Neutral bathrooms: design ideas and inspiration

How do you want to feel when you walk into your bathroom? If the answer is relaxed and recharged, then say hello to neutral bathrooms.

Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring – picture oat-coloured tiles, textured concrete basins and velvet-smooth tubs, with matching accessories and soft furnishings. Now, this sounds dreamy, right?

neutral walk-in shower design
Meta single-lever bath mixer with handshower, £5605. The shower fittings include the Meta xTool concealed thermostat, £1868; Vaia valves, £372.60; Vaia Rain shower, from £1588.20, and the hand shower set with integrated holding, £762.40. All fittings are in Brushed Durabrass finish, which contains 23kt gold, from Dornbracht. Image: Anna Stathaki / Finkernagel Ross.

“Bathrooms have changed considerably in the last ten years, moving away from a purely functional room in the home to one offering luxury, relaxation and escapism,” explains Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs. “Beige is definitely going to play a starring role in 2024,” says Barrie.

A pared-back, neutral colour palette is ideal for achieving anything from a spa-inspired scheme or a contemporary sanctuary to a timeless retreat. Let’s explore the different looks you can achieve…

freestanding bath with chrome bath filler
Esseta bath, from £3086, BC Designs.

Spa-like bathroom ideas

Characterised by spacious tubs, a soft colour palette and natural accessories, such as jute rugs and wooden bathmats, spa bathrooms have moved right at the top of many renovators’ wishlists.

“Choosing a neutral colour scheme in your bathroom will make it have an enduring appeal, but while cool greys were the go-to shades for many years, warm, earthier neutrals have taken the lead in the post-pandemic as people seek decorating ideas to reconnect with the nature,” says Lidia Cetrangolo, marketing manager at Multipanel.

plastered bathroom with corner baths and matt black brassware
Note corner shower bath, £1595, Roper Rhodes.

For a relaxed and calming aesthetic, opt for waterproof plaster or tactile coverings on the walls. Pair neutral sanitaryware with matt black brassware, to put a modern spin on your design.

“Elevate the overall sophistication by choosing bathroom fixtures and hardware in complementary materials like brushed nickel or matt black,” advises Jo Oliver-Singh, director at Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. “And incorporate natural elements and greenery to further enhance the space, infusing warmth and texture into the design.”

Ready to embrace the aesthetic? Scroll down for some inspiration…

spa-like bathroom with waterproof wallcoverings
LS704 wallcovering, £141 per m, Omexco.
white tiles in neutral scheme
Wall-hung Gloss White vanity unit with chrome handles, two drawers and left-hand basin from the Gap collection, £946, Roca.
stone tiles in walk-in shower
Rockin tile in Desert, price on application, Real Stone, Tile & Bathrooms.

Modern neutral bathrooms

If you’re more into modern designs with a glam touch, then you will love these neutral bathroom ideas.

With the help of glossy, marbled tiles, warm brassware and luxurious sanitaryware you can achieve a stylish, grown-up retreat where you can recharge your energy at the end of a busy day.

glossy ceramic tiles
Luma Antique White gloss decor ceramic wall tile, £39.95 per sq m, Tile Mountain.
marbled tiles in shower area
EauZone hinged door for corner reverse, price on application, Matki.
Bathroom wall panelling
The feature wall is Valmasino Marble, while the rest of the bathroom is Taupe Grey, prices on application, Multipanel.

Trend alert: Japandi-style bathrooms are also on the rise. Click here to find out how to nail this aesthetic.

japandi bathroom design with fluted furniture
Limit 500 single drawer unit with Modern Oak worktop, £1140, Crosswater.

You don’t have to stick to light neutrals – if you’re more into moody colour palettes, opt for darker shades, such as taupe and mocha, to achieve a contemporary design.

dark neutral bathroom design
Salerno ceramic decorative wall tiles in Mink, £59.40 per sq m, Stone & Ceramic Warehouse.

Click here for more modern bathroom ideas

Open and bright neutral bathrooms

Small bathroom? No problem! “Not only are neutral colours calming and relaxing to look at, making them perfect when you want to create a spa-like experience, but lighter colours help reflect natural light around a bathroom making the space feel bigger than it actually is,” says Lisa Cooper, head of product at Thomas Sanderson.

So, if you have a compact room, consider embracing neutrals to open it up. Alongside neutral tiles, airy curtains and light-up mirrors, wall-mounted furniture is another great solution for giving the illusion of a more extensive space.

bathroom design with marble sink and worktop
Planet II vinyl, £36.99 per sq m, Carpetright.
Agar white towel radiator, £159, UK Radiators.
soft pink scheme with double vanity
Powder Pink matt lacquer wall-hung vanity and Blanco City quartz countertops and up-stand, from the Tratto collection, Scavolini. The open wall storage in Powered Pink and round countertop basins with copper basin mixers and towel rail complete the look. Scavolini bathrooms start from £5000.

Blush pink interiors: click here to shop the look

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