The Best Small-Bathroom Paint Colours, According to the Pros
If we had to play favourites, the bathroom would outrank every room in the house. While we love a stylish kitchen, a luxe living room, and a blissful bedroom, nothing compares to the peaceful respite the bathroom offers. It's a place of refuge where we wash off a hard day's work, cleanse the soul, and beautify ourselves for the day ahead. It's a time for reflection and relaxation. (Who doesn't love a bath? Especially in a freestanding tub…) Decorating a bathroom can be challenging, especially when it's a small one, but the most transformative tool in your decorating arsenal is a paint brush.
Interior designer and author Abigail Ahern agrees that "bathrooms aren't the easiest spaces to make homely or stylish," but a dark paint will stop it from veering into the "sterile and soulless" territory. "Going bold with your colour choice is an instant game changer," she told MyDomaine. "It's a myth that dark colours are unfit for small spaces. Forget about bland beige or blah pastels, it’s not fooling anyone or making the space seem larger, snug, cosy, intimate and sophisticated." We tapped several interior designers for their favourite out-of-the-box small bathroom paint colours.
Courtesy of Abigail Ahern
"A bold hue is the single most transformative thing you can do to your space. Even if your bathroom is small do not, I repeat, do not fight it. Embrace it and paint it out in a dark, inky blue hue. It will make it look and feel far more chic and cocooning. Plus all those whites and metallics we tend to have in a bathroom are so much cooler against a dark background, believe me.
"If you paint a tiny bathroom white, you'll just end up with a small and boring room. A rich, inky dark hue will immediately bring oodles of intrigue, drama, and glamor." — Abigail Ahern, Abigail Ahern
"Monochromes are always a great way to build your base in a smaller space where you don’t want to dominate. I tend toward greys, my current favorite is Benjamin Moore’s Englewood Cliffs. I find it to be a softer option, and it allows you to bring in a bit of glamor and pops of metal in your fittings and fixtures." — Greg Natale, Greg Natale
"In both my master and guest bath I gave the walls a good coat of Benjamin Moore's Super White, which is my go-to bright white for any room. It instantly bounces light around the room and gives it life. In the case of my bathrooms, it really served as the perfect accent colour on the walls to let the beautiful and handmade tile do all the talking—and boy does that tile have a lot to say." — Emily Henderson, Emily Henderson
"In my vintage bathroom, I went with Wimborne White by Farrow and Ball, which is a perfect slightly off-white colour that still feels clean enough to read as white but not so stark that it goes cold and modern. It works well with some of the warmer yellow tones in my tile and still somehow seems to hide the dark circles under my eyes. It's a win for the walls and a win for me." — Brady Tolbert, Emily Henderson Editorial Director
"For a powder room, you can go darker and create a dramatic moment with a dark paint choice or even an unexpected wallpaper. Otherwise, for a full bathroom, go pale, like grey. My go-to is Dior Gray from Benjamin Moore. With white tiles, brass, and chrome, you can't go wrong." — Nate Berkus, Nate Berkus
"For small bathrooms, I like to keep it light and simple. I love Benjamin Moore's Sebring White, which is a very faint gray with just a hint of pigment. It gives the space a soft look and just a hint of hue without being oppressive. It's very relaxing and elegant." — Orlando Soria
"There will always be the call for whites in bathrooms too, they offer a crispness and cleanliness that other paints can't top. For this, I love Super White by Benjamin Moore. It has none of the blue tinge that can cause whites to appear cold and unfriendly. Broadly speaking I tend to opt for matte or low-sheen finishes on walls and ceilings." — Greg Natale
"Navy blue is where I head when we’re feeling a little bold and daring (and we feel like the space can take it). I like Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Navy for that big blue moment. Dark walls can be very dramatic, and people often shy away from them, but with the right consideration for lighting they can be really wonderful, evocative rooms—bathrooms and powder rooms being no exception. I have been known to use Ralph Lauren’s grass cloth wallpaper in small bathrooms too." — Greg Natale