Bathroom design guide

Get inspired with these great ideas for bathrooms, from small touch-ups to complete makeovers

Soothing bath colors

Watery hues, clean lines give illustion of space

Soothing bath colors

Soft gray and white towels and neutral-toned bath accessories meld with the overall palette.

Photo by Thomas J. Story

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A small space can be just as restorative as a large one ― and color is the main ingredient for setting a peaceful mood.

In Brian and Amy Fleisher's bungalow bathroom in Seattle, the mix of materials is limited to two colors: cool blue (which is calming and evokes natural elements) and warm cream (which suggests coziness and comfort). The effect is the visual equivalent of a long, cool drink of water.

Soothing hues and clean lines result in a room that seems larger than its roughly 6- by 9-foot area. The blue tint of the frosted-glass shower surround stays in step with the wall color, while the translucency of the glass allows light into the shower and adds to the open feel. Reflective and high-gloss materials ― like the off-white subway tiles on the vanity backsplash and shower wall ― further amplify natural light.

Making room for storage keeps clutter at bay. Opposite the shower in this bathroom, a low row of open shelving (carved from unused space in the adjacent, low-pitched attic) makes a handy spot to store towels. Keeping accessories ― like faucets, cabinet pulls, towel rings, and mirrors ― simple creates a visually restful scene and prevents small elements from upstaging the overall mood of the room.


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