Aubrey Ballard has one rule when shopping for clothing or home decor: the piece in question must spark joy. The creative behind fashion and lifestyle blog The Dandy Liar has lived according to this mantra since 2017, when an earth-shattering diagnosis changed her entire outlook on life.
“I had cancer four years ago, and after that, I just started dressing however I wanted and wearing whatever made me happy,” she shared in a recent phone conversation. “It was this life-changing moment, and now my wardrobe and house is filled with bright, happy colors that I love.”
Her new main bathroom is exhibit A — the playful space boasts vibrant yellow shower tile, a bright red linen cabinet, and a roll of cerulean blue toilet paper. It’s a complete 180 from the original bath, which Ballard lovingly calls the “beige invasion.” “It was basically floor-to-ceiling beige, from the tile to the cabinetry to the walls,” she explains. “I really wanted to brighten the space and create a ‘feel good’ room for my husband and I.”
Ahead, find Ballard’s creative and unique colorful bathroom ideas, from the paint color to the finishes and everything in between.
Choose a Visual Palette Cleanser
When working with bright, vibrant hues and plenty of pattern, it’s important to have at least one neutral element to ground the space. For Ballard, that was white paint. “I used Fresh Kicks on the walls, ceiling, and trim,” she shares. “I knew I needed some sort of palette cleanser in here, and I love how it instantly brightened up the space.” The finished product proves that you can still design a brilliant, eye-catching space with a white foundation and a few colorful bathroom ideas.
Order Samples of Everything
While it’s helpful to order samples in any design project, it’s even more important when mixing multiple colors, patterns, and design styles in a single space. Ballard ordered samples of the yellow shower tile, black and white floor tile, and the landscape wallpaper (from Walls Republic) before finalizing the design. “I’m so glad I did — I actually ended up hating the first shower tile I ordered and found a cheaper tile that looked so much better in real life.”
Find Moments of Balance
Balance sits at the heart of Ballard’s expressive fashion sense and design style. While the finished bathroom reads quite pop art-inspired, darker, more traditional details like the landscape wallpaper, antique wooden stool, and vintage toothbrush holders (sourced from eBay) tone down the modern feel. “I didn’t want it to feel like you’re walking into the MOMA,” she notes. “I made sure to balance the old and new — which is similar to how I dress.”
Add Color in Unexpected Places
Despite visualizing a very colorful space, Ballard didn’t overthink the design. “I started by looking at some pictures of tile online, and I saw a room with yellow tile and a red vanity. And I was like, ‘That’s it, that’s what I’m doing,’” she shares. “I knew I needed something to balance out those bright colors, which is how I landed on the moody wallpaper.” Details like the terrazzo soap dish, fire engine red faucts, needlepoint wall art, and blue toilet paper also came about organically and reflect Ballard’s penchant for fun, mood-boosting pieces.Related: Looking for more colorful bathroom ideas? Check out the best bathroom paint colors (and how to use them).