18 Ways to Incorporate 2019's Color Trends Into Your All-White Bathroom

Updated 10/11/19
Ginny Macdonald—bathroom color trends
Tessa Neustadt DESIGN: Ginny Macdonald

Oh, white bathrooms. What's not to love? They're as effortlessly appealing now as they were a century ago. But that being said, all-white bathrooms can feel overdone—especially since previous generations weren't scrolling through an endless supply of interior design images. So, even though all-white will always be beautiful, there have to be more options available to those who want a classic look with a trendy edge.

That's why we asked three designers, Ginny Macdonald, Liz Lipkin, and Annouchka Engel, to see how to bring more of the color wheel into this space before our all-white obsession turns into full-on boredom. Their clever insights range from hard work to easy fixes, like a few days of tiling that incorporate a more saturated palette to an afternoon of accessorizing that complements white with darker shades. They want to share, too, that these color trends aren't exactly turning their backs on the all-white look, either—especially if that classic aesthetic is a recent upgrade.

Mostly, they just want to spread the word that boldly-shaded bathrooms can be just as beloved, too. "Have fun with it, but make sure there is some cohesion if you're adding to your existing space. Make sure the tones work well together," Macdonald says.

Ginny Macdonald , Interior Designer

"All white bathrooms can feel timeless, but I think adding in some tones can help stop it from feeling stark, and gives the space depth," Macdonald says. "If someone has an all-white bathroom but wants to switch things up, a quick and easy way is through accessories, artwork, and a playful rug," she continues. "Adding wood tones like a simple stool or basket trash bin can really add warmth. Colorful towels can also and a pop of color—but people shouldn't feel the need to find the most saturated color out there. Even simple oatmeal or light grey will contrast nicely, and a Turkish style towel or shower curtain will and some nice pattern and texture."

Bathroom color trends to consider that aren't all white:

Bold color."I feel in general that bolder color is coming back into the home in a big way," she says. "There is still room in the design trends for California tonal style, but I'm seeing a surge of jewel tones and earthy rustic pops."

Wood tones.
"This is not necessarily color, but wood tones are increasingly popular in bathroom design at the moment and I feel they are set to continue," she notes. "Gone are the days of the orange-toned woods you'd see in the 80s and 90s, though. People are opting for white oak and walnut with a simple shaker or flat fronted doors. And with the whole Marie Kondo movement, people are wanting a more simple lifestyle and cleaner design lines go with that."

Pink tones.
"Millennial pink is still here for now, but I'm seeing a slight switch with warmer tones such as rusty coral alongside earthy greens and ashy grays," Macdonald adds. "For those who want to play it safe, adding these tones in a wall color can give the space some difference without the full commitment. But for those who are wanting to go all-out, opt for colorful wall tiles. With that, subway formations are moving to the side and stacked tiles are making headway. Subway will always be timeless in my eyes, but people becoming are less afraid of trying something new."

Black is the new black.
"We've seen this for a few years now, but I think it's here to stay because people aren't as afraid of this color than they had been," Macdonald says. "When dealing with dark colors, clients can be scared because they worry it feels too heavy. But if it's done right it can add sophistication and depth."

Ginny Macdonald—bathroom color trends
Tessa Neustadt DESIGN: Ginny Macdonald

How to update a bathroom's color on a budget:

Paint the walls.
"A quick and easy way to incorporate some of these trends is through choosing a wall paint because it's less permanent and less expensive than swapping out all of your tiles," she notes. 

Add a wall treatment.
"Adding a wall treatment like a bead board to the lower half of the wall and painting it out in a black or dark green can really enhance the room and give it some drama," Macdonald says. 

Update a vanity.
"This can be an easy way to add some color, whether you swap out the whole thing or just freshen it up with some paint and new hardware," she adds.

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Liz Lipkin , Homepolish Designer

"White is so appealing in a bathroom," Lipkin says. "It reflects light to create a brighter space and it represents cleanliness and tranquility. But it can look clinical if you don't vary materials, patterns, and textures. That's why it's worth it to consider accent colors."

Ginny Macdonald—bathroom color trends
Tessa Neustadt DESIGN: Ginny Macdonald

Bathroom color trends to consider that aren't all white:

Black and white.
"This is a classic example, but contemporary versions show these shades through the patterned tile," she says. "Cement tiles in graphic patterns, for instance, are driving this trend and making it feel really new and interesting."

Blush pink and white.
"It's fun to see how pink bathrooms are coming back in style, but put aside any thoughts of a bright pink and black-tiled 1950s bathroom," Lipkin says. "Blush pink combined with white feels fresh and new. White offsets the sweetness of the pink, so if you're hesitant about using it, lean more heavily on white."

Black and dark gray.
"These color are becoming more popular in bathrooms and can read masculine, feminine, or gender neutral," she notes. "A high-impact, low commitment way to incorporate darker colors in a bathroom is to paint the walls of an otherwise white bath. Modern spa-like baths can also incorporate black marble on walls, in the shower, or as a vanity surface."

Saturated shades.
"Emerald green and petrol blue are gaining popularity and they look gorgeous in glossy, handmade Moroccan Zellige tiles," Lipkin says. "I love them as feature walls."

How to update a bathroom's color on a budget:

Amy Bartlam—bathroom color trends
Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Eye For Pretty

Consider your style and your home before jumping on the bandwagon.
"Think twice about going pink if you really lean more toward neutrals, and keep in mind that you don't have to adopt a trend to appreciate it," Lipkin says. "Also, if you're renting, stick to superficial, landlord-friendly updates."

Add artwork or wallpaper.
"It's safer to do so in a powder room where moisture isn't a factor," she says. 

Experiment in a powder room.
"Powder rooms are a great place to experiment with color and pattern," Lipkin notes. "There's minimal risk involved since the space sees less traffic."

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Annouchka Engel , Homepolish Interior Designer

"I love all-white bathrooms," Engel notes. "They are timeless, and always chic and soothing but incorporating color is always a good idea, too."

Amy Bartlam—bathroom color trends
Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Genna Margolis

Bathroom color trends to consider that aren't all white:

Dark hardware.
"Add some gravitas to a blank slate with dark hardware, which give new life to a dull bathroom," Engel says. "If not hardware, then decorative accessories or tiling can also do the trick."

Textured neutrals.
"Neutral colors can get an interesting reboot with the use of different tile textures," she notes. "Complement them with natural materials to give the space more dimension."

How to update a bathroom's color on a budget:

Do your research to find the "right" item for your space.
"A modern sconce, for instance, can bring a new look to vanity without a lot of money," she says. "It doesn't have to be a big piece to get your attention."

Bring in accessories.
"Things like towels, a stool, bath mats, and a ring dish can go far in organizing the space and complementing its colors," she says. 

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