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
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
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
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
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
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
This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration January 2018
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