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Turquoise Bathroom Design – Modernizing A Retro Decor

Turquoise is back in a big way this year, from jewelery and fashion to all areas of home design. In contrast to the majority of home decor, which is trending toward natural, earthy neutrals, turquoise is a bright, bold, color that, along with other shades of aqua or peacock blue, offer a little more spunk and personality. I love this trend in a vintage kitchen (those retro turquoise refrigerators are to die for), but I think where it really shines is in a turquoise bathroom design.

Why The Bathroom?

Vintage Bathroom With Turquoise Clawfoot And Paint
Vintage Bathroom With Turquoise Clawfoot And Paint
Sterling 42" Bathroom Vanity in AQUARELLE
Sterling 42″ Bathroom Vanity in AQUARELLE

Turquoise is an intense color, and like any intense color, it can be a little overwhelming in a large space like a living room, where it can be difficult to strike the right balance. A small room like a bathroom is a perfect place to test out a turquoise color scheme to see if you like it. I also think turquoise bathroom design is a good pair for vintage bathrooms, which are often predominantly white. Like white, turquoise can liven up a small space and make it seem brighter and more open, and because it’s a color that was popular in the 50s, it makes a good way to update an older bathroom while giving a little nod to the past.

Won’t That Make My Bathroom Look Dated?

Original 1964 Turquoise Bathroom (Left) vs A Modern Turquoise Bath (Right)
Original 1964 Turquoise Bathroom (Left) vs A Modern Turquoise Bath (Right)

Now, while turquoise – and turquoise bathroom design – have been recently gaining a lot in popularity, it’s important to remember that they were also pretty popular between the 50s and the 70s, and there’s a big, big difference between the kind of bathroom you want today and bathrooms that simply look outdated. There are some pretty terrible turquoise bathrooms out there, but because this trend has already been around once, you can learn a lot from the mistakes of the 60s and create a turquoise bathroom design that looks retro rather than old. (hint: the main takeaway is, simplicity and moderation!)

Don’t Go Overboard

Bright Turquoise Paint Is Mellowed Out By The Earthy Clay-Toned Floor And Ceiling
Bright Turquoise Paint Is Mellowed Out By The Earthy Clay-Toned Floor And Ceiling

The cardinal rule of turquoise bathroom design, and the greatest lesson we can learn from the past is: use sparingly. You can paint your whole walls turquoise, but if you do, maybe stick with white (or mostly white) fixtures elsewhere. Something like the bathroom above, with a contrasting floor tile and ceiling and all-white fixtures (like pedestal sinks) makes the turquoise seem especially bright and cheery without being overwhelming. I also strongly caution you to keep your floor and ceiling turquoise free. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but generally speaking, having the dark, eye grabbing color above and below as well as on the walls can make your bathroom seem busy and crowded. Obviously, your floor and ceiling don’t have to be white, but they probably shouldn’t be turquoise.

Paint Is Good For More Than Just Your Walls

Painted Cast Iron Clawfoot Tubs And Utility Sinks Add Old Fashioned Charm And A Nice Pop Of Color
Painted Cast Iron Clawfoot Tubs And Utility Sinks Add Old Fashioned Charm And A Nice Pop Of Color
Cole And Co Bathroom Vanity Chambers Sink Chest
Cole And Co Turquoise Bathroom Vanity Chambers Sink Chest

 

If you if you just want to test out the color, chances are your brand of turquoise bathroom design is going to entail a coat of paint. But if you know you love the color and are excited to include it in a larger remodel, another option is to opt for a major turquoise fixture, like a tub or bathroom vanity (I love the Chambers vanity from Cole+Co, and the Aquarelle one from Sterling). In the 60s that actually meant getting a turquoise enameled tub, sink, and toilet, which I cannot recommend against strongly enough! Instead, I’d suggest getting a vintage cast iron tub and utility sink that can be powder coated or painted turquoise. Having a white rim and interior keeps the turquoise from being too dark, and if you want to change the look later, you can just paint over it.

Shop Bathroom Vanities by Cole+Co:

Be Smart About Your Accessories

Keeping Your Accessories SImple Will Help Create A More Modern Turquoise Bathroom Design
Keeping Your Accessories SImple Will Help Create A More Modern Turquoise Bathroom Design

This one might seem a little silly, but one of the best ways to make a turquoise bathroom design look dated is to over-accessorize with turquoise. Now, I’m not saying to do it at all – turquoise is a great accessory color (for towels, vases, window treatments, etc.), but integrated turquoise towel bars, soap dishes, or toilet paper holders will make your bathroom look 100% dated. Instead, opt for more modern metal or classic white porcelain built-in accessories, and add color with slightly less permanent turquoise pieces like small colorful bottles or even turquoise prints.

Keep It Light

Lighter Shades Of Turquoise Paired With White Bathroom Vanities And Lots Of Natural Light Have a Breezy, Open-Air Feel
Lighter Shades Of Turquoise Paired With White Bathroom Vanities And Lots Of Natural Light Have a Breezy, Open-Air Feel

This is maybe a subset of not going overboard with the color, but I think turquoise bathroom design is done best when it’s done subtly (or at least as subtle as you can be with such a bold color!). The biggest problem with older turquoise bathroom design is that too much of a very dark shade of turquoise can make your bathroom feel extremely cramped, especially without any natural light. That means opting for slightly lighter shades (like the cool Mystic Sea tile) or slightly smaller, more modern pieces (like a glass vessel sink), and pairing them with white bathroom vanities, crown molding, and lots of natural light. This will give you the same pop of color, but with a brighter, fresher, more modern look that will bring your bathroom to life.

Shop White Bathroom Vanities:

What do you think about turquoise bathroom design? Are you a fan, wish it had stayed in the past? Are you more likely to paint or tile with turquoise, accessories, or opt for big turquoise fixtures? Let me know in the comments!