Is bathroom wallpaper still on trend? Interior designers share how to invite pattern into the bathroom in 2024

We speak to interior designers and bathroom experts alike to ask the all-important question: should you be introducing wallpaper to your bathroom in 2024?

is bathroom wallpaper on trend
(Image credit: Paloma Contreras / Photography Aimée Mazzenga / BC Designs / Ryann Swan /)

No longer confined to just living rooms and bedrooms, wallpaper is seeing a remarkable revival in 2024, bolding entering a space once considered out of the question – the bathroom.

Bathroom wallpaper, once relegated to the sidelines, is making a splash in bathroom design and has emerged as an exciting way to give your bathroom an instant uplift of color and pattern. But will it endure as a timeless bathroom idea? Or is it simply a fleeting flirtation? 

From creating a statement in a small bathroom or powder room to paneling and paper pairings that will transform a family bathroom or sprawling ensuite; we've gathered insights from interior designers and practical tips from bathroom experts to answer: is bathroom wallpaper still on trend in 2024? Here's what you need to know. 

Is Bathroom Wallpaper Still In Style?

blue floral wallpaper with navy blue vanity storage and plaster flower wall sconces

(Image credit: Paloma Contreras / Photography Aimée Mazzenga)

The simple answer is yes. In 2024, we're all craving rooms filled will with personality, and there is no bigger impact way to do that than with wallpaper. And design experts agree. 

'Absolutely,' says renowned interior designer Emily Henderson. 'I have wallpapered almost every bathroom in my home (or am about to). It's just an easy way to add a ton of character. You just want to make sure it's installed correctly because of potential moisture,' she advises. 

'Wallpaper is majorly in for bathrooms, but was it ever not?' agrees Alexandra Azat, founder of Plaster & Patina. 'We love wallpaper in a bathroom. Not only does it warm it right up, but it gives us a break from the usually cold finishes that exist in bathrooms.'

traditional transitional bathroom with wallpaper and paneled walls

(Image credit: Plaster & Patina / Photography Amy Bartlam)

But when did bathroom wallpaper start to become popular? Brenna Ryan, bathroom expert at Victorian Plumbing explains: 'The wallpapered bathroom trend came about in the 70s and is making a comeback in a big way. Using wallpaper in the bathroom is a great way to add new patterns and colors into the typically more minimalistic room, and encapsulates the '70s design trends we're starting to see coming back throughout the home,' she says. 

Bathroom wallpaper has solidified its place in 2024. The variety of available patterns, textures, and moisture-resistant materials has allowed for more creative expression without compromising on practicality.

'I've always loved wallpaper in a powder room or a kid's bathroom because those are spaces where I feel free to have a little more fun,' observes designer Bethany Adams. 'It's an entirely personal choice in a primary bathroom. Some people are still worried about the humidity of daily showers wreaking havoc on the wallpaper paste but the extractor fans these days are way more effective and quiet (therefore more likely to be used) than in years past so there's really nothing to worry about,' she advises.

So How Do You Use Bathroom Wallpaper In 2024?

1. Go bold in smaller spaces

green stork wallpaper in a small ensuite bathroom by studio duggan

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

Small bathrooms present an opportunity to maximize visual impact in limited space. Contrary to the belief that one should play it safe in confined areas, bold patterns, and rich colors can add depth and character into even the most petite of powder rooms.

'Powder Rooms are small spaces that offer a unique opportunity to have fun and add character to your home,' suggests Jennifer Wundrow, founder of Jennifer Wundrow Interior Design. 'It’s a room you don’t spend much time in and therefore has few limitations, so make it feel special. Have a party in your Powder Room...why not?'

Charlotte Cosby, creative director at Farrow & Ball, finds that people are often braver with color and pattern in smaller spaces like an ensuite bathroom, as the bold investment doesn't feel as scary. 'It is also a great way to see how you feel about injecting more color and pattern into the home as a small shower room or WC can be shut away,' she advises. 'Being more experimental in smaller spaces is a great way to add more interest to a space that can often feel very clinical and practical,' Charlotte adds.

farrow and ball creative director charlotte cosby
Charlotte Cosby

Charlotte began her career in finance, but she soon realized that her heart was in the creative world and she moved to Farrow & Ball in 2006. She has full responsibility for creative direction, including product development, brand identity, photography, showroom design and much more. Charlotte is passionate about pattern, colour and design.

