When it comes to wallpaper applications, many people think the bathroom is a no-go zone but that’s far from true. From vinyl to more traditional options, wallpaper is not only possible in wet areas but it can actually be rather statement making. And unlike tiles, it’s a relatively low-cost proposition to replace it when you feel like redecorating.
And to help us navigate the often misunderstood world of bathroom wallpaper we caught up recently with wallpaper expert and Graham & Brown stylist and trend specialist Paula Taylor, who gave us the skinny.
Wallpaper vs. paint
“Like other rooms in the home, the bathroom is a blank canvas that can reflect our creative side with trendy patterns and prints. When you’re limited to a smaller space, quirky wallpaper designs and pops of bold colour are key to helping bring flair to an otherwise uninspiring room,” says Paula who says that wallpaper adds to the look and feel of a bathroom in a way that paint never could.
Can it get wet?
The most obvious concern people have regarding wallpaper in the bathroom is the issue of moisture but there are plenty of ways around this. “Vinyl wallpapers are more commonly used in bathrooms, especially if they are to be used in an area where they may get splashed. However, if your room is well ventilated to stop it steaming up every day, any wallpaper should be fine to use as long as it isn’t in direct contact with water,” says Paula who says there is one exception. “Any delicate papers that are likely to fall apart in the slightest humidity should be avoided.”
And as for what to do if it does get wet, the common sense approach is to dry it immediately. “It’s best to get it dry rather than let it remain wet over a prolonged period as with any materials in bathrooms it will become mouldy. To remove marks simply wipe it with a damp cloth,” says Paula.
While we’ve established that almost any wallpaper is suitable for a bathroom, provided there is sufficient ventilation, is there a specific way that it should be hung? “Bathroom wallpaper is exactly the same to hang as any other paper – it is even easier if it has a non-woven backing so you can paste the wall and not the paper. This is so handy when getting around tricky corners in bathrooms,” says Paula who explains that some wallpaper varieties are particularly great choices for DIY enthusiasts. “Paste-the-wall wallpaper is so easy to use that anyone can hang it, even in the trickiest areas.”
Often diminutive, the frequently forgotten powder room is an ideal spot for wallpaper and is the perfect place to experiment with pattern. “The best way to inject some personality into a powder room is to decorate with wallpaper! Dark, dramatic pattern can add depth to a room and make the wall recede especially when combined with some strategic mirrors and this works perfectly in a powder room,” says Paula.
Make a statement
“I’m more of a conversational kind of decorator. I like to create a space that has something to say for itself and will have people talking about it. Our ‘Kingdom Lion’ wallpaper, with its trendy yellow background and stunning animal sketches, looks great in small spaces like the bathroom as it really helps bring the room to life. Interestingly, Chromatherapy is set to be a big trend this year and we know that colours are about how you feel – warm yellow and rich green walls, for example, will help rejuvenate the bathroom space in a more contemporary way,” says Paula.
“Also there is something luxurious about pattern in a bathroom that makes the room feel decadent and inviting – perfect for a long soak at the end of a busy day!”