Light shades of cool colors such as pale aqua can make a small bathroom feel airy and open, while subtle warm colors can create a rich and serene feeling. The best choice depends on the desired effect and the amount of light in the bathroom.
SFGate notes that cool colors make walls seem to recede, which enlarges a space. Cool colors include shades of blue, green and gray. For example, sky blue is light and airy. A pastel shade of green, such as olive green, extends the bathroom into the outdoors. Cool colors without a sheen can look flat and drab. In contrast, a pearled color, such as pearl gray, reflects light and creates a room-opening shine.
Pink and yellow are warm colors that are flattering and cozy. Pale pink mixed with a small amount of yellow is rosy and creates an intimate feel. Shades of light yellow, including buttercream and pale gold, are associated with sunshine and can be energizing. However, bright yellow in a small space can be overwhelming and make the room look smaller.
White is a popular choice for painting small, dark bathrooms. Bright white or white with blue undertones can make the room feel stark and clinical, but white tinted with pink, peach or yellow is warmer and shimmers rather than glares.