If you’re considering gray and white in a bathroom, know that they can feel cool, and because we often use our bathrooms in cool light in the morning and late at night, you might want to pair them with warm artificial lighting and accent tones.
But if you’re looking for timeless and smart bathroom ideas, it’s hard to go wrong, whether you love a traditional or contemporary look, or anything in between. For inspiration, we’ve rounded up our favorite gray and white bathroom ideas, along with tips from the experts on how to strike the perfect balance with a two-tone scheme.
Gray and white bathroom ideas
Gray and white bathrooms are often considered a safe choice when it comes to bathroom color ideas, yet they don’t have to be uninteresting, as any interior designer will attest.
And while gray bathroom ideas may be a bit taboo in north-facing spaces, gray and white bathroom ideas can be a bit lighter, with a real hit factor.
1. Embrace marble surfaces
With their beautiful veins and myriad gray hues, marble bathroom ideas are a great way to bring texture and interest to a gray and white bathroom, but they can also help soften black and white bathroom schemes, as shown in this space by CM Natural Designs (Opens in a new tab)s.
“Marble is a classic material, and since the client knew they wanted a black and white bathroom, the gray marble used here helps soften the high contrast and adds an element of sophistication,” says Corine Maggio, interior designer and founder.
In addition to the bathroom’s marble floors and countertops, Corine Maggio has introduced metal bathroom mirrors and wall lights to give the room extra interest and warmth. Too much gray and white can make a space look sterile and choppy. Copper elements soften this intensity while keeping and adding elegance to the space.
2. Create a two-tone paint effect
Bathroom paint ideas are a quick and easy way to create a focal point in a neutral bathroom, plus using a selection of three different gray and white paint colors can help bring depth to a space.
Not only is the gray-and-white combination on the walls here a playful feature, the gray base—Little Greene’s Gauze Dark—serves the space and draws attention to the luxurious loft, while the ceiling is painted a lighter shade. Gauze cover, highlighting the height of the room.
3. Create texture with wall tiles
If you’re planning to have a gray and white bathroom, taking a lot of texture into consideration is essential to keep it from feeling grotesque and groovy.
In this bathroom from Kitesgrove (Opens in a new tab)Soft gray veined marble lends classic texture and luxury, while trapezoidal bathroom wall tiles create a feature wall with a modern flair, unlike those made with plain rectangular designs.
4. Add a gray furniture unit
Decorating with neutral colors can be tricky to get it right, but provided you layer tones and textures, you’ll be successful. Here the light gray bathroom tiles have subtle variations in texture that bring movement and depth to the space, while the bathroom vanity in a dark gray shade helps create a focal point.
Gray and white bathrooms can run the risk of lacking atmosphere, so with that in mind, it’s especially important to consider bathroom lighting ideas when designing a monochromatic bathroom to ensure the space is suitable for relaxation. The carved wall lamps here present an attractive feature but will also help set the mood.
5. Make a statement with bathroom tiles
While having a monochromatic palette may limit your range of color, there’s no need to limit your ability to play with pattern, and getting creative with wall tile effects and combinations is a great way to make a statement. Here the rich dark marble bathroom floor tile idea contrasts nicely with the herringbone white wall tiles to create a luxurious and distinctive space.
One way to add more interest is to use different patterns and patterns of gray marble floors to areas such as wet rooms and the main body of the bathroom. Pairing with white tile and a white bathroom suite, it doesn’t take away the visual impact and appearance of marble floors,” Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs. (Opens in a new tab).
6. Add drama with dark gray
As small spaces that we don’t spend much time in, bathrooms are rooms where we can go bold with decor.
Choosing charcoal-shaded walls will create a sense of sophistication and luxury, especially when coordinated with white marble with dark veins and mesmerizing bathroom ceiling lighting.
If you’re considering dark bathroom ideas, it’s a good idea to consider space for a large mirror, like here, as this will help the space feel bright and comfortable.
