Before and After: A 23-Square-Foot Bathroom’s Wallpaper Makeover Goes Big on Drama

published Jan 5, 2024
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About this before & after
Home Type
Historic Home
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly

Thinking of adding a bold wallpaper to your home this year? Try it out in your powder room first; the room is small on square footage, so you won’t have to spend too much to cover all the walls with your favorite pattern, and it’ll provide a wow moment for guests who come over. (After all, they’re way more likely to step into your powder room than they are, say, your laundry room.) 

If you need a little extra nudge to give wallpaper a go in your guest bathroom, check out these nine bold-but-stunning looks, or take it from Justin Reid (@thejustinreid), who went maximalist with wallpaper in his main-level half bath. “I’ve always wanted to have a small room with wild wallpaper,” Justin says. Mission accomplished!

Credit: Justin Reid
Credit: Justin Reid

Goodbye, green toilet. 

Justin’s bathroom makeover journey began when the green toilet (which he loved, in addition to the green sink in the bathroom) stopped working. “I thought this was the perfect opportunity to go all out and give this little powder room a full makeover,” Justin says. 

This involved hiring a plumber to swap the green toilet and sink for a sleek white toilet and wall-mount sink and cut into the wall to replace the old home’s copper pipes with more reliable and efficient PVC, and then hiring a handyman to lay new 3-inch Calacatta hex tiles, which Justin says will have you “floored by elegance.” (Very punny, Justin!) He particularly loves their veining and glimmer.

“It’s so nice having everything be brand-new,” Justin says. “I live in a 147-year-old Victorian house where there are not many new things, so to have a whole new room, including updated plumbing, feels so good.”

Credit: Justin Reid
Credit: Justin Reid

The ceiling and trim got a fresh coat of paint. 

⁠The handyman also gave the ceiling and trim a fresh coat of paint (Farrow & Ball’s Railings for the former and Wimborne White for the latter. Justin calls these his “go-tos.”) 

Justin says one of his favorite details in the space is the natural light the two little windows let in and the plants in the sills “to create a jungle vibe to go with the leopards.”

Credit: Justin Reid

The wallpaper is, of course, the star.

Even though it was last to be added to the room, the leopard wallpaper was actually the design inspiration behind the whole room. “I am a firm believer in making small spaces make a big impact,” Justin says. “I think I achieved that here.” He calls the wallpaper, which was gifted, his “muse” for the space and says it’s his “absolute favorite touch.”

In all, the bathroom refresh took about a week. Justin’s best bathroom reno advice is to stay organized, order your materials ahead of time, ask questions when needed, and make a schedule from there. “I decided all the items and products that I wanted in the bathroom first and then ordered them,” he says. “As items began rolling in, I began lining up my vendors. Once the project actually kicked off, it was smooth sailing.”

His Livette’s wallpaper, oval mirror, new hardware, and new wall sconce come together to make one stylish guest bathroom. “The space is so incredible, and I smile every time I’m in there,” Justin says. “My guests have been very complimentary and wowed by the space as well. It makes me feel like I made all the right choices.”