Give your Bathroom a Maximalist Makeover: A 5 Step Guide  

Bathrooms can often be overlooked when it comes to interior decorating, but they can – and should – be much more than just a functional space!

With Pinterest searches for ‘maximalist decor ’ on the up, now is the time to give your bathroom a bold new look and create a space you actually enjoy being in. If you decide to start a bathroom remodeling project, consider working with a contractor and interior designer to build your dream bathroom. You may also need to look for dumpsters for rent which can be very helpful in your construction cleanup.

Statement wallpapers are the perfect choice for a low-effort, high-impact bathroom makeover, immediately injecting personality and fun into the room.

Paula Taylor, Head Stylist at luxury paint and wallpaper specialists, Graham and Brown, has shared her top tips for using wallpaper in the bathroom. From choosing a pattern to tips on hanging, this is your foolproof guide to nailing this maximalist makeover. 

1. What type of wallpaper to use in the bathroom

Paula says, “Many people are wary about using wallpaper in the bathroom, worried about its practicality and durability in a moist environment. However, with the proper care, almost any wallpaper can be used in the bathroom! 

“If using regular wallpaper, we advise applying a coat of clear matt varnish once you’re finished papering the wall to protect it against moisture. 

“If you are still anxious, there are options available which have been designed specially to be used in bathrooms. Vinyl wallpaper is a more durable material, able to resist moisture, meaning it can survive better in places with high humidity levels.”

2. What patterns work best

Paula tells us “As bathrooms are often the smallest rooms in the house, wallpapering this space will likely only require one roll or less, so why not pick something bold!” 

“Opting for a themed wallpaper is an immediate way to inject the spirit of maximalism into your bathroom. Botanical  and tropical prints work particularly well for transforming the room into a place of complete escapism” 

“When deciding on colours, it’s important to consider the fittings and fixtures already in place in your bathroom. Rich navys and greens are a good choice for complementing metallics, such as silver tap faucets, to accentuate the overall look of your bathroom.”

3. Where to hang bathroom wallpaper

Paula advises, “It’s a good idea to avoid hanging wallpaper in splash areas, such as above taps. Not only does this place the wallpaper at greater risk of damage, but these areas tend to be trickier to cut, fit, and apply the paper. 

“A good alternative is to instead tile any of these splash zones and then apply a complimentary wallpaper above. Combining textures in this way also adds an extra element of visual interest.” 

You don’t have to wallpaper every wall in your bathroom to achieve a statement look. Why not consider a single accent wall? Choosing a wall as far away from the tub or shower as possible will also significantly reduce the upkeep of your wallpaper. Some bathrooms might not be set up in a way that wallpaper can be used because of the place the shower is located.

4. How to hang bathroom wallpaper 

Paula says, “Patience and preparation are the two most important things you need when wallpapering your bathroom. 

“In order to ensure a smooth end-result, your walls need to be bone dry before application. Depending on the humidity levels in your bathroom, we recommend not running the shower for 24-48 hours before you start wallpapering.” 

“Properly preparing your walls is an essential step if you want your wallpaper to withstand humid conditions. Take your time with this step to ensure that you’re starting with a smooth, spotlessly clean foundation. For the bathroom, we recommend using a wallpaper adhesive which contains fungicide – this acts to mould-proof your wallpaper.”

5. Protecting your bathroom wallpaper 

Paula says, “The key thing to consider once your wallpaper is applied is ventilation. You want to prevent condensation from sitting on the wallpaper to reduce the likelihood of damage. 

“After showering or bathing, open up the windows and leave the bathroom door open. This will help dispel humidity before it has a chance to seep into the wallpaper. If you don’t have a large window or find that your bathroom retains humidity, having an efficient extractor fan will be essential.” 

See Graham and Brown’s full step-to-step guide, complete with video instructions, for further wallpaper hanging tips and tricks: How to hang wallpaper | Step by step video and advice | Graham & Brown

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.