Color Theory for Your Bathroom Redesign

Whether you’re remodeling a bathroom, sprucing up an existing bathroom with some new paint, or designing a new bathroom to be added into or onto your home, the question of color is going to come up early and often.

The earliest phase of bathroom design should be flipping through home design magazines or images online to find inspiration from other sources. You’ll probably be surprised at how well some ideas work that would never have occurred to you. They just might inspire you to make a bold choice of your own!

The success of seemingly outlandish bathroom design ideas most often depends on the designer’s understanding of color and balance. Some basics of color theory would be good to keep in mind, both as you explore other people’s ideas and consider your own as you design your new bathroom. 

A basic grasp of color theory will allow you to be confident in making color choices for your bathroom, rather than wondering whether you’re missing something or going overboard.


Color Theory Basics

A color wheel tool, like this one from Canva, can really help you to keep your color scheme organized. Starting with primary colors, adding in secondary colors, and then tertiary colors (a mix of one primary and one secondary color), the color wheel will represent all the basic options. You can go from there to adjust the luminosity and saturation of a color and pick a color scheme.


Color Combinations

Settings on a color wheel will help you to go from selecting one color to choosing a color scheme, but you’ll need to know what style of color combination you’re after. It may be helpful to visualize the elements of your new bathroom with different color combination styles to see if one feels better to you than others, but there is really no right or wrong. Color schemes will incorporate 2-4 colors that have different relationships amongst the colors of the color wheel.



Complementary colors are any two colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel from one another. When used together in a design, the colors will set each other off, creating a high contrast and high impact color environment. In the presence of the other, each color will appear brighter and more present.



The monochromatic scheme involves 3 varieties of one base color by adjusting its shade, tone and tint. This scheme provides a subtle and conservative palette that makes it relatively easy to achieve a harmonious color balance.



An analogous color scheme incorporates any three base colors that are grouped side by side on the color wheel. While this scheme can be very versatile, it quickly becomes overwhelming if the three colors remain in even balance. It’s best to choose one color to dominate and use the other two as accents.



Using three colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel (the most basic being the primary colors themselves: blue, red and yellow), a triadic color scheme is slightly lower-contrast than a complementary scheme, making it a little more versatile. The overall design will appear bold and vibrant.



With four evenly spaced colors, a tetradic scheme easily becomes too busy. As you would with an analogous scheme, it’s best to pick one main color and let the others serve as accents.


The Beginning of Great Design

There’s a lot to learn about color theory and how it applies to bathroom design. In addition to the combinations outlined above, there are ideas about how to use the idea of dominant color, such as the “rule of three” putting three colors into 70/20/10 proportions, or 60/30/10.

Some people have the idea that bathrooms should always be bright spaces, and if you want your bathroom to be bright that’s great, but darker color schemes can be just as effective, even in small spaces. In the right balance, darker colors can even allow a small bathroom to feel larger, contrary to what many might believe.


Home Forever Baths

If you’re getting started on a new bathroom remodel, call Home Forever Baths for a free consultation and see what we can do to bring new life to your existing bathroom or help you build one from scratch. Our installers have over 100 years of combined experience, and we’re the official dealer of Kohler products in Northern Illinois. Whether you want us to take you from demolition to finished product, or if you’re doing it yourself but you need a hand with some of the heavy lifting, let us help you make the bathroom of your dreams!

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