What colors should I use when decorating small bathrooms?

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Answered by: Amy, An Expert in the Decor By Room Category
Small bathrooms pose numerous decorating challenges, such as which color to paint the walls. Decorating small bathrooms successfully includes choosing a color that visually opens the space and bounces enough light around the room for the everyday tasks, such as doing your hair or putting on makeup.

Dark colors can suck the air out of a small bathroom, making the space feel even smaller, as dark colors absorb the light instead of reflecting it. Colors such as burgundy, forest green, navy blue, deep purple or black can cast a dark and dingy appearance on your reflection if the bathroom doesn't have enough light. If you're stuck on using a dark color in your small bathroom, consider using it as an accent color and use a lot of lighter colors around it to offset the darkness. A dark border or design near the top of the walls is an easy way to incorporate a darker color into the bathroom without overwhelming the small space. Alternatively, install extra lighting around the mirror and include light-colored artwork or decorative towels if you want to use a dark color on the walls.

Use light colors in the bathroom to reflect the light, creating a more open feel in the room. If you have your heart set on a darker color, try a lighter shade as an alternative, such as using a pale blue in lieu of navy or sage green rather than forest green.

Consider the tone of the color as well as the shade when decorating small bathrooms. Cool colors tend to visually recede which creates a more spacious feeling, while warm colors tend to make a room cozier. Bright blues and purples similar to the shades found in the ocean or sky will appear to go on infinitely, just as in nature.

The colors you use in your small bathroom will also affect the way it feels. Bright colors, such as lime green or sunny yellow, create a vibrant feeling that might help you get going in the morning. Light, soothing colors, such as beige, cream or light blue, creates a spa-like feeling of relaxation, which might be best if you enjoy unwinding in a hot bubble bath after a long day. Choose colors that make you feel comfortable and work with your style.

Use light, neutral colors throughout the bathroom. Spice it up with accessories that can be changed to create a fresh new look. For example, a small bathroom with cream walls and chocolate brown rugs takes on a whole new look when you replace the fuchsia hand towels, storage containers and shower curtain with turquoise versions. Line baskets with colorful tulle or linens for another easy way to add color that's easy to update.

Opt for storage containers, such as baskets or bins, that allow you to keep all of your bathroom items organized. Use colorful containers if you have a small shelf to store them on, otherwise hide them in a cabinet or under the sink. A clutter-free bathroom will feel larger and more welcoming than a bathroom littered with your personal hygiene products.

Color can be introduced in the bathroom through artwork, candles, a garbage can, towels or your bath rugs. Every detail in the bathroom should fit in naturally and connect with other aspects of the room. Avoid excessive accessories that don't serve a purpose or function in the room.

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