Victorian bathrooms are known for their elegant style and timeless beauty. Black and white is a classic color scheme that works perfectly in these ornate spaces. The contrast between the two neutral shades creates a bold, yet sophisticated look. When designed well, a monochromatic Victorian bathroom in black and white can feel both nostalgic and fresh.

Reasons to Choose a Black and White Color Scheme

There are many benefits to selecting black and white for a Victorian bathroom design:

Timeless and Elegant

Black and white never goes out of style. The color combination is chic and elegant, perfect for a formal Victorian bath. It has a timeless, classic feel that suits the period style.

Contrast and Drama

The stark contrast between black and white makes a dramatic statement. It adds visual interest and dimension to the space. Black grounds the scheme, while white pops against it.

Polished and Refined

Monochromatic black and white comes across as tailored and polished. It has a formal, sophisticated vibe – ideal for a luxurious master or guest bath. The look is bold yet refined.

Clean and Crisp

Black and white evokes a clean, crisp aesthetic in the bathroom. The two shades create a light, bright, airy feel that is also calming. This makes the small room appear more spacious.

Neutral Background

As neutrals, black and white serve as an ideal backdrop in a Victorian bath. The color scheme works well with various accents and can be dressed up or pared down easily.

Vintage Appeal

Black and white design has a nod to Victorian era style. The classic color pairing lends vintage appeal to the space.

How to Incorporate Black and White

When using black and white in a Victorian bathroom, consider the following tips:

Select focal points.

Choose a statement vanity, tub, or floor as a bold black or white focal point. This anchor piece will dictate the rest of the scheme.

Use high-contrast patterns.

Incorporate graphic black and white patterns on floors or walls. Herringbone, checkerboard, and chevron add striking contrast.

Add texture with tiles.

Tile a statement wall or floor with black and white moroccan fish scale, arabesque, or subway tiles. Vary matte and glossy finishes.

Choose black fixtures/fittings.

Opt for black plumbing fixtures, faucets, mirrors, light fixtures, and hardware for a cohesive look. Stain wood vanities black.

Paint and paper in black.

Use black to paint walls, ceilings or vanities. Or paper walls in black and white stripes or damask prints.

Contrast with white tub/sink.

An antique clawfoot tub or vintage sink brightly pops in white against a black backdrop.

Add black and white art.

Frame contemporary black and white photography or botanical prints to accent the walls.

Key Elements for a Victorian Black and White Bathroom

Certain design elements help achieve a cohesive black and white Victorian bathroom:

Ornate Vanity

A dark distressed wood or black painted vanity with carved cabriole legs fits the Victorian aesthetic. Add a marble countertop.

Vintage Fixtures

Roll top or slipper tubs, pedestal sinks, and clawfoot tubs lend vintage character. Use black or white porcelain finishes.

Patterned Flooring

Intricate mosaic, hexagonal, checkerboard or herringbone tile flooring provides eye-catching contrast.

Tufted Rug

Layer in a black and white geometric or floral tufted rug for softness and pattern.

crown molding

Painted or stained wood crown molding and trim adds formal elegance.

Wallpaper Accent Wall

A bold damask, graphic, or floral patterned paper makes a dramatic accent wall.

Dark Wood Cabinets

Stained wood or black painted cabinets provide traditional built-in storage for towels and toiletries.

Crystal Chandelier

A small black or white crystal chandelier provides glamorous Victorian style lighting.

Marble Counters

White, black, or gray marble countertops, surrounds, and backsplashes evoke timeless sophistication.

Subway Tile

Classic white 3″x6″ subway tile makes a great wall or wainscoting treatment.

Freestanding Tub

An ornate black or white clawfoot, slipper, or pedestal tub serves as a focal point.

Creating a Cohesive Look

When designing a black and white Victorian bathroom, remember to create cohesion through:

Consistent Color Palette

Stick to only black and white in all elements – walls, floors, fixtures, accessories.

Complimentary Textures

Combine the smooth sheen of tiles, porcelain, and marble with nubby textured rugs and upholstery.

Repeated Patterns

Echo patterns in multiple elements like floors, walls, window treatments. Florals and geometrics work well.

Varied Finishes

Contrast matte finishes like wallpaper with high-gloss tiles and metal fixtures for visual interest.

Period Furnishings

Incorporate Victorian-style furnishings like a tufted bench, ornate stool, or standing towel rack.

