Many people associate wallpaper with decades past, not realizing that its been around for centuries and continues to be popular. Different prints and colors were more prevalent during certain time periods. Retro styles, whether it's in clothing or home decor, always make a comeback and wallpaper is no exception.
You can use wallpaper to add your own personality to any space in your house, even the smallest of rooms. We've gathered together some of our favorite bathroom wallpaper ideas in this guide but in one particular style: farmhouse. Farmhouse style at its core is simplistic and there are ways to incorporate its design elements by using wallpaper.
We're going to talk about our five favorite farmhouse bathroom wallpaper ideas, including tips and tricks for how to put up the wallpaper yourself.
What Is Farmhouse Style?
No, we're not asking you to recreate the classic red barn look with farmhouse design elements. When incorporating farmhouse style, you don't want the interior of your home to look overly "country kitsch." There needs to be a balance of new and old items.
Farmhouse style is also comforting, stylish, and clean. It incorporates little bits of character and charm while being practically organized. Decorating a home in this style incorporates flea market items with updated and newer pieces.
Back in ye olden days, farmhouses were decorated with items that were practical and handy. They weren't full of delicate and fussy items that didn't serve a purpose.
Matching furniture and décor isn't part of farmhouse style. You can buy some pieces brand new, but they should be paired with vintage items to give your décor charm and style.
You also need to be careful when picking out your "country" items. You don't want your space to start to look overly corny. Heading to antique shows and flea markets is a great place to look for pieces that have nostalgic value without looking too deliberate.
The Modern Farmhouse Bathroom
Are you looking to blend the minimalistic style of modern design with the homey elements of farmhouse décor? The bathroom is the perfect place to meld these two styles. Farmhouse design already incorporates a lot of components of modern design with its use of wood and galvanized steel.
There are countless ways you can transform your bathroom into the farmhouse style, but let's focus on wallpaper first. There are many styles, patterns, and colors of wallpaper to choose from.
The Lowdown on Wallpaper
One of the great things about wallpaper is it can last more than 15 years. If it's hung properly, it can last up to three times longer than a painted wall.
It also adheres smoothly and easily to walls. If there are any imperfections on your bathroom walls, no problem. The wallpaper will cover them right up.
Additionally, wallpaper can add style, warmth, and depth to a room that a painted wall can't achieve. Wallpaper comes in gorgeous prints and interesting textures that'll make a huge impact on any room you hang it in. You can also hang wallpaper on one single wall as an accent wall.
Some of the effects you can find in wallpaper include:
- Raised ink
- Embossed silk
- Natural grass cloth
Another great thing about wallpaper is that it's easy to clean. Modern wallpaper is coated so you can wipe it clean when it becomes dirty. That makes wallpaper perfect for your bathroom.
There are also non-woven wallpaper options available. They're made from a combination of natural and synthetic fibers that are used for making tea bags, coffee filters, and gauze. Woven blend wallpaper helps reduce the chance of mold growth as it's made from a breathable material.
It's also great for digital wallpaper printing as it stays stable in humid and dry conditions. Non-woven wallpaper is also a snap to remove and apply.
The Benefits of Wallpaper in a Bathroom
Lots of people want to bring design or texture to the walls in their bathroom but that can take endless amounts of time. With wallpaper, all the texture and design elements you crave are already printed on it. All you have to do is hang it.
You can also copy high-end and expensive materials in your bathroom for less money. If you want granite or marble tile on your walls, that can cost between $3.50 to $50 a square foot. You can always paint ceramic tile if you already have a wall of it in your bathroom, but sometimes you want to pair it with something else to give your space an added design flair.
There are wallpaper styles available that look like expensive materials at a fraction of the cost. It's an inexpensive and artful alternative to more pricy options.
When installing wallpaper in a bathroom, there are certain tips to keep in mind:
- Place a mold-proof primer on the wall before you apply the wallpaper paste
- Look for paper-backed, fabric-backed, or solid vinyl wallpaper as they're resistant to humidity and moisture
- Apply a mold-proof wallpaper paste as well
- Spread a clear acrylic varnish over the wallpaper to increase its resistance to heat and moisture
- Ensure that your bathroom has proper ventilation with a fan or window
- Clean the wallpaper each week to get rid of dust and other debris
- Wash the wallpaper weekly with a soft sponge and mild soapy water
The proper installation and aftercare of wallpaper will ensure you have a flawless product you're pleased with for years to come. While moisture from being in the bathroom is a concern with wallpaper, taking the right steps will guarantee you don't have peeling or moldy wallpaper.
Steps for Installing Wallpaper in a Bathroom
It may take a lot of tools to install wallpaper yourself in the bathroom, but it's a job you can do yourself. Having the right tools is half the battle and ensures you will make little to no errors with the application process. If you live in a rental, explore peel and stick wallpaper as it can be removed more easily than other alternatives.
