According to our color experts, you should expect to see plenty of pale blues and golden yellows in powder rooms.

By Caroline Biggs
Updated December 29, 2020
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The new year is fast approaching, but there's no time like the present to spruce up your bathroom with a fresh coat of paint. "In addition to enhancing the materials in the space, such as marble or tile, paint color can set a calming or spa-like tone in a bathroom," says Andrea Magno, Director of Color Marketing and Development at Benjamin Moore. "Veining or tile patterns can also serve as an ideal point of color inspiration to tie the entire space together, in addition to complementing fixtures and metal finishes."

And as we continue to spend more and more time indoors, bathroom paint trends are changing, too. "2020, more than any year before, really showed us how important it is to love our homes," Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams, says. "While previously we may have thought of a bathroom as a quick, in-and-out type of space, we now think of the bathroom as our personal spa and salon." Curious what paint colors will be trending in 2021? We asked a handful of paint experts to share their predictions.

Credit: Jesse Chehak

Pale Blues

For a perennially popular bathroom paint color with a contemporary twist, consider a soothing shade of light blue. "Blue is a classic bathroom shade, but you can take it into the 21st century with what I like to call a dusty blue, which tends to be cooler and with a hint of gray," Wadden says. "A color like Dew Drop SW 9641 is super modern but won't go out of style as quickly as some trending hues." For a brighter shade of pale blue that won't overpower a small bathroom, Ashley Banbury, Senior Color Designer at Pratt & Lambert Paints, recommends a clean, crisp blue, such as Foamy Surf 112C. "It draws from the hues of water, so it feels calming and refreshing at the same time," she explains.

Moody Greens

If you want to take the leap towards a statement bathroom in 2021, Wadden suggests a super-saturated moody green. "We're drawn to hues inspired by nature, such as Rosemary SW 6187, so they're pleasing to the eye while still being a bold design choice," she explains. For a rich shade of green that doesn't feel too dark, Patrick O'Donnell, International Brand Ambassador at Farrow & Ball, recommends Calke Green. "It has a deep, verdant beauty to it which is strong but not overwhelmingly dark, and looks both elegant and timeless," he says.

Warm Neutrals

For a versatile paint color that will work with an assortment of bathroom tiles and finishes, Magno says you can't go wrong with a warm neutral. "Atrium White OC-145 is a timeless favorite that complements many bathroom materials and finishes," she explains. "Likewise, Muslin OC-12 is a great alternative to a traditional off-white, that offers a flattering neutral backdrop." For a creamy paint color with a bit more oomph, Banbury recommends a neutral with pale pink undertones. "Cotton & Flax 337B is a soft, warm neutral that is a great color option when you're getting ready for your day," she explains.

Earthy Yellows

If you thought yellow paint was too bright and bold for a bathroom, O'Donnell says you're mistaken. "Although yellow has connotations of being an energetic color, if you move away from the softer, bluer tones and embrace the rich ochres, like India Yellow, you get warmth too," he explains. "Keep it simple when decorating, and accessorize with natural products such as wooden bath brushes and bamboo floor mats, for a sleek, yet subdued look."

Chalk White

A classic paint color for a reason, you can always count on a crisp coat of white paint to update a bathroom for the new year, O'Donnell says. "Although overtly clean in feel, a pure white bathroom, painted in a shade like All White, creates a very relaxing space," he adds. "You can add some modern flourish by using a colored grout between the tiles such, as a soft gray."

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