10 Pretty Wallpapers

Our new apartment has two tiny bathrooms—they’re super bare bones, and only one person can squeeze in at a time. To jazz them up a little, I was thinking we could wallpaper them. But is that crazy in a rental? Here are a few pretty patterns…

1. Feathers 2. Sailboats 3. Mountains 4. Azurite 5. Flowers 6. Birds 7. Safari 8. Cities 9. Stripes 10. Marble.

Which do you like best? (I also love these 10 wallpapers for kids, especially the London gentlemen:)

(Top wallpaper by Calico)

  1. Hey, Joanna! Why don’t you create an accent wall with removable wallpaper, then paint the rest of the bathroom with a color from the print? You get the benefit of being able to remove the wallpaper if you move, and keep costs low by only covering one wall.

    *Author’s Note: This was my admittedly mother’s idea for my own apartment, but I am way too indecisive to pick a wallpaper from the thousands of choices at Spoonflower.

    Good luck! Please keep us posted on how it turns out! :-)

  2. Love the birds wallpaper!

  3. I truly believe that your home is your home, whether it be a rental or not. You should always take the time to make the space your own. Your home is your oasis and it should be a warm and inviting place that reflects you and your family! I am currently renting while saving for a house, but I love my apartment and spent a fair amount of money making it look and feel like my forever home. I believe that my happiness if even only for a short time is worth the investment!

  4. I love the gold one and the feather one!! so beautiful! I would love to use wallpaper in my apartment too but its also a rental and I’m also not sure its worth it.

  5. Oh my goodness, so many beautiful wallpapers – I love the gold foil options!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  6. e says...

    Azurite or Marble – gorgeous! Definitely not flowers – could easily make it look like my Nana’s bathroom :)

  7. the cities and sailboats seem like a great fit for you guys!

    (My little family and I have been on staycation so I’m laughing at myself that I am going through all the recent posts I’ve missed and adding my comments! priorities! Haha!)

  8. Oh, you must! I wallpapered the bathroom of my Manhattan rental in peach moire. It made my teeny space feel very luxurious. And I did it all by myself because the room was so small nobody else could have fit in there with me. I lived there 3 years and I loved it every day.

  9. 2 and 7. Both are classy, family-like, and stylish.

  10. I like the idea of going all bold in a small bath room. And when I say bold I mean it: So it would be the birds wallpaper for me – love it!

  11. The first gold one for sure!! I love the look of wallpaper but are always too scared to pull the trigger,but you totally should so I can get inspired to do it myself!!

  12. I have the gold flowers in my dining room! (Just one accent wall) It is literally my favorite thing about my house–I’d love to open up my kitchen, but it would mean tearing down the wallpaper wall and I couldn’t do it! They now make the wallpaper that is peel and stick…you could try that! (less options, but good for renting)

  13. You should totally wallpaper the bathrooms! I think small, cool bathrooms are the best thing to give houses character. :) Also, when are we getting a new house tour?? I’m dying to see your new place in Brooklyn!

    PS-I’m sure you’re already aware, but Hygge & West has removable wallpaper that is perfect for rentals!

  14. Hi Joanna, you could take a large piece of your favourite wallpaper and frame it and hang it in the bathroom :)

  15. You can get loads of removable wall papers – designed specifically for renters who need to take them down at the end of their stay! If you google “temporary wallpaper” I’m sure you’ll come up with a bunch. Another option is to paint white, as required by your landlord, and then use wall decals (kind of like partial wall paper) which can give the same look and also is removable!

  16. It’s absolutely NOT crazy for a rental. There are so many options and removable wall paper has come a long way. Easy up and easy down, which means no damage, which means deposit refunded:)

  17. Stripes or Feathers! I heart my wall paper and think there’s something special wall paper can bring that paint juts cant, especially in a small room.

  18. You could buy a super nice stencil and add some cool design to the bathroom with paint and a stencil. Then the investment in the stencil itself isn’t lost, cuz you can use it again in the future, either in another rental or in a place you buy.