- Cloth or rage
- Putty knife
- Patching plaster or spackle
- Sanding block for drywall
- Wallpaper primer
- Pre-pasted wallpaper
- 2 1/2" sash brush
- 3/8" nap paint roller
- Paint tray and liner
- Step stool
- Measuring tape
- 3'-4' level
- Square or clear quilting ruler
- Plastic tub
- Metal straight edge
- Utility knife
- Cotton towel or wallpaper sponge
- Wallpaper brush or smoother
- Rags or old towels
Like we mentioned earlier, look for mold-proof primer and paste when hanging wallpaper in a bathroom.
Cleaning and Priming Instructions:
- Vacuum and wipe down your bathroom walls to remove all debris
- Takedown and remove all mirrors, light fixtures, switch plates, nails, and screws
- Patch all holes with the spackle and putty knife
- Let the spackle dry and then sand smooth with the sanding block
- Use the sash brush and roller to apply the mold-proof wallpaper primer to all walls that will have wallpaper
- Note: Wallpaper primer ensures that the wallpaper will adhere well to the walls, and it'll be easy to remove when you get to that point
- Use your measuring tape to measure each wall from the ceiling to the top of the baseboards
- Transfer that measurement to the first panel of your wallpaper, increasing the height measurement by one inch
- Use your square or ruler and pencil to draw a cut-line
- Cut along that line with a pair of scissors
- Look at your wall and figure out where your first panel will start on the wall
- Draw a straight plumb or vertical line using your level and pencil
- Note: Many ceilings and walls aren't square or level, so this line will be your guide as you hang the first piece of wallpaper
- Fill the plastic tub with enough water so you can completely submerge the wallpaper
- Take the bottom and top sides of the panel and fold them each lengthwise with the glued sides together
- Then, fold each of the ends to the center so it looks like a "book"
- Put the paper back into the water and submerge
- Note: Follow the instructions from the wallpaper manufacturer for how long you should keep the wallpaper submerged
- After that, take the wallpaper from the water and let the excess water drip off
- Unfold the wallpaper and press onto the wall, making sure you line up one of the edges with the plumb line you penciled in earlier
- Note: You'll find that you can shift and move the wallpaper around a bit once it's applied to the wall to make sure it's properly placed and to get rid of any wrinkles or bubbles
Smoothing and Trimming Instructions:
- Use the wallpaper brush or rubber smoother to get rid of any wrinkles or bubbles
- Start in the center of the wallpaper and smooth out to the edges, pressing out air bubbles or extra glue
- Note: Since this part can get messy as extra glue will drip down the walls, have some towels on the floor
- Once you've smoothed the piece of wallpaper, wipe it clean with a wallpaper sponge or damp cloth
- The wallpaper will still feel wet but shouldn't have any glue visible or be dripping
- Against the ceiling, baseboards, and in the corners, press the straight-edge knife to trim the wallpaper to size
- When trimming around fixtures, outlets, sinks, or other bathroom items, cut that out of the paper before soaking
- Note: Be sure to turn off electricity to any live switches or outlets before getting your wet hands near them to avoid electrocution
Final Steps Instructions:
- Repeat the previous two sections with the next piece
- Measure from the ceiling to baseboard again since they're usually not level or square
- Note: It's always better to have too much when hanging wallpaper than overly trim before you hang it
- Ensure that the wallpaper is completely dry before putting back on your fixtures and switch plates
Again, if you live in a rental, explore peel and stick wallpaper as it can be removed more easily than other alternatives. However, most modern wallpaper panels, primers, and pastes are designed to be easily removable. You might be able to reuse some of your wallpaper in other spaces.
Our Five Favorite Farmhouse Bathroom Wallpaper Ideas
Farmhouse wallpaper is the perfect way to create an inviting and clean bathroom for you and your guests to enjoy. Whether it's your master bathroom or a half bath, add charm to your space with versatile wallpaper. No matter your color palette, you'll find a style to suit your design aesthetic.
1. Subway Tile Wallpaper
If you're looking for a white background to make your bathroom minimalist and sleek, look no further than subway tile wallpaper. Soft neutral or white subway tile wallpaper is the perfect backdrop for organic and bold accents.
Installing tiles yourself can be costly and time-consuming. Additionally, tile installation takes a lot of skill to ensure it's done properly. Why not replicate the look with easy to hang wallpaper?
The crisp white of the subway tile wallpaper lends itself well to the farmhouse style with its practicality. You can layer it with different textiles like gingham or plaid for your shower curtains. If you need to update your trim, paint them a clean white as well so it coordinates.
You can also pair the subway tile wallpaper with Shaker-inspired cabinets, open shelving, and little splashes of color. Especially if you're doing a smaller bathroom, you don't want to overpower the space with too many design elements. Plus, that goes against the core of farmhouse style.
Many modern subway tile wallpaper comes in self-adhesive, unpasted wallpaper rolls so you can get right to work. Look for wallpaper that's specially designed for bathrooms and is moisture and steam-resistant. The rustic yet clean look of the subway tile pairs wonderfully with other farmhouse-style elements.
