Once reviled, wallpaper has made a major comeback over the past couple of years. Artists and designers have created patterns that range from chic and modern to charmingly retro and you’ll see all manner of looks splashed across the pages of the finest home magazines. Intricate patterns or simple patterns alike can look stunning as the backdrop behind the sleek, smooth white of a freestanding bathtub.
With so many gorgeous looks to choose from, it’s only fitting that people begin to wonder if these patterns can be utilized as they look to design their bathrooms. Well, the answer is a tentative yes: Tentative because, as with any home design project, there are a few things to keep in mind before you make the final decision.
For wallpaper in bathrooms, here are the three:
Ventilation. While most wallpaper is now better designed to stand up to whatever environment it’s placed in, it’s still not entirely advisable to paste wallpaper in parts of your bathroom that aren’t well ventilated. Since steam is sometimes used to remove wallpaper, it stands to reason that you don’t want to install it somewhere that will get (and stay) very steamy.
Material. Most wallpaper is today is made from vinyl to add to its durability. This also makes it easier clean as needed if elements like hair spray begin to build on it. At the same time, though, more eco-friendly, non-vinyl wallpaper is more breathable and resists trapping water better than vinyl. For these reasons, you may want to consider what part of your bathroom you’re planning to wallpaper before you make your material choice. Specialty home stores should also be able to give you a recommendation based on their knowledge of their products.
Another consideration with material comes into play with designer wallpaper that is hand-painted. These designs are gorgeous and unique, but while the wallpaper backing may hold up to moisture, the paint on it may not. For wall paper like this, it’s best to get in touch with the company that sells it (not the distributor) to find out their recommendations and if any of their other clients have installed it in bathrooms.
Re-designability. If you’re the type of person who loves to rearrange furniture, switch lamps from room to room and experiment with new looks from season to season, wallpaper may not be for you. While paint can easily be “painted over,” it’s generally not advisable to do that with wallpaper—much less “wallpaper over” it. Wallpaper is a beautiful look, but can be difficult to remove. If you like to switch up your look relatively regularly, you might want to skip wallpaper in favor of paint.