We asked top design blogger Helen Powell (AKA Design Hunter) to explain more about monochrome style and why it works so well in the bathroom.

Where fashion leads, interior trends often follow

Monochrome has been particularly popular on the catwalks for the past few seasons now, and it’s a trend that has filtered down to interiors too. But although very current right now, it’s also a look that is timeless, which means that it’s a great choice for a space like the bathroom. Once you’ve invested in a new bathroom suite you probably won’t want to update it in a hurry so it’s important to choose a décor scheme that will endure. This is particularly true if you are going to be tiling the space as well, as tiles aren’t something you can cheaply and easily replace.

Black and white are soul mates, like yin and yang - seemingly opposite ‘forces’ that are actually interconnected and interdependent. Black absorbs while white reflects. Put them together and they pack a punch, creating design schemes with real impact.

Verso bathroom suite

The Verso bathroom suite accessorised with a thoughtful display


Here are a few reasons why black and white works particularly well for bathrooms:

It never goes out of style

Black and white is a timeless combination that won’t date. It will look good for years, and you won’t need to update it in a few seasons when colour trends change.

It suits functional spaces

The graphic simplicity of monochrome works well in a functional space like the bathroom where clean lines and strong angles tend to dominate – as opposed to ‘softer’ rooms like the bedroom or living room.

It can be calming

Most of us want our bathrooms to be a relaxation zone as well as a practical, functional space. I know lots of people will argue for the calming properties of other colours (blue for example, is usually seen as a serene and soothing colour, but it can feel cold), but for me there’s actually something quite zen-like and calming about the absence of hue. If you see your bathing ritual as an opportunity to empty your mind and be free of distractions of the day you could do worse than opt for a black and white bathroom.

It’s versatile

Black and white is a versatile combination – you can choose from stripes, patterns or use blocks of ‘colour’. You could, for example, create stripes, chevrons or geometric patterns with tiling, or even introduce more playful patterns like spots or florals through towels, bathmats or shower curtains.

You’re already half way there

When decorating a bathroom the starting point is usually a white bathroom suite so you are already halfway towards creating a monochrome scheme. Consider a striking black feature wall – the perfect backdrop for a white bath or basin. Black flooring will have a similar effect.

It packs a punch

Even if you aren’t confident about working with colour it’s relatively easy to pull off a design scheme that has real impact with black and white. It’s bold, exact and never half-hearted.

It works well for lots of different décor styles

From minimalist to art deco or industrial, black and white suits a multitude of different styles.

You can do it on a budget

Plain white or black tiles tend to be cheaper than coloured or patterned options, so this is one look you can pull off successfully on a budget.


Here are 3 different ways to do monochrome:

  1. Opt for an industrial style bathroom with bare brick walls, metro style tiling and this Maine bathroom suite range.

Maine bathroom suite

Maine bathroom suite


  1. The Planet select essen furniture range features dark coloured inserts and has been teamed with light and dark grey walls. The wood effect floor adds warmth and prevents the walls from feeling too cold and clinical. Instead it looks sleek and contemporary.

Planet essen furniture

Planet essen furniture range


  1. If a black and white bathroom just feels a little too austere you could always opt for grey instead, like this Curvaceous slate bathroom furniture.

Curvaceous slate bathroom furniture

Curvaceous slate bathroom furniture


The key to pulling off a monochrome look successfully is to remember to introduce lots of textural contrast with different materials.  For example, choose flooring that is naturally textured to contrast with the smoothness of the sanitary ware, or perhaps add a wooden stool or shelving to introduce softer, warmer tones.

Finally, complete the look by adding a little pattern. A stripy bathmat or chevron print towel will create an eye-catching focal point. Go on, get graphic!

Need some more ideas? You’ll find lots of inspiration in this Monochrome inspiration Pinterest board.

Helen Powell is a freelance writer and editor of the award-winning design & lifestyle blog Design Hunter.