Let’s swatch–calming paint colors for a tiny bathroom

light blue paint colorsConfession: despite being a color enthusiast, I’m new to the paint swatch business. I have never tested a color on the wall against others before because, frankly, I’m impatient. Once I start flirting with a color, I want to seal the deal and make it mine as quickly as possible. This approach is not fail safe, and while I’ve had my fair share of victories, I’ve also ended up repainting both the living room and the office after feeling like I was being punched in the face by repugnant pigments. With our bathroom renovation I wanted to exhibit a little class, a little reserve, and really take my time choosing the best color for the small, poorly lit space. Not a novel concept, but the experience has been a revelation.

Since the rest of the house looks like what you would get if you crossed a peacock with a rainbow, I decided to do something muted, cool and calming for the bathroom. After picking out four appealing bluishgreyish colors, I hesitantly went where all sensible renovators have gone before, straight to the heart of Swatchington, USA.

In their containers the colors seemed nearly identical, but once they were on the wall, I realized how truly crucial the old paint-and-wait method is to seeing a design notion through to reality. On a broader canvas, struck by different angles of light, the colors took on their own personalities, with some rising to the top of my must-have list while others were knocked out of the running completely.


The merit of this well-known and widely practiced technique is not rocket science, hell it’s not even 6th grade science, but this practice is something I will never skip over again.

And because I’ve spent my evenings collecting inspiring images to drive the direction of our bathroom, reno, I’ll subject you to the same. My pics for the best of blue/grey bathrooms below…

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15 Comments on “Let’s swatch–calming paint colors for a tiny bathroom”

  1. I like the Grey Wool or Ash blue. Good luck with your bathroom reno!

  2. kmom says:

    These are all so chic, modern and clean. Hope you will do your reveal soon.

  3. I have always favored warm colors but I recently painted my bedroom Dolphin Fin, and it is so soothing, I love it.

  4. Katie says:

    I used to skip the whole paint and wait thing too (sometimes I still do), but for spaces that feel really important to me or are too big to quickly repaint I will get a few test pots.

  5. Mr. Craves has talked about floor to ceiling tile in our next bathroom – I am still on the fence with that idea. I love the blue in the photo with the rubber duckies and that it is on the sink and tub too:) I really like the Gray Wool – pretty! Happy Thursday.

  6. We had a similar experience when we re-did our bathroom! Thought I would love the first two samples of “light blue-gray” we got… and they screamed “it’s a boy!” as soon as they went on the wall. Total of six samples later, we finally found the right paint for us! Good luck!

  7. Joy says:

    I can’t wait to see the outcome of your endeavors.

  8. Really liking the Gray Wool! Can’t wait to see the end result – no matter what you choose, I’m sure it will be amazing, just like the rest of your crib 🙂

  9. Lindsey Wenzel says:

    Pretty inspiration photos. I really like the gray wool!

  10. Tanmay Roy says:

    Some really inspiring photos. I really like the gray wool! Thanks for sharing with great photos. Love those. Thumbs up!

  11. thesamsanchez says:

    Reblogged this on Wine, Design & Not Enough Time and commented:
    I’m not a big fan of color, but this subtle refreshing color makes me antsy pants-y!

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