recordaras

Please help with bathroom colors! Trying to work around tan/beige

recordaras
last year
last modified: last year

Hi folks, I need some help here. I just can’t avoid tan/beige bathrooms for some reason - our old condo had them, our rental has them and the new condo we just bought has them... And of course I am not a fan of beige.


Trying to figure out what we should do for wall and vanity colors here. The master has tan/beige for the floor and counter, but a grey/taupe for the shower and I honestly have no idea how to make this work. We’d like to change the vanity color as well, since we’re hiring cabinet refinishers to do the kitchen and might as well spruce everything up at once.






Comments (51)

  • suezbell
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Greens and browns usually go well together, however, if you have an adventuresome streak, there are times when a bold navy blue goes well with tan.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks suezbell, I was planning on using BM Soft Fern for the nursery, maybe we could carry it over to one of the bathrooms... but then what do I do for the vanities argh.
    As for navy, I think our master is likely a bit dark for that since it has no windows, and I want something a bit lighter for the second bath, but I have a Van Deusen Blue sample and will test that out! I do want a navy (or some other saturated color) powder room, but that one is easy since there’s no beige and no vanity to try and work in.

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  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Thanks cpartist, any color suggestions you could throw at me? And what to do with the darn vanities?

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Okay, so here are some thoughts, I figured the master was the tough one, so might as well start there.

    1. The safe option: paint the vanity the same color as the trim (White Dove), and find a tan similar to the counter color for the walls. White towels and some art with white background. Seems like this would work, but boy is it a lot of tan for someone who does not like tan!

    2. Blue: go with something like Van Courtland Blue for the vanity and a lighter version of that for the wall. I have a hard time picturing what this would look like, especially in all artificial light.

    3. See if the vanity could be stained darker - maybe espresso? Throw a colorful runner on the floor and do some lighter colored walls (cream?). Not sure if that would end up looking harsh and worse than what’s there now.

    Any and all suggestions are appreciated! Really struggling with this room for some reason.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Completely different room (so much light!!!), but here’s what I was thinking re: the runner.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    That was a bit of a strange version, didn’t notice on my phone. Here’s a better one:

  • RedRyder
    last year

    I am not a pro, but I am someone who doesn’t like beige or grey and bought a house with a ton of both! I’m experimenting in a small bathroom - painting the wood vanity a dark grey (Urban Bronze) and adding brushed brass fixture, faucet and accessories. I think a dark vanity could be dramatic in your bathroom, even without a window. Let’s hope Beth H. sees this dilemma and chimes in.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Forget adding another material with a runner it only adds to the confusion I saw navy for the vanity I could be all wrong but I think it would take your eye to there and not to the mismatched tiles. But before doing anything else change all the bulbs to LEDS in 4000K that will give you a good idea of daylight then the colors will work not matter what time of day it is. The adding some gold or brass colored hardware will include the beige color in the mix some nice white fluffy towels with maybe the odd navy one thrown in . Take that shelf off the wall by the door and those mirrors need to now be anything but silver .

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks RedRyder! I have such a hard time visualizing any of the options, so that surely does not help! I think my biggest issue with going even darker on the vanity is a fear of making the space overall darker and having the room become overpowered by this giant dark thing. It’s not the worst vanity I’ve ever seen, but it most definitely is not the prettiest, and right now it’s the only thing you see when you walk in. I wish it was in our budget to hire someone to make these decisions for us!

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks Patricia! I actually have a Samplize sample of Van Deusen Blue and a few others (was considering them for the kitchen, but decided to go lighter and slightly greener), so it will be easy to check how navy performs in there. The sellers are leaving on 10/21, so I still have a bit of time.

    We’re definitely changing the light fixtures and bulbs in the whole condo, the current owners did not... do a great job with lighting to say the least (photos are old, since we bought off market and believe it or not they put in something even worse since those were taken). As for the mirrors, my OCD goes into overdrive because they are not level, so definitely going to work on that and I loathe the wire rack thing so that is going away as soon as we’re in there.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Just remembered that we have some photos from the inspection and appraisal that show the colors a little better (apologies for the quality and mess, although the mess is not ours!):

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    So the more I think about this, the more I wonder if we should just tear the tile floors out. We are redoing that whole floor in Supercore LVP (tearing out the world’s ugliest entry space tile and some really gross dirty carpet), so it might not add TOO much cost to do the bathrooms on top... but it would make me so much happier... but the shower floor would still not match, and the guest bath would still have beige on the walls... So many decisions to be made! Now if only I could win a modest 5 figure sum in the lottery.

  • PRO
    Focal Point Hardware
    last year

    I like light blues with taupes and beige. Here is the thing. I feel like those colors kind of dull out the room. I would love to see more white in the bathroom to kinda brighten it up and add some life. with that being said- I would suggest a white vanity.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Thank you! White would be very easy since I'm going with BM White Dove for kitchen uppers and the paint guys would be thrilled to not have to swap the sprayer to an additional color. And if we were to go ahead and change out the floors to wood look LVP that would hopefully get rid of a lot of the clashing that's making this so hard for me.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    That being said, my husband has some concerns about going from tile to LVP since we'd effectively be "downgrading" the flooring to a less expensive option. Ugh why did they not put in a more neutral floor!

