Published on October 29, 2020

While all-white kitchens appear to be a trend of the past (this year, we’ve seen people embrace bold cabinet colors and lean into sculptural hardware), there is one room where renovators are still playing it safe. According to Houzz’s 2020 bathroom trends report, white remains the most popular color choice when it comes to all the main features. More than half of homeowners (51 percent) opt for white countertops, and the majority stick with blank walls both inside and outside the shower. Even bright and airy vanities outshine character-filled wood ones. 

So what’s stopping people from making bold moves in this space? For starters, keeping everything neutral helps with resale value. Though the more likely answer is that the hue helps us zen out and enjoy the bathroom for what it is: a personal sanctuary. A monochrome space doesn’t have to be boring. Here are three ways to help your white bathroom stand out.

Turn It Into a Jungle

bathroom with tan partition wallPin It
Photography by Melanie Acevedo

Bring in shower-friendly plants like ferns, pothos, and anthuriums for some natural color and texture. (Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney mounted vining greenery up high in her Austin bathroom so the leaves could cascade down the walls.) The watering basically takes care of itself.

Choose Stone With Dimension

whit e bathroom with glass showerPin It
Photography by Sarah Sherman Samuel

When you’re picking out a slab of rock for the vanity counter or tub, consider something with dramatic veining in it (Calacatta typically has thick ones that range from gold to brown to dark gray). The lines add movement and create the illusion of texture. 

Flip Your Perspective

ruved mirror against subway tile Pin It
Photography by Matthew Williams

If you’re not ready to desert subway tile just yet, at least change up the orientation by stacking the rectangles vertically. An exaggerated, narrow tile accentuates the ceiling height, and a matte finish, as opposed to a glossy glaze pick, gives it a fresh look.

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