18 bathroom wallpaper ideas – the best designs to style a humid space small

Add style to your smallest room with the best bathroom wallpaper ideas around for 2021. Beaut designs that will stand the test of time (and humidity).

Salmon bath with gray wallpaneling and upper half wallpapered wall in modern fish print
(Image credit: Graham & Brown)

Bathroom wallpaper is a thing and no, the best wallpaper ideas aren't just reserved for other, less humid, spots in the house. This wall covering can in fact make a gorgeously decorative and functional addition to what is usually a small albeit boring room. We've picked out designs that add character, color, pattern and punch as well as some classic more traditional looks for the minimalists among us. 

Shop bathroom-specific wallpaper that has been design and developed to resist humidity, withstand splashes, wiping and more and this mini makeover will stand the test of time too. Though, you can use normal wallpaper which may be more on budget, so long as your bathroom is well ventilated and not prone to dampness. Whether you want to go all out, wallpaper just the upper half of a wall with tiling below or, simply paper the wall that sits opposite the sink, bath or shower... Anything goes.

1. Bold bathroom wallpaper for the ceiling

Green bathroom with wallpapered ceiling in a tropical print by chango and co

(Image credit: Design: Chango & Co)

Going for a bold busy print actually works really well in a small bathroom too because it can blur the lines of the edges of the room. It's a really popular trend in small, downstairs bathrooms, too.

If you like the look of this banana leaf print wallpaper, check out Etsy because they have loads of very similar options. 

2. Nature-inspired bathroom wallpaper

Baby pink bathroom door with feature nature-inspired wallpaper, hanging plants and round mirror

(Image credit: @agi_at_59)

A traditional wallpaper with an upgrade, this heritage design in charcoal works perfectly to uplift this bathroom space created by Agi of @agi_at_59. The space is modern, and breezy, especially with the addition of bathroom plants that further add form and texture. 'The bathroom wallpaper is called Crane Fonda and it's by Divine Savages'

3. Fifties bathroom wallpaper that's kitsch but cool

Parisian-inspired wallpaper with patterned bathroom counter top basin, vintage chest and gold plated faucets

(Image credit: Kelling Designs)

Isn’t this wallpaper as pretty as a picture? Depicting Paris in the '50s this design is a collaboration between Kelling Designs and artist Paul Roberts. They have two other designs: London in the '60s and New York in the '70s which are equally as divine. It is worth investing in a glass or perspex splashback as you can see here to protect the wallpaper from splashes and pick out colors from the design for your towels and other bits and bobs. 

4. Peel-and-stick bathroom wallpaper with character

Mint green and white crane printed removable wallpaper in a bathroom with white finishes

(Image credit: Wallpapers4beginners)

Oh, how gorgeous and glam is this bathroom wallpaper? And the best part is that it's actually removable! The great thing about peel and stick wallpaper is you can test out really bold prints, without worrying that you will have wasted loads of time and energy hanging it, only to realize it's not for you. 

This crane print is giving us Gucci vibes (yes, Gucci makes gorgeous and extortionate wallpaper), the lovely green colors and the Oriental style print are just so dreamy. It's by Wallpapers4beginners and is £38.65 a roll. 

5. A bathroom mural with a view

White bathroom with central charcoal landscape mural, black painted freestanding bath and gold accents

Room fittings by Delightfull

(Image credit: Delightfull)

Mural ideas work in bathrooms as they can make a brilliant backdrop behind a roll-top bath – adding to the drama of the bath design and drawing attention to this wall. Some murals come sized to suit your space, which means you can get the design spot on. For best effect, choose a design that's simple but with impact, and ideally one that has a pale background to enhance a small space. Finally? Double check it can stand up to splashes or be prepared to put glazed panels over it. Try Murals Wallpaper for plenty of great designs.

6. Get a cohesive look by matching a wallpaper to your bath

Vintage yellow and green printed wallpaper behind yellow painted roll top bathtub

(Image credit: Little Greene)

We love this sunny yellow bathroom. And, how the hints of yellow work with the bath too, so cute. You can recreate this look with any color, and if you don't happen to have a colorful roll top bath you can easily paint it yourself – this works if you have a bath with a panel too. 

7. Icy flamingo printed paper

Ice and linen flamingo print wallpaper in a traditional bathroom with elegant tub, glass pendants and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Wallpaperdirect US)

A touch of trad glamour always works in a bathroom space, especially if you have a porcelain roll top bath to complete the look. Let the icy hues do the talking with this bathroom wallpaper print for maximum, elegant effect. Salinas is available from Wallpaperdirect.com.

8. Pick a bathroom wallpaper design to inspire your scheme

Teal bathroom feature wallpaper with painted roll top bath, chequered flooring and black accents

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If you've gone for a roll-top bath that can be painted, use your wallpaper as a jumping-off point for your bathroom decor. Here, this beautiful Aurora wallpaper by Little Greene has inspired a repaint of the bath and new flooring. It's a beaut.

