How The Right Colour Palette Can Transform Your Bathroom

Too often a practical afterthought, our bathrooms are essential spaces that deserve careful and intentional design considerations during any bathroom renovation project. After all, your bathroom is the staging ground for your morning and evening routines, the first place you visit each morning and the last you see before rolling into bed. In this article, the team at InterConstruct will take a closer look at how choosing the right colours for your bathroom can be used to design a space that enhances your mood, meets your lifestyle needs, and aligns with your personal flair. From the basics of colour psychology to tips on choosing the perfect complementary design features, we’ll reveal the insider secrets homeowners and design enthusiasts won’t want to miss.

Colour Psychology 101… (Yes! Your bathroom can change how you feel.)

Have you ever heard of colour psychology? It’s an essential aspect of interior design and helps interior designers, like those on the team at InterConstruct, determine the best colour schemes and palettes for bathroom renovation projects. Colours evoke specific emotions and feelings, influencing mood and behaviour. So how does it work? Lucky for us, this isn’t just some artsy-fartsy mumbo-jumbo but has hard science and a rich cultural legacy backing it up. Just look at how Vincent van Gogh or Claude Monet mastered colour to establish emotion in their famous paintings. This isn’t a coincidence. In fact, it’s all on purpose. This is our approach when designing a new bathroom.

The simplest way to understand how colours work together is by breaking them into groups. A common way to do this is colours, cool colours, and neutral colours.

Categorising Colour Properties

Below is a nifty table summarising each colour’s fundamental properties. While these colours are the most typical examples, it’s important to remember that the differences between neutrals, warms, and cools can be subtle and nuanced. However, they still have a marked impact on how we perceive interior spaces and should, as such, be approached with a careful eye and judgement.

Warm Colours  Cool Colours  Neutral Colours 

Key associations are excitement, energy, urgency, and passion. 

Saturated reds help to grab attention and establish a sense of urgency.


Key associations are calmness, water, trust, and security. 

The colour blue helps to reduce stress and establishes a sense of tranquillity.


Key associations are balance, cleanliness, and simplicity.

Whites help create a sense of space and openness, enhancing brightness and clarity.


Key associations include enthusiasm, creativity and warmth. 

Saturated oranges help stimulate energy, while desaturated terracottas create a cosy ambience.



Key associations include balance, harmony, and nature. 

Greens help promote relaxation and well-being and establish a sense of renewal.


Key associations are balance, neutrality, and sophistication.

Greys help create a calm and balanced environment, often used to add a modern and sophisticated touch.


Key associations include happiness, optimism and warmth.

Yellows help boost mood and establish a sense of positivity.


Key associations include luxury. 

Purples help stimulate creativity and establish a sense of sophistication.


Key associations include warmth, comfort, and relaxation. 

Beiges help create a cosy and inviting atmosphere, providing a versatile and neutral backdrop.

Choose your colours carefully!

How might we apply this information when picking colours for our bathroom? It all depends on the final aesthetic you’re trying to achieve. If you want your bathroom to feel like a luxurious spa, you could opt for a neutral palette with green accents that evoke tranquillity and freshness by relating to the natural world. On the other hand, for a minimalistic and contemporary aesthetic with a darker mood, shades of slate grey, accentuated with black and white, will establish a more brooding and refined aesthetic.

Balancing warm and cool colours can create a harmonious bathroom design.

A question that may have popped into your head is, how do I create the right colour relationships? A common technique combines cool and warm tones using complementary colour pairing by taking colours from opposing sides of the temperature scale.

  1. Identify your bathroom’s base colours
    • The first step is to choose a dominant warm colour. Your choice doesn’t have to be a saturated red, orange, or yellow; it could be a pleasant beige or warm cream. You can pair this with a dominant cool colour, such as light, eggshell blue, or a sophisticated grey.
  2. Balance using accents
    • Carefully placed accents from the opposite side of the temperature spectrum can create a balanced and harmonious look. For example, warm beige walls can be paired with cooler tiles or fixtures.
  3. Use neutral bridging elements
    • Incorporating neutral colours (e.g., white, cream) to bridge warm and cool tones is an old designer’s trick that can go a long way in establishing those seamless transition areas that help your bathroom harmonise.

