Wild Wallpaper Changes the Entire Vibe of This Rental Bathroom (Instantly!)

published May 2, 2024
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There are lots of beautiful, bold-wallpapered bathrooms out there, and designer and DIYer Mallory Wackerman (@malloryinteriors)’s bathroom is another stunning example to add to the list. 

Mallory decided to wallpaper her whole bathroom — a fairly large space compared to the rest of her LA apartment — to give it a more personalized look. “The biggest challenge was figuring out how to add character to it and how to work with the very specific tan tile that’s everywhere in there,” Mallory says.

The design plan pivoted over time.

The first DIY lesson to learn from Mallory’s bathroom makeover? Sometimes, your initial vision isn’t quite the right vision, and that’s OK. Mallory initially painted the bathroom walls green and planned to cover the tiles with pole wrap and beadboard, but she ultimately opted to just keep the tiles and find the perfect colors to complement them and the rest of her apartment.

“The wall color just wasn’t working at all, and I knew I needed to go a different direction,” she explains. And so she pivoted to wallpaper.  

Finding the perfect wallpaper was key.

“After so many wallpaper samples, I found the most perfect one,” Mallory says.  Her pick was a bold, big cat wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct: Cole & Son’s Leopard Walk in the charcoal/orange colorway.

“It worked so seamlessly in the space because the leopards have the tan from the tile in them, so it really made the room feel cohesive and so cozy,” Mallory explains, adding that the decision to pivot to wallpaper was the biggest challenge in the redo, but also the biggest difference maker. 

The second DIY lesson to learn from the bathroom redo is that the bathroom is the perfect place to go bold. In Mallory’s studio, it works because “it’s the only real ‘room’ you can close off from and you don’t have to stare at it 24/7,” she says. “It’s easily one of my favorite moments in the apartment, and everyone loves the surprise of all those leopards.”

The rest of the apartment bathroom stayed as-is. 

Mallory kept most of the existing bathroom intact, including the black cabinets and light fixtures. The one thing she did swap out was the shower head; she installed a more large-format rainfall-style head, which adds a luxe touch. (It’s not pictured, but you can see it on Instagram!) 

Overall, Mallory is delighted with the way the room looks and feels. “Turning off the lights, lighting a few candles, and taking a long shower in here is the most luxurious experience, and I feel so lucky I got to have that in such a small space,” Mallory says.