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How to transform your cloakroom with statement wallpaper

Impress your guests with a small space that demands attention. We have the tips and the patterns that matter…

beverly hills palm wallpaper
Ryan Garvin

So, how can I add character to such a tiny room?

If you’ve fallen in love with a bold wallpaper pattern – such as the iconic ‘Martinique’ from the Beverly Hills hotel (above) used by interior designer Robin Strickler of Design Works – but fear it will overpower a large space, the cloakroom is the perfect place to showcase it.

‘Small spaces are easy to update – plus, they’re some of the less frequented places in the home,’ says Carley Bean, head of design at Cole & Son. ‘They become fun little pockets of design.’

What types of pattern should I use?

‘Conversational wallpapers work well in the cloakroom, as it’s one of the few places where a guest might pay attention to detail and appreciate it,’ says Paul Simmons, co-founder of Timorous Beasties.

In wet spaces, it’s wise to coat wallpaper with a layer of varnish to prevent damage – try Decorator’s Varnish from Polyvine. You don’t have to stick with wallpaper, though – interior designer Kia Stanford is a big fan of Bisazza’s mosaic tiles. ‘Tiles are much more hard-wearing – geometric and flower patterns are two of my favourites at the moment,’ she says. ‘Use monochrome styles if you don’t feel ready for colour.’

Are there any other ways that I can create an impact?

‘Adding decorative accessories and artworks is another easy way to add instant character,’ says interior designer Afroditi Krassa. Whether you opt for a statement mirror, oversized, checked floor tiles or a piece of taxidermy, the more unique the pieces you choose, the better.

Are there any practical considerations?

Since you’re dealing with such a small area, it’s best to keep your floor space uncluttered. Look for a sink with a lot of built-in storage– Burlington Bathrooms has an ideal corner vanity unit.

Five of the best: Statement wallpapers

Best for Victoriana: House of Hackney
This brand is inspired by the past, but its large-scale motifs and pattern-on-pattern style creates a modern look. ‘Artemis’ from the ‘House of Hackney x William Morris’ range, £185 per roll, houseofhackney.com

hackney wallpaper
’Artemis’, £185 per 10 metre roll, from the House of Hackney x William Morris collection
House of Hackney

Best for abstract geometrics: Kit Miles
Designer Kit Miles sees pattern everywhere, and interprets it with a surreal twist. Motifs include floor tiles and city skylines, which he distorts into something weird and wonderful.‘Kubrick’, £140 per roll, kitmiles.co.uk

kit miles paper
‘Kubrick’, £140 per roll, Kit Miles
Kit Miles

Best for modern chinoserie: Witch and Watchman
Founder and designer Helen Wilson says she is inspired by the flora she imagines would take over a crumbling mansion in a classic Hollywood movie. ‘Siberia Light’, £240 per 10 metre roll, witchandwatchman.com

animals in tree wallpaper
’Siberia Light’, £240 per 10 metre roll, Witch & Watchman
Witch and Watchman

Best for graphic illustration: Pierre Frey
This family-owned Parisian company is known for its fantastic hand-painted patterns, such as this ‘Sonora’ design in ‘Vert’, which is inspired by the sunsetting on cactus plants. £156 per metre, pierrefrey.com

cactus wallpaper
’Sonora’ in ’vert’, £156 per metre, Pierre Frey
Pierre Frey

Best for just about everything: Cole & Son
Check out the ‘Icons’ collection, which features the brand’s best-known designs with reworked colours. ‘Miami’ in ‘Pastel’ is inspired by the shades of the city’s buildings. £325 per 10 metre roll, cole-and-son.com

cole and son miami wallpaper
‘Miami’ in ‘Pastel’, £325 per 10 metre roll, Cole & Son
Cole & Son

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