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The Best Cream Bathrooms

By 06/15/2014May 4th, 202027 Comments

I believe all bathrooms should be cream (or white or off-white)

When you’re building a house, first you decide what your kitchen will look like, if it’s white or cream and then you chose the bathroom finishes to coordinate.

I’m talking about the tile and countertops. This way you aren’t stuck with one paint colour forever (like you are when you choose a fancy accent tile or a lot of earthy tile).

If you have a wood stained kitchen, you should still incorporate white or cream into the hard finishes for the most timeless, versatile, look.

I saw this bathroom today (below) and I thought it was absolutely perfect. Not just perfectly nice.

Perfect bathroom

When clients ask me if their white will look stark and cold, the answer is always the same. In the wrong context, white is stark. In the right context, it’s perfect.

There’s nothing wrong with a true white bathroom, but if you have an earthier house, you might want to ensure that your bathrooms are cream for perfect flow.

To make sure your whites are right, download my White is Complicated; A Decorators Guide to Choosing the Right White ebook here.

Carrara & Cream

Here’s a creamy bathroom with Carrara marble. This cream is so yellow it almost looks like a colour in comparison (above).

Travertine & Crema Marfil

Herringbone Ivory Travertine floors and a Crema Marfil countertop are often paired together (above).

Stunning Mirror

Another stunning cream bathroom with a gorgeous fretwork mirror (above).

{click on images for sources}

Notice all these bathrooms have sconce lighting instead of a bar light above the mirror. Sconce lighting is so much prettier than bar lights in bathrooms. Here are my favorite options for sconce lighting curated on Pinterest.

Related posts:

Ask Maria: Which Whites go Together?

A Consultation on White Benjamin Moore Trim

The Best White Bathrooms

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in the door, become a client. Online or in-person.

Download my Two eBooks, How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones and White is Complicated a Decorators Guide to Choosing the Right White to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want and to make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert. 



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  • franki says:

    That first photo is one of the prettiest (and appears functional) bathrooms I’ve seen in awhile!! Course, I’m all about curves, arches, etc. Loved it!! franki

  • BillP says:

    The second bathroom looks like a mistake to me. The cream looks almost pink in the pic, not a good look with the marble.

    • Cindi Zureich says:

      I agree that this one does not look good. It may be the pink flowers giving the cream a pinky tone, but even so, I think it is too creamy for the marble.

      • Maria Killam says:

        The biggest reason I posted the second picture (and I should have spelled it out) is that if you make a mistake and end up with creamy cabinets with blue/white carrara the fix is to keep painting the walls in the same colour.

    • Kathy says:

      How funny, I liked this bathroom, except for the countertops….

      • gayle says:

        And the thing that makes the bathroom for me is the grayish marble with the pink flowers and the cream everywhere else….so soothing and calm.

  • BrendaF says:

    I agree with Bill, above on the second picture. Either the creamy paint needs to be more white/grey, or the marble needs to be more creamy. I would not be happy with that. The rest are gorgeous!

  • Mary-Illinios says:

    Happy Monday to you!
    The first picture was my favorite.
    I’m excited for your ebook to come out. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.
    Have a colorful day.

  • I just can’t get enough of white bathrooms & kitchens. The look is always chic, timeless, crisp & clean. I also don’t care for #2 photo. Too much creamy color against the white marble.

    I always enjoy your photo collections, Maria, and your posts! Best regards.

  • I really want to paint my outdated oak cabinet and trim bathroom white. I just have to convince my husband. Last year we painted my office white. The room had many mismatched windows and crazy angles so I chose a perfect shade and it unified the whole thing. Now it’s our favorite room in the house.

  • Wyn says:

    I like the second photo with the cream, Carrara, and pink flowers — it’s a good example of using two neutrals that contrast enough to gain colour by being paired with each other. I’m a warm-colours person generally, so I would prefer a creamy white bath to a greyer/bluer white bath.

  • Sharon says:

    So I chime in with everyone else and absolutely love the first picture…the perfect combination bring peace and harmony to the eye and senses. So what color white IS the vanity in that picture Maria? We are contemplating painting out our oak vanity white and our flooring happens to be like the picture! What has held me back until now is the color of the flooring! This picture proves I can have the combination as long as I have the right white!

  • Brooke says:

    Can’t wait for the new e-book? Weeks or months? xo

  • Dianne M. says:

    On the sconces, I see very few, if any, sconces with glass shades that you have selected. I really like the glass frosted shades. They are easy to keep clean and are not affected by high humidity that often occurs in bathrooms. Most probably, 90% of the sconces in bathrooms are glass shades of some sort, but you don’t seem to care for them much. Thoughts?

    • Maria Killam says:

      I much prefer lights with paper shades because of the light they cast. The pretties sconces tend to be paper shades as well so that might be one of the reasons they are shown a lot in higher end looking bathrooms.

  • sandyc says:

    Great post, Maria – so eager for your e-book – so timely. Love the first bathroom – a perfect study not only for bathrooms but for white kitchens as well which mine is someday going to be. I love the way the trim is creamier on the columns and white on the vanity but it all works together so nicely. That pic is going in with my favorite creamy French white kitchen pic which I found on your Pinterest post. Love the bath room in the second pic but not a fan of grey Carrera marble. Now, the herringbone ivory travertine floors in the third pic are to dream for – not in my budget and overdoing for my home in my neighborhood even if they were – but I love the look. Thanks for the lesson, Maria – your take on “white” bathrooms means one can never look at a slew of them on HOUZZ in the same way again.

  • Anna says:

    Maria, I agree with you that sconces look much better than bar lighting. I have a bar light above the mirror in my bathroom and would like to replace it with a triple or double sconce (centered). Is there a rule about how high the light should be? Usually I see sconces in other rooms not too high on the wall.

  • Linda Fitzgerald says:

    I recommend white to all my clients, bathrooms especially). Husbands always balk, at an all white room, but they come around once I’ve shown them their ‘book’ of inspiration pics and my detailed notes. My current client is a good example of this and as I’m putting the finishing touches on their LR/DR/Kitchen (open concept) they’re sending me pics of him lounging on the pillows he was sure he would hate and the comments are telling me how thrilled they are and that they never thought they could have this look for their own – the rooms are all ‘Cloud White.’

    Maria, have you seen the special edition of House and Home magazine on the stands now? “Decorating With White?” I am buying multiple copies to give to clients, so I don’t have to work as hard to convince future clients that white can be right. :>))

  • Debbie says:

    Maria, I have been following you for years, I have your ebooks and I have learned so much from you about color and undertones. My question is, do you have a preference when it comes to pint finishes ? Flat vs matte vs eggshell vs satin ect. I am sure different rooms need different finishes so what are your thoughts?

  • Gary says:

    Hello, I have a bathroom that has the bone white sink and toilet, I am thinking of painting the walls bone white and the ceiling white, would this be a good idea to carry the bone color onto the wall surface?

  • D, Gibbs says:

    That triple sconce is gorgeous!

  • gayle says:

    I absolutely LOVe the color combinations in the second picture. It’s my favorite.

  • linda diaz says:

    Speaking of cream….My bathroom walls are BM Pale Oak. I’ve read over and over again that BM Dove White would be best choice for trim/cabinets. But, I love F&B White Tie. Please advise if White Tie would be ok if my tile is Carrara Marble????

    • Maria Killam says:

      As long as you repeat the cream in your bathroom it will work. But if your entire bathroom is true white and the blue white of Carrara marble and just your walls are cream, it won’t look as good. Perhaps paint your vanity the same colour and as long as your countertop is also a true white to repeat the floor tile then it will work! Hope that helps, Maria

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