Should Your Bathrooms Match? 5 Ways to Coordinate Without Matching
By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated
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To most homeowners, bathroom decor is about creating a space that’s functional, comfortable, and welcoming. And color schemes and design styles play an important role in this.
But if you’re the proud owner of two or more bathrooms in your house, things can get tricky: you may want to use different colors for each bathroom, but don’t know if it's better for them to match. Or maybe you prefer one color scheme throughout your entire home, but each bathroom already has its own style.
Well, you’re not doomed to a mismatched home! Here are 5 ways you can coordinate your bathrooms (without having them match exactly) and still make them feel like part of the same home.
1. Think in themes
When you think of matching bathrooms, you may be imagining everything the same: the paint on the walls, matching suites, and sometimes even the smaller detail fixtures like faucets.
But coordinating your bathrooms doesn’t have to come down to that. Instead of matching everything exactly, try thinking in themes instead.
For example, you might pick a nautical or ocean theme for all your bathrooms. You could have bold navy blue and white colors with a decorative lifebuoy on the wall in one, but a gentler sea green color with pebbles and dried sea grasses in another.
These two rooms would each have a very different feel, but because you’re sticking to one main theme, your bathrooms still coordinate with each other while maintaining their individual styles.
2. Pick complementary colors
Did you know colors can be quite different but still coordinate with each other? There are some rules to getting this right though. To explain, we need to look at a little color theory:
The color wheel is a visual way to show what colors are similar, opposite, and complementary to each other.
If you want to have completely contrasting styles that still work together, go right ahead. The way to do this is to pick from opposite sides of the color wheel.
For example, if you had a moss green and a dusky pink for your bathrooms, they would coordinate (as these colors are opposite each other) but still be different enough to make your bathrooms feel unique. Just be sure to pick a similar shade or tint of each color to retain a similar mood.
Play with a few swatches to find some combinations you like.
But if you’d prefer something a little more subtle, choose different shades of the same color instead of two completely separate colors. This is called picking 'analogous' colors.
For example, one bathroom might be a deep sapphire blue while your other bathroom could be a powdery light blue. They're both still blue, but this naturally creates much more variety than if you used the exact same paint in each (but also a much more coordinated color scheme than if you picked bright red for one bathroom and sky blue for the other!).
3. Same colors, different fixtures
Maybe you like the idea of using the exact same paint throughout all your bathrooms. And that's fine! But you can still make each one feel unique when it comes to the smaller details—mix and match different styles of bathroom accessories to give each a unique feel.
For example, let's say all your bathrooms are going to be light gray. You could have a classic white suite with a rustic wooden countertop in one, while having a more modern black and chrome suite with a marble countertop in another. Even though you’re using the same colors for your bathrooms, they can still look completely different.
This is also a great way to get hints of both modern and traditional styles, since you can pair modern bathroom accessories with a traditional paint color or vice versa.
Here's an example. These two bathrooms both use a black and white color scheme, with natural wicker storage, and each incorporates different accessories—both modern and traditional. See how they are different, but wouldn't feel out of place in the same home?
Play around with different styles. Whether it's an elegant Victorian or a luxurious spa bathroom, you don’t have to stick to just one style of bathroom design—you can have both classic and more modern, but one unifying color scheme can work beautifully to tie your whole home together.
4. Switch up the lighting
Lighting shouldn’t be an afterthought, and bathroom lighting should definitely not be overlooked. Lighting can make or break a room and there are many different styles to choose from; you don't have to resort to the same lighting in every bathroom!
Create a unique feel by varying your lighting. For example, in one bathroom you could have a contemporary chrome chandelier while another has an old-fashioned crystal light fixture. Or if you’d rather stick with the same style of lighting throughout your bathrooms, try different styles that are similar but unique enough to give each room its own character.
Industrial farmhouse lighting can be a great way to achieve this, as it works well for both modern and traditional themes.
You can also get really unique pieces that still feel like they are part of the same style. Just be sure your lighting fixtures aren’t too bulky or ornate to keep the rooms feeling open and airy.
5. Repeat subtle details
This last tip is about borrowing elements from one bathroom to use in another, but in an overall different way. For example, let's say you have some tiles in one bathroom that you love but don’t want to just repeat identically in another room.
Could you replicate just part of the design in another bathroom?
So, if you have these tiles floor to ceiling in one bathroom, one idea might be to put them only on the floor of your second bathroom to tie both rooms together. Or maybe just place them around your bathtub or shower in the second bathroom to create a different effect.
By repeating subtle features from room to room, you can create a consistent look throughout your home that still feels unique enough to give each bathroom its own personality, too.
This is also great for using up excess paint or tiles when you have slightly too much for one room, but not enough to fully do a second room. Get creative!
Of course, don’t go overboard though. You only want to reuse details here and there—you don't want to copy an element verbatim in another room or you'll end up fully matching.
Do your sink and toilet have to match?
No, it's not mandatory that the sink and toilet in your bathroom match each other. But they should at least be related to each other enough for there to be a sense of continuity between them.
For instance, if you have a vintage-inspired sink with classic curves and embellishments, you probably don't want to choose a square, ultra modern toilet to go with it. The two will clash and your bathroom will feel like it's very confused about what time period it's trying to emulate.
But you could get away with choosing a more modern sink for your vanity if you pair it with, say, a differently shaped yet still modern toilet, or vice versa.
So there you have it: bathrooms don’t have to match throughout your home. In fact, you can go for a completely different look in each bathroom by using the same color scheme but varying fixtures and accessories from room to room, or utilizing similar colors with subtly different styles.
Alternatively, don't even focus on color, and simply pick a theme! Classic Americana, modern minimalism, or maybe be inspired by elements of nature in all your bathrooms.
You can also reuse certain features if they are small enough elements that would not take away from the uniqueness of each individual bathroom's design.
No matter what you decide, be sure to use lighting appropriately so your space feels inviting and relaxing next time you have guests over—they'll be sure to admire your bathrooms!