2. Floral Wallpaper Patterns
Working with floral patterns can be a bit intimidating. Different combinations can be overpowering and tacky. There are ways to incorporate florals and other botanical wallpaper without feeling like you're in your grandma's house.
Botanicals and flowers will give your bathroom a romantic elegance and earthy vibe. They're an essential staple of any farmhouse design. The floral patterns tend to soften the industrial or wooden elements that are prevalent in the farmhouse style.
A floral wallpaper will add vibrancy and color to your space. If you're worried about overpowering your room, stick to an accent wall for your wallpaper.
All white bathrooms are a popular trend, but why not add a little more flavor by pairing it with a floral wallpaper feature wall? The wallpaper doesn't have to be bright colors either—they can be soft, muted floral tones. You can also add in additional splashes of color with your accent pieces, like rugs.
3. Rustic Animal Style Wallpaper
There's no better way to embrace the outdoors than to have animal-inspired wallpaper. It doesn't have to be over the top so you feel like you're living in a cabin either. Classic, woodland themes add a touch of personality to your bathroom while embracing the farmhouse style.
Animal-themed wallpaper is also versatile and very sophisticated. You can select from an eclectic assortment of faithful furry companions, birds, or woodland creatures.
A fun example would be a light green wallpaper with delicately drawn bunnies and floral elements. Pair an accent wall with bronze lighting and sink fixtures and muted cabinets for a classically rustic look. Just because it's animal-themed doesn't mean it has to be childlike or cartoonish.
4. Wood Wallpaper
Some older homes come with wood paneling on the walls that you can easily paint over. If your bathroom doesn't have wood paneling, replicate that look with wood wallpaper. It adds a natural and rustic charm to your space without the hassle of dealing with the wood itself.
The way the wallpaper is printed makes it look extremely lifelike. It can replicate a variety of textures and colors.
Wood wallpaper doesn't have to look like wood paneling either. It can have geometric prints and designs with a mix of colors. It'll embrace both contemporary designs while adding a rustic vibe.
When hanging any wallpaper where its pattern repeats, make sure the pattern lines up so it looks seamless.
5. Newspaper Print Wallpaper
Newspaper print, in general, has come back in style in the past few years. It first came into fashion back in the 1930s, but there are mentions of someone wearing a newspaper-printed gown back in the late 1800s.
Finding a newspaper print wallpaper that includes news from that era would be a fun yet rustic touch to your bathroom. Its classic and vintage look pairs well with the practicality that is a major component of farmhouse style.
The wallpaper doesn't have to include news items either. It can include ads for farming and homemaking items from the past. It'll give your guests something interesting to look at whenever they use your bathroom.
Additional Farmhouse Elements to Add to Your Bathroom
Once you determine what style of wallpaper you want to go with, coordinate the cabinetry, light fixtures, and other accents of your bathroom accordingly. You don't have to do a lot to make a major impact in your space.
Natural Wood Tones
Wood is a rustic element that will add to the farmhouse style of your bathroom. You can choose whatever color you like depending upon the size of space you're working with and the type of wallpaper.
Explore natural wood cabinetry or countertops. You can also add wood with open shelving or mirrors. You don't have to go overboard to make an impact.
Sconce Lighting Fixtures
Exposed bulbs embrace the farmhouse style. Edison bulbs are a great option since they're not as yellow as other options. A simple, yet pretty sconce lighting fixture is essential in a farmhouse-style bathroom.
Stock Tank Bathtub
A stock tank or clawfoot tub is a great option instead of a traditional shower. They pair wonderfully with the farmhouse-style aesthetic. You can go with the traditional white tub or a copper tub if you're feeling bold.
Add in Pops of the Outdoors
Along with bringing in the natural element of wood, add in other aspects of the outdoors. This can include plants that you hang in simple baskets from the ceiling. Don't overpower the space with too many plants.
Sliding Barn Doors
What's more farmhouse than a barn door? If you're gutting a master bathroom, explore the idea of installing sliding barn doors. The natural materials accentuate the vintage vibe of the farmhouse style.
Your barn doors don't have to sacrifice any modern elements you're adding to the space. Designed properly, they can enhance the design of your bathroom and keep the continuity of the farmhouse style.
Farmhouse-style sinks are popular in kitchens. Bring that element into your bathroom as well. An apron sink will pop against classic, dark-toned cabinetry.
Farmhouse style is all about practicality. Having numerous products and knick-knacks on your counters goes against the design aesthetic, especially since open-shelving is a popular choice.
Your bathroom should be uncluttered with the farmhouse style. Keep only the necessities on the countertop and store everything else. A wallpaper accent wall will give your bathroom color without you having to hang countless things on the wall.
Breathe New Life Into Your Space With Wallpaper
Don't associate wallpaper with the outdated styles and prints you've seen in the past. Wallpaper is a great way to add texture and color to any space in your house. We hope our farmhouse bathroom wallpaper ideas have inspired you to experiment with rooms in your house to create something beautiful.
If you need some assistance figuring out your design, don't worry. Reach out to us today to discuss the interior design of your home or office.