A cloakroom may have limited space, but it's the ideal spot to experiment with bold decor
The cloakroom may be the smallest room in the house but it lends itself to making big statements with your choice of pattern, colour and texture. So go wild with your wallpaper or fully embrace decorative tiling effects. If your cloakroom has no windows, all the more reason to do this to make more of what could otherwise be a dark, uninspiring room. Pick an eye-popping pattern and go for an all-enveloping effect. The multitude of bold botanical wallpapers out there are ideal for this. Add architectural features such as dado rails or panelled walls, painted in a tonal shade so it’s not too over the top. Prefer something more neutral? A simple approach needn’t be too clinical. Make it right by choosing a tonal palette of off-whites, muted greys and dusky pinks. Then add subtle interest with soft metallic fittings in weathered brass or rose gold and antique mirrors. If you prefer the utilitarian look, pair concrete sinks, copper piping, timber or reclaimed tiles, repurposed furniture and raw plaster with luxe touches like brass taps. Or, when in doubt, opt for the fail-safe and utterly stylish combo of black and white. This is a classically chic, yet bold scheme to choose that works its magic every single time. It will add a wonderfully dramatic flourish to any cloakroom style, whether Art Deco-influenced or clean-lined and modern.
The glamorous metallic tiles almost look like a wallpaper, while a bespoke guitar-shaped marble basin creates a rock 'n' roll vibe.
Get the look: Elizabeth Taylor print by Richard Young. The mirror is antique Venetian. Lula 1 lamp, Windfall.
Get the look: Wallpaper, Designer Wallcoverings. Mirror, HPS Design Interior. Lights, Atelier Areti.
Timorous Beasties toile wallpaper and a blind in the same pattern envelope the bathroom.
A pair of pretty pendants in this asymmetrical wash space add mood lighting rather than functional lighting, and brighten up what would otherwise be a dark corner.
Get the look: The wallpaper is Abigail Borg’s Mathilda Midnight from Studio Four. The ceiling lights are by Nash Martinez. The Fior di Pesco Apuano marble vanity unit is from ABC Stone and the tap is the Priya single hole from Newport Brass. The Infinity round mirror is from CB2. The door (seen in the reflection) is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Yukon Green.
The tubular wall lights on either side of the basin and mirrors create useful task lighting as well as a symmetrical, clean look.
Get the look: The wallpaper is Tapestry in Coral Pink by Quercus & Co. The Hudson vanity unit is from Restoration Hardware. The Hedges wall sconces are by the Urban Electric Co. The mirror is from Wayfair.
Contrasting colourways 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.
A subtle play on texture and tone make this space individual.
Get the look: The sink was made to order by Last Concrete Basins, while the vanity unit was made to measure by RCC Furniture. The hexagonal floor tiles are by Tiles Direct. The wall sconces are from Industville. The Antique brass round mirror, £125, by Cox & Cox is similar.
The muralist was tasked with creating a French jungle – wild but refined.
Get the look: The mural was painted by Romanian artist Beto Raba.
Create a bold look with 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.
Express yourself with a super-funky design you might not be daring enough to try normally.
Get the look: This arresting hand-painted Deco Monkeys wallpaper is by de Gournay and is made to order. Black Blue modern eggshell by Farrow & Ball, £66 for 2.5L, is a similar rich navy blue.
A former cupboard on the ground floor has become a chic WC, where hand-printed wallpaper sits with bespoke lighting. Victoriana gets a look in too, with crinolined ladies parading across the wall courtesy of a paper by 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.
Paint effects can work a treat in a small loo. The scratched, stone-look walls in the downstairs WC, painted by artist Jason Hawkridge, is the perfect backdrop to the exposed copper piping.
Get the look: The stonework walls in this cloak are actually a trompe l’oeil effect painted by artist, Jason Hawkridge. The vintage Belfast sink and metal storage boxes were sourced at Sunbury Antiques Market. Find a selection of similar boxes on eBay, from £10 and up. Exposed copper piping like this is an easy job for an experienced plumber – find one local to you via ratedpeople.com
An imaginative – and witty – solution to sourcing a small basin for a cloakroom.
Get the look: The fire bucket is from a selection on the vintage marketplace Rubylane.com – prices start at around £38. This is the Fornasetti Malachite wallpaper, £90 a roll, by Cole & Son. The brass towel tail is by Drummonds.
Make a feature of a peculiar-shaped space. Playful architectural wallpaper is an apposite choice for the neat, triangular WC.
Get the look: The Procuratie e Scimmie wallpaper is from the Fornasetti II collection, £140 a roll, by Cole & Son. The Barcelona 48 basin is by Victoria + Albert. The vintage mirror is from Phoenix On Golborne. This is Buster + Punch’s Door Lever handle, £99.
This cloakroom’s black and white colour scheme feels über-chic. It’s a relatively small room that used to be all white, but it actually looks and feels bigger since black was introduced.
Get the look: The Dyad sconce above the mirror is by Apparatus.
Reflective tiles and a large mirror bounce light around this tiny loo.
