Use design principles to make sure white, never looks too white

Use design principles to make sure white, never looks too white

White, arguably the most popular tint in bathroom design. Fresh in appearance, great for resale and timeless – it’s easy to see why white is popular.

Unfortunately the major downfall of white is its tendency to look too white. When I say, “too white”, I’m referring to interiors that feel cold, sparse and uninviting. White might be seen as a safety zone for DIY designers, but that doesn’t mean it’s fail proof. When working in white, or any  monochromatic scheme, design success all comes down to understanding design principles and how to apply them within your space, with your chosen aesthetic. Design principles, are best described as a list of elements interior designers take into consideration when creating spaces. The principles are; line, shape, space, form, texture, colour, balance, rhythm and emphasis.

If you’re thinking about creating a white bathroom, consider strategically applying the following design principles to ensure success.


Line is important in all interiors. When working in white, line will ensure your space has a sense of depth and movement. White, on white, on white, can appear two dimensional. Use grout lines and patterned tiles to create horizontal lines, and use shower screens and floor to ceiling mirrors to create vertical lines. Don’t think about line as literal stripes, think about line as a creator of pattern and movement. Use line to navigate your space, subtly creating an interior rhythm.



When designing interiors with monochromatic colour schemes, shape can be used to substitute colour. Angular abstract joinery, or geometric tessellating tiles, create contrast and visual stimulation, capable of providing personality and unique aesthetic, without relying on trend colours or daring shades.



Patterned tiles, mirrors and glass shower screens, will provide contrasting visual texture within your bathroom. Different material surfaces, such as white wash timber, towels, rendered walls and three dimensional tiles, can be used to create real physical texture. Texture will prevent your room from looking stark by providing plenty for the senses to process and interpret.



I know what you’re thinking, colour? Why are we looking at colour when creating a white bathroom? Keeping your design pure white is an option, however my advice would be to consider including colours drawn from nature. Don’t be afraid to introduce timber, vegetation and sandstone into your room. If you’re worried about creating a clinical interior, these natural palettes will instantly warm things up.



Think about balance in terms of contrast. Balance pattern with clean space, high lustre with low lustre and white with shades inspired by nature to create a well composed, dynamic space.



Emphasis – also known as focal point. Creating clear emphasis within a white interior provides opportunity to direct attention and enhance spatial depth. For a white space, I always recommend feature pendant lighting. Statement lighting will create atmosphere within your room, pendants provide composition depth and warm globes avoid space feeling cold, or uninviting.

Image source: BrooklynBerry, Notebook, DesiretoInspire, Remodelista, Tileideas, Houzz

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