I’m a sucker for a black and white bathroom. In New York City, where
I live, you’ll find plenty of vintage beauties, decked out with
traditional white subway tiles, black and white hexagonal floor tiles,
and pedestal sinks and tubs with chunky chrome faucets labeled “hot” and
“cold.” You’ll find them in high-end apartments as well as
In these classic baths, homeowners
can add color for punch — bright pink towels or an orange bath mat or
pale green paint on the walls. They can accessorize with old-style
apothecary jars or go more modern with a mirrored wastebasket and
matching soap dish. In new construction you’ll find more luxurious
variations on the theme, complete with dark wood vanities, marble
latticework floors and glamorous freestanding tubs. Whatever the
approach, the clean look of black and white is always a crowd-pleaser;
check out some of my favorites here.
This gorgeous update of a
traditional black and white bathroom features white subway tile accented
with black marble and a floor of Calacatta gold and black marble in a
basket-weave pattern. (The tile is from Walker Zanger
.) Other luxe touches: an intricate custom-made leaded glass window, a Waterworks pedestal tub
and an antique William and Mary highboy for storage.
This classic bath has some
interesting design touches: the graphic dark-trimmed windows, which pick
up the black and white tile floor and the legs of the claw-foot tub;
the surprising teal ceiling (love this!); and the vintage wood soapbox
for towel storage.
The centerpiece here is a vintage
console table that’s been artfully transformed into a vanity. Painted
black and with two legs removed, it is attached to the wall and topped
with matching white vessel sinks. Large black and white square floor
tiles complete the high-style look.
Here’s a true find in Toronto
with lots of original elements: a gently curved tub, hexagonal floor
tiles (note the designs within the layout) and subway tile walls with
glossy black trim. The pretty casement window affords plenty of light,
and a rough-hewn stool makes reaching the sink easy for kids.
Showstopping black and white wallpaper (Minaret
by Osborne & Little) makes a statement here. The black and white
interplay continues with a white cotton duck shower curtain trimmed in
black, a black Jonathan Adler rug with a white border, and the stacks of
black and white towels carefully arranged on a matching étagère.
A step up from hexagonal ceramic
tile, this basket-weave-patterned tile floor is crafted from Thassos
(white) and Nero Marquina (black) marble. The pattern is also framed in
black and repeated on the shower wall. Other nice touches: the dark
bronze plumbing fixtures (from Delta) and the wall color (Benjamin
Moore’s Fresh Dew
Black, white and blue feel classically cosmopolitan together. That’s Benjamin Moore’s Heavenly Blue
on the walls with a stippled glaze, matched perfectly by the turquoise
towels. The shower “room” with a window is a keeper, too.
Pale blue paint (Sherwin-Williams’ Tradewind
gives this bathroom a soft, ethereal look. That feeling continues in
the lighting choices: a delicate Murano-style chandelier and Restoration
Hardware’s Lugarno wall sconces. The Cheshire
claw-foot tub is by Victoria + Albert.
This classic floor is Daltile’s Octagon & Dot
tile, a matte white octagon accented with a glossy black diamond at
each corner. (It comes in sheets for easy installation.) The
vintage-style corner tub, similar to the Americh Bow 6032,
features an L-shaped shower rod. The soothing gray-green hue on the walls is Restoration Hardware’s Blue Sage
Updating this small,
83-square-foot bathroom in a New York brownstone included installing a
furniture-style vanity and oil-rubbed-bronze fixtures, which go well
with the old-fashioned clock and dark wood-trimmed window. Note how the
subway tiles run right up to the ceiling.
This cute cottage bathroom
features standard hexagonal black and white tiles, purchased at Lowe’s
in 12- by 12-inch sheets for quick installation. The apple-green walls
are a lovely touch, as is the black trim on the towels and shower
Here’s another interesting color combination: That’s brown on the walls (Benjamin Moore’s Branchport Brown
which complements the wood vanity. Black grout was used for the floor
tile, but as the designer cautions, you have to avoid harsh cleansers if
you want to retain its color.