Reasons to Opt for a Dark, Moody Bathroom Instead of Light and Bright

Experts say there are benefits to embracing dark tones in small spaces

dark bathroom

Chris Snook / Stocksy

Post-holidays, my Instagram feed takes a funny turn. I go from perusing warm whites and cozy neutral spaces to lusting after dark jewel tones and saturated walls. It’s like I just want to burrow until it’s time to open the windows and let the sunshine back in. But in reality, could I ever be so bold? Could I ever paint a room entirely black? It turns out, there’s one room where I not only could, but I would. That room is the bathroom.

I’m convinced that we all need a dark, moody bathroom in our lives, and here are eight reasons why.

1. Adds Depth

Sarah Parker of the Parker Collective Co. got straight to the point. “I love the depth that saturated paints add to a space,” she says. And it’s true, even if it might seem counterintuitive at first. Dark interior colors draw your eye to any bright spots in the room, and instantly add depth with these pops of lightness.

2. Mix and Match for Added Effect

With a dark bathroom, you can add different deep shades to enhance the moodiness. Take teal, for example. “The color is extremely versatile,” says George Holland of Victorian Plumbing. “It can be paired with jet blacks, sea blues and cool greys, as well as greens and yellows.”

Or, for a different take, you can go for an ombre effect. “Picking different shades of the same colour can give your bathroom a sophisticated look,” adds George. “Use the lighter shade closer to the floor and the dark shade near your ceiling.”

3. Enhances Metal Accents

In a neutral bathroom, you might not notice the metal accents—they don’t pop as much. But in a moody bathroom, “hints of gold gives your bathroom a truly stylish feel,” says George. “Try adding a gold mirror to a teal feature wall.”

You can also consider brass taps or brushed metal towel hooks for a similar effect.

4. You Can Play With Ambient Lighting

George also advises that when playing with dark bathrooms, “lighting is key.” Here, there might not be a natural light source. But, says George, “strong, ambient lighting is essential to stop dark corners looking dull.”

This just means you get to invest in some seriously stunning light fixtures, so it sounds like a win/win.

5. Embrace the Drama

Alima Deneke of @adidstudio sees the lack of natural light in this type of space as the exact reasons we should all be pro-moody bathrooms. When it comes to small powder bathrooms, she says, “they are usually dark, windowless spaces to begin with. Painting them white isn't going to make them light and bright, so why not embrace the dark?” She encourages homeowners to "make it moody & dramatic.”

6. You Can Start Small

You don’t have to dive right in and paint every wall to be daring. “Adding a bold color to a ceiling will elevate the space by drawing the eye upwards. Or, add a feature wall,” suggests George. If you opt for something like deep, emerald green, you can pull that color out and give the illusion of a darker bathroom throughout the space, even if only one wall boasts the color.

“Plants are an effective way to add emerald tones into your bathroom without having to make any permanent changes,” says George. “Aloe vera, Monstera, and Boston ferns all thrive in humid conditions making them perfect for the bathroom.”

7. It Can Still Look Traditional

If the rest of your home is classic or traditional, a dark bathroom might seem like it’s not for you. Au contraire! You just need to think navy. “It is timeless and can adjust to all colors across the spectrum, from bright pinks to jet blacks,” says George. “Dark navy can liven up a neutral bathroom. A rich navy backdrop can add some elegance to a dull space. The color works well with bright whites, beige, and ivory.”

8. Because if Not Here, Then Where Else? 

Sarah reminds us that “Bathrooms are a perfect place to go a little bold!”
“A lot of people are scared to go dark and moody in a small space,” she says, “but I encourage them to just go for it!” And honestly, what have you got to lose? If you don't like it, as least you don't have to redecorate a large space!