Bold and beautiful ideas for your cloakroom

If there is one room where you can throw the design rule book out and let your creativity run completely free, it is the humble downstairs loo!

The cloakroom, whether yours is hiding under the stairs or sits in a compact corner on the ground floor, is without a doubt the space where you can go big and bold with your ideas. Funky wallpaper? Check. Colourful sanitaryware? Check. Quirky accessories and decorations? Double check.

“Unlike the kitchen, the sitting room, the bedroom or the family bathroom, it’s probably the only room that doesn’t get used for hours on end every day,” says Grazzie Wilson, head of creative at Ca’ Pietra. “That means you can get away with all sorts, decor-wise.”

Bold cloakroom design with gold surfaces, patterned wallpaper, stone surfaces and black and white flooring.
Cloakroom design by West One Bathrooms.

So, if you’ve been looking for ideas for your cloakroom, we’ve got you covered – here are five key design elements that prioritise practicality while also helping you make an impact.

1. Mood-boosting cloakrooms

Get a happiness kick every time you step into your cloakroom by choosing a cheerful colour palette. Think sweet pastels like powdery pink and more daring tones such as bright yellow, zesty green, burnt orange, and aqua blue.

“Introducing colour into the scheme of a bathroom allows for the creation of a visually pleasing environment that reflects personal style and preferences, while also having the ability to positively affect our overall sense of wellbeing at home,” says Lewis Neathey, leader in product management at Grohe UK and LXIL, EMENA.

“For 2024, we’ve seen colourful interiors have a revival as optimism and joy are prioritised. Pinks and green shades are proving popular as they offer an elevated timeless feel, thanks to their naturally inspired hues,” he says.

Bright cloakroom design with green tiles, pink concrete basin, open shelving and white toilet.
Tunstall Brick tiles, £94.45 per sq m; Fluted tiles in Fern, £109.94 per sq m, and Pumice tiles in Off White, £112.50 per sq m, Ca’ Pietra. Project by Spaces by Design.
Blue cloakroom with patterned flooring, green wall paint, white basin, aged brassware and round mirror.
“Sometimes the smallest spaces can give you the greatest joy. When it comes to cloakrooms, it’s your opportunity to go bold. Throw colour at it, mix patterns and tile formations, go for all the things that make the heart sing that you wouldn’t necessarily want to see in, say, your living room,” advises Emma Scott, director of client design at CP Hart. Samuel Heath Landmark Pure brassware in Antique Brass finish, and Duravit wall-mounted compact Zone basin, both from CP Hart.

2. Characterful sanitaryware

If you thought you were restrained to white sanitaryware, we’ve got news. The latest basins are adorned with intricate patterns and can feature delicate detailing such as scalloped edges. Plus, designs crafted from colourful concrete are also gaining popularity at the moment.

What’s more, these days you can also find toilets that display intricate shapes or are drenched in sumptuous shades. And, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a colourful WC, right? In a bold and bright cloakroom, it will truly feel right at home.

Just make sure to choose a solution that fits comfortably in such a small space and works in tandem with the other design elements, such as paint, wallpaper, and tiles.

Close-up of pink toilet in retro bathroom design.
Callipyge pink wall-mounted WC by Trone in a project by interior designer Zoe Willis. Photography: Nick George.
Close-up of patterned basin with wall-mounted glass frame and green panelling in the background.
“Basins do not have to be white – replacing the standard pedestal sink with a statement corner basin from the London Basin Company in this project, added the first wow, it’s the first thing you see as you enter the room,” explains Hannah Connellan, lead designer at Revival By Design.

3. Wondrous cloakroom wallpaper

What’s a bold cloakroom without eccentric wallpaper? Patterned wallcoverings are ideal for elevating your downstairs loo and making a statement. The best bit is that you’ve got a myriad of prints and colourways to choose from these days – from dark and moody to rich and retro.

You can, for example, use an exotic design to decorate your walls from the floor to the ceiling or pair floral wallpaper with timeless panelling in a complementing paint shade. Play around with different samples to find your dream combo – time to get creative!

Dark blue bathroom with patterned wallpaper on the upper half of the wall, brass accessories and storage unit.
Electric Lagoon wallpaper in blue, £140, The Curious Department.
Colourful cloakroom with black and white checkerboard, classic sanitaryware, gold accents, pink wall panelling and patterned wallpaper.
@homeofboyce‘s cloakroom features the 814 low-level cistern, personalised in Polished Brass, with the Harwood basin and the Fontley three-hole mixer tap, all by Thomas Crapper. Photography: Emily Bowden.

4. Mix and match

Using tiles to create patterns such as stripes or the checkerboard on the bottom half of the wall and dressing the upper half – ceiling included – in striking wallpaper is one of my favourite decorating ideas for cloakrooms this year. It’s a stylish way to infuse the space with personality while having fun with your design. Complete your bold scheme with statement sanitaryware, colourful wall lights, bobbin mirrors and modern brassware.

Bold bathroom design with pink sanitaryware, striped tiles and patterned wallpaper.
Extinctopia wallpaper in Volcanic Sunset, £150, Divine Savages. Petite Porcelain Gloss tiles in Olive and white by Ca’ Pietra. Basin and toilet in Coral Pink by The Bold Bathroom Company.

Practical furniture

Apart from looking beautiful, don’t forget your cloakroom also needs to be functional. So, don’t overlook storage with the help of compact freestanding cabinets or wall-mounted solutions. “Space-saving wall furniture offers a roomy interior and creates the illusion of more dimensions whilst taking up less. It’s key to making a small bathroom look larger and offering valuable storage space,” says Peter Woodward, marketing manager at Scudo Bathrooms.

Lewis agrees and adds: “Storage solutions such as rails, baskets, and hooks that utilise wall space are a simple and easy way to streamline a bathroom to keep it organised, while also adding a decorative touch at the same time.”

Ready to wow your guests on their next visit?

Pared-back cloakroom design with compact furniture, patterned tiles and retro radiator.
Widcombe cloakroom vanity unit in Pewter, £486, Roper Rhodes.

Enjoyed this post? Click here for quirky cloakroom ideas spotted on Instagram

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