Decorating & Design

November 26, 2008

Painting A Bathroom

Choose paint and flooring wisely to create a spa-like setting or a cosy, intimate retreat.

Q. We are renovating our bathroom, which measures 7’-8” by 9’-6”. Is the room too small to paint the walls a dark colour or should I do the tiled floor dark brown and keep the walls light?

— A.H., Wellesley, Ont.

A. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules on whether you should paint a small room dark or light — it simply comes down to the effect you wish to achieve in the space.

If you want a bathroom that will feel cozy and intimate, choose dark walls and flooring. Selecting a single level of colour saturation for the walls and floors will give the room a uniform look that creates the illusion of a larger space. A full sized mirror above your vanity or sink will also help enlarge the room by reflecting light back into it. You will also want to pay special attention to the lighting in a dark coloured bathroom — it will feel somber and uninviting without enough light. Install a wall sconce on either side of your vanity mirror to create a flattering lighting scheme.

If you prefer a spa-like, airy setting, choose light colours for the walls and flooring as they will visually open up the small space. Add chrome or nickel fixtures and hardware for elegance and sparkle. Contrast can be introduced through ebony wood bathroom furniture or accessories for a calming Zen retreat feel.