Brown Colour Ideas & Inspiration For Your Bathroom Space

Lifestyle image of a brown bathroom design, featuring wooden slats either side of its double wooden washbasin unit
Author: James Roberts
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What pops into your head when you hear the word “brown”? A delicious, dark, chocolate dessert?  A beautifully crafted rustic cabinet?  Perhaps your mind wanders to gloriously rich leather?

Whatever your answer, brown really does conjure up images of luxury, elegance and opulence.

Choosing a colour scheme for your bathroom will have a huge influence on the vibe of this important room. Whether you are looking to create a calming, relaxing atmosphere, or leaning towards something more bold, brown really is the first colour you should be considering.

This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about harnessing and implementing brown to create your dream bathroom. We’ll explore some fantastic brown bathrooms, then dig deep into the different shades of brown, and how these can combine with a wide array of colours to achieve all sorts of design styles.

After reading, you’ll have the knowledge you need to move ahead with your bathroom redesign.

What Does A Brown Bathroom Look Like? 

After careful deliberation, you have decided that brown may just be the ticket to creating your perfect bathroom, so what’s next? Looking at some brown bathroom decorating ideas, of course. Researching design options will show you  which materials, fixtures, and fittings will work with a brown colour scheme, and how to integrate these into modern or traditional bathrooms.

So let’s start at the top…

Close up image of a wooden wasbasin unit and wooden framed mirror


Here is a classic example of a traditional bathroom where brown is the dominant choice of colour. When we think “traditional bathroom” we immediately envision wooden surfaces, ambient lighting and a simple yet elegant bathroom sink. Notice how the deep wooden surfaces beautifully compliment the earth yellow walls, whist the faux candle light fittings and the ornamental clock keep perfectly with the traditional style.

This is a great example of how brown can make a small bathroom feel cosy.

Lifestyle image of a bathroom with a brown painted wall


This spacious, modern bathroom has all the luxury of a 5-star hotel. If you have a large space like this to work with, why not choose a darker brown for one of the walls and pair it with lighter tones to give the room a clean, bold look. Bathroom tiles play on this motif, and the bathroom showcases how different shades of brown can work together on small and large scale.

Soft brown carpets surrounding the tiled area that leads up to the bathtub offer another element of sophistication, warmth, and comfort.

Lifestyle image of a copper brown bathroom, with wooden floors and a wooden countertop


Integration, integration, integration!

This bathroom has used several types of wood, stone, and even plants to evoke a Japanese garden theme. Combined with the bucket and rose blossom, the designers are able to really explore this exotic style

The lesson here? You’re not confined to using only one or two materials. With a keen eye to style, and letting yourself think outside of the box, combining several brown materials can turn your bathroom into a true work of art.

Using Brown With Other Colours

There is a reason that brown shows its face in almost every room in a household – it is incredibly versatile, compliments a myriad of colours, and allows you to effortlessly maintain a stylish theme throughout your home.

The bathrooms above all use brown almost exclusively, but if you are feeling adventurous, why not take the chance to be big and bold and make your bathroom memorable? Because there’s no need to be shy: brown works with colour.

Here are some examples:

Close up image of an ornate brown wooden washbasin stand


Pink, green, and brown isn’t an obvious colour scheme in anyone’s books, but in this bathroom, it is used to great effect. Emerald green tiles exude sophistication, while the rich, brown wash basin stand and gold fittings wouldn’t be out of place in a royal bathroom. The finish on the wooden stand really gives this design an ornate flavour.

Lifestyle image of a brown wooden washbasin unit


Here we have brown, pink, and green again, but this time it’s been turned on its head.

Where the previous bathroom is bold and striking, this one is understated and subtle. Nothing pops, but everything sits together nicely. The lighter shades create a clean and calming look and the homespun brown bathroom cabinet provides a taste of the traditional in a less traditional setting.

Pairing the brown wood with green plants plays on the psychological expectation of green when you see brown, and there is something so therapeutic and peaceful about bringing luscious natural green into the household.  And where better to feel those vibes than when you are soaking in a warm bath?

Lifestyle image of a Tuscan brown bathroom with a copper countertop basin


This gorgeous example combines deep maroon with dark and light browns immediately giving this bathroom a very Moroccan feel.

This is a great reference for how perfectly reds and browns can go together, and could provide inspiration for a full northern African themed suite. If you aren’t keen for a full theme, mixing reds and browns is a way to bring these earthy tones harmoniously into your bathroom.

What Type of Browns Are There For The Different Bathroom Elements?

As you’ve seen in the bathrooms so far, brown is a broad umbrella, with shades that flow from rich, dark tones all the way down to light and airy.

Image of a brown colour chart


Here are but a few examples of the many tones of brown.  As we’ve seen earlier in this blog post, using a strong, deep shade like chocolate or hickory on one wall, paired with a lighter shade such as tortilla can have a truly striking effect and can help take your bathroom from bland to grand.

Likewise, combining gingerbread or tawny brown with a complimentary green when decorating your bathroom can make it truly unique, and turn it into a real talking point among guests.

Brown wood naturally lends itself to cabinets and fittings, and as we’ve seen, can give your bathroom either traditional or modern look depending on how the wood is varnished and finished.

Exploring finishes can make the same shade of brown feel completely different: using a natural stone such as brown marble looks amazing on walls and floors, but unless you are very wealthy, you may want to opt for another material for your bath. Acrylic is one example of an affordable alternative which can be coloured in the brown of your choice.

There’s no right or wrong brown to choose, but there are certainly things to consider before you start work on the bathroom of your dreams.

When Does A Brown Bathroom Work Well And When Not?

As previously mentioned, brown is a remarkably versatile colour and by now you probably have an idea of shades that compliment it nicely.

If you’re looking for small brown bathroom ideas, be aware that using predominantly dark shades could produce a claustrophobic and oppressive space which is certainly not the vibe most people want. We suggest using a softer approach and choosing lighter browns on your walls and save your darker tones for fixtures.

In larger bathrooms, resist the temptation to cram too much into the space, otherwise you risk sacrificing the calm and tranquil feel. Less is more when choosing the browns you want to include in your bathroom and we suggest using “The Rule of 3”.

Whether you are choosing from brown shades only or looking to pair it with other colours, three is the magic number. And here’s how it’s done:

  • Choose a dominant colour that will be used for 70% of your colour scheme. This should be your lightest colour.
  • Next, choose your darkest colour: this should of course complement your dominant colour and should be used for around 20% of the space.
  • Finally, choose your boldest colour: this is the colour that’s going to make your bathroom pop. Use it sparingly! Just 10% will do: though small, it will be mighty!

There You Have It...

Most importantly style and taste is personal but it’s always good to be realistic with the space and budget you have to work with.  Hopefully the traditional and modern bathroom ideas in this blog post have shown you the power of brown and everything it is capable of.

Whether your bathroom is small, large, dark or light, using brown as your tool will help you make the most out of this extremely important space.

If you need help redesigning a bathroom space with brown tones to it, then why not get in contact with us to discuss how to create the perfect bathroom space for your home.

Lifestyle image of a brown bathroom design, featuring wooden slats either side of its double wooden washbasin unit