30 Bathrooms That Make a Great Case for Installing Wallpaper

wallpaper in bathroom

Design: Emily Henderson Design, Photo: Tessa Neustadt

Wallpaper is an unsung hero of the design world. It makes a huge design impact, yet somehow we always forget to consider it. That's probably thanks to its outdated reputation for being sticky and difficult to apply, and when it comes to bathroom wallpaper, there may be additional concerns about moisture issues.

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 more streamlined. Beyond that, there's a myriad of ways to ensure safe and lasting results in high-moisture areas from vinyl-based wallpaper to mold-proof pastes to wallpaper varnish.

So while you might feel intimidated by wallpapering your massive living room, installing bathroom wallpaper can be a more manageable project to take on. With a little pop of print and color, you can transform the space into a mecca of cheerful design that'll make your mornings a little brighter.

Not sure where to start? We've rounded up 30 of our favorite stunning bathrooms featuring wallpaper to give you the confidence you need to tackle your own space.

01 of 30

Start Small

Small powder room with wallpaper

Ashley Montgomery Design

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

02 of 30

Embrace the Space

Bold small powder room

Design: Pure Salt Interiors; Photo: Vanessa Lentine

Whether you're working with a huge primary bathroom or a tiny powder room, the key is to embrace the space you've got. For large spaces, you can highlight the depth by accenting one wall with a dynamic design for a mural effect. In smaller rooms, wrapping wallpaper around all four walls makes an artistic statement and puts every square inch to work.

The term “primary bathroom” is now widely used to describe the largest bathroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.

03 of 30

Take It to the Top

Bathroom with ceiling wallpaper

Noelle Ryan Interiors

For a decidedly subtler statement, go ahead and slap some wallpaper up on the ceiling. It's not only a money-saving play that uses less wallpaper, but it also allows you to experiment with a more whimsical pattern without overwhelming the senses.

04 of 30

Set Off Your Vanity

Bray and brown bathroom with wallpaper

Design: Pure Salt Interiors; Photo: Vanessa Lentine

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a spacious countertop for getting ready in our bathrooms, but if you are, it’s the perfect area to wallpaper behind. Here, the mix of gray tropical wallpaper, concrete counters, a wood shelf, and woven baskets creates a peaceful and chic moment that’s exactly what you want during your morning makeup routine.

05 of 30

Step up Your Bubble Bath Game

Dramatic bathtub area

Laquita Tate

For many people, bathrooms are more than just a place to wash off and get ready for the day—they're a place of total relaxation. And if you have a luxurious bathtub (AKA the perfect place for said relaxation), take the extra step to frame the space with eye-catching wallpaper. The glamorous boost will make bath time that much more rewarding.

06 of 30

Don't Forget the Water Closet

grasscloth in water closet

Design: Pure Salt Interiors; Photo: Vanessa Lentine

Perhaps your primary is set up with a separate water closet, or quarter bath, if you prefer. Why not use that small space for a little added luxury? Since you don't really have to worry about moisture issues with just the toilet, you can opt for a more textural fabric option like grasscloth. On the flip side, an extra loud statement graphic would look beautiful, too.

07 of 30

Include the Kids' Bathroom

Girls bathroom with wallpaper

Design: Katie LeClercq; Photo: Belathée Photography

It probably doesn't come as a surprise that wallpaper is a great choice for the kids' bathroom, too. How sweet is this little girl's bathroom with its pink-on-pink aesthetic? And let's be honest, it just wouldn't be half as cute without that polka dot wallpaper.

Kids are messy, we get it! For easy cleanup, spring for wipeable vinyl wallpaper or opt to tile the lower half of your walls.

08 of 30

Create Contrast

High contrast bathroom

Design: Emily Henderson Design; Photo: Ryan Liebe

If you're stumped on what color wallpaper to choose, a good rule of thumb is that contrast always looks good. Contrast a mostly white bathroom with dark wallpaper like navy or deep green. Bathrooms with several dark elements already, on the other hand, will benefit from a lighter and brighter wallpaper.

09 of 30

Incorporate Texture

Textural wallpaper in bathroom

Devon Grace Interiors

Whereas paint can instantly upgrade a room with color, wallpaper has the ability to add so much texture, whether that’s fake wood, silk florals, or embossed geometrics. In this bathroom, a 3D grid wall looks like a feature that might've taken days to tile, but in reality, the raised wallpaper can be installed in hours.

10 of 30

Take a Tiling Shortcut

bathroom with tile-look wallpaper

Design: Pure Salt Interiors; Photo: Vanessa Lentine

Why yes, it is possible to have water-resistant tiling without the outrageous cost of tiling your entire bathroom. This farmhouse tiled print gives the look of artisan tiles with only a fraction of the install work. Snaps for that extended countertop backsplash that protects against moisture issues while looking chic, too.

11 of 30

Top Off Wainscoting

Bathroom with wallpaper and wainscoting

Design: Emily Henderson Design; Photo: Tessa Neustadt

Ahh, wainscoting, how we admire thee with your traditional lines and sophisticated feel. Consider balancing out those formal attributes with wallpaper to bring your bathroom back down to earth. That's quite literally the case in this blue bathroom with its subtle ocean theme—we can almost hear the crashing waves.

12 of 30

Neutralize the Space

masculine black and white bathroom

Dan Rak Design

Some might be intimidated 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 and white palette, industrial details, and sharp stone countertops blend seamlessly into a sophisticated, gender-neutral space.

