Posted on October 19 2017
Can you wallpaper a bathroom? Absolutely! Wallpaper in bathroom settings is an interior design technique that adds a lot of character to the home. After reading our guide on how to wallpaper a bathroom, you might be wondering what popular wallpaper patterns will work best for your space. In this article, we’ll be talking about one style in particular.
Watercolor or “hand painted” wallpaper is a design style that’s on the rise, especially in the past few years. It’s a look that isn’t its own category, but is found across many popular wallpaper styles, such as floral, geometric, contemporary, abstract, and so on. To clarify, these wallpapers don't use actual watercolor paints, but the aesthetics of the design use artistic elements found in watercolor paintings. As you browse through our favourite watercolor wallpapers bellow, you’ll see what we mean. For each watercolor wallpaper design, we’ve also added a close up shot of a different color in order to really show the beautiful painted look. Enjoy and we hope you find inspiration for your own bathroom wallpaper!
Playful and colorful wallpaper in the bathroom
Pink Classic Flamingoes was also featured in our previous blog, Designer Wallpaper Trends for 2017, but because it fits the theme of this article as well, let’s talk about it again (plus, we just love this design so we can’t get enough of it)! This nature-themed wallpaper, perfect for adding a lot of flair as bathroom wallpaper, is a great example of the “watercolor” aesthetic. It contains visible “brush” strokes that do not entirely cover up the background, giving it a painted look mimicking an artist’s hand.
For those who aren’t looking for vibrant or bright pink bathroom wallpaper, especially if it doesn’t fit the visual theme for the rest of the home, this Blue Classic Flamingos wallpaper has a more subtle color palette. The soft grey-blues add a touch of sophistication to this playful and engaging wallpaper design.
For another fun design, this Gold and Cream Hummingbird wallpaper is sure to please. The complexity of the design adds a high level of interest to the walls, particularly when used as bathroom wallpaper. Since the space is generally smaller than other rooms in the home, viewers will get a closer look at the details of the pattern. Because of how dynamic the watercolor wallpaper design is, it adds a layer of depth to the walls, which can help make a space feel larger than it actually is.
While the colors are bolder and deeper than the previous example, this one definitely still counts as a watercolor/hand painted wallpaper style. There are areas where it appears the “canvas” below peaks through, such as the beige/white areas between the flower blossoms. These little stylistic additions makes watercolor wallpaper stand out from traditional designs where the color is filled in.
Natural and fresh wallpaper in the bathroom
Large-scale patterns will make a huge impact in terms of being a 2017 wallpaper trend, and our next choice capitalizes on the fact that wallpapers are used as a décor item to really bring attention to the entire space. For a more naturalistic look that is reminiscent of lush, forest environments, floral wallpaper patterns that use leaves instead of flowers is quickly becoming a favourite for interior designers. With this Tropical Natural Leaves wallpaper, notice how the different shades of green bleed into each other, creating a gorgeous colorful gradient effect. It’s exactly how a watercolor painting would look.
For a more subtle take, here’s a look at the grey and white version, which maintains the watercolor aesthetics. Used as bathroom wallpaper, this design brings a contemporary edge to the space that combines with the sense of the outdoors. If at first glance all you see are the large tropical leaves, just take a closer look at the pattern and you’ll see what we mean. Butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, caterpillars – bet you didn’t see them at first glance!
For a more neutral color scheme, this taupe colored wallpaper also features a similar tropical leaf pattern, but one that uses more negative space, giving it a more minimalistic feel. Unlike the curvy lines of the previous wallpaper, Tropical Watercolor Leaf wallpaper makes use of straight lines to create a more geometric aesthetic.
What’s interesting about this bathroom wallpaper is that the color contrast in the gradients is much more pronounced. Take a closer look at each branch and you’ll notice a huge variation between the darker green stems that extend out to the much lighter beige/yellow tips of the leaves. This design choice certainly adds an artistic touch to the bathroom walls.
Elegant floral wallpaper in the bathroom
Moving back to watercolor/hand painted wallpapers that feature a bolder color scheme, this Soft Painted Beige and Teal Bouquet wallpaper adds a romantic, elegant touch to the space when used as bathroom wallpaper. The brush strokes are much more pronounced, especially for the flower bouquets.
We’re huge fans of Vincent Van Gogh’s work (and the wallpapers that have been inspired by it) so this floral landscape is right up our alley.
If you’re looking for a strong contrast between the focal point of the wallpaper (in this case, the flower bouquets) and the background, this blue and white version gets the job done. The darker blue background helps to highlight the main floral arrangement while also providing a nice color contrast that helps make the white blossoms “pop” off the walls.
If simplicity is the effect you’re hoping to create with your bathroom wallpaper, Watercolor Minimalist Blossoms is one of our newest (and favourite) designs. The colorful blossoms feature that iconic watercolor effect with gorgeous golden colors blending together to create a stylish, graceful aesthetic. Set on a white background, this wallpaper is suitable for small bathroom spaces as well.
While the golden variation of this floral wallpaper conveys a sense of sophistication in a space, bathroom wallpaper with this red and white version has a bold and romantic feel. The deep reds mingle with the lighter, brighter reds to create an eye-catching contrast that will transform any bathroom.
Funky abstract wallpaper in the bathroom
Moving away from nature-themed and floral patterns, you can also find watercolor or hand painted styles in the abstract wallpaper category. Smaller bathrooms require more careful consideration of wallpaper, since you don’t want to overwhelm the space with large-scale prints or complex designs. Thus, abstract wallpapers work amazingly well for small bathrooms because most of the time, the design focuses on how colors interact with each other rather than a specific image like birds or leaves.
As one of the newest abstract wallpaper patterns to catch our attention, Retro Tie Dye makes use of exciting colors that seem to pulsate across the walls, giving the space a boost in energy. Again, for interior designers looking to create a minimalist look with their bathroom wallpaper, this pattern fits the bill with its splashes of color resting on a neutral background.
While the previous example emphasized watercolor effects, Pastel Brushed Landscape is all about hand painted brush strokes, which work to highlight its abstract aesthetics. For art history enthusiasts, this wallpaper design may be familiar to you! It’s definitely reminiscent of Impressionist paintings, with an emphasis on creating texture and weight with simplistic yet carefully placed colors. In the stunning example above, we’ve got teals, green, yellows, and oranges that combine to create a visually pleasing artistic bathroom wallpaper.
For a more muted color scheme that’s equally appealing, check out Tan Brushed Landscape. This wallpaper features violet, beige, brown, and taupe colors that offer a refined take on the colorful landscape in the previous example. With a complimentary color scheme, you could even use the previous wallpaper to mix and match with this one by using the more colorful of the pair to create a feature wall in your bathroom!
Wallpaper in bathroom settings is a simple way to customize your décor and add a creative touch to your home environment. While most people think of bedrooms or living rooms as the first places to add wallpaper, bathroom wallpaper is quickly becoming a popular project for many homeowners to tackle. Adding bathroom wallpaper featuring watercolor or hand painted aesthetics is just one way to keep up with the latest 2017 wallpaper trends!