13 Stunning Accent Wall Ideas for the Bathroom
Discover awesome bathroom accent wall ideas to help you spruce up your bathroom decor.
Our bathrooms are more than a functional space – it’s where I plan my day while doing my make up, and relax in the bath in the evening. It’s a wellness space that needs to be personal and beautiful.
One way to enhance a bathroom is to create an accent wall. What are the best bathroom accent wall ideas?
Contemporary bathroom accent wall ideas focus on adding color, pattern, or texture to your space. Use paint, wallpaper, tiles, stone, and wood to create a feature wall to match your design style. Greys, blues, neutrals, and natural effects are popular contemporary choices.
An accent wall can anchor and elevate a bathroom interior. Traditionally accent walls have used vivid colors or patterns for impact.
But current trends include muted shades and natural textures to add character. I’d like to share some fabulous ideas to create a bathroom accent wall.
Why a Bathroom Accent Wall?
An accent or feature wall is a development of feature tiles in bathrooms – we all remember those patterned or colored tiles in a neat row around the room.
The next step in interiors has been to highlight or accent a whole wall as a design feature.
Here’s why I think an accent wall is a brilliant idea for a bathroom:
- Using a whole wall as a feature makes a statement in your bathroom and adds interest to a utilitarian space.
- Creating an accent wall is a relatively quick, easy, and pocket-friendly way to update your bathroom.
- Draw focus to a spectacular feature, such as a custom tub or eye-catching fixtures.
- Using color, pattern, or texture can liven up a neutral palette.
- The finish on the accent wall can protect your bathroom from moisture, especially if the accent wall is in the shower. (Nobody likes water stains and rising damp.)
- In small bathrooms or tiny powder rooms, an accent wall can create a sense of depth and space.
Bathroom Accent Wall Ideas with Color
I love using color to accentuate a feature wall – it instantly injects interest into an otherwise dull bathroom.
A vibrant color wakes up your senses and can create a dramatic, elegant, sophisticated, or soothing effect, depending on the color you choose.
You don’t need to choose a bright color for an accent wall. Muted and neutral palettes draw the eye without creating a startling contrast.
I know I fell for the gorgeous ombre hair trend! Extend the beautiful tones to a bathroom to add intrigue and movement on an accent wall.
Ombre is a valuable technique for combining colors cohesively and picking out elements from your bathroom fixtures and accessories.
Create an ombre effect with neutral shades (think tones of grey) or vivid colors (shades of yellow).
Choose a grey accent wall for your bathroom if you want to be on-trend: it is the most chosen color for bathroom renovations.
Using grey is an understated way of adding color to a room without overwhelming it. You can combine gentle and elegant tones of grey, patterns, and textures.
While darker greys suggest a traditional, formal, and even severe effect, lighter greys add a dreamy, soothing touch. Use metallic greys for a sleek, modern feel, adding pewter or silver elements to your other fixtures.
Grey works well with other colors, specifically white, black, blue, and red.
Blue never goes out of style for bathrooms, with its water and sky associations. Your choice of blue will depend on the effect you want your accent wall to achieve. For instance, choose a bold blue or turquoise for a playful and energetic feel.
My sister used fresh blue in his son’s shower, and it looks amazing. One wall is finished with bright blue mosaic tiles, suggesting a swimming pool. She used the blue to pop against white, a combination that always reminds me of traditional white Greek houses with blue shutters.
Darker blues and navy are more sophisticated and mature and offer a classic effect. It’s fun to combine navy with red, if you enjoy a nautical theme.
Lighter blues, especially those tending to clouds and mist, are calming and peaceful if you want a spa-style bathroom where you can relax and unwind. Pretend you’re on holiday.
The move towards sustainability is a trend I like to incorporate in bathrooms, in both water-friendly fixtures and interior design. Green reflects this trend.
With the variety of shades, green can create different interior atmospheres.
In our en-suite bathroom, I’ve chosen a lighter green accent wall that I’ve paired with natural elements, such as wood, rattan, and rope, and a neutral palette of browns and whites. It’s relaxing but also revitalizing to include links to nature.
Use a crisp mint or leaf green to conjure an old-fashioned conservatory effect, especially if you introduce plants.
Darker greens are more dramatic, calling up images of stormy seas, forests, and pools of water. Balance with white and blue for a peaceful coastal feel. This is a look I’ve filed away for my beach house – one day.
Lime and chartreuse are bold, contemporary choices and are best used for a pop of color in a smaller wall space or shower section.
A black accent wall in a bathroom adds drama and sophistication if you’re not ready to commit to black vanities or plumbing fixtures.
This trend is bold and surprisingly creates depth and dimension, especially in a small bathroom or powder room.
You can combine black with traditional white fixtures for a glamorous Art Deco look.
#6. Yellow and Orange
To open up a space and add light, I recommend using warm shades of yellow and orange.
Pale and pastel shades are cheerful without being garish and work equally well with neutrals and crisp white. Include natural wood as another warm element.
You can use vibrant yellow and orange to add a vintage hint to a bathroom. Combine these colors with graphic or floral patterns as a nod to the sixties. To avoid a seventies time warp, remember to balance the bold hues with a muted palette.
