10 ways to add colour to your bathroom

13:00 AEST Wed Nov 2 2011
Annette Dasey
Mosiac tiles are a great way to add colour to a bathroom (Thinkstock)
Mosiac tiles are a great way to add colour to a bathroom (Thinkstock)

From tiles and tones to artwork and accessories, there are easy ways to transform your bathroom with colour

If you fancy something more unique than the conventional bathroom shades of white and beige, colour is your ally. And it's not necessary to go wild. Just a splash of a hue you are drawn to can turn a nondescript washroom into your own private sanctuary.

1. Paint

A neutral colour on the walls is a great foundation but if you have a one-tone bathroom that needs an update consider replacing it with a brilliant shade that you find soothing such as duck-egg blue. If you're wary of going the whole hog, a feature wall can be just as dramatic. Or show off your creativity with a mural. You don't have to be Monet: an abstract dot painting or textured wash is simple and effective. Remember that light has a huge effect on colour. A small bathroom without much natural light will look more illuminated in a light shade, whereas roomier bathrooms can pull off darker tints. Just ensure you use bathroom paint. It's hardier and mould resistant.

2. Tiles

If you are up for something more permanent, go for it with tiles. The first rule is to ensure they're in a colour you can live with. Not that they have to cover a huge space. A feature wall or shower recess lined with pretty tiny tiles or, if you're game, a mosaic that you have created yourself can have a huge impact. Several large, patterned tiles around the bath or a bright splashback over the basin will add an uplifting splash of colour. Can't afford to retile? Choose tile paint. If you're not confident you can create a smooth finish, find a tile resurfacing company. They can also recolour baths and basins if you're fed up with your avocado tub.

3. Wall stickers and wallpaper

Beautiful designs, from large geometric prints to whimsical nature scenes, are available in a variety of colours to stick on walls, windows and mirrors. If you're really adventurous, try them on your ceiling. Best of all, they're easy to remove and don't damage the surface they are adhered to. Vinyl coated wallpaper is moisture resistant and ideal for bathrooms.

4. Accessories

Don't want anything permanent? Stick to neutral tiles and paint but let loose with coloured accessories such as towels, shower curtains, hampers, baskets, soaps, candles and vases. They are also an effective way to carry colour from the bedroom into an ensuite. If you fear your rooms will look too matchy matchy in a similar shade, choose a complimentary colour.

5. Artwork

Pictures are the perfect way to add colour without risking going over the top. Bathrooms with good ventilation can house frames that are well sealed and made of non-porous fabric or wood that has been waterproofed.

6. Nature

Choose plants and flowers in hues that you're drawn to. Go for plants that thrive in moist conditions or driftwood to add to an earthy colour scheme.

7. Furniture

If you're sure you can live with the hue, buy coloured cabinets or repaint your existing ones. Those lucky enough to have a larger bathroom can add a chair covered in outdoor fabric or material that's been treated with waterproofing spray.

8. Practical items

Choose colours that pep you up or relax you for the possessions you keep in your washroom like robes, bright children’s bath toys, or a retro-style patterned shower cap.

9. Fittings and hardware

Cabinet handles, embellished hooks and even taps come in a huge range of hues and are far less expensive than many options like retiling.

10. Window shades

Curtains and blinds can be changed to match the season or your mood. Just ensure to choose waterproof or outdoor fabric if it's not a well-ventilated room. If you have a window that looks out on a colour saturated view, draw the eye to it with a glassware collection or window basket filled with vivid blooms.

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