9. Mix wallpaper with tiles for a practical solution

If you are worried about the practicalities of having wallpaper in a bathroom, why not tile halfway up your wall to cover the areas that make face a few splashes and then wallpaper above that. This is actually a great trick for a small bathroom too, as it helps create the allusion of height in the space – plus you can get really creative with the tile/wallpaper combination. 

10. Mimic tiles with bathroom wallpaper

White bathroom wallpaper with geometric print, freestanding bath, basin, black painted window frames and dark flooring

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

Why? Bathroom wallpaper is way cheaper than tiles, easy to DIY and if treated right can look good for a long time. It's a great stop-gap if you can't afford tiles or if you want a softer surface and don't need to worry about splashes. Our advice? Marry wallpaper that looks like tiles very carefully with any other tiles within the room – go for a contrast in size and finish rather than attempting a match. 

11. Pick a soft floral wallpaper for a traditional feel 

We love all Sandberg wallpapers, the colors are so soft and the patterns so detailed. If you like a more traditional vibe in your bathroom definitely check them out. Here the almost wash-out colours and gentle pattern of the bathroom wallpaper, help soften those very white tiles and help them fit with the rustic look that's going on in the rest of the space. 

12. Balance a dark bathroom wallpaper with lighter floors

Salmon bath with gray wall paneling and marble flooring, with upper half wallpapered wall in modern dark and light fish print

(Image credit: Graham & Brown)

A black based wallpaper looks dramatic and stylish, but to prevent the look from becoming too dark and cave like, it can happen, believe us, you need to add contrast. This can be done in various ways, a colourful bath as shown here and pale and interesting flooring. The marble tiles lift the whole feel of the room visually and tie in beautifully with the colors in the fabulous wallpaper.

13. Mix modern and classic bathroom styles

Blue bathroom wall paneling with abstract feature printed wallpaper and salmon pink accessories

(Image credit: Miss Print)

We can often feel torn when designing a room - so many beautiful products and designs to choose from with many being modern and trad. But there are ways to mix the two successfully, we love the idea of classic style sanitaryware teamed with bold colours and a modern print wallpaper. The trad aspects soften the modern so a beautiful balance is achieved! And these pops of pale coral give this blue scheme a spot of warmth.

14. Match up the classics

Ribbon printed wallpaper with matching blinds behind gray freestanding bath with silver plated faucets and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Warner House)

We love a cohesive look and this monochromatic scheme is fabulous! Matching fabric and wallpaper gives a striking all round look which is perfectly balanced with the white woodwork, black painted bath and characterful oak floorboards. The gold picture frame and taps add a hint of warmth, this is always vital as you don’t want your bathroom to feel cold and clinical. Add in a fluffy bathmat and matching towels for coziness. 

15. Raspberry pink wallpaper in a small bathroom

Raspberry pink bathroom with floral wallpaper and black and white chequered floor tiles

(Image credit: The Curious Department)

This is a super bold print that has elements of the decorative Art Nouveau period teamed with perfect shades of blush and pink. As if it couldn’t be more fabulous – it has a subtle pearlescent sheen too! It looks great with black and brass fixtures and fittings, but would also work with plain pinks, coral and crisp white.

16. Mystical wood wallpaper

bathroom with grey tiles, a modern shower, copper accents and patterned wallpaper

(Image credit: Brett Charles)

Create a cool view for every time you shower with striking Woods wallpaper from Cole & Son. This design complements the gray tiling perfectly and adds a touch of escapism that we all want in a bathroom right?

17. Make your bathroom look a little loud

Lauren Hubbard got creative with colour, revamped her bathroom for £350

(Image credit: Lauren Hubbard @homeofgetkooky)

Make an impact with unexpected and the brightest of color pairings, not just in one spot but, all around the tub and tiling also. You feel instantly energized in this eclectic bathroom space, it might not be for everyone, but it's the perfect example of being bold with your wallpaper.

18. Bathroom wallpaper meets metro

Cream and black printed bathroom wallpaper on upper half of wall with white metro tiling beneath and a decorative picture frame

(Image credit: Woodchip & Magnolia)

Wallpaper just the upper half of your bathroom wall and pair it with metro tiling for a contemporary and cool look. Mixing a classic print with modern dark accents brings character and flair to a small bathroom space, making it far more unique.

Do I need a special wallpaper to use in a bathroom?

As long as your bathroom is well-ventilated and doesn’t get too humid you can use a standard wallpaper in your wet room/bathroom. These days the development of wallpapers has come on leaps and bounds so they are tough enough to withstand bathroom and kitchen use.  

However, be clever about where you place it - if you have it next to the bath, sink or shower area you can cover it with a clear glass or perspex panel so it’s not continually getting splashed, or have a tiled splashback and start the wallpaper higher up. 

Some companies offer specific ranges, as Paula Taylor, Colour and Trend Specialist at Graham & Brown explains, ‘Our range of bathroom wallpaper has been specially formulated to withstand humidity and moisture whilst maintaining its quality appearance. It’s both durable and washable, making it perfect for use in an area where the risk of spillages is high.’

The world of bathroom wallpaper is your oyster.

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.