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Colour Dilemma

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: to make cream and white work together in a single room.

In one bathroom, we have a cream-coloured marble sink and vanity.  Next to it is a stark white toilet and a stark white bathtub.  So imagine a colour difference like this:

Color_icon_white.svg copy

The things that are up for grabs, colour-wise, are the floor tiles and the paint on the wall.

We have decorated (though all of this can be changed) with a shower curtain and floor mat in shades of white, cream, brown, and blue.

So… what colour do we paint the walls?  And what colour do we choose for the floor tile?  If we go with white walls, the vanity looks strange (I know this because that’s what we currently have), and if we go with cream walls, I assume the toilet and bathtub will look strange.  We’re looking for an idea that is veeeeeeeeeeeeery neutral and light — no chocolate brown walls, for instance.

Do I aim for a shade of white that falls between the two?  Do I go with one over the other?

16 comments

1 Rach { 09.11.13 at 10:45 am }

A light yellow or light orange might work!

2 Brid { 09.11.13 at 11:08 am }

Red floor tiles and wide (12 inches) cream and white stripes on the walls – although, what is the flooring that the bathroom floor will butt up to?

3 jjiraffe { 09.11.13 at 11:40 am }

White & Cream can actually go well together. I’m often inspired by Houzz: here’s a link to some examples of bathrooms that have combined the white and cream. http://www.houzz.com/photos/bath/white-and-cream-

If you are going for light and airy, you might want to look for a neutral tinted white paint. Here’s some nice choices: http://www.remodelista.com/posts/10-easy-pieces-architects-white-paint-picks

I combined start white tiles and floor with a creamy marble topped vanity. I painted the walls Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee (a very neutral white. I like the result. It’s airy and bright.

Good luck!!

4 Christine { 09.11.13 at 12:09 pm }

We have this problem, only more. A pink (original, 60s) bath, a cream sink/vanity, and a new white toilet. Urgh. I deal with it by (a) ignoring it and having a shower curtain I like, and (b) assuming that the only other people who ever see it will be guests and will just have to be happy that we’re letting them stay in our slightly more co-ordinated guest bedroom.

5 StephanieK { 09.11.13 at 12:09 pm }
6 Kate (Bee In The Bonnet) { 09.11.13 at 12:28 pm }

We’re dealing with something very similar right now. We’re about to tile our shower with white tile, but our (old) house has trim painted “antique white”, and our floors are done in a warm, brown-grey fake-slate tile. Our walls are painted deep brown, and the vanity is dark wood with a tan solid-surface, “corian” style sink top.

Our solution was going to be replacing everything to match the new tile, but last night, we found some glass-marble mosaic tiles that we’re going to use as “accent”. In those tiles, there’s stark white glass tiles, marble tiles veined with grey, a few creamier white marble pieces, some medium browny grey glass tiles, and some light tan glass tiles. I think with all those colors included together will tie the white in to the browns everywhere else.

To me, the issue boils down to the fact that cream is “warm” and white is “cool”, so perhaps the solution is to choose a floor tile that has both warm and cool tones in it, and then to pick up on whatever the primary tone is in the tile and lighten it as necessary for the walls. A light grey paint color, one that tends toward brown (rather than blue) might work to bring them together, since grey is by nature a “cool”-ish color, but the brownier base warms it up.

Are you planning to do ceramic tile on your floor, or are you doing vinyl? We cheaped out and have done vinyl peel and stick tiles (quick and easy and wears well, but doesn’t look as fancy as it could, I guess, though they do now make “grout” for vinyl peel and stick that do fancy it up a little without being as much work as real tile…). Anyhow, there are a couple of peel-stick options that I can think of off the bat that pull in both warm and cool toned colors together. Ceramic and/or other stone can be a bit more difficult because, by nature, they can be more irregular in coloring.

7 Mali { 09.11.13 at 12:51 pm }

We had dinner last night in a restaurant that had lovely light golden stone ceiling and pillars, whitewashed walls, white tablecloths, and cream chairs, and a tiled floor that was patterned with cream and the pale yellow stoney colours, that tied it all together. I actually commented to my husband how well it worked, and I would never have thought cream and white would work together.

So for your wall? I’d just consider taking the cream and deepening it further, so you have various shades of white and cream, yet still keeping the light neutral bathroom you want. I don’t suppose you have the option to build it in lovely pale Puglia stone.

8 Gail { 09.11.13 at 12:58 pm }

A light gray or tan color for the walls and floor might work.

9 Tiara { 09.11.13 at 12:59 pm }

I imagine a muted earthy green…http://www.dickblick.com/items/00722-7524/

10 Tiara { 09.11.13 at 1:00 pm }

oh & with beige/earth tone accents…

11 April { 09.11.13 at 1:48 pm }

I say a nice light yellow or light sky blue, either with barely any pigment. We used a yellow based white in our hallway called eggshell. It has worked for our mismatched colors here.

12 Dspence { 09.11.13 at 2:03 pm }

Cream tiles with brown veining. Blue or green walls. Art incorporating all colors.

13 loribeth { 09.11.13 at 3:01 pm }

I have a similar issue. We renovated the bathroom about five years ago. New white tub & toilet. Ceramic floor tiles (not new, but installed about 10 years ago) in a sort of pinkish beige. And a dark wood vanity with a white sink & marble top. Trouble is, the marble is a yellowish tone. I didn’t realize that when we were picking it out, only after it was installed. Oh. Well. The walls are a pinkish beige and the tiles in the tub enclosure are brown with a bit of bone & dusky blue mixed in. The towels & mats are are also a dark dusky blue.

I blogged about the renovation (before & after pics included) here: http://theroadlesstravelledlb.blogspot.ca/2008/11/show-tell-doubleheader-bathroom-burton.html

14 It Is What It Is { 09.11.13 at 5:31 pm }

I combined a creamy white (Dunn Edwards Navajo White) on the walls of our bathroom (in a high gloss finish) and went with their Winter White for the trim. I used white eyelet curtains and we had a seafoam (I know the 80s image that conjures) green linoleum floor and it all worked well.

Given what you’ve described, I would tackle the floor, first, as that will narrow your paint colors for the wall. I would likely go with a darker floor (they make wood grain porcelain tiles (2 friends both used the exact same plank looking tiles in their bathroom remodels) or a slate gray.

Dunn Edwards has a paint color called Fine Grain that I HIGHLY recommend for the walls no matter what you go with. Second would be Ash Grey.

15 a { 09.11.13 at 5:58 pm }

I am not good at choosing paint colors. So, what I would do is get a whole bunch of swatches from the paint counter and see what looks good with both the sink and the tub/toilet. Or I’d just get a white sink because that would make everything easier. 🙂

16 Ana { 09.12.13 at 4:58 pm }

I noticed as I read this post this morning that my bathroom has cream painted walls and white trim. I never noticed it before, so clearly it “goes”. The rest of our bathroom is all neutral/natural colors, so many shades of white, gray, wood cabinets, white tub/toilet/sink, stone patterned tiles on floor…So I guess the white + cream combo can look “natural”, like a seashell!

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