Colourful bathrooms – and in particularly, sanitary-ware, is set to be one of the biggest and most controversial of bathroom trends, as a growing number of homeowners inject elements of the kaleidoscopic 80s into their bathrooms.

It is, however, fair to say that this craze is not for the faint-hearted, as statement sanitary-ware is far from conventional and will stand out in any style of home.

Are you thinking of joining in on this rainbow trend? Firstly, consider the arguments of these designers who are split over this unorthodox decor style.


‘As people spend more time at home, we are reflecting on its potential and how it can be transformed to give a better lifestyle. Colour, pattern, and texture are simple and effective ways to do this,’ open Alexander and Michael Christou, Founders and Directors of 1.61 London.

The designers continued, suggesting coloured sanitary-ware offers pockets of joy amid the pandemic when people are turning away from traditional ideas and are looking to brighten up their everyday lives.

‘People are bored with the stereotypical five-star bathroom style and want to bring more character, life, colour, and personality into their homes,’ Alexander and Michael share.

They continue: ‘People want to be bolder and expressive and create something unique to them and their space. That is why we see a big rise in vintage styles, patterns, and colour trends. Even the simplest and smallest design purchases can make a big aesthetic difference.’

If you’re keen to incorporate the rainbow in your bathroom but are still slightly reluctant to invest in colourful sanitary-ware, then the designers offered their expert suggestion on how to make a room more vibrant beyond the ’80s craze.

‘At 1.61 London, we still keep the sanitary-ware white but accentuate colour and pattern with different marble and porcelain colours and textures. We also incorporate a lot of metal beading with pops of brass and antique, rustic brass to give a design contrast.

‘We love to section off specific areas in a bathroom, to give them their own design statement, like feature tiling a full shower area, or using a different toned marble with a specific type of texture or backlighting.

‘Colourful, textured wallpaper with a pattern popping against a brass tap can create real individuality and character. It’s a bold move in the design industry narrative, but it’s very exciting and leaves all options on the table, and anyone can get involved,’ they add.

Alexander and Michael’s enthusiasm is equally mirrored by Louise Ashdown, head of design at West One Bathrooms. Louise offered similar advice for those who remain unconvinced by this nostalgic craze.

‘Colourful sanitary-ware is seeping back into bathrooms now, and we’ve had orders for stunning fittings in deep mustards, heritage greens, and teal blues. If you’re still sitting on the fence, go for white sanitary-ware with paintable exteriors, like cast-iron baths and [a] retro basin.’

‘For a more discreet colour pop, consider coloured brassware, like Viola’s classic HV1 basin tap, that comes in fiery orange and zingy limes,’ Louise suggested.


As with all bold trends, coloured sanitary-ware comes with its critics. While these designers are also fans of creating a bold and bright bathroom, they encourage us to take risks elsewhere.

‘I love using colour and encourage my clients to take a risk with wall tile and flooring, but I draw the line at colourful sinks and toilets. I think that craze is always short-lived. There are a lot of great design ideas we can take from the ’70s and ’80s, but that is not one of them,’ announces Rande Leaman of the Los Angeles-based design company, Rande Leaman Interior Design.

Rande’s argument is similarly mirrored by designer Jeff Andrews who adds: ‘Bathrooms are a great place to personalise your design with the use of colour. I prefer introducing colour through tiles, stone, paint, or wallpaper and keep the other elements like tubs and sinks classic and subtle.’


It appears the jury is out. If you’re looking to incorporate colour into your bathroom but want to avoid bright sanitary-ware, we suggest beginning with a bold wallpaper or tiles, and then see where you progress – but we would love to hear your thoughts on social media.

Read the full article on Home & Gardens here