8 Accent Wall Ideas For Small Bathrooms

Bold colors, wallpaper, tiles, mosaics.
8 Accent Wall Ideas For Small Bathrooms
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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Small bathrooms are often left behind when it comes to decor. It's just a functional room that not much time is spent using, so why go to the expense of adding an exciting feature?

Adding a feature to your small bathroom, like an accent wall, maybe more of an investment in your property than you realized. Statistics show that the amount invested in a small bathroom could increase the value of your home, seeing your ROI as high as 66%.

If it's not for investment purposes, adding an accent wall to your small bathroom will change the bathroom from a utilitarian, functional room to being a valued and loved part of your home.

Let's dive in and find out what looks best as an accent wall in your bathroom and more such as:

Where is the best place to add an accent wall in a small bathroom?

Traditionally the default place to have an accent wall would be over the hand basins, it's a small area to cover, so if you are on a tight budget, this could be the best place to start.

If you are looking for the wow factor, an accent wall that is visible as soon as you walk into a small bathroom will create the most visual impact, say in a shower cubicle.

What materials are best for creating an accent wall in a small bathroom?

Functionality is probably your priority, so tiles are going to be the obvious choice. They are easy to clean, condensation is not going to affect tiles, and they will have longevity over other products like paint and wallpaper.

However, if you are looking to add glamor to the small bathroom, there are some wonderful chic wallpaper designs that can transform your small bathroom into a chic design haven.

If you like the classic tile look or ultra-modern, then tiles have you covered. Tiles have benefited from new technology and manufacturing techniques to create awesome incredible pattern designs and tile shapes to make your small bathroom a place to enjoy.

Let's get inspired.

1. Floral beauty

So, you thought accent walls were dull and somewhat clinical? However, accent walls don't need to be painted or tiled to create a glorious small bathroom accent wall. The range of wallpaper available that is suitable for bathrooms has increased exponentially with incredible classy designs to enhance the feeling of your bathroom.

Elegance is not usually a word associated with a small bathroom, but with the right choice of wallpaper, you can create an elegant bathroom in no time. Of course, with elegant wallpaper, you will be inspired to add a mirror that continues the bathroom theme.

Accent walls provide the backdrop for beautiful lighting, transforming your small bathroom into a remarkable space.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 6.

Hanging wallpaper in a small space is not difficult; be prepared for a lot of wallpaper waste with elongated patterns that need to be matched perfectly.

If your bathroom is not well-ventilated, wallpaper may not be your best choice. Wallpaper for bathrooms should be able to dry with condensation extracted from the bathroom.

2. Tile strip

You may have a beautiful tile bathroom that is functional and handsome, but without some interest to anchor the small bathroom, then you may be left feeling uninspired and somewhat a miss out on how you can create a bathroom with an appeal.

It would be heartbreaking to start from scratch in a small bathroom with all of the fundamentals of a good bathroom minus interest to prevent you from feeling you are in a hospital bathroom.

Adding a strip of mosaic tiles could be the solution to your problem. They look fantastic and provide the missing piece of the jigsaw, turning your bathroom from being dour to wow this is gorgeous.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is an 8.

A professional tiler would complete this look in a short amount of time, Cutting the existing tiles to the width of the mosaic sheet (mosaic tiles are sold in sheets) and then simply applying adhesive and grouting to complete the look.

It scores high on complexity due to channeling the existing tiles to accept the mosaics.

3. Vivid blue

White looks fantastic in a small bathroom; it's bright, functional, and dull, so you will need to think carefully about how you would like to break the mold of being stuck with a small utilitarian bathroom.

Adding a vivid color as an accent wall may seem like a brave step to take, but the results are fantastic. Accent walls do not need to cover large areas, which is a good thing in a small bathroom, but what the accent wall should do at a minimum is bring interest into the bathroom. It is a design statement, a statement of your personality.

With this vivid blue accent in the shower cubicle, the small bathroom takes on a new ambiance, and the bathroom is vibrant and alive with energy.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 6.

It's a fabulous look. With any tile, mark your accent wall accurately and keep your cut tiles even on both sides of the shower and at the base. Work of a level batten is an excellent idea to maintain level tiles throughout.

It's not complex. Preparation is vital before you start tiling.

