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How to Choose Wallpaper for a Small Bathroom

Bathrooms are often one of the last rooms to be considered for a wallcovering. Don’t let that be the case in your home; bathroom wallpaper offers some serious style potential. The bathroom is a unique room when it comes to interior design as it often stands alone from the rest of your home, and is probably the only room that is flexible enough that it can adopt any style you would like. For some; it’s a calm serene space, whilst others they would like a traditional bathroom with a contemporary edge or maybe you could go all out and choose bold eye-catching colours and memorable patterns that leave a striking impression.

Calm and Serene

Your home is the one place in the world where you can escape from a stressful day, that’s why it’s so important to establish a calm and serene atmosphere. A key part of building your stress-melting home is to make sure you have a space that allows you to recharge for the day and wash the day away.

Creating a light and clean aesthetic begins with a tranquil composition of colour and wooden elements. These come together to create a gentle idyllic style that is perfect on a summer day, reflecting the light and bringing brightness into the room. Its ability to radiate light works wonders during those crisp winter mornings, this serene approach to a bathroom design throws you back to those long summer days.

It’s human nature to feel drawn and attracted to textures and furniture made from natural materials. Wooden furniture work harmoniously with light pastel-hued wallpaper creating a sweet and airy feeling that exudes tranquillity. Here at Fabric Gallery and Interiors, we’ve found that Sanderson’s Port Isaac wallpaper collection is the perfect embodiment of these cool pastel colours. Its ability to bring in bold tones of; marine, coral and lichen, which when paired with restful driftwood and sky blues carefully invites a fresh natural atmosphere into your home.



Royal – Deep and Moody

Small spaces need grand gestures, not a tentative touch. Whilst it may be a little intimidating to use darker shades on your walls, a small downstairs washroom is an ideal room to start experimenting with. Within these small spaces, it’s important to remember that there is a subtle yet important difference between; gloomy and moody.

A gloomy environment brings about though of being cramped and claustrophobic, but if done right with a few designs touches the surrounding can be transformed into a luxurious small space that’s warm, cosy and intensely relaxing.

Colour choice is a vital step towards establishing this serene spa-like atmosphere. Deeply decadent shades of blues, smokey greys and luscious greens create a brooding sense of opulence.

Dark colours set the stage for texture, their natural ability to make metallics pop introduces a flair of warming light that creates a sharp and refined finish to the room. For a warm spa-like ambience, Anthology has some of the most stunningly rich wallpapers that can turn any flash of metal into eye-catching accents warming up these luxuriant heavy colours.

Anthology - Bathroom Wallpaper


Small Spaces Need Bold Choices

Bold wallpaper breathes life into small bathrooms, providing small flashes of intensity within your home. An adventurous choice makes perfect sense for a small bathroom as it’s the only room that isn’t involved with the flow of your house. This unique property provided you with the opportunity to be able to shut the door behind the bold aesthetic. Having the ability to for the room to be bold but then keep it in reserve is a uniquely interesting feature of a small washroom and may just be your opening to a bold new adventure, and who knows where that might go!

With this in mind, if you are ready to take the first steps into this liberating aesthetic then there really is no reason not to go for something unique and memorable. A couple of weeks ago we saw Osborne and Little’s Summer Palace in a small bathroom we were working on. This visually engaging yet simple monochrome and metallic finish is evocative of willow pattern porcelain. It’s clean lines and blocks colours ensure it is complex yet perfectly composed, creating a certain ‘wow factor’ that simply cannot be achieved in a wash of white.

Osborne and Little Summer Palace in a small bathroom


A natural flare

Bathrooms are home to some of the most bold striking lines you have in your house. A straight shower, geometric tiling and parallel shelving all contribute to a very manufactured environment. Introducing organic irregular shapes in the form of plants or animal patterns to this highly structured space keeps the crisp sharp feeling but adds a sense of natural relaxation with often a splash of colour thrown in for good measures.

Recently we saw Osborne & Little’s “Derwent” being used in a light and breezy bathroom. This aquatic-themed wallpaper features ornamental Koi Carp effortlessly cut through the angled furnishing. Wallpapers such as this literally encourage you to go with the flow, creating a serene calming feel.

Osborne & Little’s “Derwent” Bahtroom Wallpaper


Traditional meets Modern

Trying to bring new life to a traditional design with a fresh injection of modern flair can be a challenging goal. Luckily, combining these juxtaposing styles isn’t as hard as it first looks and there are plenty of ways to combine styles from different time periods that end with a result looking fresh and visually interesting. Over the thirteen years we have been designing, we have worked out a very simple solution to this often complicated style. A foolproof method of successfully combining these two styles is to find traditional imagery and then revamping it with modern sleek colours.

William Morris and Co. is at the forefront of this re-imagining of traditional styles. This claw-footed roll top bath with its traditional opulent legs introduces an ornate edge to the bathroom, but when paired with the dark lead coloured paint it is catapulted into the 21st century. William Morris and Co.’s Wilhelmina wallpaper provides a large tiled pattern of acanthus leaves and bellflowers surrounded by a decorative border. This beautiful tonal indigo colourway pairs beautifully with subdued blues and greys of the bathroom to create a canvas of calming blues.

One of our favourite designs released by Morris & co. is Bramble. Whilst we primarily use the fabric version for upholstery, the wallpaper design looks stunning in a bathroom setting. It’s rich colourway and stylised pattern of blackberry briars with berries and white flowers adds elegance, a perfect wallpaper for a luxurious bathroom.

WILHELMINA Bathroom Wallpaper Morris & Co

EXTRA TIP : Fill this small space with Art. 

Unfortunately in the interior design world, we often see wall art treated as an afterthought. One of the quickest ways to bring these small spaces to life if to go bold and bring in lots of artwork.

Here at Fabric Gallery and Interiors we recently designed a small powder room with a deep midnight blue paired with a gallery-wall full of the homeowner’s favourite art. These visually interesting pieces of art were the finishing element to the room, able to pull the space together and break up the dark backdrop.

Find out more

If you need help decorating your bathroom now is the time to get expert help at Fabric Gallery & Interiors. You can visit our showroom 6 days a week (Mon-Sat). There is free parking on our doorstep at 13 York Street, Dunnington, YORK YO19 5PN.

But if you’d like to arrange an appointment with Bronia, our Chief Designer, to discuss your requirements in depth please call our showroom on 01904 481101.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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