Who says bathrooms have to be tiled and plain? These inspiring designs make a statement with pattern and colour.
Choosing to wallpaper part or all of a bathroom or cloakroom can transform a functional room into a stylish retreat or a whimsical space.
Wallpaper gives an instant, dramatic lift to any room, and papering a bathroom with pattern can cocoon the space and give it an intimate feel. It also allows you to have some fun with the design or stamp your personality on an otherwise pattern-free room.
With care and good ventilation any wallpaper can be used in the bathroom, even these stunning Farrow and Ball designs. However, it’s vital it doesn’t come into contact with water on a regular basis – so it can’t be used directly around the bath, shower or sink. Vinyl-backed wallpaper helps to avoid air bubbles and premature peeling, and there are also splash-proof and antibacterial ranges that are highly durable for bathrooms.
You can decide to paper the whole space or just one statement walls, teaming it with metro tiles for a striking modern look.
See Metro Tiled bathrooms.
Wallpaper offers endless options for narrative-inspired pattern work to fill your living spaces, so get ready to be inspired by these inspiring designs.
See more cloakrooms and powder rooms.
The leopard print wallpaper is very Bet Lynch – it's been used floor to ceiling with a great effect.
Get the look For similar wallpaper, check out Graham & Brown. The Art Deco mirror was bought at the Newark Antiques & Collectors Fair.
One of the smallest rooms in the house gets a major makeover courtesy of some funky wallpaper and boldly painted woodwork.
Get the look This is Union wallpaper by Timorous Beasties. The woodwork is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green estate eggshell. The tiles and basin are from Fired Earth.
The whole cloakroom was designed around a flamingo theme, with a bold wallpaper adding drama to the small space.
Get the look The flamingo was an eBay find. This is Flamingo Club wallpaper by Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little. The basin is from Hampton Bathrooms.
The owners wanted every space to have a bit of light-hearted humour – even the smallest ones.
Get the look The Newspaper Black 20600 wallpaper by Illusion is from Direct Wallpaper. The Duravit WC is from CP Hart. This is an Orla Kiely towel.
The wallpaper adds to the bathroom’s tropical cruise vibe, complete with porthole window.
Get the look The bath is from Drummonds, custom painted. The wallpaper is by Matthew Williamson.
A profusion of exotic palms adorns the walls in the cloakroom – a fun, unexpected contrast to the dark block colours that are used elsewhere.
Get the look This is Babylon wallpaper by House of Hackney. The Tala marble shelf is by Graham and Green. The mirror is from Crystal Palace Antiques. The micro basin is by Silverdale.
This bathroom is decorated with wallpaper that owner, Sera of London, designed, with a vintage tub, and a Victorian mirror on the wall.
Get the look Deep Button Gold Leaf wallpaper, Sera of London.
This hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper was originally spotted at Mosimann’s Club in London’s Belgravia.
Get the look This is de Gournay’s Monkeys in the Closet wallpaper.
Don't be afraid to choose something bold or playful. This hand-printed wallpaper features crinolined ladies who parade across the walls, courtesy of designer Katie Deedy.
Get the look The walls are covered in Ms Ward wallpaper by Katie Deedy from Grow House Grow. The Tour sconce is by Atelier de Troupe. For a similar mirror, try Robin Muir Antiques.
Instead of papering the whole bathroom you can create an impact by using a mixture of statement wallpaper with plain tiles.
Get the look The basin and shower are from Heritage Bathrooms. The smaller mirror is an antique Venetian design from The Mint List Interior Design. The Tarovine wallpaper, soap dispenser and tumbler are by House of Hackney.
By papering one wall with monochrome alphabet wallpaper and painting the other you create a bold look of stark contrasts.
Get the look This typographical print paper is the Secret Cities design by Mr Perswall, £30sq m. The black wall tiles are by Porcelanosa. The slick, minimalist basin is from CP Hart. The Orin chrome towel ring, £13.95, from Victorian Plumbing is similar to this.
Large, striking patterns can work wonderfully in smaller space.
Get the look Find similar tropical leaf wallpaper at Murals Wallpaper, £36sq m, or try the Banana Leaf wall decoration, £127, by IXXI at Selfridges. This is Drummonds’ Brora high-level WC suite, £2,334.
Featuring striking pink birds, this wallpaper helps transform a bathroom from functional space to a stylish retreat.
Get the look A vintage wall-hung basin by Royal Doulton and Victorian-style high-level cistern toilet by Burlington Bathrooms are teamed with the Jinsique design wallpaper in the Garden colour way, £125 a roll, from Rockett St George. The hexagonal floor tiles are the Design Two Hex design by Grestec Tiles.
A swirling monochrome pattern is teamed with a quirky vintage fire bucket to create a bathroom full of personality.
Get the look This is Fornasetti Malachite wallpaper by Cole & Son. The fire bucket is from rubylane.com. The mirror is a junk-shop find from France. Try Graham and Green for similar. The brass towel rail is from Drummonds.
The contrasting colourways of a dark wallpaper with bright blue and brass details make this room pop.
Get the look This is Cole & Son’s Palm Jungle wallpaper, £82 a roll. The green tropical parrot on a perch, £42, is from Rockett St George, as is the Brass Qaudratic shelf unit, £78. The wall lights are from Holloway’s of Ludlow, while the basin and washstand are from The Water Monopoly.
The bright aquatic wallpaper is teamed with a metallic ceiling for an interesting, unexpected touch.
Get the look This is Nautilus wallpaper, £78 a roll, by Cole & Son. Try de Gournay for a similar bespoke gold ceiling, from £124sq m. The bath surround is tiled in Via Arkadia tiles, £52sq m. The basin, £415, is from Cielo.