2. Take it over every wall

blue bathroom with modern wallpaper

(Image credit: A. Naber Design / Charlotte Lea)

Abbie Naber, founder of A. Naber Design and designer of the bijou bathroom seen above, agrees that bathroom wallpaper is always a feature to consider.

'I love incorporating wallpaper in a powder bathroom or a smaller space in general,' advises Abbie. 'You don't have the moisture component of a bathroom with a shower, and small spaces can really be impacted by covering all of the walls in the space.'

'Here, we installed wallpaper on all walls and painted the ceiling and baseboard dark to really engulf the space in a deep hue,' she adds. Note how even the sanitaryware are part of the color scheme here, creating a seamless palette without any harsh contrasts that an all-white suite would provide.

annie naber interior designer
Abbie Naber

Abbie Naber is the owner and principal designer of a NABER DESIGN, a San Diego based interior design firm. Focusing on renovations, new builds, interior design, and styling, Abbie strives to create spaces that are approachable, fresh, and inviting. 

3. Consider moisture-resistant paper

blue stripe wallpaper in a traditional bathroom with checkerboard floor tiles and freestanding tub

(Image credit: BC Designs)

When it comes to bathrooms versus wallpaper, the importance of choosing moisture-resistant paper is a non-negotiable, according to the experts. 

Given the inherent moisture levels in bathrooms, it's sensible to opt for wallpapers best suited for durability in wet environments. Look for materials that are mold and mildew-resistant, with a vinyl coating or scrubbable finish to ensure your chosen design stands the test of time without compromising on style. No one likes a peeling wall. 

Brenna Ryan, bathroom expert at Victorian Plumbing, advises about the precautions to take to avoid moisture damage when installing bathroom wallpaper. 

'Make sure you opt for bathroom wallpaper designed to be wipeable, which will allow you to blot away moisture, and remove marks, dirt, and things like toothpaste, which often end up on bathroom walls,' advises Brenna. 

'Too much moisture in your bathroom can lead to issues with mold and mildew. One way to counteract this is to invest in a dehumidifier, which works by trapping the moisture in the air, preventing it from spreading around the room. This is especially important in wallpapered bathrooms where moisture may get trapped behind and have nowhere to escape,' she adds.

4. Or pick a splash free zone to wallpaper

small bathroom with marble sink and floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Ryann Swan / Photography Read McKendree)

An obvious solution, particularly if you've fallen in love with a wallpaper that isn't moisture-friendly, is to limit it to bathrooms without showers or tubs, or stick to an accent wall outside of the splash zone. 

'When choosing where to put wallpaper in your bathroom, many people choose a singular statement wall,' says Brenna. 'The best option when deciding where to put the wallpaper is to choose a wall furthest from a water source, opting for a wall that is not against a bath, shower, or sink.' 

'If you don’t have a good bathroom extractor fan, this can be an issue for wallpaper as the higher temperatures may result in your wallpaper peeling,' adds Brenna.

5. Don't add wallpaper as an afterthought

little greene red and green bathroom with floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Choosing your wallpaper early in the design process is a surefire way to nail a harmonious scheme. You can then anchor other elements around the design and color palette of your chosen wallpaper, creating cohesive threads of similar elements throughout the space to ensure it feels curated and thought-out. 

'I always love a thoughtful wallpaper moment,' says interior designer Kathy Kuo. 'If you love the idea of fun patterned wallpaper but feel like it would be too overwhelming in a larger room, a wallpapered bathroom is the perfect compromise,' she advises.  

'I don't think of wallpapered bathrooms as a bathroom trend. If you love the look, go for it and plan the rest of your decor and room essentials such as wall art, towels, storage baskets, and shower curtains around the pattern,' Kathy suggests.

