Redecorate Your Bathroom With These Essential Color Do's and Don'ts

Do's and Don'ts of Bathroom Decorating
Photo ©Sherwin-Williams

Decorating your bathroom is more than just picking out the perfect paint color. Color definitely matters when you are creating your dream bathroom, but it's just one piece of the puzzle. Choosing the right light and plumbing fixtures is essential, too. Everything that you choose for your bathroom redecorating should fit together seamlessly, which means learning the do's and don'ts of bathroom decorating.

What You Should Do

  • DO start with an open mind and a blank slate when decorating your bathroom. There will be features in your bathroom that you cannot change, or cannot change right now, like tile and flooring. The things you'll most likely be changing will be flooring, linens, lighting, and fixtures. It's best to start from scratch unless you have items that you want to build your style around.
  • DO consider changing lighting fixtures. So many bathrooms are redecorated while leaving the builder-grade bar light fixture over the sink. Lighting can transform a bathroom instantly, and it's not expensive to find new fixtures that are more current.
  • DO check out chalkboard paint on a kitchen wall or door. Most paint brands now offer chalkboard formulas in most colors. You can get the fun and convenience of having a space to write or doodle on the wall, with a pop of color. If you're not ready to commit to a wall of chalkboard paint color, a framed DIY chalkboard in your favorite color can work just as well. 
  • DO learn the basics of cool versus warm colors. Your bathroom with the metallic fixtures and porcelain can look cold if you add too many cool colors to the mix. If you love gray, try a warmer greige instead to fight the cold.
  • DO consider the principals of feng shui for bathroom decorating project. A simple explanation for decorating with feng shui in the bathroom is that any room in your home with a lot of running water and cool metals will have cool Ch'i, or energy. While it's common to decorate with colors of water like blue, white, and green, feng shui decorating suggests that warm colors should be added to balance out the cool energy of the bathroom.
  • DO watch your undertones. Understanding how paint undertones work will save you from many problems later on with colors that don't seem to work together. You'll want to watch for gray or green undertones in your bathroom paint color, as they are less than flattering in the bathroom mirror.
  • DO have fun with color. Add a pop of color with a pretty shower curtain or rug. Stacked colorful towels on an open shelf is a simple and useful way to add color to your bathroom.

What You Shouldn't Do

  • DON’T be afraid to use a dark or vibrant color in your bathroom. There has been a style "rule" around forever that warns home decorators not to use bright or dark colors in small rooms, like a bathroom. This rule is being broken fabulously every day. A powder room is the perfect spot for bold or rich color. Just be sure that you have adequate lighting and have abandoned the notion that you must somehow make your tiny bathroom look larger -- it's okay to just make it look fantastic instead.
  • DON’T forget that even adding colorful kitchen linens can change the look of the room inexpensively. Kitchen linens can be exchanged in and out with the seasons, and for a quick color update.