Bathrooms are relatively small areas of a home where you spend a great deal of time. Therefore, the color scheme in a bathroom should be harmonious, with no jarring or out-of-place tones that could overwhelm the small space. Choosing compatible colors for a bathroom is simple once you make your first choice; each choice from there simply flows from the first depending on the look you want to achieve.
Tonal Color Bathrooms
Tonal colors work well in bathrooms, because of their size. Tonal color schemes involve using varying shades of one color throughout the room. This may mean using shades of cream, tan and brown, or using shades of white, gray and black. Provided the fixtures in the bathroom remain a neutral white or cream, it is possible to create a tonal color scheme from true colors such as blue. If you choose this direction, keep the darkest color on the floor or in the cabinetry. The lightest colors should be the fixtures, followed by the wall color.
A harmonious color scheme allows for more than one color within the space. Harmonious colors are colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel, such as blue and green, or yellow and orange. These color schemes often are peaceful and soothing to look at because there is no contrast in the colors. Begin a harmonious color scheme by selecting one, dominant color for the space, such as the wall, floor or counter color. Select a lighter shade of the color next to it on the color wheel, and use it in smaller amounts to tie them together.
Complementary colors schemes often are bold and work well in modern bathroom designs. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green, or blue and orange. Use this type of color scheme to make a statement in the bathroom, but do it sparingly to keep from overwhelming the space. Choose one color, such as blue, to use throughout the space, mixed in with neutral, such as white. Use orange as the accent color, such as an orange vessel sink or counter to create a focal point that anchors the color scheme.
Getting Color Inspiration
The first color placed in the bathroom helps drive all the other color decisions, but it also may be the hardest color to pick. Take color cues for the bathroom from items already selected, such as countertops or fixtures, and from rooms adjacent to the bathroom. White fixtures, for example, work better with cooler color schemes, while cream fixtures work better with warm colors. Countertops often have a wide range of secondary colors in their surfaces that may be chosen for tile and wall color. Using these items as the beginning of the color palette ensures a cohesive design.
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