3 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Jazz Up a Neutral Bathroom

Crisp White. Dove Gray. Eggshell. Taupe. These and dozens more variations of white, gray, and beige make up the neutral color palettes the National Kitchen & Bath Association says are the most popular for bathrooms this year. But here’s the thing. Popular as they are, neutral interiors can be downright boring if you don’t jazz them up a bit. That’s why we’ve gathered some ideas for transforming a neutral bathroom into a showcase for your personal style. But let’s start with what makes neutrals great.

Because neutrals don’t align with standard color families, they make the perfect foundation for a bathroom’s color palette. Neutrals look good on their own, but they’re also able to prop up bright colors or bold patterns without causing visual friction. Neutral colors work with any architectural style. And they showcase our own taste.

Plus, the experts at Realtor.com point out that when it comes to selling your home, you don’t want to scare away potential buyers by using colors they can imagine getting sick of—such as orange or purple. Instead, Realtor.com advises keeping large surfaces such as walls, floors, and ceilings neutral—so when those prospective buyers walk through the door they can picture their own belongings inside your home.

Still, you don’t want to live your life inside a neutral box with no personality. And with that in mind, here are three easy ideas for boosting the intrigue of a neutral-color bathroom.

  1. Layer multiple versions of the same neutral. If everything in your bathroom is taupe, you—and everyone else—will get bored. Add depth by teaming up tints and shades of the same gray, white, or beige. This bathroom does just that with dove-gray grass cloth walls and charcoal-gray mosaic floor tiles, which create a subtle contrast to the grey Astoria Modern vanity with its Carrera marble top from Jeffrey Alexander. The botanical painting showcasing a full spectrum of grays to accentuate the theme offers the finishing touch.

    Hardware Resources Astoria Modern bath vanity by Jeffrey Alexander
  2. Combine different neutrals in the same room. Add subtle variations by embracing more than one neutral in the same palette. This bathroom shows how its done by teaming Moroccan-pattern wallpaper in shades of taupe with limestone flooring and Jeffrey Alexander’s Carrera-marble-topped Cade Contempo bathroom vanity in warm gray. A pale taupe Roman shade, wicker hamper, and satin-nickel fixtures complete the look. The overall feeling is calming, but delivers a bit of a twist.

    Cade Contempo_VAN100-48-T
    Hardware Resources Cade Contempo bath vanity from Jeffrey Alexander
  3. Augment the intrigue with texture. Wood, stone, metal, glass, ceramics, and textiles can inject everything from high-gloss drama to homespun warmth into the mix, even if everything in the bathroom sports the same shade of beige. Choosing Element’s clean-lined Lindley vanity (this one wears a warm espresso finish) instantly adds the romantic texture of louvered doors to any bathroom. Beaded-board wainscoting, plank flooring, and ribbed vases augment the look with a variety of different textures.

    Lindley_VAN079 (1)
    Lindley bath vanity from Hardware Resources Elements

In other words, by choosing a stylish and textural bath vanity and accessories—from pendant lighting to faucets—a neutral color palette allows you to express your unique personal style. What’s more, with a neutral backdrop, changing your look when the mood strikes is as easy as changing out the accessories. So think of a neutral bathroom as an investment in your happiness while adding onto your home’s equity and enduring appeal.

More Boosts for Neutral Baths

  • Insert pops of color. Keep the eye moving about the room with colorful decorative hardware, lively linens, and moisture-resistant artwork.
    Punctuate with black. Add drama with black accents such as cabinetry hardware, tile designs, or a black granite countertop.
  • Add a little sparkle. Let metallic decorative hardware, plumbing fixtures, light sconces, and/or accent pieces in glittering gold, polished nickel, or shiny bronze double as jewelry.
  • Enlist interesting shapes. Like kitchens, bathrooms feature a lot of hard edges and sharp corners. Faucets, lighting fixtures, and accent pieces with curvaceous silhouettes offer opportunities to capture attention and soften the look.
  • Incorporate pattern. Break the monotony of an all-neutral bathroom by adding one or two carefully selected patterns to the mix. Think about using wallpaper, a shower curtain, a rug, ceramic tile, or heavily veined marble to make an impression.
Gleaming pieces of polished-nickel hardware and matching sconces keep the eye moving about a neutral bathroom furnished with a Hardware Resources’ Jeffrey Alexander Chatham Shaker-style bathroom vanity in grey. A geometrically patterned area rug further energizes the space.

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