Use Colour to Make Your Bathroom Zing!

It may have been the long winter months or just time for a change that prompted me to change the colour scheme of my bathroom. Either way, I felt it needed lifting from meh to tahdah and the way to do that was with a massive injection of colour. 

My bathroom walls previously were Farrow & Ball 'Elephant's Breath', a warm contemporary grey with a hint of magenta and I had injected an accent colour of turquoise with towels and artwork. It was a nice "safe" colour and worked well with the white tiles and woodwork. But I was bored with it and fancied doing something a bit wild.

I wanted to retain the turquoise as an accent colour in the new scheme but just change the wall colour.  I had toyed with covering the walls with an extravagant wallpaper but that would have involved removing the heated towel rail for starters so was in the too hard and too expensive basket, as they say. I was inspired by a set of Missoni towels (I'm a huge fan of Missoni) that I had seen on Amara Living with turquoise, black and mustard and everything in between!  

I bought two sample pots of Little Greene paint in shades of mustard/green and knew as soon as I painted up the sample of 'Citrine' that it was the perfect colour. A friend did say it looked like the colour of stagnant water would it be appropriate for a bathroom.  I chose to ignore that comment !!

I bought the required quantity of 'Citrine' Intelligent Matt Emulsion, called my decorator and he turned up four days later and painted the walls.  The white woodwork and ceiling were in good condition so it was just a matter of slapping on the new colour; no going back now!!

While the decorator painted last Saturday morning, I decided to jump online and treat myself to some wow factor accessories for the bathroom, given that the wall colour was going to create quite an impact. First up was obviously the set of Missoni towels (Stan they are called) that had inspired my colour choice.  Amara Living is a great website to buy designer brands at reasonable prices so I ordered a set of five of the Missoni Stan towels.

I thought a Fornasetti candle would look superb on the loo cistern and have always coveted one so I promptly ordered the Fornasetti Mani candle from The Conran Shop website as it was black and white which would complement the black in the towels.

Two days prior to the bathroom being painted I had been to one of my favourite haunts, Petersham Nurseries, where I found two framed antique pressed fern prints, perfect for the wall space over the radiator in the bathroom especially as they had no mount but just the glass so the wall colour would act as the mount.  

I couldn't believe the transformation when the space was painted and I had accessorised it. The white tiles and woodwork zinged whereas before they were just boring white. The bathroom had a freshness and a real wow factor.

A bathroom (or downstairs loo) is the perfect space to have some fun with colour as it's a small space so it's easy to change the wall colour if you get it wrong or get tired of it.  I always suggest to my clients, most of whom are terrified of colour, to have a go in their downstairs loo, with wallpaper or a strong wall colour.   I'm lucky that the Missoni towels have several colours so I could easily change the wall colour without having to change any of the accessories. 

My tips for injecting a zing into your bathroom or downstairs loo:

- Be brave and have some fun. If you have neutral tiles they will literally come to life with a strong wall colour or wallpaper so be bold with your choice.

- Always buy a tester pot(s) and paint an A4 sized piece of paper with two or three layers of the paint and then blue tack it to the walls and live with the colour for a day or two, moving the sample to different walls.  DON'T paint a sample area over the existing wall colour.

- Think about accessories as they are so important - they should complement the wall colour rather than be a total contrast or be just plain boring.

- Don't scrimp on quality or design of towels (and bath mat) as they will look faded and dull after a few washes. Splash out on some funky ones - Amara Living have a range of designer brands at affordable prices. Alternatively try Designers Guild or Anthropologie.  

- Invest in a candle with a scent that you could enjoy while relaxing in a bath.  There are so many fabulous brands on the market and you don't have to spend silly money. 

- Buy a nice liquid hand soap and hand cream set. Guests love to be treated to good quality soap and hand cream. I'm a huge fan of the Aussie brand Aesop and currently am using their hand soap, hand cream and also shower gel. I love the simplicity of the brown bottles and labels.  Molton Brown do a wide range of products in clear plastic bottles so choose one that complements the colour scheme as well as one you like!

- Add artwork to the walls. You can create some fantastic art installations in these spaces with multiple framed photos or pictures literally covering a whole wall or more.  

- Keep the space clutter free so that the walls and accessories can create the wow factor. 

I'd love to hear what you've done in your downstairs loo or bathroom to create a wow factor. Have you painted a radical colour or used a statement wallpaper or both ?!!  Send me an email with pics. 

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