  19. i would only decorate, if you don’t have to change it back to the original wall color etc. otherwise I would say go for it!! its your pad at the moment :)

  20. I love the first one but also all the others are great :)

  21. We’ve got wallpaper in our bathroom (i think our landlord was too cheap to tile the whole thing or plaster over the cracks) and all i would say is that steam and wallpaper do not mix! it’s constantly peeling away at the corners and wrinkling!

  22. won’t it feel smaller with the wallpaper? i would go for pretty pictures instead :)

  23. A great company in Europe is “Tapetenagentur”in Germany. They deliver EU wide and have super cool motives, including very funky, modern, retro, natural… etc. The left overs I use for lining insides of drawers!

  24. Those look so beautiful! Definitely go for it!

    If it’s for a bathroom, though, maybe it’s worth thinking about vinyl wallpaper? Just for the moisture :) you don’t want to wallpaper and then have to do it all over again in a few months!

  25. Chasing Paper makes amazing removable wallpapers, you could always take it with you if you move again. Also you could do just one wall instead of the entire space. It’s super easy to install, too!

  26. Wallpapering isn’t very hard, it’s taking it off that is!! You’d best see if it’s allowed. I own a rental property and I wouldn’t. Otherwise, if it’s allowed, sure, go for it.

  27. The Mountains print would look super cool in a bathroom with lots of white and wood!

  28. Do the feathers and go for it in your rental. Life is short. Who knows how long you will be there? It will probably cost you less than a nice dinner out and make you happy every time you go in either room. Thanks for your blog. It brightens my day.

  29. I’ve always fantasized about wallpapering a powder room. Someday! I love the birds and safari prints.

  30. Which is your favorite, Joanna?

  31. Are you kidding?! I am a fool for wallpaper and while a room could look fine with paint, it looks truly “finished” with wallpaper. It brings the whole look up, way up. And if you’re going with a small bathroom, the cost is minimal. My only advice is, make sure you love it, because you will look at it everyday for some time.
    I adore the white/gold marble by calico. Could certainly live with that one. And the pic featured on their website is inspirational. Great way to dress up a hallway. Ya think?

  32. I say as long as you have permission from the owner, you should go for it. You could always use the removable stuff. Rental or not, you want your home to reflect you and be fun. :)

  33. I always say, just because you rent it doesn’t mean you don’t have to live in it! Besides, for those of us in overpriced cities, even if we’re aiming to buy, who knows how soon that dream will actually happen, right? So wallpaper. Do it. Worth it.

  34. spoonflower makes a new removable/repositionable paper. i ordered a bunch of samples for the dude’s room, but ultimately decided against it (but used the samples as drawer liners – sweet!). It’s pricey for a whole room (one wall was going to run ~$275) but for a tiny room, you could swing it. big impact! do it!

  35. Not crazy at all – love the look of exuberant/busy wallpaper in a tiny bathroom! The Rifle Paper Co. ones would look so great :)

  36. Oh man, my fiancé has had to talk me down from wallpapering our teeny rental SO MANY TIMES. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, so I eventually bought a roller from Not Wallpaper ( and painted instead. It was way, way cheaper than removable wallpaper, and it’s easier to get rid of than the permanent stuff. If I ever buy, though, every surface will be wallpapered.

  37. What about just wallpapering one wall as an accent? I’ve seen that done really prettily.

  38. Flowers and Safari I think are the most beautiful!

  39. Love the feathers. Color and dimension without overwhelming a small space. Good luck with your choice!

  40. excellent wallpapers! I’m thinking of decorating one small wall in my working room, but I was thinking of painting something. Or maybe one of those lovely wrappers. Love the feathers and mountains

  41. I love the first wallpaper and the one with birds! I have never put up or taken down any wallpaper yet so unfortunately I don’t know what it would be like for a rental. However I think this would be a great idea for a small bathroom :)

  42. I love all of these, esp the feathers and flowers. I don’t think it’s crazy to do in a rental — we’ve done much crazier here since my husband’s has the lease for 12 + years! xo

  43. I love the wallpaper with all the landmarks, but I also really love the green one with gold animals–it looks so rich! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  44. I think they are all very beautiful. But I learned the hard way not to over-invest in a rental. And you seem to move around quite often, so I say don’t do it. Also, if I were your landlord, I would make you take it down and charge you handsomly for the grunt work.

