If you’re thinking about redecorating your bathroom, wallpaper might not be the obvious choice. But use it well, and it can create a room with style and flair.
Moisture resistant wallpaper is a great choice to prevent it from peeling away from the wall in steamy bathrooms. But as long as you have a good extractor fan and don’t get it excessively wet, standard wallpaper can work perfectly well.
Here we take a look at some wonderful ways with bathroom wallpaper. Read on, and see how different approaches can be used to dramatic effect.
1. Refined elegance
This pretty wallpaper creates an elegant and timeless space. Butterflies provide accents of color against the winding silver foliage. It’s a contemporary take on the hand-painted wallpapers of yesteryear.
Choosing a color from the wallpaper to echo in other aspects of the interior can be very effective. Here, a vase of roses picks up the pink of the butterfly wings for a feminine look.
2. Opulent glamor
When it comes to creating a sense of luxury with your wall coverings, nothing beats wallpaper. Here, the ornate, embossed design perfectly complements an elaborate mirror and bathtub.
Consider the lighting in your room when deciding on colors and textures. Here, floor to ceiling windows and skylights balance the darker shade of wallpaper and highlight its embossed finish.
3. Heritage style
You don’t need a large room to create a statement with wallpaper. In this small lavatory, the red and gold foliage design creates a striking interior. The simple mirror reflects the light and keeps all the focus on the walls.
And remember, ceilings don’t have to be white! The subtle bronze shade in this room works beautifully with the tones of the wallpaper.
4. Paneled interest
Panels are a great way to break up a repeating design and turn it into something special. Here, white frames contrast with deep blue wallpaper. They add an extra dimension to what could otherwise have been a staid look.
Ornate panel frames can lift a simple pattern, while plain ones will work beautifully with a more detailed design.
5. Minimalist tranquillity
Wallpaper doesn’t have to steal the show. In this bathroom, simple striped design on the wall blends seamlessly with the lines of the floorboards. Together, they create a visual illusion in which the bathtub seems almost to float in the space.
The result is a tranquil haven, perfect for relaxation and meditation.
6. Bold geometry
Pairing tiles and wallpaper in bright colors can bring a real wow factor to a bathroom. In this striking bathroom, blue tiles around the bathtub are complemented by wallpaper in the same shade.
The contrast comes from geometry instead of color, with bold circles acting as a counterpoint to the large rectangular tiles. Note that the wallpaper has been carefully aligned to frame the tiles, bringing the whole design together.
7. Medieval grandeur
In this bathroom, striped wallpaper in a somber tone invokes the atmosphere of a medieval castle. The stone floor tiles and wrought iron chandelier complete the look.
A freestanding bathtub allows the wallpaper to be used as a backdrop without it being too vulnerable to splashing.
8. Monochrome flair
This bathroom seamlessly blends traditional and modern. The classic wallpaper pattern complements the paneling and traditional fittings. But the choice of a monochrome palette injects a contemporary edge that’s echoed in the stylish mirror.
The result is a look that’s crisp, clean and elegant.
9. Nautical nature
There’s nowhere in the home more appropriate for a nautical theme than the bathroom. Here, a traditional clawfoot bath and shiplap paneling work perfectly with wallpaper with a sailboat motif.
A dado rail keeps the paper out of reach of splashes and provides a clean border. And with the blue of the sailboats echoed in the paintwork below, the whole wall comes together in perfect harmony.
10. Ship ahoy
Here’s a great example of a creative approach inspired by the unusual shape of a bathroom.
The ochre tones of the ship-patterned wallpaper are a departure from the more usual blue of marine themes. They work beautifully with the brown walls and luxurious bath surround.
And by papering the sloping ceiling above the tub, anyone relaxing below can imagine they’re really floating out at sea. Bliss.
11. Patchwork chic
If you’ve ever thought patchwork was twee, this bathroom proves otherwise. Here, the moody tones of the wallpaper create a backdrop that’s entirely contemporary.
12. Theatrical drama
This black and white bathroom is all about drama. Relatively subtle wallpaper sets the scene for a bold tiled floor and soft furnishings. The small, regular design provides somewhere for the eyes to rest, bringing the contrasts elsewhere into sharper focus.
And while the colors are modern, the pattern works perfectly with the period features of the room.
13. Traditional sophistication
Here’s proof that wallpaper can work just as naturally in a bathroom like any other room in the house.
In this stylish bathroom, subtle stripes in the wallpaper echo the shade of the roman blinds and voile panels. They also complement the granite bath surround.
It’s the same principle as choosing a wallpaper to coordinate with the sofa in your living room.
14. Featured highlights
Patterned wallpaper is a great way to highlight bathroom features you want to show off.
Here, it’s used to brilliant effect at the base of a curved glass brick wall and behind a mirror. The dark tones also provide a wonderful contrast to the pale ornaments on the shelf unit. It’s every bit as effective as shining a spotlight on them.
15. Vintage charm
This vintage styled bathroom shows how well traditional techniques can work in the bathroom.
The lower part of the wall has a floral decoration, with striped wallpaper above. The two portions are separated by a band in complementary colors.
What could have been an overly busy look is saved by the stripped-back vanity unit and simple fittings?
16. Victorian luxury
In this bathroom, wallpaper and window treatments combine to provide a luxurious setting for relaxing in the tub.
The traditional damask pattern works perfectly with the luxurious drapes. And the orange tone of the paper picks up the shade of the traditionally styled wooden vanity unit. A coordinating oriental rug adds the finishing touch.