Texas-based designer Paloma Contreras, agrees with this principle, saying: 'Wallpaper is officially back – although in my opinion it never left! The key to choosing a timeless wallpaper is staying true to your style, not trends. To complement your choice of wallpaper, opt for tonal paint colors, cohesive hardware, and beautiful light fixtures.'

kathy kuo home
Kathy Kuo

Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry. 

6. Bring it up and over the ceiling

farrow and ball green floral wallpapered tiny bathroom with wallpapered ceiling

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Extending wallpaper onto the ceiling creates a cocooning effect, drawing the eye upward and adding an element of delight and surprise to a bathroom. 

Paul Simmons, director and co-founder of luxury fabric and wallpaper brand Timorous Beasties is naturally a fan of wallpapered restrooms. 'If there is one room you can take risks in the home, it’s the bathroom. Whether it’s a small space or a grand en suite, introducing wallpaper in the bathroom has had a big resurgence.'

'Wallpaper allows you to play with perspective. By covering the ceiling and wrapping the whole space in the same design will create a dramatic and impactful effect,' advises Paul. Taking the design up and over the ceiling is a great way to create the illusion of extended space by ensuring there are no harsh breaks or contrasts to create a feeling of depth and endlessness.

7. Pair wallpaper with paneling for a softer look

pink and blue bathroom with paneled and wallpaper walls

(Image credit: Emily Henderson / Photography Kaitlin Green)

If you're keen to try wallpaper in your bathroom but it all feels a little too bold, try a combo of wallpaper and bathroom paneling for the lower half of the room to yield a softer result. This not only adds depth and dimension to the bathroom but creates a visual balance allowing you to play with pattern and color. 

‘Wallpaper is a wonderful way to add texture and character to a bathroom,' says uth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene. 'Painted paneling below wallpaper in a bathroom is not only a stylish way to add color, it’s a practical choice, too.'

'Whilst Little Greene wallpapers work fantastically in well-ventilated bathrooms, opting for durable and wipeable paint finishes such as our ‘Intelligent Eggshell’ or ‘Intelligent Satinwood’ on paneling will ensure a beautiful and robust finish,' she advises. 'Bathrooms are the perfect place to really indulge in pattern and color to create a sumptuous intimate space without upsetting the flow of your overall color scheme for the entire home.'

Ruth Mottershead
Ruth Mottershead

Ruth Mottershead is the creative director of the family-run paint and wallpaper businesses Little Greene and Paint & Paper Library, which specialize in creating luxurious paint and wallpaper that represent 300 years of decorative history.

8. Or pair with tile to keep things practical

neutral coastal bathroom with blue patterned wallpaper and rattan accents

(Image credit: Plaster & Patina / Photography Bryan N. Miller)

Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs, says: 'Homeowners are using a variety of textures and materials in the bathrooms these days, and this includes the use of wallpaper. Long gone are the days of just a vast wall of plain tiles, and instead we want our bathrooms to have personality and color, and wallpaper is a fantastic way of achieving this,' he suggests.

'Not every wall has to be tiled in a bathroom, as only the areas that come into direct contact need to be to protect walls and floors from excess water,' advises Barrie. 'This provides plenty of opportunity to use wallpaper creatively. A firm favorite is to either tile or panel half a wall and then wallpaper the top half in a matching or contrasting wallpaper, dependent on the look and vibe you are after.'

'Using wallpaper in bathrooms is something that we love to incorporate into our projects,' notes interior designer Tama Bell. 'It is a wonderful way to add texture, pattern, color, and a true design layer to a space and overall color scheme. I don’t see it as a trend for that very reason!'

'I love that you create either a soft look or really create a room that is a statement. Why on earth, would wallpaper in a bathroom ever go out of style?'

Bathroom wallpaper remains firmly entrenched as a style that shows no signs of waning, and interior designers agree. Lean into pattern play, consider a curated combo of paneling or tile, and of course, be practical with moisture and you'll be sure to enjoy a wallpapered bathroom with the confidence that you're right on trend in 2024.  

Charlotte Olby
Style & Trends Editor

Charlotte is style and trends editor at Homes and Gardens, and has been with the team since Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she has worked at many women's glossy magazines including Grazia, Stylist, and Hello and most recently worked as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with her passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome