Gray is a gorgeous color. It can be cool or warm, formal or homely, dark or bright, masculine or feminine…it’s totally adaptable according to your needs. Whether you want the bathroom to feel quiet and peaceful, or masculine and modern, it’s the one color that can do it all.
In this blog we’ll share tips that’ll help you design the perfect gray bathroom. Our ideas are all fairly simple, and keep color theory in mind – i.e., how the space will impact your emotions. We spend a considerable portion of our waking time in the bathroom, so how the space makes you feel matters a whole lot!
Picking the right shades
First things first, you need to decide the look you want – which, in turn, will tell you the shade you should be after. If you want a masculine, hotel-like feel, you should probably go with a dark gray bathroom. If you want an organic, soft look, try lots of marble prints and white. For a neutral sort of look, go with solid color and a shade that’s neither light nor dark.
Consider whether you want the space to look cool or warm, light or dark, masculine or feminine, natural or modern, formal or cozy. You can of course use a lot of different shades to mix things up, but you need a ‘base’ shade.
Next, pick a highlight color. This step isn’t strictly necessary, but without a highlight color you stand the risk of having a dull bathroom. Since gray is often associated with dullness, you may blame the lack of zest on your color choice (which would necessitate an expensive remodel).
The color should go well with gray, however. Yellows and reds are out of the question, as are pink and purple. You want cool colors like green and blue. The latter works especially well with gray. Sapphire blue, turquoise, sea blue, navy – regardless of the shade, they all look gorgeous with gray. Used as a highlight, they’ll brighten up the space. If you want a really airy look, go for blue glass. It’ll look ethereal and sapphire-like. It’ll draw eyes.
Pick a complementary color
Imagine a bedroom with a blue theme. It has lots of blue items – the bedsheet, the rug, little trinkets, lamps, what not – but is it entirely blue? It isn’t. A bathroom is a small space, but you still need to avoid oversaturation. You can’t have everything (the ceiling, floor, walls, windows, glass, sink) in gray. It’d look ridiculous, and feel awfully depressing – just how a completely red bathroom would make you feel hyper and alert.
Moderation is key. So you need a complementary color or two. We suggest white, black and copper. Brown and gold work too – although to a lesser extent. You can use one of these, two, or maybe even three – it’s all up to you. A gray and white bathroom works especially well, however, so unless you have a strong preference for a different combination we’d suggest going with that (plus steel or bronze fittings).
Decide what elements can or can’t be gray
Now, go over your bathroom design part by part, and list the items that can’t be gray. You want to avoid oversaturation, so if you want to use gray tile use it on either the walls or the floor. The ceiling should ideally be white.
There are other elements that can’t be the theme color. Glass, for example, and maybe the mirror frame. You’ll want a couple highlight pieces around (like towels, maybe one cabinet, a vase, whatever). The trick is to evenly distribute the highlight color so it’s obvious it’s a highlight, and not something you bought accidentally.
Now list the things that can be gray. If you’re working with an interior decorator, they should be able to create a 3D map of the space and show it to you in color. If you’re designing the bathroom yourself and are good at tech stuff, you could get this kind of software online and map the bathroom yourself.
Let there be light
If you want the bathroom to feel bright and airy, the key ingredient is light. You need lots of windows – large ones. If that’s not an option, you need light fixtures that work with the décor (without distracting from it, unless they’re supposed to) and provide bright light. No soft lamps – we’re talking about LED lights and recessed lighting. You’ll probably have the lights on a lot of the time, so get energy-saving ones.
Gray and white bathroom ideas
1. White bathroom with subtle touches of gray
If you’re a minimalist or just really dig the way white looks, you can try a predominantly white bathroom with traces of gray here and there. The result will be hushed, soft appearance, like you’re sitting in a cloud. Just white would feel clinical and boring, but with a slight dash of gray you can transform it into something much better.
The picture below is a great example. The fittings are all steel, and the floors (and one wall) are a soft gray. Stone or tile work, depending on your budget. If using tile, go for something with small grout, so individual tiles are harder to see. You want to create a minimalistic, flowing look, so the less noise and texture you have, the better.
2. A graceful, feminine appearance
This needs more gray than white, or gray in places that grab more attention. So the walls can be white, for example, but eye-catching pieces like the vanity, fixtures and décor items need to be gray. Pick a soft, warm gray that works with your home’s appearance. You want to keep the furniture minimal, so the color gets the limelight. Decoration, if any, should be minimal and focused in one spot.
In this gray bathroom, the décor should be quiet and relaxing. It should have a spa-like feeling. Think lots of light, soft-looking items, a feeling of coziness and space. Try to limit sharp angles. A little bit of texture is good, but ‘little’ is the key word here.
3. Luxury at its best
Surprisingly, the line between luxurious and normal is very fine. It’s all about patterns, colors and designs. In other words, a luxurious bathroom doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive one. Look at the picture below, for instance. The chief elements in this bathroom are large mirrors, light, a marble pattern, and fancy floors. The vanity and countertop look expensive, but that’s because of everything that’s around them.
Granite or marble tile, vinyl plank floors, glass, mirrors, and cool-looking light fixtures are all you need. And a touch of style, of course. Hunt for deals, pair different shades together, take your time to design some spectacular furniture (lots of texture is key here – this one’s a busy bathroom), and you’ve got yourself one gorgeous bathroom.
So this was a compilation of gray bathroom ideas. We hope you found them helpful! Remember, your goal shouldn’t be to find a look you like and replicate it. Your home is your own, it should smack of your style, your personality. Just figure out the key stuff – complementary colors, highlight color, light sources, and then play around with them till you have something you’re happy with.
If your budget permits, it’s always a good idea to hire a designer – at least for the initial imaging and designing stage. Have fun designing your bathroom, and remember to stay tuned for more bathroom blogs!