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All-white bathrooms are the safest bet for homeowners everywhere. We get it, stark subway tiles and quartz vanity counters brighten up your space and make it look clean, even when it isn’t. Plus a blank slate is always appealing to potential future home buyers. So you’d think these perks would outweigh the preference for more adventurous design choices, but that isn’t the case. According to Plumb Nation’s 2022 trend report, the most-searched bathroom color is a combination of white and black. With almost 500,000 annual Google inquiries, it’s clear that this high-contrast style is outranking superbright spaces (which get 250,000 fewer searches per year). If you’re over the monochromatic look, too, here are three ways to upgrade your bathroom with this dynamic duo. 

Stacked Up

When Philadelphia-based homeowner Tom Cladek was faced with a tiny space and bulky pink tiles that did it no favors, a black and white renovation was his clear next step. After removing the existing interior, Cladek and his designers, Fitzwater Interiors, opted for a refined, modern look with thin, rectangular tiles spanning from the floor to the ceiling over typical 2-by-2-inch squares.

A Simple Saver

If the idea of tiling your bathroom seems too daunting, take the easy route with paint—it looks just as good and saves you money, as we learned from this Catskills getaway. Half-black, half-white styling will make your space appear bigger and brighter (using a lighter hue closer to the ceiling creates the illusion of height), while also giving it a distinctive edge. 

Mixed and Matched

If you’re not totally ready to abandon your lightly colored bathroom, take inspiration from interior designer Melissa Lee, who, at eye level, paired cream ceramic squares with a black granite vanity and, for a surprising touch underfoot, swathed the ground in graphic tile in this luxe Brooklyn home. Who can say no to 3D flooring?