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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Bathroom Wallpaper Guide

When it comes to interior design, the bathroom is often overlooked as a space for creativity and self-expression. However, with the right choice of bathroom wallpaper, you can transform this functional room into a stylish oasis that reflects your personality and enhances your daily routines.

James Mellan-Matulewicz, creative director at wallpaper brand Bobbi Beck, shares his expert tips for choosing and applying bathroom wallpaper, so you can achieve a stunning and practical result.

The Benefits of Bathroom Wallpaper

Bathroom wallpaper has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Modern advancements in materials and printing technology have made it a viable option for a

space often characterized by humidity and temperature fluctuations. Some of the benefits of using wallpaper in your bathroom include:

Style Versatility: Wallpaper offers an extensive range of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing you to create a truly unique and personalized look for your bathroom. Whether you're aiming for a serene spa-like atmosphere or a bold and vibrant statement, there's a wallpaper design to match your vision.

Durability: High-quality bathroom wallpapers are designed to withstand the conditions present in a bathroom, including moisture and heat. Most wallpapers can be used in a bathroom, if covered with a decorator’s varnish after it’s installed. This creates an invisible waterproof layer across the seams and surface of the wallpaper.

Easy to Update: If you ever decide to change the look of your bathroom, removing and replacing wallpaper is generally simpler and less time-consuming than repainting, remodeling or replacing bulky bathroom items like sinks and baths.

Aesthetic Impact: The right choice of wallpaper can completely transform the ambiance of your bathroom, making it feel larger, cozier, or more luxurious.

Choosing the Perfect Wallpaper

Before you dive into the world of bathroom wallpaper, consider these key factors to ensure you make the right choice.

Material: Opt for vinyl, vinyl-coated, or non-woven wallpapers that are specifically designed to withstand moisture and humidity. These materials are more resistant to water and can be wiped down without damaging the design.

Pattern and Color: Think about the overall style you want to achieve. Light and pastel colors can make a small bathroom appear larger, while bold patterns can add drama and personality. Consider the existing color scheme and fixtures in your bathroom when selecting a wallpaper.

Texture: Textured wallpapers can add depth and tactile interest to your bathroom. However, be cautious with highly textured options, as they may trap moisture and be more challenging to clean.

Scale of the Pattern: The scale of the pattern should be proportional to the size of your bathroom. In a small space, opt for smaller patterns, while larger bathrooms can accommodate bolder designs.

Maintenance: Choose a wallpaper that is labelled as washable or scrubbable. Bathrooms can accumulate dirt and moisture, so having wallpaper that is easy to clean will ensure its longevity. Applying a decorator’s varnish afterwards can turn a non-washable wallpaper into a washable one.

Application and Maintenance

Proper application and maintenance are essential to getting the most out of your bathroom wallpaper. Some important things to consider are:

Preparation: Ensure your walls are clean, dry, and smooth before applying wallpaper. Repair any imperfections and consider applying a primer to create a smooth surface.

Professional Installation: While DIY installation is possible, hiring a professional wallpaper installer is an option if you're new to wallpapering. Proper installation will ensure a seamless and long-lasting result. Bathrooms are often the trickiest room to decorate because there’s often lots of obstacles and little room to maneuver.

Sealing Edges: In bathrooms, it’s important to apply a waterproof sealant around the edges of the wallpaper to prevent moisture from seeping underneath.

Regular Cleaning: To maintain the beauty of your bathroom wallpaper, regularly clean it using a soft, damp cloth or sponge. Avoid abrasive cleaners that could damage the design. You should only do this if the wallpaper is sold as washable or you’ve applied a varnish over the top after installation.

Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial to reducing humidity levels in your bathroom. Use exhaust fans and open windows when possible to prevent excessive moisture buildup.

Bathroom wallpaper is a fantastic way to infuse style, personality, and sophistication into an overlooked space. By carefully considering materials, patterns and maintenance, you can create a bathroom that is both visually stunning and practical. Remember, the key to successful bathroom wallpaper is choosing the right materials and ensuring proper installation and maintenance. With the right approach, your bathroom can become a true reflection of your design sensibilities and a delightful retreat for both you and your guests.

Editor’s Note: All photography in this article appears courtesy of Bobbi Beck, a carbon neutral design and print studio with a focus on producing luxury wallpapers without damaging the planet. Learn more at

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