Mastering Monochromatic Bathroom Design

Most homeowners steer clear of monochromatic interiors because they’re looking for something seemingly more interesting. However, monochromatic schemes can be a vibrant and dynamic addition to a bathroom of any size.

From black on black modern spaces to bold, multi-walled texture havens, here’s how to make the most of monochromatic bathroom strategies.

Going Monochromatic

One surprising reason why monochromatic decor works so well in the bathroom is because it can be soothing. Philip Trapkin, owner of the bath remodeling design group Sterling Works, explains that interiors with one color help calm the mind. Therefore, people opting for a spa-like experience in the bathroom would greatly benefit from a monochromatic look.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that a monochromatic bathroom always has to be Zen-like in all white — it doesn’t even have to be light in hue at all. In fact, interior designer Susan Ferrier says that bathrooms in all black create drama and elegance. Elements like marbled walls, mahogany doors, and wraparound tubs covered in obsidian-colored tiles are bringing this trend to the forefront of modern monochromatic design.

Black can also create space in a small bathroom. Kimberly Duran at Swoon Worthy shows that by painting the walls and ceilings of a bathroom black, it’s harder to tell where the wall stops and where the ceiling begins. This false sense of space also adds a touch of intrigue to an otherwise utilitarian room.

When approaching a monochromatic design strategy in a home for the first time, Shoko Wagner at Architectural Digest suggests starting small. That’s why the bathroom is the perfect place for experimentation. The smaller size makes the project more manageable than painting, say, a living room.

Textures and Patterns

A great way to keep monochromatic walls interesting is to opt for different textures, tiles and coverings. Australia-based construction company Reno Guide says that varying textures offer depth and sophistication to a space that’s only one color.

To see an example of monochromatic patterns working in harmony, consider a house designed by the interiors group White Arrow. In this home, a vintage white vanity is topped with a marble top, set on a white tiled floor with light blue stars. The marble and the tiles work well together because they share the same color scheme, even though these patterns wouldn’t traditionally be paired together.

Architect, historian and writer Kate Reggev agrees with the power of texture in mono-colored spaces. In an all green bathroom, small tiles adorn the floors and walls for a fresh, interesting look. There are also textured glass panes in the entryway door, which helps attract the eye away from the bold color scheme in a more subtle way.

For something extremely simple and minimalist, consider texturing a white bathroom in stucco, clay or another similar material, as seen in a design roundup from Emily Henderson. This can evoke an earthy vibe and looks especially interesting when paired with brass fixtures. Brass has an elegant shine to it and feels modern, yet it isn’t at risk of falling out of fashion any time soon.

A simple rug or fabric element is another way to add texture to a monochromatic space. My Chic Adventure design blog shows a black and white minimalist bathroom with a textured jute throw rug added to the mix. The rug is a tan color, so it doesn’t stray far from the simple color scheme of the walls. However, its texture adds flair and character that enliven the bathroom.

Monochromatic Fixtures

Choosing high contrast fixtures can ensure that your space feels interesting and updated without going overboard.

For example, interior design blogger Coco Cozy features major monochromatic fixture inspiration in the form of a clawfoot tub. The all white bathroom has splashes of whitewashed gray and a bold, vintage tub in a dark metal color, making it the focal point of the bathroom.

To make an even more daring choice, why not opt for a monochromatic toilet? Design writer Jura Koncius showcases a bathroom with an all black toilet and an an all black pedestal sink. Black adds a level of sophistication that can’t be achieved with white toilets. Plus, toilets are exactly what people expect from a bathroom – why not mix it up?

To move beyond black fixtures, consider a neutral, yet calming color like green. Soft, sage-inspired greens are great for the bathroom because they can adorn both the walls and fixtures without seeming overpowering.

This is exactly the approach seen in a design roundup by House Beautiful digital editor Olivia Heath. Here, sage green freestanding tubs and sea glass-inspired tiles are all the rage for a monochromatic space that’s tranquil and inviting. Consider the impact of different colors on mood and ambiance, and imagine how that would be amplified with a monochromatic color approach.

Glass and Reflections

Playing with light and reflection in the bathroom can also add intrigue to a monochromatic space. One trend that’s showing up in more and more bathrooms is crittal-inspired shower screens.

These large floor to ceiling interior steel-framed windows typically appear in office buildings, lofts and other industrial-inspired space. But in this example from LivingEtc digital editor Lotte Brouwer, the black rectangular shape of a crittal is used to inspire the door of an open shower. Metal craft screens with multiple rectangles can also be used as a bold shower wall option. Amy Cutmore at Ideal Home showcases a number of ways homeowners can bring this look to life.

While some metal screens are double and triple sided, others are freestanding, used only to keep water in. These steel black doors work well with bathrooms of any size and style, and are especially prominent in all white schemes.

As for mirrors, placing them strategically can enhance pattern and texture in a unified color space. Daily Dream Decor shows one instance in which a round mirror reflects the white ink pattern on an all-black wallpaper. This adds light to the space, but doesn’t overpower the black, enabling the black walls to remain the star of the show.

Images by: skdesign/©123RF Stock Photo, skdesign/©123RF Stock Photo, Sarah Pflug