When choosing a blue color for a bathroom, there are a few key factors to consider: the shade of blue, the size of the bathroom, the amount of natural light, and personal preference. The right blue can create a soothing, spa-like atmosphere, while the wrong shade can make a bathroom feel cold or clinical. Understanding how different blues work in a bathroom is crucial to selecting the perfect tone.
The Effect of Color Temperature
One of the most important considerations when choosing a blue is its undertone or color temperature. Blues with cool undertones have more green or purple in them, while warm blues contain more yellow or orange. Cool blues like navy or slate tend to recede in a space, creating a calming effect. However, some people find them too cold and uninviting for a small bathroom. Warm blues like cerulean or periwinkle advance in a room and feel brighter and more cheerful. Aim for a blue with a cool undertone but not one so icy it makes the bathroom seem sterile.
Very pale, light blues can make a small bathroom feel more airy and spacious. A light blue like the robin’s egg blue often found in coastal homes enhances the feeling of sunlight streaming into the room. It creates an overall clean, crisp look. However, light blues show dirt very easily and require frequent touch-ups. All-over light blue paint may also compete with fixtures and make the room seem washed out. Using it sparingly on an accent wall is often a better choice in bathrooms that get heavy use.
Medium tones like cadet, steel, or periwinkle blue work well as main bathroom colors. They avoid the coldness of navy but still have enough color saturation to feel vibrant. Medium blues are relaxing but don’t disappear into the background. Great for both large and small bathrooms, they showcase elements like white trim without overwhelming them. To prevent a medium blue from feeling too somber, pair it with white molding, subway tiles, and nickel or chrome fixtures.
Deep blues like navy, royal, or cobalt make a dramatic statement in a bathroom. They instantly create a luxurious, spa-like vibe. However, dark blues can easily make a small bathroom seem smaller and darker. They highlight flaws on walls and ceilors. Limit deep blues to larger bathrooms with plenty of lighting. To keep the look from becoming too cave-like, brighten it with pops of white, natural textures like bamboo blinds, and warm metal finishes. Smaller bathrooms can use deep blues successfully on one accent wall.
Warm blues with hints of gray like denim, steel, or cadet blue work wonderfully in bathrooms with little natural light. Their subtle warmth prevents the cool blue tones from seeming dreary and dark. Warm mid-tone blues make bathrooms feel cozy rather than cold. Neutral beiges, warm wood cabinets, and nickel or oil-rubbed bronze fixtures enhance the inviting look. Pale warm blues give a weathered, vintage cottage feel to a bathroom.
Vibrant shades like electric, azure, or turquoise blue make for an energetic, bold bathroom color. They instantly brighten the space. However, bright blues may become overwhelming in a small enclosed area. Limit bold blues to one accent wall or save them for larger, airy bathrooms. Keep other elements like flooring, cabinetry, and accessories neutral. The bold blue will pop even more against a calm, muted backdrop. Metallic accents in silver, gold, or copper provide contrast.
Picking the Best Blue Tone
Choosing the right undertone is key to selecting the perfect blue. Here’s a quick guide:
- Bathrooms with natural light: Warm or bright blues
- Bathrooms with low light: Cool or deep blues with warm undertones
- Small bathrooms: Soft light or pale blues
- Large bathrooms: Any shade of blue
- Modern style: Vibrant mid-tone blues
- Traditional style: Muted pale or gray blues
- Coastal style: Light or sky blues
- Zen style: Deep slate blues with neutral tones
Factors That Affect Blue Hues
The way a blue paint color appears in a room depends on several factors:
- Lighting: Natural and artificial light impacts how blue hues are perceived. Blues take on different cast in daylight vs. incandescent bulbs.
- Room size: Bolder blues can overwhelm a small space while paler shades get drowned out in large rooms.
- Undertones: Warm or cool undertones dramatically alter the look and feel of any blue.
- Sheen: Higher sheens make blues pop while flat or matte finishes mute them.
- Surrounding colors: Blues with clash or coordinate with nearby hues like greens, yellows, or reds.
Test blue paint samples on the wall at different times of day. View them alongside cabinetry, flooring, and fixtures to see true color accuracy before choosing.
Recommended Blue Paint Brands
Quality blue paint ensures an even application and consistent color. Here are some top brand options:
|$50-$70 per gallon
|$60-$80 per gallon
|$20-$50 per gallon
|$35-$60 per gallon
|$15-$30 per gallon
Higher quality paints provide better coverage and often come in broader color selection. Budget brands still offer decent color options at lower price points.
Pairing Blues with Bathroom Finishes
Blue paint coordinates beautifully with many bathroom materials:
- White trim: Crisp bright white molding and windows provide contrast against any shade of blue.
- Subway tiles: Classic white 3×6 subway tiles accent light or navy blues.
- Glass tiles: Sea green, aqua or frosted glass tiles enhance watery blues.
- Natural stone: Honed marble, travertine or limestone offer neutral contrast to bold blues.
- Porcelain tile: Neutral beige, gray or white porcelain coordinates with pale cool blues.
- Mosaic tile: Bright mosaic tiles in multiple colors pop against dark navy blues.
- Nickel faucets: Sleek silver nickel pairs well with all shades of blues.
- Oil-rubbed bronze: Deep, warm bronze compliments light warm blues.
Sample blue paint colors next to fixtures, floors and other finishes to see how they coordinate before finalizing a scheme.
When selecting a blue paint color for a bathroom, consider the room’s size, natural light, and style. Cool-toned lighter blues work best in small spaces while deep blues make a dramatic impact in larger bathrooms. Warm navy or slate blues are soothing choices for bathrooms with little natural light. Vibrant mid-tone blues create an uplifting, spa-like mood. Sample blue paints at different times of day to see how the color truly appears. Coordinating blue hues with finishes like white tile, natural stone, nickel or oil-rubbed bronze fixtures results in a cohesive, appealing bathroom color scheme.