Interior Designers Share Their Tips for a Successful Bathroom Renovation

Palma (Ebony) Wallpaper | Design by Katie Kath | Hygge & West

Photo by Spacecrafting Photography | Design by Katie Kath

If you’ve ever scrolled through our Instagram feed you might start to notice another kind of pattern: H&W customers love a wallpapered bathroom. Our non-scientific study suggests that it is the most popular room to paper. Why? Bathrooms are the perfect place to go bold and take risks. Think of it as a jewel box in which to play with pattern and color. With this in mind, we gathered up some wallpaper tips and tricks from professional designers - Katie KathBlair and Jeff AinswothAubrey Hlavaty, and Samantha Pappas - to inspire you to create a bathroom of your own that really stands out.

Underwater World (Charcoal) Wallpaper | Design by Katie Kath | Hygge & West

Photo by Spacecrafting Photography | Design by Katie Kath

Designer: Katie Kath of Jkath

Design considerations: "We were designing a unique space for each of our children, this bathroom is for our 13 year old daughter. We wanted to infuse craftsmanship with a custom bathroom vanity from our shop and needed elements that could hold up to this unique piece of furniture. The neutral and organic tones with all natural marble elements quickly led to a coastal chic style. The Underwater World wallpaper feels timeless, not age specific and bold enough to compliment the adjacent elements within this space. It was an early selection in our design phase, allowing us to pair accessories and lighting for the finishing touches. A space, we all agreed on, and we call this a success!"

Underwater World (Charcoal) Walllpaper in a bathroom | Design by Katie Kath | Hygge & WestPhoto by Spacecrafting Photography | Design by Katie Kath

Katie's top three bathroom renovation tips: 

  1. Add custom elements where possible, in our case we always go custom on bathroom vanities. In other cases it could be recessed shelving, unique wall paneling, natural materials such as marble, soapstone or other special elements too bold for larger spaces such as the kitchen. 
  2. Play with color, a unique vanity stain, bold hardware or a vintage rug you’ve been eyeing up. We also love the new trend of painting walls, trim, casing and the door interior all one color. 
  3. Pattern mixing, paying close attention to scale. If one area of the bathroom is a smaller scale, such as your floor tile, go with a larger scale wallpaper selection. A small print wallpaper may be better paired with a larger format tile.
Daydream (Green) Shower Curtain and Wallpaper | Design by Blue House Texas | Hygge & WestPhoto via Blair and Jeff Ainswoth

Designer: Blair and Jeff Ainswoth of Blue House Homes

Design considerations: "We have been fond of the Daydream Wallpaper from Hygge and West for years and have used it in a handful of projects and even have it in our own home. We love how it reads whimsical yet polished, fitting right in with our aesthetic, and the color combinations have always grabbed our attention. When we started talking about the design for our client's oldest girl's bathroom, they wanted a fun, colorful, and whimsical vibe that would grow with their daughter. We knew right away this space would be a perfect spot for the Daydream Wallpaper in Green and the client's were immediately on board. We then pulled the aqua green color from the bird for the vanity paint color and employed a patterned white tile on the floor and shower walls in order to highlight the wallpaper. Our clients had the fabulous idea to add the matching shower curtain, which we enthusiastically agreed tied the whole room together!"

Petal Pusher (Blush) Walllpaper in bathroom | Design by Blue House Texas | Hygge & WestPhoto by Caroline Fontenot | Design by Blair and Jeff Ainswoth

Blair and Jeff's top three bathroom renovation tips: 

  1. Bathrooms are a perfect place to express your style and showcase your personality. We encourage our clients to have fun with the design of their bathrooms. They are typically small and can be a more cost effective area to splurge on that tile you've been eyeing or that wallpaper you love. 
  2. Find a way to include at least one unexpected detail. Whether it is a unique shaped mirror, a vintage piece, or adding a pop of color or pattern with wallpaper.
  3. The primary bathtub is one of the most intimate and personal spaces in your entire house; make it yours. Calm and serene or bold and colorful, just do you.
Storyline (White) Wallpaper in a bathroom | Design by Copper and Cotton | Hygge & West

Photo via Aubrey Hlavaty

Designer: Aubry Hlavaty of Copper and Cotton Design

Design considerations: "A children’s bathroom in Central Park, Buffalo NY.  In designing this children’s bathroom I wanted to highlight the original historic features of the space, most notably the beautiful tall window, while also giving our client a space that felt really fresh and updated.  We paired a classic white subway tile for the walls with a pale blue penny round tile for the floors.  Fixtures were selected in a brushed brass finish to contrast the white tile and the finishing touch was the addition of the Storyline wallpaper in white on the upper half of the walls.  It was the perfect touch of whimsy that this children’s bathroom needed!"

Storyline (White) Wallpaper in a kid's bathroom | Design by Copper and Cotton | Hygge & WestPhoto via Aubrey Hlavaty

Aubrey's top three bathroom renovation tips: 

  1. Focus on function first. Whenever I design a bathroom I always start by asking a client what functions well for them and more importantly what is not functioning well or lacking in the space. Nailing down your layout and functionality needs at the beginning of a project will ensure you make a really good investment in your home.
  2. Trust your intuition. When selecting materials, inspiration photos can be super helpful, but try to not get fixated on replicating a photo.  A space that you will love and enjoy will be a space that reflects your energy and incorporates colors, textures and patterns that you are intuitively drawn to and bring you joy.
  3. Layer textures. A well designed bathroom includes layers of various textures that add visual interest and character to the space.  Wallpaper is always my go-to when trying to balance a tile-heavy bathroom.  It adds a much needed softness and is a great way to incorporate color!
Wood (Dark Night) Wallpaper in a kids bathroom | Design by Samantha Pappas
Photo by Courtney Elizabeth Media | Design by Samantha Pappas

Designer: Samantha Pappas of Samantha Pappas Design

Design Considerations: "The Wood wallpaper is the perfect pattern when you want a design to be playful but sophisticated. When I designed this bathroom I kept in mind this was for two children. This paper is fun and whimsical but as the children grow won’t be childish or outgrown. This pattern is cohesive with the rest of the house, not only in the color pallet, but with its play on the outdoors. I pull a lot of inspiration from the outdoors and the surroundings in Maine and the Wood wallpaper, in this color, fit the bill perfectly. With the colors of the roman window shades and shower curtains, as well as the use of the natural wood vanity and stone top, this pattern is what ties the entire design together."

Bruno Sale Wallpaper in a bathroom designed by Samantha PappasPhoto by Courtney Elizabeth Media | Design by Samantha Pappas

Samantha's top three bathroom renovation tips:

  1. When designing a bathroom make sure to remember the rest of the design of the home. The bathroom can have its own unique style but in some way should blend and be harmonious with the other rooms in the house. Consider the other textures, colors and finishes used through the home and tie those into the bathroom in some way.
  2. Consider using wallpaper in a bathroom to make a huge impact, especially if it is a smaller space. It gives the room a focal point while tying the entire room together without other furnishings competing with the color or pattern of the paper. 
  3. Lastly, when designing a bathroom consider the layout and what makes the most sense. Keep in mind the size of the room and what works in that space. Don’t add too many features making the room feel overcrowded. It should evoke a feeling of calm.

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