From the guest half-bath to the ensuite just off the main bedroom, the bathroom is the rare room that you (usually) enjoy all alone. It is a special place of privacy that deserves its own design. And what easier way to transform the space than wallpaper?
“Bathrooms are a place of refuge and serenity and also a place to really project your personality,” says New Orleans interior designer Nomita Joshi-Gupta, owner of Spruce, a multi-line wallpaper and textile showroom. “Wallpaper also has perspective and gives walls added dimensions. If you have uneven walls or too many projections a busy print will fool the eye.”
Gupta recommends using large scale wallpaper in small powder and smaller bathrooms. “Large scale designs make the space feel larger and smaller scale prints make the space cozier and smaller,” she says. “In a larger primary bath, create a focal point such as behind your bathtub or vanity to really anchor the space.”
But before you begin, consider the moisture in your bathroom because it could warp the wallpaper over time. Half-baths are great for wallpaper because it doesn’t have a shower, and also ensuite bathrooms in guest rooms that don’t get used as often. Either way, if you have great ventilation, full steam ahead!
“Powder rooms are often slightly more feminine spaces but a textured chevron wall covering by Phyllip Jeffries evokes menswear suiting and gives the space a decidedly more masculine sensibility.” says Mary Beth Christopher.
Enjoy the Fantasy
Fantastical-themed wallpaper designs can bring you to dreamy, far away lands. “The deep, dark, twisted-traditional Cole and Son Summer Lily, takes us directly down Alice’s rabbit hole,” interior designer Allison Knizek says.
Bring the Vacation Home
“I love using tropical wallpaper designs that suggest island destinations,” Knizek says. “The York Endless Summer wallpaper in this tone on tone powder room, suggests island breezes without the saturated hues.”
Birds of Paradise
Designer Peter Spaulding paired the monochrome brown walls with a bright red tiled floor. The unexpected pairing allows for the bird patterns on the wallpaper to really pop.
Pop of Color
“In this bathroom I use a pop of color to bring light into a windowless bathroom,” interior designer Nomita Joshi-Gupta says. “The large scale print and larger open spaces in the design really expands the space.” The different sizes of the butterflies also add depth to the smaller space.
Break the Fourth Wall
Since powder rooms are such small spaces, go bold on the walls (and even the ceiling) will pack a huge punch. “Changing the color of the trim to contrast or coordinate with the wallpaper can be another way to make the wallpaper that much more powerful,” says Mary Jo Major of Rise Interiors.
Go 50/50 on Wallpaper
Use wallpaper above a 36″ or 42″ wainscot, otherwise known as the wooden paneling on the lower half of the room. “This draws the focus up to eye level in a more concentrated area,” says interior designer Andrea May. “When you use wallpaper in such a defined area, it really amplifies color and pattern.”
Don’t Be Afraid of Surprises
“Small spaces are the ideal place for big visual surprises,” says May. “Save the subtle grass cloth for another room.”
“Grass cloth adds an elegant texture with hundreds of rich, saturated colors,” says Amy Peltier, interior designer. The dark brown brings a warmth to the room without making it feel small.
Your powder room can remind you of the great cities like New York, Rome, Paris, Moscow, and more with this travel-motif wallpaper. “The main point is that the powder room is one of the best places to get out of your comfort zone and have some fun,” says Peltier.
The coastal grandmother aesthetic is a blend of ocean-side minimalism without being too preppy or nautical. Peltier pulls this off with a neutral palette that embraces the window’s sunshine.
Pastiche Studio brings together their signature mint green and peachy pink for a retro but minimalist take on the ensuite bathroom. The lightly patterned wallpaper adorns the ceiling drawing attention to the height of the room.
Try Something Different
The stark white tile against the busy wallpaper is a unique and surprising twist to bathroom wallpaper. “A bathroom can be fun, young, bold, moody or anything else you want to make it,” says Rozit Arditi of Arditi Design. “With wallpaper, you get to add some flare and enlighten guests every time they freshen up.”
Powder rooms and smaller bathrooms are the perfect place for a little bit of pattern play. The autumn color palette works well with the dark gold pendant light and metal appliances. “The bold patterns of the wallpaper will create a contrast with the hard materials like tile and stone and add character to a functional space,” says Arditi.
Arditi isn’t afraid of clashing colors and patterns. With a bright-red patterned wallpaper above two different shades of blue tile, and multi-colored polka dot curtains, it somehow perfectly makes sense together. Proving that you don’t need everything to match.
Having house plants in your bathroom is a great way to add life and freshness to the space, so why not do the same with your walls? “You can easily transform your bathroom into a lush garden with botanical wallpaper,” Catherine, head of design of Hovia, says. “Create a timeless look with a vintage repeat pattern design or make a statement and add some color with a jungle themed mural. Either way botanical prints are a great way to add a touch of nature to your bathroom.”
Embracing the homeowners love of New Orleans, designers Valerie Stafford and Katie Burnet of Rumor Designs, decided on this citrus-infused wallpaper to pay homage to the city’s abundant lemon, orange, and popular satsuma trees.
You can bring out a color in your wallpaper by painting the cabinets the same hue, like in this blue-focused bathroom designed by Houston-based interior designer Jennifer Barron.
Summer in Italy
Barron’s use of the simple green, blue and yellow flowers against the cream backdrop is made twice as charming by the addition of the wicker-framed mirror. It gives off the feeling of an Italian country home.
Industrial meets Tropical
“Wallpaper with a brick pattern can create an industrial look in your bedroom without you having to expose the real brick and risk the chances of a cold draft flying around your room,” says Yvonne Keal, senior product manager at Hillarys. Pair it with a tropical wallpaper for a unique twist on a bathroom aesthetic that’s filled with greens and browns.
Go Biggie Smalls or Go Home
You wouldn’t normally think of a powder room design and hip hop, but Zandy Gammons, owner of Miretta Interiors, use of this blue and white Biggie Smalls Brooklyn wallpaper adds personality to the space in a subtle way.
This primary bath exudes delicate femininity from the pale pink wallpaper, mirrored drawers, and vintage decor selected by interior designer Barry Goralnick.
The bathroom by Dallas-based designer Traci Connell strategically uses minimalist accents to highlight the watercolor texture of the wallpaper pattern contributing to an understated glamour.
Pina Colada for One, Please
Interior designer Rachel Cannon’s addition of cheerful pineapple wallpaper gives this powder room a resort aesthetic that guests will surely appreciate.