Since bathrooms are typically some of the smallest rooms in your home, your first instinct may be to style an all-white design. But contrary to popular belief, dark colors can actually make a small bathroom feel wider and more spacious—and their moody vibe is an excellent way to bring personality to your space.
With the right lighting and accent colors, incorporating black elements in your bathroom can instantly transform your space into an elegant design that feels modern, sleek, and clean. Whether you commit to black walls or keep the dark colors to your décor, this design choice can instantly elevate your home's look. We asked expert designer Mary Patton to share her best tips on styling a black bathroom.
Meet the Expert
Mary Patton is an interior designer based in Houston, TX. Patton's elegant work features designs that balance modern and eclectic elements to create residential, commercial, and event spaces with a unique sense of style.
If you're considering going dark, read on to discover black bathroom ideas with expert design tips to inspire your next makeover.
Work With Texture
"I think the way to go with 'most bang for your buck' is to paint the walls, ceiling, and door black," says Patton. "If there is a wood built-in under the sink, paint that white and go with either black or gold hardware, add lighting with brass, and use art with white frames to brighten up the space."
The sleek hardware in this dark bathroom stands out against its matte black walls. White marble countertops brighten up the space with natural wood cabinetry, while shiplap creates texture. Add visual interest and depth by painting your shiplap to showcase sleek lines with a moody style: Black paint is a great way to reinvent this farmhouse trend and create a more modern vibe.
Try Black Marble
Black tiles are beautiful, but black marble can make an even bolder statement in your bathroom. This design features a tub surround made of a rich black marble that gives it an elegant look and feel, while small gold accents from the décor to the tub hardware add pops of metallic contrast.
Accent Wood Elements
If you're concerned that black will make your bathroom feel flat or unwelcoming, consider bringing in some warmth with a natural wood vanity. The richness of the wood can give the whole space a homey, cozy vibe, and it brings out the warm undertones of black paint. We love the modern metal framing on this vanity that ties the black accent color to the rest of the room.
Pair Black and Gold
Though black already looks incredibly chic on its own, pairing it with gold accents and white marble is a simple way to create the high-end hotel look in your own home. "I always like to balance a space like this with white, cream, light wood tones, or gold," says Patton.
Gold hardware adds a metallic finish to the darker elements in this space. The oversized round mirror's frame ties the black vanity to the light fixtures and towel holders around the sink, while the mirror's placement bounces light from the windows to keep the room feeling bright.
Black is a great color to use in a streamlined, modern bathroom. It works beautifully with metallic accents, and it reduces any unnecessary visual clutter in your space. Pair a black sink with sleek wallpaper to create a luxe bathroom perfect for unwinding after a long day.
To prevent black accents from darkening your overall design, pick one key feature to make black—think vanity, walls, or shower tile—and use neutral colors in the rest of the space.
Though black works wonderfully in a simple white color palette or with other neutrals, it's also a great shade to pair with bold, bright colors. Consider adding a burst of color to your black bathroom with pinks, yellows, or vibrant blues. Black and florals work well together by contrasting styles to create an edgy-yet-soft vibe in any bathroom space.
Ensure your black bathroom doesn't feel overly dark by adding greenery. A string of ivy or a pothos plant adds instant liveliness to your space and plays well in a rich, deep-hued bathroom. If you're lacking large windows, choose easy, humidity-loving plants that can thrive in low light. In this design, all-black walls are lightened up with greenery trailing over white plumbing fixtures, décor, and a monochrome tile backsplash.
Swap Your Sink
Incorporating black into your bathroom doesn't have to mean overhauling the entire color scheme: Instead, consider swapping the toilet or the sink for matte black versions to add a sophisticated, eye-catching touch to your space. Mix in a few more black accessories throughout the room to tie the whole look together and create a uniform, purposeful design scheme.
Keep It Classic
Black is a wonderful choice if you're decorating a traditional bathroom space. The dark hue not only feels elegant and chic, but it also creates a sophisticated and classic vibe that can complement a vast array of décor styles. Here, wall paneling details add even more depth, while an eye-catching plaid tile floor creates just enough pattern for the rest of the room.
Opt for White Trim
"Regardless of whether you are doing black wall color or black hardware, I would balance it with white somewhere in the room," says Patton. There's a reason black and white is a color combination that never goes out of style: This classic pair instantly adds elegant contrast to any space.
Consider painting your powder room a lovely matte black, but keep your room's trim white. This will provide a wonderful juxtaposition between colors while making a small space feel larger.
Use Dark Grout
If you're looking for a great tile to pair with black accents, consider keeping it simple with subway tile. Opting for black grout helps each tile stand out while complementing the darker tones in your bathroom. This established style can work with nearly any color scheme, but pairs particularly well with black and white.
Paint Your Style
Ever considered painting a mural in your bathroom? This cozy space proves that dense patterns can pay off. The eye-catching design is a great way to reinvent a small space without focusing on the accessories or smaller details. To make a black-and-white mural stand out in a light bathroom, opt for a white paint color slightly different from the shade of your tile: This simple trick can create a visual difference between each texture.
When it comes to lightening up a dark space, a few pieces of white décor can do the trick. "Use white linens, light-colored window treatments (if there is a window), and art with a white mat or frame," says Patton.
A coat of black paint creates a wonderful canvas for wall art: Hang an eye-catching piece that ties together the room's dark and light colors (like a black-and-white photo with plenty of contrast), and opt for light mats to make your artwork stand out against black walls.
Try a Patterned Wallpaper
Looking for a sign that you should style wallpaper in your bathroom? Let this design be your inspiration. Wallpaper can create a traditional, elegant look with the look of a total renovation—and we can't get enough of the black accents in this modern space that tie the room's black fixtures together. If you're renting an apartment or don't want to commit to patterns permanently, consider investing in removable wallpaper that can easily be swapped out if your tastes change down the road.
Paint Your Door
If you're searching for a simple way to incorporate black into your bathroom, consider painting the inside of your bathroom door black to add a super chic, modern feel. This look works by contrasting light tiles in a white bathroom, but it also plays well with other moody colors such as navy or hunter green.
To carry the look throughout your room, paint your ceiling the same color as your door for a design that feels complete from top to bottom.
Accent Your Tub
If you adore clawfoot tubs as much as we do, you'll love how much a simple coat of black paint can totally transform the look. Consider refinishing a clawfoot tub to give it a more modern and updated feel. This is a wonderful way to add a splash of black without overhauling the entire design.
For a high-end, luxurious look in your bathroom, black is a classic color choice. Style a black marble shower with gold or brass accents to add a touch of warmth to a five-star worthy space. We love the clear glass shower doors that draw the eye to this bathroom's most elegant corner, combined with herringbone tile floors that complete the look with a glossy finish.