These Bathrooms Make a Great Case for Installing Wallpaper

wallpaper in bathroom

Design: Emily Henderson Design, Photo: Tessa Neustadt

Wallpaper is one of those design choices that we somehow always forget to consider. It might make a huge design impact, but by and large, wallpaper is an unsung hero of the design world. It's probably all thanks to its outdated reputation for being sticky and difficult to apply. 

But before you assume the worst of wallpaper, know that it's come a long way in recent years: the designs are much more modern and diverse, plus peel-and-stick varieties make the process much more streamlined. While you might feel intimidated by wallpapering your massive living room, there's a much smaller and easier place to start: your bathroom. Yes, your bathroom can be (and should be) chic too. With a little pop of print and color, wallpapers can transform the space into a mecca of cheerful design. 

Not sure where to start on your wallpapering journey? We rounded up 16 of our favorites. From subtle faux tiling to bright and busy floral designs, here are our favorite ideas for adding wallpaper to your bathroom.

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Start Small

Not entirely sure if you want to wallpaper your entire space? Start small. Go for a just the top half of a powder room (thanks to some strategically-placed wainscoting). Want even less of a commitment? You could try a faux backsplash that’s cut to just the size of your counter space.

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Try Metallic

If you’re the kind of person who loves nothing more than mixed metals in your home decor, go for a metallic wallpaper print. The shiny material will look like you spent hours gold foiling a pattern onto the walls — but your guests don’t need to know its just a peel-and-stick wallpaper moment.

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Be a Shapeshifter

When we typically think of wallpaper, it’s easy to imagine the overtly floral in-your-face designs from your grandmother’s house in the 1990s. But wallpaper has come so far in recent years. If you’re not all about the big and bold designs, fear not; it’s easy to find a design that’s just as simplistic and easy-going as your design style. We love the muted pink tones of this geometric design.

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Add Some Whimsy

Then again, if you’re not afraid to go with a bold print, we love the idea of bringing a fresh design into the space. This wallpaper is the kind you might typically associate with kitchens, but the lemon-yellow color brings a level of blissful joy to getting ready as well. 

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Outline a Vanity

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a vanity space in our bathrooms, but if you are, it’s the perfect area to wallpaper. This mix of the bamboo stool, white cabinetry and soft tan wallpaper creates a peaceful moment that’s exactly what you want from your morning makeup routine.

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Bring In Major Color

While we love a clean, white design for small spaces, there’s something to be said about bringing in a dose of color too. What this bathroom lacks in square footage it makes up for in personality, straight from the brass details to the whicker frame and the pineapple walls. 

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Go For Zen

Blue is an incredibly calming color, but instead of just painting your wall a soft shade of blue-gray, try incorporating a robin's egg blue-hued wallpaper that gives you a little oomf. Coordinate with minimal accessories and a few live plants, and there’s almost nothing quite as soothing. Welcome to zen.

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Be Bold

If your bathroom decor is otherwise black and white, we love incorporating a pop of color in the form of unexpected wallpaper. This one adds maximum style with minimal effort, given that the wallpaper only covers the top third of the wall and it’s made with peel-and-stick technology for easier application.

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Add Texture

Whereas paint can instantly upgrade a room with color, wallpaper has the ability to add so much texture, whether that’s fake wood or a silky floral. Here, the blue tiling looks like it took days to lay out and adhere to the wall — but, no no, it’s just a 2D wallpaper design that can be installed in hours. 

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Go Masculine

Some might feel limited by the feminine feeling wallpaper tends to bring a room. But there are plenty of ways to incorporate a more masculine design using paper as well. Here, the black industrial details coordinate seamlessly with the orange and cream hexagonal print.

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Find Your Chill

For many people, bathrooms are more than just a place to wash off and get ready for the day. For some, it’s a place of total relaxation. And if you have a gorgeous bathtub (AKA the perfect place for said relaxation), you might as well frame the space with wallpaper that incorporates a spa-like print.

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Embrace the Space

Working with a large space? Lucky you. Highlight the depth by accenting one wall with a dynamic wallpaper design. It’ll look like a piece of art — especially if you keep everything else in the room clutter-free and simplistic.

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Go Vintage

If you’re not afraid to embrace the classic grandma aesthetic of wallpaper, this print is for you. The eclectic floral design pair well with the vintage-inspired green tub — all in a way that reads very 70's without feeling dated.

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Choose Water-Resistant Tiles

Why yes, it is possible to have water-resistant tiling without the outrageous cost of tiling your entire bathroom from floor to ceiling. This farmhouse tiled print is water resistant so you can rest safe knowing that it’ll hold up when you inevitably splash a little water here and there. 

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Cover Countertops Too

Luxury doesn’t always come with a high price tag. If you’re looking to ball on a budget in your bathroom, it’s a three step process. First, cover your countertops with marble contact paper for a shiny new surface. Second, switch out the lighting fixtures for chandeliers and sconces that look much more expensive. And finally, go for scalloped wallpaper treatment that looks like something you might find in an upscale restaurant.

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Create a Greenhouse

The unfortunate reality is that most bathrooms don’t get a lot of natural light. This means that while you run less of a chance of flashing your neighbors, it’s harder to grow or maintain any plants. That’s where plant-themed wallpaper comes to play. No need to water these leaves — they’ll always stay green and healthy.

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