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Shades of Pale: The White Bathroom


The timeless aesthetic of white makes it a popular choice in interiors – it will never go out of fashion and suits any style of home, from the most traditional to the most contemporary. Nowhere is white more prevalent than in the bathroom, where it brings a fresh, light and airy feel to what is often the smallest room in the house.

White might be considered a ‘safe’ option, but it certainly doesn’t have to be bland or boring. In reality, white comes in many guises – far from being a single colour, it can have green, blue, yellow or pink undertones, incorporating hues as diverse as ivory, chalk, cream, vanilla and the palest greys and beiges. It can be cool or warm, textured or smooth, matt or gloss, patterned or plain; a combination of these finishes creates a tone-on-tone layered effect that will bring depth and interest to a scheme.

Even when sticking to an all-white colour palette, it is easy to soften the impact of a bathroom’s hard surfaces with interesting textures such as the subtle grain of wood or the natural vein of marble.

If you’re looking for greater contrast, there are lots of options. White walls and white sanitaryware combined with wood flooring will give your space an earthy, tranquil vibe, as in this Catchpole & Rye project in Australia:

And below, the vertical wall panelling, horizontal shutter slats and honey-toned wooden floor make this sophisticated corner of our Tunbridge Wells showroom look anything but stark and clinical – the variety of tone and texture exudes a sense of calm.

A white palette lends itself perfectly to the clean lines and minimalism of the Scandi trend. In this room, painted brick walls and accessories in wood, fur and metal add homely texture to a space that might otherwise feel stark and cold

For something a little more dramatic, consider a monochrome scheme. Black and white is a classic combination that works with a multitude of styles, from art deco to industrial via Mediterranean chic. Geometric tiles are a particularly striking way to add interest.

For a more lighthearted approach, add a bold pop of colour to your scheme. Bright accents really pack a punch against a white backdrop, so why not have a little fun?

The beauty of white is its incredible versatility – as we have seen, it works well with any accent colour, making it easy to accessorise, and is a dream partner for wood and marble. But, perhaps most importantly for the bathroom, it is also the perfect foil for metals. Whether it’s the cool tones of cast iron and nickel or the warm patina of copper and brass, the crispness of white gives them space to shine.

Here, the grey vein of the marble tiles ties in with the Mayfair nickel shower tray and introduces a hint of pattern that stops the scheme from feeling flat.

‘White’, then, is not necessarily synonymous with ‘plain’ – tone, texture and pattern all help to create a serene, peaceful aesthetic. What could be more appropriate in a room meant for cleansing, pampering and relaxation?

For more bathroom ideas, advice and inspiration, check out our blog. To see the full range of Catchpole & Rye products, make an appointment at our showrooms in Tunbridge Wells, London or Ashford.

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