Light, bright, airy… Even the most ardent color-lovers among us can appreciate the crisp beauty of an all-white bathroom. Looking to give your own space a calming refresh? We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite examples here, with tips for pulling off a white-on-white look that’s anything but one-note. Read on and get inspired.
Designer CeCe Barfield livened up this petite bath with wallpaper custom-colored to match the tones of the marble tile. The resulting monochromatic look helps the space feel more expansive. Photo by Lesley Unruh.
In a New York City apartment designed by Alyssa Kapito and Vivian Muller, a pale-gray stripe gives the walls a subtle hint of interest. Photo by Manuel Rodriguez.
Introduce Subtle Pattern
Whether through tiling or wallpaper, bringing a touch of subtle pattern into an all-white bathroom is a sure way to give the space depth and interest. To maintain the airy look, go for prints in pale gray on a white background, or white stone with light-gray veining.
In the home of author and cooking-school founder Alison Cayne, a black-painted claw-foot tub brings a moment of drama to an otherwise all-white space. Photo by Lesley Unruh.
Add (a Hint of ) Color
One thoughtfully chosen element of color can make an otherwise all-white bath sing. Whether it’s adding a vintage rug, painting the vanity, or hanging a piece of oversize art, try swapping out something white for a more colorful option and enjoy an instant transformation.
Designer Suzanne Kasler chose curtains in a soft gray-blue silk for her dreamy master bathroom. The cool tone sets off the warm antique-brass finishes and adds to the restful atmosphere. Photo by Erica George-Dines.
Play Up Antique Charm
The contrast between smooth white surfaces and aged, antiqued patinas can add interest to even the tiniest bathrooms. To liven up a lackluster space, consider changing out basic fixtures for something with a sense of history (we love unlacquered brass) or replacing a plain-Jane mirror with a vintage version. Even hanging artwork in antique-gold frames can help to give a white-box bathroom an elegant boost.
Designer Michelle Smith added unlacquered brass fixtures to her apartment’s pint-size bath, leaving everything else simple and unadorned. Photo by Lesley Unruh.
Michelle accessorized a window nook with a tarnished silver trophy and a tiny metal scale, adding even more timeworn patina to the room. Photo by Lesley Unruh.
Mixing rustic and refined, the designers behind Giannetti Home added a marble sink from Belgium and an antique mirror to their home’s all-white powder room. A brass fountain spout was repurposed as a faucet. Photo by David Tsay.
A Note on Powder Rooms
While there’s much to be said for going bold in these small spaces, don’t discount the option of keeping a powder room all-white. As long as you give it some interest (wallpaper, marble tile, a stunning antique mirror), a pale powder room can be just as statement-making as a pattern-rich jewel box. And guests are sure to love the calming effect.
Give It a Nautical Twist
An all-white bath lends itself well to a crisp, maritime vibe. Beadboard walls, rope details, and bright chrome fixtures will give the space a shipshape aesthetic—perfect for beach houses, lakeside homes, or anywhere else you want to channel coastal ease.
At home in upstate New York, designer Thom Filicia kitted out his master bath with rope-framed mirrors, wood paneling, and vintage-style hardware for a nautical look that suits the lakeside setting. Photo by Lesley Unruh.