Get the look: The fittings are from CP Hart, while the oversized wall tiles are from Porcelanosa. The illusion Newspaper black wallpaper, £7.99 a roll, is from Direct Wallpaper. The hand towel is an old Orla Kiely design - her current print hand towels start at £15.
Play with textures.
Get the look: This basin was designed and built by US-based architects MADE. The Jielde Signal Flush wall lights, £180 each, at clippings.com are similar to these. Find marble tiles at Mandarin Stone. The Sorrento Molini tiles from Fired Earth, £99.80 per sq m, are similar to this floor.
Pick out a vibrant accent shade for your panelling.
Get the look: Panels painted in Farrow & Ball's Studio Green estate eggshell, £60 for 2.5L, emphasise the green tones in Timorous Beasties's Union wallpaper, £228 a roll. The tiles and basin are from Fired Earth. The Tri-fold carriage mirror, £150, by Graham and Green is like this.
Contemporary style meets classic design.
Get the look: The Pharmacy wallpaper is by Damien Hirst, £675 a roll, from the Newport Street Gallery. The portrait of Gary Lineker is by Navad Kander. This is the Coolie light fitting, £462, at Hector Finch. Burlington Bathrooms has a marble-top and chrome washstand that's similar, £1,144.
Mix the rough with the smooth. Find this rich navy at Farrow & Ball: Hague Blue, £43.50 for 2.5l estate emulsion. The basalt basin is by Living’ROC. The pendant is Starkey brass cluster light, £149, at made.com. The mirror is The Hollywood, £550, Abigail Ahern. For similar taps, try Lusso Stone's Luxe series.
Go old school with a modern makeover.
Get the look: The Deluge low-level cistern, from £1,500; and Victoria petite cloakroom basin, from £375, are both from Catchpole & Rye. The panelling is painted in Maritime wood and metal eggshell, £60 for 2.5L, by Mylands. The paper was custom-made by BAF Graphics – Surface View can create similar.
This sexy crocodile-skin-effect wallpaper makes for a dramatic backdrop.
Get the look: This is the Crocodilo vinyl wall covering by Osborne & little, £121 a roll. The Henry low-profile deck-mounted faucet, £1,245, is from Waterworks. The console is a vintage piece from an American specialist – try Lassco or use Salvo to find salvage yards near you.
Bet Lynch, eat your heart out.
Get the look: Wallpaper Direct has plenty of 'big cat' print wallpapers from brands such as Robert Cavalli, House of Hackney and Osborne & Little, from £84.99 a roll. This is a vintage Art Deco mirror from Newark Antiques & Collectors Fair – the Antiqued Venetian Mirror, £495, at Graham and Green is similar.
Typographic prints, like this vintage book design by Studio Duggan, can be as subtle or striking as the rest of your look.
Get the look: This washstand is from CP Hart, while the Reeded one-light mirror lights by Kansa Lighting, £129 each, are from Wayfair. The one-off wallpaper is by Retrouvius – Mr Perswall's Booked design, £30sq m, is similar.
A look that was influenced by the glam Art Deco bathrooms in Claridge's.
Get the look: Get the bevelled mirror metro tiles from Walls and Floors, from £84.95sq m. All the brassware is by B&Q. The Goodrich Prismatic globe light, £200, from Fritz Fryer is similar to this. The Terry O'Neill print is from The Little Black Gallery.
Subtle metallics warm up this cool space.
Get the look: The Lustre tile wallpaper, £93 a roll, is by Zoffany. The industrial Window mirror, £150, is from Cox & Cox. The copper basin is by William Holland, while the tap is by Crosswater. The bespoke weathered oak countertop is by Tandem. Garden Trading's Campden wall light, £45, is like this.
Follow interior designer Amanda Durham's lead and go for all-out glamour.
Get the look: This wallpaper is the Fit D'Argent design in Terracotta by Hermes. The wall-hung WC and basin are from Catalano, while the tap is by Vola. The Lumina's mirror, £295, is from Skandium. This pendant shade was sourced from a market in Morocco.
Something old, something new.
Get the look: A vintage wall-hung basin by Royal Doulton and Victorian-stylee 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 bit of boho goes a long way.
Get the look: Tiles Direct has chevron tiles from £24.96sq m. Find vintage mirrored furniture at B&T Antiques. Arcade Hatters has vintage hat blocks, from £60. Find macrame plant hangers, lampshades and wall art at Trouva. The Marla white beaded chandelier, £135, at Rockett St George is similar.
Make a statement with a bold artwork as interior designer Jo Berryman has done in this cloakroom. This particular piece is from McCully & Crane, from £350. This is the Rococo Mirror wallpaper by Zoffany, £89 per roll. These are the Zelliges tiles by Emery et Cie, £182 per sq m. Victorian Plumbing has a wide range of traditional style cloakroom basins on chrome stands.
Gloss paint and rustic tiles evoke a Moroccan feel.
Get the look: Walls painted in Calamine, Farrow & Ball, tiles Bert & May, pendant, Felix Lighting.