Trying to decorate with black in your bathroom? I see you. Here are the two best ways to incorporate black and still achieve a timeless bathroom look.
We’re now so deep inside the black (and white) trend, that when you go to a big box store to buy a faucet, black is the only finish available. In the past, chrome was the default, go-to faucet, not anymore.
That’s when I realized what’s been bothering me and how to fix it.
A bathroom or kitchen that’s perfect, instead of just perfectly nice, lives in the details, so if you’ve decided to incorporate black into your new bathroom, here are the two guidelines to save your bathroom from looking, harsh, flat, predictable which in the end will also give you a trendy not timeless look:
1. Don’t make black the default choice for every single item
Over and over again, I’m seeing bathrooms or kitchens with every single plumbing fixture, lighting, mirror, and hardware option chosen in black without any other mixed metals or a larger black item to ground the strongest colour in the world.
So, the first and best way to incorporate black into your bathroom is NOT to choose black for EVERYTHING. Read #2 for more guidance.
Keep in mind, if you’re following me for my timeless point of view, that’s what kind of advice you’re getting in this post. 😉
2. Repeat the black in small, medium and large
If you are installing black and white tile, that counts as your MEDIUM. Next you need to repeat the black once in a LARGE element like the countertop or the vanity. Then, repeat black one more time in a SMALL element like the lighting, mirror frame or in artwork – just remember only CHOOSE ONE of these, any more and it starts to look too distracting.
Think of it like incorporating an accent colour in your decorating. Add the black three times in small, medium and large gradations.
In my black and white bathroom (above) the black in my artwork would technically be ‘small’, the black and white floor, ‘medium’ and the black countertop ‘large’. If the lighting, faucet AND hardware was also black, that’s when my bathroom would look trendy.
Now, are all these things changeable and still easier to switch out than tiles and countertops? Yes, and definitely much better than an all black tiled bathroom for example.
Here is another good example of small, (mirror), medium (checkerboard floor) and large (vanity) everything else is polished nickel.
via House Beautiful
This is what I mean (below). There’s no black in this white bathroom except every single hardware, plumbing including the skinny mirror is black.
The eye jumps around with no place to land.
This bathroom is basically timeless in every other way but the black everything else, makes it obvious that this is a brand new ‘Black and white trend‘ reno.
Is this still a pretty bathroom? Yes it definitely is, I’m just splitting hairs on the details, to illustrate my point.
Keep in mind, I have JUST concluded that this is the best way to work with black, that’s why you haven’t read about it in any previous blog posts. In the past, no one was choosing ‘black everything’ so it was a non-issue.
Even in the brown trend, oil-rubbed bronze was trending but brushed nickel was as well. And since there were so many bathrooms filled with darker travertine tile or even brown tile, it didn’t jump out visually making it seem like too much.
Now that I think about it, likely the reason it didn’t occur to me to offer this same advice, was because I wasn’t specifying tuscan bathrooms back then either. And no one was choosing oil-rubbed-bronze EVERYTHING for the timeless white bathrooms we were doing.
If you’re as old as me, you’ll remember all the black plumbing fixtures from the 80s. We definitely overdid black back then too, but the one thing they hadn’t invented yet was black hardware and plumbing fixtures so again, this point was a non-issue.
Remember, this is just my opinion, doesn’t mean it’s right. A timeless bathroom is still the one where you can change the paint or decorating colours anytime you want a change and you can still do that with a black and white bathroom.
If you’d like help with your bathroom get my Create a Timeless Bathroom package here.