17. Fabulously floral
A combination of wallpaper and tiles can work brilliantly, especially in a larger bathroom. Here, the windows are framed by a floral paper, while tiles protect the shower walls.
The large pattern works well in small doses, broken up by the windows and mirror. And the colors coordinate with the blond wood of the vanity unit and the luxurious blinds.
18. Smart stripes
The pastel shades in this wallpaper add a lighter note to stripes, whilst still looking smart. The creamy yellow is fresh and clean, and highlights the warm tones of the vanity unit.
The vertical stripes add height to the room, while the varying widths add interest.
19. Flowing space
Wallpaper can be a great way to help the flow of space, as in this en suite bathroom and dressing room. Using the same wallpaper in both spaces invites us to step from one room to the other. The identical mirrors on the walls either side of the door reinforce the connection.
The subtle pattern of the wallpaper here is similar in tone to stone tiles. By opting for wallpaper, the owner has created a much cozier effect.
20. Mosaic mix
When we think of mosaic, we usually think of tiles – but tiling can be hard work. With wallpaper, it’s possible to create the same effect in a fraction of the time.
Here, a stunning geometric pattern creates the illusion of a contemporary mosaic. The pale grey tones, echoed in the muted shades of the floorboards, provide a soothing backdrop for bathing.
21. Recess detail
Combining wallpaper with architectural features can double its impact. In this bathroom, a useful recess provides space for candles and toiletries. Adding wallpaper to the back wall turns it into a focal point for the room.
Using tones that complement the surrounding tiles creates a harmonious effect. Alternatively, add a pop of color to make an impact.
22. Stylish simplicity
This bathroom shows that simple can be beautiful. The contrasting patterns in the wallpaper and floor are brought together by the use of the same colors.
The result is fresh and effortless. And the homely design is just right for the traditional fittings and stripped wood features.
23. Cool contrasts
For a sharply modern look, consider mixing simple designs with texture. In this bathroom, a dark pinstriped wallpaper is paired with a single panel in a paler shade with a textured appearance.
The complementary colors create a soothing ambiance, while the contrasting panel adds interest. This would look wonderful in a loft apartment.
24. Antique delights
If you have a home with period features, enhance them with vintage style wallpaper.
This monochrome Toile de Jouy pattern incorporates boats for a subtle nod to its bathroom setting. And the traditional mirror and vanity unit look wonderful next to the fresh white ground.
This is a bathroom that would grace any period townhouse.
25. Courageous color
Wallpaper is brilliant for injecting a color boost to any room. In this bathroom, the bright yellow walls add a confident edge to the design scheme. Blue accents tie in with the more subtle shades in the paintwork and floor tiles.
The vertical design accentuates the high ceilings here, but would also add height in less loftily proportioned rooms.
26. Charming chintz
Chintz needs to be handled with care, but in a larger bathroom, it can work well. Here, the generous windows break up the pattern, making it pretty, rather than overpowering.
The pastel shades blend smoothly with the bleached wood vanity units. And the simple white tiles provide a clean contrast for an archetypal country home look.
27. Marvelous mural
For a fabulous design statement, wallpaper can be used to turn your bathroom wall into a mural.
In this stunning example, fresh green bamboo stems evoke nature and create a spa-like environment. The bright green countertop is perfectly coordinated, and the wall to wall mirror adds to the feeling of space.
28. Moroccan mystique
Wallpaper can bring a sense of the exotic to any location. Here, a Moroccan pattern adds a unique touch to a Hamptons-style powder room.
The cool tones tie in beautifully with the chalky paintwork and teal cabinet. And nothing but wallpaper could look this good with pleated silk lampshades.
29. Subtle class
If you have a genuinely grand bathroom, keep your wallpaper in the background and let the features do the talking.
Here, a subtle pattern on a creamy ground blends with the granite tiles. The elegant fireplace rightly remains the focal point for the room.
30. Reflected glory
Positioning a mirror opposite a wallpapered wall can give a great effect. Here, the sumptuous pattern is reflected in the gilt-framed glass, creating a theatrical and opulent look.
If you’re using two-toned wallpaper on a feature wall, paint the other walls in the background shade. It will tie together the whole room for a stylish finish.
31. Glamorous gold
When it comes to adding some bling to your bathroom, nothing beats gold. Use wallpaper with gold hints to coordinate with faucets or, as here, with the legs of the bathtub.
Use panels of wallpaper in complementary shades to add a luxurious feel. They make perfect frames for wall lighting too.
32. Damask dream
For classic elegance, combine solid wooden panels with wallpaper. Here, painted cream woodwork sits beneath satin-finish damask paper for a high-end feel.
Use a complementary color palette for paint and wallpaper for a harmonious look. Juxtaposing dark and pale shades, on the other hand, will create drama.
33. Triple treat
High ceilings give plenty of scope for novel wallpaper treatments. This bathroom uses three different tiers of coordinating wallpaper to add interest.
This is strictly for lofty bathrooms, however. Try it in a lower-ceilinged room and it will make the space seem cramped.
Sophistication and elegance
Before choosing wallpaper for your bathroom, consider the features of the room. How much light does it receive? Where might strong sunlight cause fade? Are there architectural features you’d like to highlight?
Then consider what effect you’d like to achieve. Do you want to make a large room cozy? Or create a feeling of space in a smaller bathroom?
Whatever the answers, we hope we’ve given you some ideas to help bring them to life. And if you’ve used wallpaper in your bathroom, why not comment and let us know how it went? We’d love to hear from you.