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Designer tips for executing black and white bathroom décor

Color me rad

On the left, a bathroom with black subway tile and white furniture. On the right, a small tile design of black and white with a white sink. Credit: The Home Depot / Lowe's

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Just because the bathroom doesn’t have the most, shall we say, glamorous function in the home, doesn’t mean that it can’t look like it does. Make your bathroom the chicest room in the house and your guests will be wow-ed at your attention to detail.

To achieve a sleek black-and-white bathroom design, which is rising in popularity in 2022, we turned to two design experts, Kim Depole and Zac Houghton, on how you can bring this look to your home.

Zac Houghton, CEO and design expert at UK-based home improvement site Loftera, says, “Black and white bathroom themes are all about simplicity. There is an elegance to the stark contrast of black and white that is instantly calming.”

If you’re looking to give your bathroom a revamp, here are some tips on how to bring some black and white style to your space.

Choose your floor color carefully

White tile with gray detailing shown on the left. On the right that same tile is installed on bathroom floors.
Credit: The Home Depot

Choosing a white tile with some gray or black accents for your flooring is stylish and helps hide stains.

Since you’re focusing your design around two main colors, selecting where to put these colors may seem pretty straightforward. However, knowing where not to put color is incredibly important.

Kim Depole, the founder of Depole Designs, and interior design firm based in New York City, says, “I always advise my clients never to install a black floor. Black floors show everything—and I mean everything—no matter if the bath is immaculate [or not].”

That black flooring will show off stains may come as a surprise to some. In the bathroom, you’re going to frequently encounter soap and water stains, as well as footprints. This will lead to you constantly cleaning. White, or even gray, flooring is a much more low maintenance option. Better yet, go for a marbled white and gray tile that adds some flair to your floors.

Get the Carrara Polished Porcelain Floor Tile starting for $30.24

Look for spectacular patterns and design with tiles

On the left, a close-up of black and white tile. On the right, that same tile installed on a bathroom wall.
Credit: Lowe's

Black and white tiling can add texture and style to your space.

In the bathroom, you have the ability to play with textures through tiling and a black-and-white color scheme is certainly not boring.

Houghton says, “Black and white tiles can be used to create a strong visual statement without overwhelming the space.”

You’ll want to choose either black or white as your main color and then use the other as the accent. Houghton recommends going with white as your main color as it can brighten up the room, especially if it lacks natural light. Pro tip: A tiling pattern with the accent color built in takes the work out of choosing how to style it.

Get the Satori Hudson Brilliant White and Black Hexagon Wall Tile at Lowe’s starting at $3.98

Use black as accent and statement color

On the left, two mirrors with a black outline mounted on a white tile wall. On the right, a bathroom with black subway tile with a white sink and a mirror mounted on the wall.
Credit: The Home Depot

Bring in black accents to your bathroom to create a dramatic moment.

When it comes to picking walls, floors, and features in the bathroom, white is often the default. But, when choosing a black and white design, you have the opportunity to bring in black to create some stunning moments.

It can be as simple as choosing black features. Matte black water features from the faucet to the mirror outline are a great way to pull everything together, notes Depole.

If you want a bolder look, use black to create a statement wall. We all love the classic look of a neat white subway tile, but going darker could create a dramatic effect. Choosing black subway tile paired with white furniture will make everything pop.

Incorporate color through bath linens

On the left, a colorful geometric bath mat. On the right, a black and white checkerboard bath mat.
Credit: West Elm / Urban Outfitters

A brightly colored bath mat or one with a vibrant print can liven up your bathroom.

It may seem contradictory to add in color to a black-and-white color scheme but it can help bring out the stark contrasts of the black and white. If you want to stay neutral with your towels and shower curtain, then look to your bath mat for a pop.

Houghton says, “Bathtub mats are not just for practicality, but also for the aesthetics of your bathroom.”

A brightly colored bath mat can liven things up and provide a nice break for the eye among all the black and white.

If you’re committed to black and white from top to bottom then try a pattern. Checkerboard print is all the rage and a perfect pattern for black and white.

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