Episode 72: Bathroom Design Essentials- Choosing your bathroom style and colours

In this podcast episode, Frances outlines how to find the style you’re after for your bathroom. She gives tips to help you determine the style and feeling you’d like to create in your bathroom. Further, she outlines how to start pulling your design scheme together, and how to incorporate colour into your bathroom (if that’s what you want). This episode gets into the nitty gritty of pulling your materials and colours together.


Choosing your bathroom style and colours can be the trickiest part of bathroom design.

Where to start with the look and feel?

Think about what you really gravitate to – What do you really love?

  • Create mood boards either online or with magazine cut outs
  • You can also look at Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz
  • Interior designer portfolios
  • Bathroom showroom will allow you to touch and feel materials

Think about the feeling you’re trying to create in your bathroom. 


  • Calming and relaxing
  • Bright and fun
  • Dark and moody

Think about the look – here are some ideas

  • Bright and airy- more functional compared to a dark bathroom
  • Colourful- if you want to inject more colour and personality into the space.
  • Monochromatic- if you want to keep it simple
  • Tropical
  • Moroccan
  • Traditional
  • Modern
  • Shabby Chic
  • Modernist style

How to design for multiple bathrooms

If you have more than one bathroom, do you want them all to be the same or do you want to use this as a creative opportunity to design the bathrooms differently?

  • Opt for each bathroom to be the same or have them completely different.
  • You can use one element throughout all the bathrooms to create a link. For instance, having the same benchtop but different cabinetry or tiles.
  • There is no hard and fast rule. It is going to come down to the look and feel that you are trying to create and what your preference is
  • Some clients prefer to have their powder room stand out by adding loud wallpaper, using brightly coloured wallpapers or texture.
  • Be brave and if you don’t feel confident pulling it together, ask for help.

Starting out

  • Homes need to have a consistent tone for it to flow and to create continuity – For instance, if you are using a warm colour tone, warm colours such as beiges and browns should be applied to the rest of the home including bathrooms.
  • Warm=beiges and brown Vs Cool= greys

 Choosing Material Colours

  • Leading piece-what the rest of the scheme is going to revolve around.
    • Feature tile
    • Cabinetry colour
    • Benchtop
  • Choose something you love- material, tile, colour or shape
  • Dark or light cabinetry
    • Depending on what your leading piece is, you need to make sure that it’s going to co-ordinate with the colour tone of the cabinetry
    • Overall look- If you want dark and moody then you may have a dark tile, dark vanity and dark benchtop. Or if you want to create a bit of contrast, you may induce a light timber vanity on dark tiles.
    • Add texture, shape or colour to break it up – generally with a feature tile or feature benchtop.
  • Timber in a bathroom can be created through;-
    • Timber cabinetry – either solid or laminate version
    • Timber top- Timber handles- as an accent can look very sophisticated. It creates warmth in the space
    • Timber for floating shelves
    • Avoid grey based timbers- not a reflection of nature looks artificial
    • If you going to use timber, make sure you use a natural-looking colour
  • Less is more
    • Don’t mix your timber types. Try to have your timber consistent in colour tone. It doesn’t have to be the exact type, tone is important.
    • Having the same floor and wall tiles
      • For a small bathroom,  having the same floor and wall tiles is ideal because it creates simplicity in the space.
  • How to incorporate colour
    • Coloured tiles
      • A splashback above the vanity
      • Feature tile on the floor
      • Feature tile on the wall
      • Kitkat tiles are very popular now  – skinny, thick, multi coloured and  textured
    • Coloured cabinetry
      • Navy is very popular right now
      • Organic greens- sage greens, olive greens or earthy greens
      • Choose a colour you love though
    • Benchtop
        • Natural feature stone – green, pink, marbled, coloured concrete
  • Colour Combinations
    • Timber with plain coloured cabinetry
    • Darker cabinetry and lighter benchtop
    • Darker tiles and lighter cabinetry
    • Lighter timber with darker tiles
    • Light cabinetry, light benchtop and light tiles but then incorporate texture so it’s not clinical.

Mood boards are an excellent resource to how your designer as it allows them to get inside your head. They can see your design direction and what you are gravitating to.

What’s new?

Ready to design and create your own beautiful bathroom? Get all the interior designer insider knowledge in the Beautiful Bathroom Design Made Easy Online Course. With 21 self-paced modules, this online course allows you to create your dream bathroom. Find out more here.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Sustainable Sanctuary Portfolio – Bathroom design focused on upcycled bath

With a heavy focus on sustainability, this home is very considered in its intent to blend into the landscape. The colours selected are to create a calm interior with a strong focus on natural materials and colours. This home was built using Passive House Principles in-conjunction with Passivology Consultants, and is incredibly energy efficient, while also taking in its surrounds creating a wonderful sanctuary both inside and out. View the Sustainable Sanctuary Portfolio here.

Book a Chat

If you’re thinking about renovating or creating your bathroom get in touch with Frances directly, by booking a 15 minute chat with her.

Renovating and Building your Forever Home Facebook Group

Want to be inspired to create a home you truly love, that is future proof and adaptable as your family’s needs change? Join our exclusive (but inclusive) Renovating and Building Your Forever Home Facebook Group.

Floor Plan Sanity Check™

Small changes to your floor plan can  revolutionise its functionality and save you thousands.  

A Floor Plan Sanity Check™ is a second set of professional eyes reviewing your plans for things you hadn’t thought of.  A second opinion for peace of mind. Find out more and book your Floor Plan Sanity Check™ directly here 

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