13 of 30

Use Subtlety

Black wallpaper bathroom

Devon Grace Interiors

If you're not looking for a bold pattern but paint just doesn't have the right oomph either, know that there are subtle options out there, too. For example, look closely at the wall in this bathroom—can you see it? The wallpaper may be all black, but a pattern is printed in a higher sheen for a very sleek effect with just enough pop.

14 of 30

Find a Minimal Print

Pink and wood bathroom with wallpaper

Cathie Hong Interiors

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

15 of 30

Give It a Graphic Punch

Graphic wallpaper in bathroom

Anne Sage

Sure, wallpaper can and often does take a supporting role, but it's actually pretty adept at taking center stage, too. A large-scale graphic pattern in particular packs a powerful punch, even in shades of black and white. In this bathroom, it looks especially chic paired with warm neutrals like wood, stone, and brass.

16 of 30

Add Some Whimsy

Bright and feminine wallpapered powder room

Erin Williamson Design

Then again, if you’re not afraid to go with a bold print, we love the idea of bringing an in-your-face design into the bathroom. This coral-like wallpaper is the kind you might have never considered before, but the pink, blue, and gold color palette brings a level of energetic joy to this powder room and feels especially modern paired with a geometric tile backsplash.

17 of 30

Try Metallic

Bathroom with metallic wallpaper

Desiree Burns Interiors

If you’re the kind of person who loves nothing more or less than mixed metals in your home décor, go for a metallic wallpaper print. The shiny material will make it look like you spent a small fortune on the print even if it's just an affordable peel-and-stick wallpaper moment.

18 of 30

Channel Zen Vibes

Blue and white bathroom

Design: Emily Henderson Design; Photo: Ryan Liebe

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

19 of 30

Commit to Color

Bold powder room

Studio Peake

While we love a clean, neutral 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 chrome details and mint vanity to a yellow sconce shade and jungle-themed walls. 

20 of 30

Update Vintage Vibes

Vintage-inspired bathroom with wallpaper

Design: Calimia Home; Photo: Kelli Boyd Photography

If you’re not afraid to embrace the classic grandma aesthetic of wallpaper (in a more modern way, of course), this print is for you. The eclectic floral design pairs well with a classic pedestal sink and mixed metallic fixtures—all in a way that reads vintage without feeling dated.

21 of 30

Create a Greenhouse

Green powder room

Design: Whittney Parkinson Design; Photo: Sarah Shields Photography

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 into play. No need to water these leaves—they’ll always stay green and healthy.

22 of 30

Marbleize It

Marble wallpaper bathroom

Brexton Cole Interiors

For when you're dying to surround yourself with marble but your head is spinning from the hefty price tag—wallpaper to the rescue. A quick online search will show you literally thousands of stone-look wallpaper options so you can create a cave of luxurious stone for a fraction of the price.

23 of 30

Paint Your Own Pattern

Hand-painted wallpapered powder room

Laquita Tate

Can't find a wallpaper pattern you like? Pick up a brush and paint your own. You'll have the freedom to create any design in any color for pennies on the dollar. And if it doesn't work out, you can always paint or paper right over it.

24 of 30

Live on the Edge

Edge powder room

Design: Devon Grace Interiors; Photo: Dustin Halleck

For anyone who likes to take their interiors to the extreme, surprise, surprise—wallpaper can be an easy and affordable way to do so. We can't get enough of this teeny powder room that is so very dramatic with its optical illusion-like walls and cheeky artwork.

25 of 30

Be Tongue-in-Cheek

Bathroom with body wallpaper

Anne Sage

If subtlety isn't your strong suit, why not take a literal approach to your bathroom with a wallpaper that gets right to the point? It'll make a great conversation piece when you have people over and give you something to giggle at when answering nature's call.

26 of 30

Boost a Black and White Palette

Black and white bathroom with wallpaper

Devon Grace Interiors

One thing that will never, ever go out of style is the black-and-white color palette. It's completely timeless and can adapt to absolutely any aesthetic. If you're looking for a way to upgrade your black and white bathroom, wallpaper may be the answer. And because you're working with such a classic neutral palette, you never have to worry about dated or faded colors.

27 of 30

Add an Accent Color

Earth tone bathroom

Design: Pure Salt Interiors; Photo: Vanessa Lentine

When your bathroom décor is otherwise neutral, an unexpected wallpaper moment is a great way to incorporate an infusion of color. We love how a hand-drawn leaf pattern adds maximum style in a very cool and casual way to this bathroom that is an ode to earth tones.

28 of 30

Take the Traditional Route

traditional powder room with wallpaper

Whittney Parkinson Design

It probably doesn't come as a surprise that wallpaper is right at home in a traditional aesthetic. Intricate florals and small, detailed patterns, in particular, will blend seamlessly—check out the dainty diamond wallpaper in this modern-traditional powder room for proof. That is, if you can peel your eyes away from the gorgeous antique brass console sink.

29 of 30

Add Art Deco Flair

wallpaper Art Deco bathroom

Devon Grace Interiors

There is something incredibly timeless about Art Deco interiors, even in the bathroom. We love how this loo hints at vintage glamour with its curved fixtures and gold finishes, but it's the classic Art Deco motif wallpaper that really carries it to the finish line.

30 of 30

Nod to the Tropics

Subtle tropical bathroom with wallpaper

Maite Granda

While we love an over-the-top tropical motif, certain bathrooms just call for something a bit more subtle. Enter this sweet and chic pineapple wallpaper—the perfect nod to island vibes without downgrading the luxuriousness of this bathroom. The moral of the story? You don't have to sacrifice upscale style to incorporate whimsical wallpaper.

Related Stories