Bathrooms are usually the smallest rooms in our homes, but that doesn't mean you can't experiment with color and decor. Even the smallest bathrooms can easily get away with bright, bold colors if done correctly. Plus, whether you have ample natural light or not, the right paint color can open up the space and help create the illusion of a well-lit room.
Your first step in decorating your bathroom is to understand what lighting options you have (natural? accent? overhead?) and what vibe you want to aim for in your bathroom.
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It's no secret that a bright white paint makes any room feel light, airy and open. We absolutely love Sherwin-Williams' Alabaster for bathrooms of any size, but it really shines in spaces that lack square footage. This 2016 color of the year is incredibly versatile—it's neutral, understated and adds just enough warmth to make a room feel welcoming, but is cool enough to compensate if you're low on light.
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Sherwin-Williams' Ancient Marble is a wonderful beige with a slight green undertone that adds a little texture and depth to a small space. A cool green-gray beige like Ancient Marble is perfect for a natural-style small bathroom without being too light. Ancient Marble is ideal for a guest bathroom, as it can be dressed up in a variety of ways with colorful accents and appeals to all genders and tastes.
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Though yellow can be a little overpowering when used in small spaces, we love a bright, cheery yellow paint in a small bathroom with wainscoting or half-tiled walls to add a wonderful pop of color. The Spruce's Wax Pepper is a sunny yellow with warm, golden undertones. It's perfect as an accent wall or throughout a whole bathroom. It works in bathrooms with or without a lot of natural light and pairs well with light, warm hues.
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If you're worried that a bold color such as Behr's The Real Teal is too vibrant for a small bathroom, think again. We love using rich hues like this green-blue teal to add loads of personality to a small space. Pair alongside other vibrant colors for a small bathroom that packs a big punch.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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Another common misconception is that dark paint makes a small room feel even smaller. In fact, deep colors like The Spruce's Cosmic Sapphire actually make a small space appear even larger by adding depth to the space. This rich, bold navy is a cool tone that is perfect for a nautical-themed bathroom. It isn't a shy color, but it's muted enough that it won't overpower your space.
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Gray is a universally loved color when it comes to wall paint, and it's definitely one of the best choices for a small bathroom. Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl is a light, warm gray that works best in bathrooms with a little natural light. The more light you have, the cooler this gray will appear. It pairs well with black, white or green accents.
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Magnolia's Vibrant Horizon is a cheery, light and cool blue that is perfect for smaller bathrooms without a lot of natural light. It is bright enough to make any small space feel airy, but rich enough to add texture to the room. We can imagine this color in a downstairs powder room or a chic master bath.
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It may seem odd that our pick for the best brown is actually called "white," but Farrow & Ball's Hardwick White is actually a very light gray-brown shade that's perfect for a quaint bathroom. It has cool undertones and appears almost chalky on most walls. It's the perfect color for a more traditional bathroom that is short on space, but not on style.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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We definitely have a thing for rich, earthy greens, and Valspar's Sable Calm is no exception. This earthy tone feels different depending on the light and looks brighter in the day and rich and moody at night. It's the perfect color for a small, modern bathroom and pairs beautifully with teak or bamboo accents and plush white towels.
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Don't be afraid of using black paint in a small bathroom. We recommend a shade like Sherwin-Williams' Black Magic on an accent wall or above bright white wainscoting in a small space. If using it as an accent, paint the longest wall in your bathroom black to emphasize the length and make it appear larger.
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Violet is a lovely color for bathrooms. Sherwin-Williams' Veiled Violet is a muted purple that's sophisticated and chic. It has a slightly warm gray undertone and is a great choice for guest bathrooms because it's neutral without being bland.
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PPG's Chinese Porcelain is actually the company's 2020 color of the year, and we think this bold, bright hue is perfect for a cozy bathroom. This overly saturated orchard blue has violet undertones and pairs well with cool shades. It also looks wonderful with brass or gold accents.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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Sherwin-Williams' Window Pane is a light teal with strong green undertones. It's perfect for a small, sunny bathroom because it's colorful without feeling overpowering. Pair it with deep muted greens or bright whites for a modern bathroom with a hint of color.
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Behr's Burnished Pewter is a deep griege that adds a lot of depth to a small bathroom. It's slightly warm and a little moody, and perfect if you want to add visual interest to your small space. Pair it with khaki or olive greens for an earthy, natural vibe that works in any house.