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How to transform your cloakroom with statement wallpapers

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

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.’

Decorative accessories and artworks is another easy way to add instant character

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.’

The more unique the pieces you choose, the better

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’ from the House of Hackney x William Morris collection, £185 per 10 metre roll.
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’, £1,400 per roll, kitmiles.co.uk

kit miles paper
Kit Miles

BEST FOR MODERN CHINOISERIE Witch & 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 wallpaper
’Miami’ in ’pastel’, £325 per 10 metre roll, Cole & Son
Cole & Son

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration January 2018

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