  45. The azurite is beautiful! I’d love to know if you decide to pursue it. As another NYC renter with a tiny bathroom and love of wallpaper, I’ve also wondered if it’s worth it…

    You should look on Spoonflower ( for print-on-demand wallpapers from indie designers. You can even design your own! It’s an awesome site.


  46. em says...

    love all of these! and papering a small bathroom. but in a rental, you might have to pull it out and retexture walls before moving. that’s a lot of hassle. what about something removable? this old thread on apartment therapy ( lists a few options. I’ve been looking at the Blik as an option for our nursery. We own, but I want something with less commitment : ) Good luck and have fun with it!!

  47. The birds are so charming!

  48. I love the dinosaur paper for a little boys room.

    Or just generally…

    But most probably can’t pull it off anywhere else!!


  49. The feathers! Love! I don’t think it’s crazy to put up wallpaper if you’ll be there a while. A lot of Foreign Service folk swear by temporary wallpaper. We may try that for our next post. :)

  50. I love the Safari wallpaper. I like that dark green. For renter’s, removable wall paper can be a good option. That same company, Hygge and West, has removable wallpaper tiles that could be fun.

  51. Those are beautiful.I especially like the sailboat and feather ones.

    Having wallpaer isnt at all crazy in a rental. Ive been thinking of doing that myself.

  52. I recently came across these re-stickable wallpapers at Target, but haven’t used them yet. I think they’d be great for the ugly closet doors in my rental. Check them out, they’re called Divine Color Wallpaper.
    I am so pro-DIY I’d probably use real wallpaper too, I think any small house improvement that makes me happier is worth it (even in a rental!)

  53. I like the feathers and the mountains the best. I’m going to paper a small wall in our house with New Yorker covers!

  54. Lovely! I really need that white and gold wallpaper for one of my walls at home. Thanks for sharing Joanna!

    PS – Can I tell you that I went back thru some of your old posts regarding less toys/clutter in the play area for toddlers and it was like night and day?!!?!?! I have been rotating Marli’s toys and tucking the others away so she can’t see them and man, she seems so much happier and less spastic. With less toys laying around, she hones in on 1 toy for quite a while and I love it. Thanks for this little awesome blog of yours. I think a lot of women would be lost without it…and you. haha

  55. I LOVE that first one! So chic! And the feathers would be adorable in a kids room!

  56. I love those first four! Since you are renting, have you considered using fabric and liquid starch? Looks just as good as wallpaper, less expense, and easy to remove and take with you.

  57. I really like the feather and the birds, although I feel like it might look even more cramped if you add too much patterns? Our bathroom is all white and I love the light in there, so I just add some colors with the accessories and wall decors.

  58. It is crazy to wall paper a rental bathroom. The landlord could also call you out on it!

  59. I wallpapered one wall in my guest room (with my landlord’s permission, of course) using this mural. It is backed with something called SureStrip, which makes it much easier to hang and to remove. Much less stressful than actual wallpaper!

  60. I really love the feathers & mountains. I think for such small spaces you might want to choose something bright and airy so the space doesn’t feel so small.

    Gosh all the options are so beautiful! Especially the sailboats and azurite.

  61. My first thought when I saw the top wallpaper in gold: “OMG, they put a picture of adipose tissue on the wall!”. Google the term (+cytology or histology) and you’ll know what I mean. I should mention that I work in medical research, that’s why I see fat cells when normal people see marble…:)

  62. Love the Azurite! It’s so elegant and light, and not so busy that it would overpower a space.

  63. I think the safari-one is amazing. It´s super decorative and joyful and i would have loved it as a child! If you choose this one your boys will maybe always remember this while visiting a bathroom in the future! ;)

  64. the stripes would be sooo cool in a small bathroom!!

  65. Beautiful! I feel you, we are getting a house soon and I would love to make it our own through wallpaper/wall color and putting in hardwood floors, but it’s a rental so not likely. :(