Is your brown bathroom outdated and in need of being brought into the 21st century? If the answer is yes, read on, as I’m sharing my top tips—be it quick and easy changes or full renovation suggestions—on how to update a brown bathroom.
Psychologically, the colour brown is often associated with negative emotions and can make a space appear stark and empty. It’s not an activating colour, meaning we often see it as being boring and dull, especially in comparison to the vibrant, exciting shades interior design celebrates nowadays. The following ideas will enable you to update your bathroom with creative flair and help to bring your space back to life!
Go bright and contemporary for complete contrast
Although some dark and rich tones can bring a sense of style and luxe to a space, the bathroom—a place of relaxation and calm—often feels better suited to a light, bright, and airy touch. This can be achieved with an uplifting, neutral palette ranging from off-white to warm tan.
Using a lighter palette is especially important if your bathroom doesn’t receive a lot of natural light, and my top tip is to use a large mirror to help light bounce around the room.
To completely contrast a previous brown, old-fashioned bathroom, update it with contemporary products that have a clean, sleek style and introduce pale woods for a Scandinavian feel, emphasising minimalism and simplicity without compromising beautiful design.
Add more whites or creams
To freshen things up, introduce more whites and creams. Again, this will modernise the space as well as rejuvenate it. To do this, you might consider shower wall panels—a cost-effective and stylish alternative to tiling. Pictured above, is the Showerwall Ocean Marble shower wall panel (left) and the Mermaid Elite Quartzo Bianco shower wall panel (right)—both of which add a soft brightness to their respective spaces.
I'd also suggest DIY wall panelling for a modern twist in a traditional bathroom, as this brings warmth to a space and can be painted to suit your new palette.
Turn brown to grey
Brown may be a shade of the past, but grey continues to stand the test of time in the design world and is especially useful if you want to keep your palette within the circle of neutral shades. Whether it's charcoal, goose, moonstone or cloud grey, pair it with a clean, bright white for a contemporary contrasting look. Alternatively, utilise your grey to be the calming backdrop for a more vibrant tone like a peachy-salmon pink.
Discover our best grey bathroom ideas for 2022 and beyond.
Update your vanity unit countertop
Updating your vanity unit countertop can be done by both fully replacing the top of a traditional vanity unit or by opting for something completely new and contemporary, like a shelf and countertop basin. If you’re simply replacing the top, consider choosing a marble surface finish as this is a highly on-trend and modern material. Otherwise, take a look at our range of Orion countertop basins and shelves from Mode Bathrooms for a brand-new minimalist, chic style.
Change the colour of your furniture (vanity unit/storage unit/bath panels, etc.)
Bathroom furniture offers storage with style and can now be found in a range of beautiful finishes. Bath panels are a quick and easy fix to an outdated space, plus they help introduce a brand-new tone and texture. These can be matched with the vanity unit and/or back to wall toilet unit. Pictured above is the Lea ocean blue furniture from Orchard Bathrooms, but other finishes are available such as marble, concrete grey, avola grey, soft black and oak.
A less expensive alternative to buying bathroom furniture is to paint any existing furniture or wood to give your bathroom a refresh. A current trend is to paint other elements of the interior such as shelving and doors, continuing and extending the same colour used on the furniture.
Add a large, stylish rug to cover a brown floor
If you’re unable to change brown floor tiles, we suggest swapping out a regular-sized bathmat for an oversized, modern rug that will cover some or most of the flooring. Be careful to choose a colour and pattern that co-ordinate with the existing floor tiles, but that will bring them into the 21st century.
Persian style rugs are a unique and suitable choice for this, not only because they tend to be available in larger sizes and a range of colours, but they also make timeless, luxurious additions to traditional bathrooms.
Modernise your accessories
If you aren't looking to completely redecorate your bathroom, but want to modernise and refresh a dated, brown space, give your accessories a re-style.
Brassy-gold finishes are currently on-trend as they offer a classic and luxurious feel. Take a look at our 1805 antique gold accessory range to achieve the perfect traditional look.
Use light wood shelving and mix and match contemporary, Scandi-style accessories for a muted and natural look. Organic shapes and textures speak to this trend and can be achieved using the Navagio accessory range, adding a crisp and stylish touch to a room.
Black, contemporary accents continue to be a popular choice for a modern, soft-industrial look and can be achieved particularly well in the bathroom due to products like matt black bath and basin taps and accessories (see our Spencer black range). This is a definite win when updating a brown bathroom.
Introduce a new burst of colour to completely revamp a space. Heating is a growing product range that is becoming more creative and playful. The Vibrance range by The Tap Factory offers 14 different wild and whimsical shades to help modernise your bathroom.
More ideas for updating your brown bathroom
For more on-trend ideas on how to refresh your bathroom, read our recent article where we predicted the biggest bathroom trends for 2022, and follow Victoria Plum on social media by clicking any of the buttons below.