While there is a host of bathroom paint ideas that will work effortlessly in your space, there are others that may make your room look dated – while others can be very hard to maintain.  So, which colors should you avoid in the bathroom? These hues don’t make the grade amongst those in the know. 

5 colors to avoid in a bathroom  

White, green, and red may have made headlines amongst 2022’s most sought-after color trends, but they’re less popular with experts in the bathroom. Here’s why.  

1. White 

‘One of the worst colors to use in a bathroom is bright white,’ say Lewisville designers Stefan and Maegan Bucur from Rhythm of the Home (opens in new tab). While rejecting white bathroom ideas may come as a surprise, the designers share valid reasons why you should avoid this most neutral, brightening and enlargening of all colors. ‘When the shower’s steam comes into contact with the bright walls, it can cause some ugly stains in the short term and permanent damage in the long term,’ Stefan and Maegan explain.  And while bright white can cause problems in terms of your bathroom’s aesthetic, real estate expert and house flipper John Maxim (opens in new tab) explains that this color could impact your house value too.  ‘When remodeling a home, I almost always avoid bright whites in a bathroom. Since bathrooms are one of the smallest rooms in the house – and a place where most people are washing away dirt, walls stain easily,’ he says.  ‘Furthermore, cleaning agents to remedy dirt often strip white paint right off the wall.’  So, if you’re considering white painted walls in the bathroom, it may be best to let this timeless shade shine in other areas of your home. However, if you want your bathroom to adhere to the principles of Feng Shui, white and cream are said to evoke purity within bathroom Feng Shui.

2. Peach  

According to Aaron Lebowski, a certified Interior Designer at Juliei Salone (opens in new tab), using peach in your bathroom will make the space feel dated and unappealing. ‘Instead of welcoming a visitor, it can make them want to leave the room quickly,’ Aaron says. ‘It makes the room feel uninviting and decreases energy.’  This should be particularly avoided in rooms that you frequent in the morning when you are likely to crave a more energizing and refreshing space. 

3. Black  

While some experts urge against white, others suggest avoiding black, similarly for practical reasons. Leigh Spicher from Ashton Woods (opens in new tab) says that black is a ‘poor design choice’ in a bathroom, as this dark color absorbs light and makes it harder to apply makeup and accurately groom yourself – if that is a priority in your space.  

4. Red 

Red is one of the most controversial choices you can make when it comes to interiors – and the bathroom is no exception.  While Leigh admits that red is a great way to ’embolden a bathroom’ and bring ’empowerment and strength’ to your bathing experience, you should avoid the shade if you’re looking for a more relaxing space. ‘It’s not the best choice if you want a clean palette to help you relax,’ she says.  

5. Green 

Designers love decorating with green in almost every room, but Stefan and Maegan suggest that green bathroom ideas can make you uneasy and uncomfortable in your space.  ‘The principles of feng shui tend to disapprove [of green] in the bathroom,’ they explain. So, if you want to ensure your bathroom’s energy is right for your needs, these experts suggest staying clear of this fashionable hue.

Are dark colors okay for a bathroom?

‘Dark colors are not ideal for a bathroom for a number of reasons,’ explains Lucy Searle, Homes & Gardens’ Editor in Chief. ‘The first is that it is a space where you usually need to look in the mirror and it can be very hard to see yourself in detail in a dark room, however efficient the bathroom lighting ideas. ‘Secondly, bathrooms are often more space-challenged than other rooms in the house, so you will be more likely than in other rooms to want to enhance it rather than make it feel cozier. ‘Thirdly, you need to consider natural light levels: we mostly use bathrooms early in the morning and late at night, and in the Northern Hemisphere, that can mean it’s still dark. Therefore, darker colors just aren’t practical. ‘However, I would finish by saying that you can of course introduce dark colors in elements of the bathroom, whether through bold sanitaryware or accessories. In fact, these can create real drama.’