Yesterday a reader asked if she could update her bathroom colors by painting the tile and today a reader struggles with tile color and selecting a wall color that works with it.
A Reader Asks “What Color Walls Go With My Tile?”
“Help! I have a master bathroom with light gray tiles with a few (random patterned) cobalt blue tiles. The tub and pedestal sinks are white and the floor is a stone gray. The fixtures are pewter. I have no idea what color to paint the walls. I tried a gray to match the tile, hoping it would make the white and blue stand out, but it is almost like an optical illusion where you can’t tell where the tile ends and the paint begins- horrible! I thought about dark gray, but am worried it will be too dark & institutional and I think cobalt blue would be too jarring. I would appreciate any ideas! Thanks!”
You may be glad to hear, KB, that grey is the hot color for 2010! It’s a great neutral you can pair with most any other color. If you don’t like the cobalt blue tiles randomly scattered among the grey tiles, paint them a color you love using the information provided in yesterday’s post about painting tile…just be sure to mask each cobalt tile off well with painter’s tape so you don’t accidentally paint the surrounding grey tile.
If you’d prefer not to paint the blue tile you still have a lot of color options. Since the grey and white in your bathroom are both neutral colors that go well with any color, focus on selecting a color to pair with the cobalt tile. Without knowing the actual colors of the grey and cobalt (or the cabinetry) I can’t select a specific paint for you but you might find it helpful to use the following information as a springboard for selecting a color family that you love and then choose the specific paint color in that family that works well with the greys and cobalt in your bath.
To help spark imaginations I’m including color samples of what your selections might look like (including a “model” for your current colors). Please remember, these are computer generated colors and the paints will offer a lot more shades and options. This is only to get your pointed in a color direction:
- Continue with Blue - Teal looks great with cobalt – it adds a jolt of happy tropical color to the deep blue. Or try a light blue that extends the cobalt theme but without overwhelming. To do this find your cobalt tile color on a paint strip (it will most likely be the last one or almost the last one on a sample strip) and then use a color in the middle or just above the middle of that strip for the wall color.
- Brighten with Yellow – Yellow and blue are a traditional pairing made fresh and new with grey – add a bit of sunshine to the room with a clear or sunflower yellow.
- Soothe with Cream- Add another neutral to make the cobalt tile pop by using a very warm, rich, yellow based cream color. Just be sure to sprinkle the cobalt around the room in accessories (towels, glass vase, art work) and add some pewter to reflect the faucets (perhaps art frames) or the room risks becoming dull.
- Spark with Orange – Orange and blue are complimentary colors so they’ll work well together. It doesn’t have to be pumpkin orange though - there are lovely corals and peaches to consider.
- Glitz with Metallic – Use a silver or pewter metallic paint to continue the grey tones while also adding glitz and sparkle to the wall so it doesn’t just run together with the tile.
- Sweeten with Honey – a golden amber color or caramel color could add depth and warmth to the room.
- Freshen with Green- jazz it up with a yellow based, citrusy green that looks good with the cobalt and brightens the grey.
Remember, computer color is very different from paint color and much more limited. After you’ve selected your color direction, use paint strips to narrow your color choice by placing the strips along-side your tile, flooring, and cabinetry. The light in your bathroom and the size of the room will also impact your color selection. Once you’ve selected your color be sure to paint a good size test swatch and watch it throughout the day and evening to note the color changes – it will look different at different times and in natural or incandescent light. Before getting started you may want to read my previous post about How to Paint a Room.
Follow the painting by accessorizing your bath with pieces reflecting your wall color and the cobalt color. Art, shower curtain, bath mats, towels, even a plate of decorative soaps help mesh the colors so the room feels cohesive.
Please let me know what color you select – and I’d love to see pictures of the finished bath.
What Do You Think?
Do any of you have cobalt in your bath? What colors do you use with it? Which of the above color selections do you like best and what other colors might you suggest to KB? Chime in with your opinion – it’s always welcomed and valued.