Bathroom design trend: the neutral bathroom

If you fear neutral colours in your bathroom, don’t. Neutrals don’t have to be boring. Combining subdue shades and contrasting textures within neutral palettes, can create truly outstanding and memorable interior spaces.

What’s the secret to successful neutrals? Balanced textures and tones.

Use visual or real texture to generate visual interest and contrast; appreciate tonal qualities of selected finishes and concentrate on what each provides interior composition. To help you get started, here are some of my favourite takes on The Neutral Bathroom and some advice on how each interior was achieved.

Contrasting material palette

Below is a fantastic example of neutral tones looking far from boring. The interior composition uses various materials to create mini zones within the bathroom. This design strategy clearly defines space, while also encouraging visual and textural stimulation within the room.  Smooth gloss tiles, raw concrete, reflective aluminium, glass, mirror and pearl marble, all bring their own unique aesthetic quality to the interior, without breaking away from the spaces neutralness.

Hero Finishes

In contrast to the interior presented above, the bathroom below shows the effectiveness of simpler material selection. Identify one or two neutral materials as feature finishes, and apply them liberally across multiple surfaces. In the bathroom below, grey stone tiles and timber joinery dominate the interior. Strong contrast between these two feature finishes creates dynamic energy within the space, fighting any fears of a boring interior.


3D tiles provide a unique and special quality when applied to neutral interior designs. In the bathroom below, without leaving the sandstone colour scheme, 3D tiles provide contrast and intriguing visual stimulation within the space. Textured tiles work well in monochromatic interiors, they remove the need to introduce too many new colours or shades and provide the same (if not greater) contrast and visual stimulation.

Light and dark

One really important design note to remember – neutral interiors don’t have to remain light in colour. Subtle applications of dark grey, navy or even black are welcome within neutral design palettes. The bathroom below effectively introduces deep ash into the composition via pattern floor tiles. A classically neutral farmhouse bathroom, avoids appearing outdated, tired or pale, by subtly including darker colours.


When thinking about bathroom lighting, don’t be afraid to branch out into decorative light sources, in addition to practical lighting solutions. Lighting is particularity effective in neutral bathrooms as it provides exceptional levels of contrast, without needing too many different material applications. In the example below, wall wash lighting and below vanity LEDs, make a two material bathroom feel dynamic. In small bathrooms, such as the interior below, lighting will also enhance depth and spatial sensation.

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