3 Ways to Add Color to Your Bathroom

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3 Ways to Add Color to Your Bathroom

Look to paint, tile and LED lighting to cheer up a sterile bathroom.


Sure, an all-white bathroom exudes cleanliness. But a neutral bath tends to have the added effect of feeling sterile. These three new bathroom projects show how a bit of color — introduced in three different ways — can uplift a space without taking away the freshness.

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1. Paint and Fabric

Designer: Kelly Finley of Joy Street Design

Location: Los Angeles

Size: 126 square feet (11.7 square meters); 12 by 10½ feet (3.6 by 3.2 meters)

Homeowners’ request: Update a dated and dysfunctional layout to create a more fun kids’ bathroom.

Color cure: Hemlock by Benjamin Moore for the cabinet color. Custom window treatment with Graceful Garden fabric by Waverly. Colorful accessories. “Because this was a daughter’s bathroom, we went with a gorgeous teal on the cabinetry and balanced the remaining space with white and gray tile, bringing in other colors with the accessories and window treatment,” designer Kelly Finley says.

Special features: Cabinets wrap around the room to maximize storage and save space for the tub and shower.

Designer secret: “This bathroom is successful because it is colorful but has a lot of room to breathe,” Finley says. The cabinetry, shelving and tub face are the only fixed elements that have color. “The floors are gray; the walls, tile and countertops are white. These neutrals combined with the texture of the wood baskets and wooden stools help balance the strong cabinet color so as to not make that much color cabinetry overwhelming.”

“Uh-oh” moment: “We had trouble getting the tub faucets mounted when we had a working drawer in that space,” Finley says. “So instead of a drawer, we decided to put a faux panel to keep the look but lose the additional storage space. Because there is so much space in this bathroom and house, it wasn’t a problem to lose a little storage.”

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Cabinets: custom, JM Kitchen Cabinets; cabinet hardware: Lowe’s; faucets, shower fixtures and tub fixtures: Trinsic, Delta; tub and toilet: Kohler; vanity mirror: Moen; sconces: George Kovacs; floor tile: Stark; wall tile: Esagonale in Bianco, Ceramiche Piemme; cabinet paint: Hemlock, Benjamin Moore (painted by A&G Refinishing); wall paint: Extra White, Sherwin-Williams; window treatment: custom, with Graceful Garden fabric by Waverly; countertops: quartz, Direct Cabinets and Granite

2. Tile and Wood

Designer: Kayla Porter of Icon Homes

Location: Salt Lake City

Homeowners’ request: A master bathroom with a large shower and lots of natural light but also privacy from neighbors.

Color cure: Turquoise tile. Walnut cabinetry. “We are firm believers in using materials that already have color, such as wood cabinets, so that when we do use color, as we did in the porcelain tile for the shower, it provides a natural, timeless look,” designer Kayla Porter says.

Special features: Bathtub window. Marble floor tile.

Designer secret: “Let the natural materials do the legwork,” Porter says. “By using natural materials and staying away from fancy faux finishes, the design never becomes fixed to a single moment in time, but hopefully lasts a lifetime.”

Also on the team: Icon Homes (design, build); Taylor Glass; Mountain Side Plumbing; Tule Tile

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Shower tile: Walker Zanger; cabinets: custom in walnut; countertop: quartz; floor tile: marble; fixtures: Align, Moen

3. Colored Lighting

Designer: Ryan Shelhamer, also the homeowner

Location: Tempe, Arizona

Size: 100 square feet (9.2 square meters); 10 by 10 feet (3 by 3 meters)

Homeowners’ request: A spa-like escape with a theme of “masculine modern,” designer and homeowner Ryan Shelhamer says.

Color cure: Philips Hue LED lightbulbs and light strips that can create 16 million colors. “It is amazing how the characteristic of the room can be so dramatically changed with these lights,” Shelhamer says. “This is one of the biggest compliments I get on the bathroom.”

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Special features: Lights controlled by smartphone or wall switch. Black river rock. Stone accent wall. Skylight. Wooden slat ceiling. Recessed medicine cabinets. Smart Tint windows (“With the tint powered off, it is opaque and provides privacy,” Shelhamer says. “When powered on with the flip of a wall switch, the tint instantly becomes transparent.”)

Designer secret: “Although the bathroom is not a large space, the illusion of something more spacious was created by using large-format tiles, 30 by 15 inches,” Shelhamer says. “For this reason, and to achieve a more harmonious flow, the same large-format tile was used in the shower area on the floor instead of tiny mosaic tiles that are often installed. In addition, time was taken to find and arrange the tiles so that their patterns fit together like a giant puzzle. You’ll notice how the grains and pattern in the cement-reminiscent tiles flow from the walls onto the floor.”

Tile: Plane honed porcelain in silver, 15 by 30 inches, Bedrosians; stone wall: black river stacked stone, Eldorado Stone; rain shower, waterfall, hand shower: Blu Bathworks; 13-inch tubular skylight: Natural Light; tub: Lydia 3 in matte white, MTI; tub filler: AB2180 in brushed nickel, Alfi; sink faucets and wall hooks: Axor Uno in brushed nickel, Hansgrohe; Fusion modular wall sconce in brushed nickel: Justice Design; mirrored cabinets: M series cabinets, 24 by 30 inches, Robern; sink: Cocoon Min Double in matte white, 1,400 by 500 millimeters, Vaskeo; countertop: Corian in black; vanity cabinet paint: Cracked Pepper, Behr; pebbles: Ash river rock, Home Depot; wall switches and outlets: Adorne in brushed nickel and magnesium by Legrand, Lowe’s; window treatment: Smart Tint in gray; ceiling slats: maple wood; ceiling paint behind slats: Versaflat in black, Dunn-Edwards; lightbulbs and light strips: Hue, Philips

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Also on the team: Rios Construction (general contractor); Stephen Shefrin Photography

This article is from Mitchell Parker of Houzz.

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