Proper Scale & Proportions

Ensure all the black and white elements like molding, cabinets, tilework suit the Victorian architecture.

Inspiring Examples of Black and White Victorian Bathrooms

Here are some beautiful examples of black and white Victorian bathrooms done right:

1. Black and White Patterned Floor

This bathroom features a stunning black and white geometric tile floor laid in a harlequin pattern. The graphic floor makes a bold statement against the soft white tub and wainscoting.

2. Black Vanity and Wallpaper

A black painted vanity pops dramatically against this graphic black and white floral wallpaper accent wall. The white tub and vintage mirror provide contrast.

3. Black Subway Tiled Walls

The walls of this elegant Victorian bathroom are fully tiled in black brick-laid subway tile. The classic look contrasts nicely with the crisp white tub surround and molding.

4. White Clawfoot Tub Statement

A standalone white clawfoot tub takes center stage in this black tiled bathroom. The white tub glows brightly, drawing the eye.

5. Herringbone Tile Floor

Bold graphic impact comes from the black and white herringbone tile floor laid on the diagonal in this Victorian bath. The floor complements the black and white patterned area rug.

6. Black Tub and Sink

For ultra dramatic contrast, opt for a black tub and sink like this Victorian bathroom. The matte black fixtures pop against the white walls.

7. White Shiplap Walls

Crisp white shiplap walls provide a clean, light backdrop in this bath. The walls allow the graphic black and white floor tile to take the spotlight.

8. Black Subway Wall and White Octagon Floor

The inverse of white subway tile, this bathroom features chic black subway tiled walls contrasting a graphic white and black octagon tile floor.

9. Built-in Black Cabinets

This Victorian bath makes use of black built-in cabinets on each side of the vanity to hold folded towels and toiletries, providing sleek storage.

Tips for a Victorian Black and White Bathroom Makeover

Looking to give your Victorian bathroom a dramatic black and white makeover? Here are some transformative tips:

  • Paint vanity or freestanding tub glossy black and replace hardware with matte black fixtures.
  • Replace flooring with black and white checkerboard, herringbone or hexagonal tiles.
  • Install white subway tile on lower half of walls or tub/shower surround. Paint upper walls black.
  • Cover walls in a bold black and white damask, toile or floral patterned wallpaper. Use removal wallpaper for renter-friendliness.
  • Frame bathroom mirrors in matte black wood. Hang black and white art prints on walls, framed in black.
  • Replace window treatments with black and white striped or geometric roman shades.
  • Swap out small area rugs with a larger black and white floral, persian or moroccan rug.
  • Replace lighting fixtures like sconces or overhead fixture with black metal options.
  • Add black furniture like a freestanding towel rack, ottoman bench or storage cabinet.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about creating a black and white Victorian bathroom:

What paint color works best for a black and white Victorian bathroom?

The best wall colors are either a true black or a clean, bright white to keep the palette simple. For black, try a matte finish. For white, opt for gloss or semi-gloss.

What kind of tile works for a Victorian black and white bathroom floor?

Period-appropriate choices like geometric, hexagonal, harlequin, herringbone, arabesque, or black and white penny tile all make beautifully striking floors.

Should I choose black or white fixtures in my Victorian bathroom?

It depends on the look you want, as both have an elegant, dramatic effect. White fixtures pop brightly against black accents. Black fixtures ground the space and create cohesion.

What type of vanity works best in a black and white Victorian bathroom?

Look for a black painted or stained solid wood vanity in a traditional style with ornate carved legs and detailing. Marble, quartz or granite countertops suit the scheme.

How do I add texture to a black and white Victorian bathroom?

Incorporate an area rug with high-low pile, nubby tufted towels, embroidered shower curtains, wallpaper with raised inks, wicker baskets, and wired chandeliers.

What patterns complement a Victorian black and white color scheme?

Period-appropriate patterns like toile, damask, medallions, florals, latticework, fleur de lis, paisleys and traditional prints pair beautifully.

How do I add personality to a basic black and white Victorian bathroom?

Display fresh flowers, scented candles, framed family photos, decorative perfume bottles, rolled towels, hotel-style toiletries and posh black and white magazines.


A monochromatic black and white color scheme offers an easy yet sophisticated update for a Victorian bathroom. The timeless color pairing feels nostalgic, while also clean and fresh. Careful attention to finishes, textures, patterns and vintage details will help the design feel bold, elegant and cohesive. With so many ways to implement black and white, it is sure to create a stunning space.