Timeless by Clare). “For bathrooms that are used [often], I like to stick to white,” says designer Mary Patton. “I think a bathroom should be light and bright.” Looking to add a bit of pizzazz? Try pieces that incorporate texture to keep the white from looking one-note.

Checkered Bath Mat | Shop on Brooklinen, $40.50 Photo by Brooklinen
Waffle Robe | Shop on Boll & Branch, $118 Photo by Boll & Branch


It’s time that we stop associating grey with bland, lifeless spaces—this bathroom is anything but that! A green-grey hue like French Gray from Farrow & Ball adds depth and even more luxury to these stunning, molding adorned walls, giving the loo a sophisticated, timeless appeal. To keep accessories from looking all gloom and doom, go with different shades with heathered charcoal and stone.

Linen Shower Curtain Set | Shop on Brooklinen, $89.10 Photo by Brooklinen
Imabari Waffle Towel Set | Shop on The Citizenry, $195 Photo by The Citizenry


If you’re happy and you know it…paint your bathroom walls an unexpected yellow. Nicole Gibbons, designer and founder of paint brand Clare, says there’s nothing wrong with choosing a more daring shade for such a space. “I always advise using a bold color for a smaller space, rather than a neutral—they make a big impact in a small bathroom.” This guest bathroom is painted with Portola Paint limewash in Speakeasy for all the sunshine vibes.

Super-Plush Robe | Shop on Brooklinen, $89.10 Photo by Brooklinen
Bolé Road Textiles Karo Bath Mat | Shop on Lulu and Georgia, $45 Photo by Lulu and Georgia

Deep Green

If you love dark, moody hues, but don’t want to go all-in yet, consider painting just the trim or bottom half of your bathroom walls for a cool two-toned look. “But please skip the accent wall—it feels a little dated,” says Goerzen. “Go for a more timeless painted wainscotting situation, leaving the upper half a neutral, ivory tone.” Here, a deep green like Backwoods by Benjamin Moore adds drama while patterned floor tiles keep things from looking too heavy.

Cloud Cotton Robe | Shop on Parachute, $109 Photo by Parachute
Azulina Home Super Soft Bath Mat | Shop on Food52, $65–$95 Photo by Rocky Luten

Light Green

Of if you prefer something lighter, soft greens like sage, eucalyptus, and mint are timeless ways to incorporate color and energy into any bathroom, but especially for a kids’ bathroom. “We want bathrooms to feel young and fun for kids, however, we avoid using colorful tiles which kids can outgrow or get tired of,” designer Mary Maydan explains. “On the other hand, changing the wall paint is very easy and it enables us to fulfill the kids’ dreams without committing to it long term.” Try a light green like Glade Green by Behr.

Curtis Trash Can | Shop on Anthropologie, $32 Photo by Anthropologie
Waffle Terry Bath Sheet Set | Shop on Boll & Branch, $198 Photo by Boll & Branch

Soft Blue

“We’ve been seeing a resurgence of love for soft blue bathrooms,” says Goerzen. “The look is simultaneously effortless and elegant, relaxed yet refined, on-trend but still forever timeless.” A sky blue shade like Grayish by Clare is ultra-calming and will help create the serene, spa-like bathroom of your dreams if all you’re craving these days is a little R&R. If you worry about a color appearing too modern, change up the vibes with the right accent pieces. Here, marshmallowy wallpaper and dark wooden knobs add a vintage touch to the space.

Blomus Sono Bathroom Countertop Essentials | Shop on Food52, $39–$86 Photo by Rocky Luten
Four Layer Robe | Shop on Riley, $125 Photo by Riley

This post was updated June 2022 with more trending colors from our favorite interior designers, plus all the essentials to get the look without paint.

Which of these colors do you want to try out in your bathroom? Tell us your faves below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Cindy Foreman
    Cindy Foreman
  • pscullin
Sarah Lyon

Written by: Sarah Lyon

Freelance writer and interior design enthusiast


Cindy F. June 10, 2022
My whole house was painted with that horrible pink color,(mauve) the walls, the toilets, the bath, the cabinets all the same color. Monochrome pink was disgusting. We repainted the whole house, but some of it still peeks out.
pscullin January 11, 2022
I am no interior designer, but I appreciate your article about bathroom colors. It has affirmed my choices. Nairobi Dusk by Behr for my guest bth and Feng Shui by Behr for my master bath.