Our Grange bathroom renovation provides the ideal example of balancing warm and cool colours. A dominant warm wooden vanity, warm lighting in classical pendant and dimpled lighting offset cooler shades of slate grey. Gunmetal fittings and fixtures offset these warm and cool elements.

Incorporate textures and accent colours.

  1. Mix Textures
    • Combine warm textures, such as wooden accents and wicker baskets, with cool textures, like glass and chrome silver fixtures.
  2. Change up Your Materials
    • Use materials with inherent warm and cool tones. For example, pair warm-toned wood with cool marble countertops to balance the colour scheme.
  3. Include some Patterns
    • Select patterns that blend warm and cool tones to unify the design and create a harmonious look.

Our West Lakes ensuite renovation is the perfect example of how textures and accent colours can help achieve a balanced look with depth and sophistication. The herringbone feature tiles blend cooler grout with a neutral-toned tile, pairing beautifully with brushed nickel fixtures and custom-made, wall-hung vanities in stark white.

Want to see more? Check out our bathroom portfolio.

Picking the right colours can help you capture the perfect bathroom style.

Now that we have a solid understanding of the basics, it’s time to explore how colour combinations and bathroom design features can create staple styles that continue to dominate interior design trends. The table below provides a streamlined overview of popular bathroom renovation themes.

StyleTrend Colour Combinations Bathroom Design Features
Minimalist White, black, grey, muted tones Floating vanities, frameless mirrors, concealed storage, minimal accessories, and simple fixtures.
Modern Black, white, primary colours Sleek cabinetry, glass shower enclosures, wall-mounted faucets, geometric tiles, minimal ornamentation.
Scandinavian White, light grey, soft pastels, natural wood Light wood accents, clean lines, open shelving, simple and functional fixtures, and a light and airy atmosphere.
Bohemian Earth tones, rich jewel tones, metallics Patterned tiles, layered rugs, plants, eclectic mix of accessories, vintage fixtures, and natural materials.
Industrial Grey, black, brown, exposed brick and metal Concrete or exposed brick walls, metal fixtures, industrial lighting, open shelving, raw materials.
Traditional Warm neutrals, rich reds, deep greens, gold accents Ornate mirrors, classic fixtures, elegant lighting, detailed mouldings, and rich fabrics like embroidered towels.
Coastal White, navy blue, seafoam green, sandy beige Shiplap walls, natural textures, nautical decor, light and breezy fabrics, driftwood accents, and beach-inspired tiles.
Farmhouse White, soft greys, earthy tones, natural wood Rustic wood finishes, vintage-style fixtures, apron-front sinks, open shelving, shiplap or beadboard walls.
Mid-Century Modern  Teal, mustard yellow, olive green, walnut Retro tiles, floating vanities, bold geometric patterns, streamlined fixtures, walnut or teak wood accents.
Glam Black, white, gold, blush pink Marble or high-gloss finishes, luxurious fixtures, chandeliers or statement lighting, plush rugs, elegant mirrors.

Experiment with swatches and palettes!

Swatches are essential tools for visualising how different colours will look in your bathroom, and they help you analyse how colours interact with the lighting in your space. Your local hardware or paint store, such as Dulux or Bunnings, should have various colour swatches to snap up and take home. But don’t limit yourself to paint swatches! Fabric, accents, finishes, and tile samples are instrumental in establishing a cohesive design. It’s also advisable to include warm and cool tones in your selection to see how they complement or contrast. Finally, don’t forget to pick up swatches of neutral colours to see how they can balance your palette.

Sometimes, the pros know best.

Experimenting with different colour palettes, textures, and accents can be rewarding and fun. However, there are times when professional expertise can make all the difference. At InterConstruct, we rely on over 29 years of experience to craft renovation and interior design solutions that ensure your bathroom transformation is beautiful, functional and well-executed. Our trusted experts can provide valuable insights and ideas you might not have considered, elevating your bathroom’s design to new heights. If you’re considering a bathroom renovation, why not reach out to us on 0426 118 900 or leave a message online? Our friendly team is always here to support your vision with expert bathroom renovation services.