4. Water Lilies

Bathroom tiles have come on leaps and bounds with technology, and more tile companies are expanding their range of lifestyle tiles allowing you to create incredible murals in your small bathroom, which is frankly a design achievement.

Having a mural in your bathroom is a unique and remarkable experience as the water lilies are incredibly life-like and vibrant; it's the perfect wall tile for any bathroom and will make a small bathroom stand out from the crowd.

There are many designs and patterns to choose from, which present a tremendous opportunity to be creative in having a one-of-a-kind bathroom.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 6.

It is not difficult. The mural will come with a plan and numbered tiles to prevent you from having a jigsaw experience. 

Grout the wall tiles in accordance with the instructions from the manufacturer.

5. Clean lines

If your small bathroom is white, this could be your look. Clean lines are created by the rich saturation of the blue tiles contrasted by the blue of the basin under the cabinet. The depth of the deep blue tiles brings a dimension of depth and character to the bathroom.

Yellow wood tones match with blue harmoniously, while white presents the classic white and blue scene synonymous with order and cleanliness.

There is no need to have an enormous accent wall to transpose your character into a small bathroom. 

Of course, magenta tulips are the acceptance of a feminine presence in the home.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 7.

If you live in a new property with plumb walls, then it's an easy process to tine the accent wall. This could be more difficult than it appears. Stick to the fundamentals of tiling.

If the walls are out of plumb, you may need to have the wall skimmed to bring the vertical level to plumb to avoid unsightly increasing or decreasing edge tiles. 

6. Bunnies galore

Are you tired of conventional small bathroom decor ideas? Is there another wall to have a fun small bathroom that reflects how you see life? Wallpaper is a beautiful way to introduce patterns and color into a small bathroom. 

Ditch the color, and let's go monochrome. Having a small bathroom full of bunnies may not be everyone's idea of a great theme, but it does reflect the quirky side of your personality that is fun and adorable.

The black and white theme is awe-inspiring, and the picture frames haphazardly hung show a level of humor and genius that is often hidden.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 6.

It's a great fun small bathroom that deserves a lot of attention. The only problem with hanging wallpaper that has a busy pattern is matching the patterns while trying not to create lots of waste. You may find yourself with a few rolls of wallpaper open, trying to find the correct pattern match.

7. Painted shiplap

Did somebody say an accent wall should be a different color? Well, what about adding some texture and visual stimulation without color and retaining the pure white bathroom vibe? If you're into the modern farmhouse aesthetic, this could be the bathroom for you. It is clean, it's magnificently bright, and with the addition of shiplap boards, it's contemporary.

With this aesthetic, you can use accessories to brighten your small bathroom and add a vibrant plant with a lot of green foliage to make the room pop.

With white shiplap walls, you get the texture from the undusting edges of the boards that allow you to use almost any furnishings you wish in this small bathroom.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 9.

It depends on your perception of the word small. If your small bathroom could take a framework to mount shiplap boards, then this is an excellent look for your bathroom. Ship lamp boards get better with age as they absorb a little water and almost become seasoned to the steamy environment.

8. Take on a new dimension

Modern tile designs are incredibly clever, and with the use of color shades, you can create 3D illusions on your accent wall. You could argue you are getting twice the bang for your buck.

The tiles are simple to fix to the wall and literally add a new dimension to the aesthetic of your small bathroom. It can be hard to create interest with tiles, and you often need to go for vibrant colors that don't always fit in with the home's decor.

The 3D patterns are interesting, adding depth to the bathroom. It doesn't need to be brown tiles that come in a range of colors to compliment your decor.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most complex level to accomplish, this bedroom is a 5.

These tiles adhere to the wall as regular tiles. They may be mesmerizing while applying the tiles and grout, but you will achieve a fabulous look for your bedroom.

Final thoughts

Adding an accent wall to your small bathroom may seem like a worthless expenditure. However, you can bring new energy to the small bathroom and create a wonderfully vibrant environment that will make you feel alive.

Adding an accent wall will not transform your home's value, but if your tiling is good and you have selected a wall that stands out, you should at least see a return on your investment, making this small project a well-worth enterprise.

Wallpaper brings elegance to a small bathroom, and with many peel-and-stick type wallpapers, the installation is quick and easy. However, if you have poor ventilation in your small bathroom, it may be worth exploring other avenues for an accent wall that will have longevity.