The final selection of your bathroom's color palette will depend not just on the color of your tub or the tone of your tile, but also on the overall look you want to achieve. A bathroom that incorporates white marble, white porcelain and pale wood will have an entirely different look with soft green walls than with walls of metallic blue. Ask yourself: Do I want my bathroom to be relaxing or energizing? Trendy or timeless? Whatever mood you're after, the process of choosing a color will feel less overwhelming if you take it step by step. "First," says Joan Osburn, of Osburn Design in San Francisco, "pick all the colors that you like, no holds barred. Then narrow them down to two or three options. Look at them in different lights and at different times of day.
Luckily, says Cy, there are dozens of ways you can add color without ripping out tile floors or walls, installing new tubs, sinks or toilets. And they come right back out of the bathroom if you need to move them to another room or another place. "There's nothing wrong with a colorful bath rug, but why stop there?" says LaDonna Pare, a franchise owner for Interiors by Decorating Den in the Bowling Green, Ky. area. LaDonna and Cy share these ideas for adding quick — and easy to change — color to the bathroom: Daring Decoupage,cy and his partner moved into a 1907 home in Minneapolis, housing a 1970s bath, all dark brown and mustard and Mediterranean plastic, with walls of floral Masonite, he remembers. The two were working so hard on so many other rooms, Cy did a quick-change in this one, turning to collage artist Matisse for inspiration.
He recommends haunting estate and garage sales for bathroom art. "That's where you find that weird art like those little oils Aunt Martha painted. Think, 'Oh my gosh, there's a clown with a knife in his hand! Let's buy that and put it in the bathroom.' It's nice to see something to make you giggle in the morning." Of course, even the zaniest art should have at least one element that picks up other colors in the room, says LaDonna. And what should those colors be? Often, you're limited by the hard-and-fast items in the room, like the '60s style pastel tiles, says LaDonna. "When you add other colors, they'll have to complement, but the right selection can update the design and downplay the colors you don't like." Today's popular chocolate-brown accessories, from towel racks to curtains, for example, give old-style pastels a fresh look, says LaDonna.
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