Ideas for Bathroom Accent Walls with Pattern
Another design element that I like to use to create a feature wall is pattern.
I find that wallpaper is underutilized in bathroom design. Wallpaper is a really effective way of creating a bathroom accent wall, especially if you contrast it with paint or balance it with tile colors.
Wallpaper has endless designs, so you can choose the perfect style and color for your bathroom. These are my on-trend recommendations:
- Use a natural stone or wood effect wallpaper for a peaceful bathroom.
- Choose a colorful, high-impact, patterned design for a small space or powder room.
- Florals need not be old-fashioned: gorgeous tropical designs and delicate, feminine examples exist.
- Graphic designs are ideal for a vintage feel.
In terms of placement, wallpaper works in parts of the bathroom that aren’t directly exposed to water or extreme humidity. For showers and backsplash, I suggest using tiles rather than wallpaper.
For the most durable option, use water-resistant vinyl wallpaper. It’s easy to clean and won’t develop mold and mildew, making it a miracle material in my book.
Tiles are a staple in bathroom design. You can’t go wrong introducing pattern through variations in tile color, shape, and placement.
#8. Decorative Tiles
Colorful tiles are in demand in bathroom fitments and renovations. There are two popular styles of decorative tiles:
- Mosaic tiles are tiny tiles already placed on a sheet for installation. Use them to highlight a small space or to break up a large wall, creating a Moroccan feel.
- Hand painted tiles are magnificent and often pricey, making them perfect for a small accent wall. Each tile is handcrafted, perfect for a once-off bathroom. I love looking for unique tiles when I’m on holiday – Spanish tiles are especially beautiful.
#9. Shape Tiles
The tiles’ shape, placement, and grout lines can create appealing patterns without using dramatic colors. I find these styles most interesting:
- Fishscale tiles (hilarious!) are humorously appropriate for a bathroom yet are elegant and sophisticated.
- Herringbone tiles are another fishy-themed tile, creating a distinctive and timeless effect.
- Subway tiles are inspired by Art Deco New York, echoing the repeated brick-like ceramic tiles used in metro stations. You can create a vintage effect or use the tiles in a neutral shade for a more classic impact.
Ideas for Accent Walls with Texture
For those who enjoy the subtle effect, textured materials are a pleasing way of adding impact to a space without overwhelming colors and designs.
Textured accent walls are on-trend, as you can add natural elements to your interior, and use muted, neutral palettes.
Using marble or slate in a bathroom is not a new concept. What’s new is that bathroom designers are sourcing stone locally rather than adding to your carbon footprint.
Wood from sustainable sources is another environmentally friendly resource for bathrooms. And it’s ideal for textured accent walls. Consider wood paneling for a twist on old-fashioned libraries. How about using natural wood rather than painting it?
Combining wood with a white bathroom creates a Scandi chic effect. I like to accentuate the look with fixtures and accessories.
#12. Glass Tiles
As a practical, waterproof option, tiles will always be my go-to for bathroom design. They’re durable and create a variety of textures.
Glass tiles are ideal for the shower, as they are impervious to water and look refined and elegant.
#13. Exposed Brick
Exposed brick is a classic choice for an accent wall, but brick-like tiles are best for bathrooms to keep the wall dry. Use this look to create a vintage or an industrial interior, depending on the accessories you use.
Which Bathroom Wall to Accent?
Your first decision is which wall of your bathroom or powder room to highlight. Why do you want to accent a wall and what effect do you want it to have?
These are my go-to suggestions to help you decide which bathroom wall to accent.
Behind the Vanity
Accenting the wall behind the vanity is ideal because the vanity is often the bathroom’s focal point. It’s where I spend time on personal grooming, washing my hands, and brushing my teeth, so I want that wall to be a stand-out feature.
If you’ve chosen your vanities and mirrors as a decor feature or had them customized, make sure that the feature wall highlights and doesn’t compete.
Because there is usually a mirror on this wall, there is less space to decorate, bringing your costs down, which is always a bonus.
Behind the Tub
Another appealing location for your feature wall is behind the bath, which is a fixture I’d love to spend more time in!
This wall is often larger, so you have more space to make an impact. It allows you to make the whole space a striking feature or accent only a section or strip.
Take care not to make your accent wall overwhelming, especially if there are other decor items you’d like your guests to notice.
In the Shower
A shower is a room within a room, so it is the ideal space to add a visual accent. Use a seamless glass surround and door to showcase the feature wall, particularly if you’ve got a small bathroom.
Highlighting the shower works well if the fixture’s unusual shape or design deserves attention.
However, an accent wall in the shower does limit your choice of material. I can’t emphasize how much this wall needs to be waterproof and durable.
Opposite the Door
If there is no obvious accent wall, I suggest you choose the wall facing the door. This space is your first impression of the bathroom, and your attention will be drawn to it immediately.
Final Thoughts on Bathroom Accent Wall Ideas
Creating an accent wall in your bathroom is an excellent way of adding interest. Whether you choose a bold color or patterned wallpaper or stick to a classic design, using color, pattern, and texture will make the most of your space.
Did you find our bathroom accent wall ideas helpful? Leave your comment below.