  • PRO
    Focal Point Hardware
    last year

    I think you could still keep the floor and freshen it up with white vanity.


  • Gcubed
    last year

    I have cream/tan large tiles on my bathroom walls and floor. Tubs and pedestal sinks are white and in one bathroom fixtures are chrome and another they are brass. No walls to paint per se so both rooms are bathed in tan/cream. I thought I was going to hate it as I have more grays in my other rooms. HOWEVER, I have learned to embrace the colors, granted my bathrooms are small. In the one with brass fixtures, I have white and navy accents and it looks great, and I get a lot of compliments. I the other bathroom, I pulled in some pale blue accents on my primarily white shower curtain as it flows with me bedroom.

    If you are looking for blues-grays-greens, BM Smoke is very pretty. But I think the Van Deusen Blue could look great too. GL!

    Can't wait to see what you choose.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks Gcubed, I do have a sample of Smoke and it’s lovely! So it’s certainly on the short list. I think where it ultimately all breaks down for me is trying to marry four elements: two mismatched tile tones, plus the walls plus the vanity. Like, in my head I can almost commit to blue walls or a white vanity, but when I start trying to picture how all of that would look together my brain starts fuming. It’s like an equation with too many unknowns.

  • RedRyder
    last year

    I can understand why your husband is appalled at going “down” to vinyl flooring but I would do it. Once those are up against the cabinetry, the color for them will be clearer. I like high contrast, so the darker navy or the Urban Bronze I used would be my choice. But with the new floor, a white might solve the problem. Let’s hope someone with photoshop skills can help. Can you post the flooring? Changing the hardware will be last.
    I would also paint the frames of the mirrors. All of these changes will make you not see the leftover tiles you don’t like.

    A runner will be the absolute last decision.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    RedRyder, thanks for keeping this thread going! Here is our flooring, Supercore Krypton. The product photos on the website look a bit lighter than the samples we have and the YouTube videos I’ve seen, so attaching a photo that on my cell phone matches the samples almost perfectly.

  • felizlady
    last year

    I don’t think tan-beige and gray-taupe work together. Period.
    The shower was probably the most expensive feature in the bathroom, so I would keep the shower and change the counter and flooring to go with the shower and paint the cabinets and walls accordingly.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Unfortunately at this point the counter is definitely going to have to stay, and the flooring may or may not, depending on what the contractors quote me. I really wouldn’t want to invest much into the existing setup as we will likely remodel in a few years once we’ve recovered a little from the home buying process. And preferably after the current water heater dies, it’s in a huge closet, so we’re planing to convert to on-demand and move the laundry stack there to make room for a coat closet near the ground floor entry.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Also, regarding mirror frame painting. I am the least DIY person on the planet, and my googling has not been too successful. Would I just spray with Rustoleum after taping off the mirror part? Do I sand? Do I prime? Any product recommendations? I feel like this should be easy enough yet fear that I’ll end up with a finish that starts bubbling off in two weeks.

  • RedRyder
    last year

    Yes. You would tape off and cover the mirrors, take them OUTSIDE, and spray paint lightly - from a distance. You definitely have to practice on something you don’t care about to get the “feel” of spray painting. Heck, if I can do it, so can you. I just spray painted handles for my “inexpensive” update of a rarely used small bathroom (the previous holes for handles is the rare 2 1\4” and I had very few options). You won’t mess it up. Just spending money on paint-able items is a smart idea since you really want to completely remodel this space in the future. Floor, painted cabinets and mirror and a new inexpensive rug - and call it a day. You’ll fell better about that room until you can have your dream space.

  • cpartist
    last year

    That being said, my husband has some concerns about going from tile to LVP since we'd effectively be "downgrading" the flooring to a less expensive option. Ugh why did they not put in a more neutral floor!

    That was considered a neutral floor 10 years ago. Just like in 10 years everyone will be saying why did they put in this ugly gray floor instead of a neutral color?

  • cpartist
    last year

    I agree with your husband and would not put LVP in a bathroom. It is cheapening it and I'm not sure your beautiful LVP choice would work with the tile you need to keep. Plus you can't pull up the shower curb tile or the tile in the shower so that's not going to solve the problem because it appears the curb tile is the same as the floor tile and then you'll have way too many disparate colors.

    I still say paint the walls a soft blue or green. If I get time later, I'll choose some colors.

  • Kate
    last year

    I agree about not using LVP on the floor. It’s not that bad and with the painted vanity and mirrors, and wall color think it will be lovely.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks RedRyder! Hmmm, outside you say... We’re in a condo with no personal outside space, so that might not be an option. We’ll figure something out!

