Black and white is considered to be a boring combination. When you say something is black and white you’re saying it’s plain, it’s obvious. When you think of black and white there isn’t much to get excited about. It has become the norm to want a splash of colour.
But what if we told you that black and white – especially in a bathroom where white is the predominant colour most of the time anyway – can, in fact, be absolutely stunning? And, let’s face it, colour in bathrooms is hard to pull off – just ask anyone who had an orange or avocado green one in the 1970s!
No, the stark contrast between black and white can be used to stunning effect when you get the right level of each, in the right places and with the right bathroom fixtures, fittings and accessories.
Here’s how it’s done, starting with white as the base colour on the walls and ceiling, as you would normally find.
While we’re starting with a base of white on the walls adding black in a few ways can really enhance the look of your bathroom.
For example, if you’re tiling your walls then you should consider adding a strip or two of black, preferably high shine, tiles. This can be done horizontally, which is fairly easy, or vertically, in which case you’ll need to think a bit more. Vertical strips of black tiles could be used behind the sink, toilet or the bath (or all three), for example. This helps pick out your fixtures and we would recommend this approach especially if those fixtures are white.
Alternatively, you could create a checkerboard effect with your black and white tiles. Choose large tiles for the classic look or smaller ones for a much busier effect. We prefer the former, but the latter can also be used to great effect in larger bathrooms.
Another option is to use several rows of black tiles at floor level, building up to create a base on which your pristine white walls sit. The black can be extended as high as the bath or even four or five rows higher – it really does come down to your personal taste.
It doesn’t all need to be done in tile. You can mix and match paint, tile, even wallpaper and create some remarkable effects. The key is to get the right balance between the two colours for your overall design. We’ve given you some examples below.
Where to begin with flooring? Let’s bullet point the options you have with flooring:
- Plain white tiles
- Plain black tiles
- Black and white mosaic tiles
- Black and white checkerboard tiles
- Square / rectangular / hexagonal / diamond shaped black, white or black and white tiles
- Patterned black and white tiles
Which of these you choose will depend on your overall design, especially in relation to the walls as you want the floor to compliment rather than dominate. The easiest way to achieve this is to opt for a plain white floor and then choose black floor mats to introduce the theme in a more understated way. Our “Grecian” memory foam bathroom mat in black is the ideal choice.
Fixtures & Fittings
With your walls and flooring decided you can begin to enhance the black and white look with your fixtures and fittings. These days there are so many options with baths, showers, sinks, toilets, taps and everything else you can really begin to fit out your bathroom just the way you want it.
The combinations you can choose are endless and include all black fixtures (baths, sinks etc), white fixtures with black features, high shine or matte black fittings (like taps, shower heads, shower trays and toilet seats)…in other words, you are able to create exactly the right black and white bathroom for you. Take a look at these ideas.
Black & White Accessories
With all the major design work done it’s time to look at the detail and for us that means accessories. This includes things like soap dishes, toothbrush holders, toilet roll holders, towel rails and toilet brushes, of course, but also bins, picture frames, mirrors and that sort of thing.
This is where you can introduce your own personality into your bathroom design. Black framed photos of family on your white walls will look stunning, add warmth and ensure you don’t end up with a clinical bathroom. The same goes for black framed mirrors, which have the added benefit of making the room feel larger, particularly useful in smaller bathrooms. If you take a look at the image at the top of this article, you can see how this works, it really is wonderful.
At Back2BATH we’re going BIG on black bathroom accessories this year, with new items arriving in just a few weeks. Of course, if you’ve already got quite a bit of black in your bathroom design you may prefer white accessories – like our “Capsule“, “Chatsworth” “Paris“, “Romance” and “Visage” ranges.
Have fun, mix it up and express yourself!
Things to remember
We hope we’ve given you some food for thought when it comes to “plain” and “boring” black and white bathrooms – in that they are anything but! Just remember this:
- In smaller bathrooms opt for more white than black (and use mirrors!)
- Larger bathrooms can take a lot more black
- Shop around for distinctive fixtures, there’s a huge choice out there
- Don’t forget the ceiling – we worked on a plain white base here, but black can work up there too
- Lighting is important – position it well and choose the right fittings for your design
- Personalise the space to avoid a clinical feel
- This is black and white – you can flip the colours during the design stage easily to see what effect it has!