A red bathroom can be a bold and dramatic design choice that makes a striking first impression. However, it’s understandable if you feel hesitant about committing to such an eye-catching color. Will a red bathroom make you blush? Let’s explore the pros and cons of a red bathroom and find out if it’s the right fit for your home.

The Psychology Behind Red Bathrooms

Red is an energizing, passionate color that can raise your heart rate and capture attention. This stimulating hue is why red is often used in fast food logos and roadside advertising.

In interior design, red makes a dramatic statement and sets an intimate, even romantic, mood. Red encourages social interaction and conversation. It’s seen as an uplifting, confident color.

However, red also increases anxiety and can feel overwhelming in large doses. Too much red may feel aggressive and tense rather than warm and inviting. This is why a red bathroom can be polarizing.

Pros of a Red Bathroom

Here are some potential benefits of choosing a red bathroom:

Makes a Bold First Impression

A red bathroom makes an unforgettable first impression on guests. It immediately sets a warm, elegant mood upon entering your home. If you want to make a design statement, red is sure to deliver.

Feels Rich and Luxurious

Deeper shades of red feel plush, opulent, and expensive, like fine velvet or leather. Painting your bathroom walls or tiling in oxblood red or burgundy can give the space a sumptuous spa-like vibe.

Warms Up a Small Bathroom

Contrary to popular belief, dark colors like red can make a small bathroom feel cozy rather than closed-in. Red walls make the space feel intimate and cocooning.

Complements White Fixtures

A red paint color beautifully contrasts crisp white tiles, linens, cabinets, and bathtubs. The color pairing is timeless and elegant.

Adds Energy and Ambiance

A red bathroom is energizing and uplifting. It feels inviting, lively, and classy. If you want to make your mornings a little more motivating, red walls can help kickstart your day.

Cons of a Red Bathroom

However, red bathrooms also come with a few potential downsides:

Can Feel Too Intense

Red is stimulating and attention-grabbing. While invigorating, too much red may feel overwhelming or stressful to some. If you prefer calmer colors, red may be fatiguing.

Makes Doing Makeup Difficult

The vibrant color can distort how makeup looks in the mirror. Colors like foundation and blush appear different in red light, so makeup application is harder.

Requires More Upkeep

Darker paint colors like red show scuffs, stains, and moisture damage more easily than light colors. Red bathrooms require vigilant cleaning to maintain the rich color.

Not for Resale Value

While personal, red bathrooms don’t appeal to mass market home buyers. If you may sell your home soon, a red bathroom could hurt resale value. Neutrals have wider appeal.

Can Date Over Time

Just like clothing fashion, some paint colors come in and out of style. While sophisticated now, in a decade a red bathroom could seem dated and less timeless.

Decorating a Red Bathroom

If you decide to paint your bathroom red, here are some decorating tips:

  • Choose the right red – Cherry, crimson, burgundy, and oxblood give a moodier feel than bright reds like fire engine. Deeper reds make elegant bathrooms.
  • Use sparingly – Only paint one wall red as an accent, rather than covering every wall. Less red prevents overwhelming guests.
  • Contrast with white – White tile, cabinetry, linens and light fixtures keep the look timeless and sophisticated.
  • Add metallics – Brass, gold, and silver fixtures and mirrors give shiny contrast against matte red walls.
  • Use natural textures – Wood shelving, wicker baskets, granite countertops, and ceramic accessories give an earthy feel.
  • Highlight with green or blue – Accent colors like emerald and sapphire make red pop. Add via towels, artwork, or patterns.
  • Soften with neutrals – Use gray, tan, or white on non-red walls to relax the eyes. Paint the ceiling white.
  • Dim bold lighting – Overhead lighting exacerbates red’s bold impact. Use dimmers, colored bulbs and sconces instead.

Should You Have a Red Bathroom?

A red bathroom makes a dazzling impression but requires commitment. Before taking the plunge, ask yourself:

  • Do I enjoy lively, bold interiors or prefer subtle, neutral hues?
  • Will red feel stimulating or stressful day-to-day?
  • Do I plan to sell my home soon? Will red hurt resale value?
  • Am I willing to diligently maintain a red bathroom?
  • Will red remain timeless or will I tire of the trend?

If you crave a dramatic, elegant look and aren’t afraid of bold color, a red bathroom could be a sophisticated choice. But if you prefer mellow, low-maintenance spaces, red may be too fatiguing. Think carefully before committing to be sure a red bathroom is the right fit.

Frequently Asked Questions About Red Bathrooms

Is a red bathroom hard to sell?

Yes, red bathrooms can negatively impact resale value. While personal, red is too bold for mass appeal. Stick to neutral paint colors if selling soon.

Does red make a bathroom look bigger or smaller?

It depends on the red tone and application. Deep reds can feel cozy and intimate. But bright cherry reds make spaces feel energetic and bigger.

What other colors go well with red in a bathroom?

Classic pairings like white, black, silver and wood tones complement red bathrooms. Emerald and sapphire blue also make red pop beautifully.

Is a red bathroom calming or energizing?

Red is stimulating and energizing rather than calming. It raises heart rate and grabs attention. If you want a relaxing sanctuary, avoid red.

Does red bathroom lighting look strange?

Red can distort lighting. Overhead lighting may appear harsh and fluorescent bulbs unnatural. Use dimmers, colored bulbs and ample natural light.


A red bathroom makes a bold first impression, feels rich and elegant, and adds energizing ambiance. But red also risks feeling overwhelming, requires diligent maintenance, and may hurt resale value. Take your style and goals into account before taking the red bathroom plunge. Ultimately, choose the color that makes you smile each morning and evening. A bathroom should first and foremost be a personalized sanctuary.