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks cpartist, great point about how our perception of neutral changes with time and depending on what is currently in style. And I also agree about the LVP, it definitely has some of those yellow tones that I’m trying to get away from. The curb tile actually matches the shower walls, however the shower floor matches the yellow floor, sigh. I think at this point we need to minimize how much money we sink into this bathroom setup and just live with what we have for a few years. Who knows, maybe tan and taupe will be the next big thing in bathroom design? ;)

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Kate, thank you for weighing in. Looks like it’s pretty unanimous that we shouldn’t bother with changing the floors and our savings account will be happy.
    If you have any color suggestions, please send them my way! I just discovered that the Benjamin Moore website allows you to upload your photo and play around with colors. I was very excited at first, but now I am even more uncertain and overwhelmed.

  • Frankie P
    last year

    Hi ! I would paint the walls a light shade of gray found in shower tiles and paint the cabinet a darker shade of gray. Put down a beautifully rug pulling tans and grays together . Change out mirrors to black frames. Just a thought :)

  • rnonwheels
    last year

    IMO a creamy white wall with a newly painted vanity in a navy or maritime blue would go a long way here.

  • RedRyder
    last year

    I agree with monwheels if you want to do just the minimum and save for the big redo later. Navy vanity and mirror frames and a rug with navy and beige.
    (Regarding the mirror frame painting, if you can’t find an outdoor space due to being in a condo, you can protect the mirror and walls and just gently paint with a small brush. From a distance, your errors won’t be noticed.)

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Thought I'd add some sloppy visualizations courtesy of the Benjamin Moore color tool. Here's Van Deusen Blue on the vanity, Rich Cream on the walls and White Dove on the walls/trim.




  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    And here is Soft Fern on the walls. I tried to do a soft blue, but couldn't come up with a good vanity/wall combo and gave up.



  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    And a wildcard, because why not. Newburg Green on the walls and Espresso Bark on the vanity.



  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    And some grays - Randolph Gray on the vanity and Stonington Gray on the walls. I think this makes the yellow REALLY stand out, so I think that's probably not the best option for us as I'm hoping to soften the yellow.



  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    And last one - Soft Fern with Espresso Bark and some warmed up mirror frames, which I'm actually liking quite a bit.



  • RedRyder
    last year

    Did you try a darker blue? I agree some of the grey options make the beige yellower. Hopefully a color pro will join the discussion. Learning how to use BM’s website was worthwhile!
    The white walls looked good on my monitor.
    This whole idea will work and be inexpensive.

  • RedRyder
    last year

    PS. We need to add a strong colored runner that picks up the newly painted vanity.

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Here's Hale Navy with Rich Cream walls - there are definitely plenty of limitations to the software, since I have a sample of Hale Navy and it's really quite dark (pretty sure it would look almost black in that room with no natural light). But still very helpful for strugglers like me!



  • RedRyder
    last year

    I like that, but again, it’s not my bathroom. If the mirrors were navy and you had something with blue on the floor, it would help detract from what you don’t like. Have you tried different light bulbs? Sometimes that changes how the whole room looks (I.e. less yellow in this case).

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks RedRyder, you’ve been so helpful! I actually think I like both options, which is pretty fantastic because I started the thread with zero hope of making this work, ha! And yes, we will be changing the light fixtures and bulbs. We do prefer a slightly warm light (I.e. not true daylight), but I’d definitely want to go much less yellow than in these photos.

  • dee cepary
    last year

    do you have a photo of the final product? I'm working on a similar project and would love to see it

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Dee, I actually just posted these in a different thread - not quite final yet but you can see the colors here. We did dark cabinets (BM Bittersweet Chocolate), a light yellow on the walls (Sandy Shores at 75%) and black and chrome accents. I’m very happy with the results! Our GC suggested ripping out the taupe tile baseboards and replacing with white and that was one of the best decisions.

  • RedRyder
    last year

    Wow! Those little changes made a big difference! Love the color of the I’m assuming you also changed the bulbs since it’s so much brighter. Great makeover!

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    Thank you RedRyder! While it would not be my bathroom design of choice had I been starting from scratch, I have to say that I am SO glad we put in the little bit of extra work and budget towards new baseboards, painted vanity and I even got rid of the “squiggly” faucet handles that were driving me nuts and replaced them with the traditional straight Purist ones. Lighting is all LED at 3000K and on dimmers. The space went from “I want to spend as little time as possible in here, preferably with my eyes closed” to very much tolerable!

  • recordaras
    Original Author
    last year

    And as a reminder, this was the before.

  • RedRyder
    last year

    I understand needing to make a bathroom tolerable. I just spent a week painting the cabinets in my large master bath, changing the lighting and installing waterfall faucets. It’s soooo much better. One day I hope to have the funds to completely remodel, but like you, this is okay for now.
    It went from heavy oak to a beautiful grey/blue.