7. Add a keyword feature
Making a feature for bathroom flooring ideas is a great way to add character to a small gray and white bathroom.
With no obvious beginning or finish, this small mosaic bathroom tile idea will fool the eye and make a small bathroom seem larger than it is.
8. Finishing space with window treatment
Bathroom window treatments can easily be overlooked, yet they play a vital role. Not only does it allow for basic lighting and privacy control, but it can also be beautifully decorative and help hold the scheme together.
In this gray and white bathroom by interior designer Tracy Morris (Opens in a new tab) A timeless vertical stripe shower curtain lends subtle pattern to a monochromatic scheme and provides an antidote to the strong horizontal stripes that run throughout the space.
“Contrast is a great way to enhance the color of your gray paint,” says Tracy.
In addition to the fabric, the subtle pattern is also embraced by Tracy’s choice of flooring.
In this bathroom, we knew tile would be the star of the show. Grouped together in a zigzag pattern, its combination of Bardiglio, Thassos, and mother-of-pearl is sure to catch your eye. “We needed a paint color that would bring all these tones together without competing for space,” adds the designer who chose the walls at Benjamin Moore. (Opens in a new tab)Silver chain.
9. Try wood wall panels
Wood bathroom panels are a great way to bring texture and rustic charm to a gray and white bathroom, and they can look especially effective in a rustic bathroom.
Featuring a beautiful silver grain that varies from slab to slate, these wood panels are full of texture and make a stunning feature in this spa-like space, while a signature spa adds an element of luxury.
10. Add pattern with wallpaper
“The temporary nature of the bathroom means it’s an excellent room to have fun and bring a sense of personality,’ says Kate French, creative director at Dado Atelier. (Opens in a new tab). “Wallpaper is a great way to bring the cheer of color and pattern into an often stark space.”
This ornate paisley design brings pattern without being overwhelming and makes a beautiful backdrop to a double sink that stops the show with a marble countertop.
If you’re considering adding wallpaper for the bathroom, make sure your space is well ventilated and the paper is used in a splash-free area, as well as consider pairing it over wall panels finished with erasable paint finishes for bathrooms for practicality.
Infrequently used powder rooms are great places to experiment with bold, eye-catching designs.
11. Be bold with high-contrast charcoal and marble
Many people like to play it safe when it comes to ceiling ideas, but for those looking to go a little bit bolder with decor, why not make a statement in a dark gray-headed bathroom like here at Meyer Davis Design (Opens in a new tab)?
Paired with veined marble and metal, this dark charcoal shade is perfect for achieving a luxurious bathroom look or for adding an element of surprise to a guest bathroom.
What colors go with gray and white in the bathroom?
The beauty of gray and white bathrooms is that they are neutral and work well with many shades on the color wheel. The color you put in gray and white depends on the tone and temperature of the shade you choose.
`Accent colors should be used to highlight the base shade and work with it along with not against it,’ says Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director of Little Greene. (Opens in a new tab)
When choosing gray, choose something balanced like the family French Gray. These shades of gray can be easily paired with other shades, and combine well with blue, green and pink.
How do you distinguish a gray and white bathroom?
There are many ways to successfully accentuate a gray and white bathroom to elevate the two-tone look. If you want to stick with a monochromatic palette, adding pops of black will bring definition and depth to the space, whether that’s through window treatments or accessories or through architectural details like the Crittall shower screen.
If you are looking to add a pop of color, everything goes well. For bold shades of gray, try vibrant blues and/or teal—with their watery connotations, these colors make appropriate bathroom colors. Alternatively, for a softer, more elegant look, switch to pastel pinks or soft blues.
However, accents need not be introduced solely in the form of color. Gray and white bathrooms tend to feel cool, so adding warm metallic details like gold or brass fixtures, fittings, and accessories is a great way to balance a monochromatic scheme while adding a touch of sparkle.