Quirky cloakroom ideas

quirky cloakroom ideas with pattern clashing from Heritage Bathrooms

These days, I think the cloakroom has moved on in leaps and bounds in terms of design possibilities. I still remember when this space, which tends to be pretty compact, used to be an afterthought. However, it seems we are becoming much more adventurous in this room and I like it! From adding wow wallpaper or statement sanitaryware to funky flooring, it’s definitely time to give guests a visual treat. Not sure where to start? Follow my quirky cloakroom ideas so you can embrace your inner designer and update your space with confidence:

Feel inspired…

Sarahs cloakroom
Bold and bright: my cloakroom shows just what you can achieve if you’re looking for quirky cloakroom ideas

When it comes to redesigning your cloakroom or bathroom, you’ve got to start somewhere. In fact, I gained my inspiration from an interior designer Maria Gratsova from Bright+Boreal. She showcased a similar cloakroom idea at a Grand Designs show one year. As soon as I saw what she had achieved, I absolutely loved it and I chose various elements to create my cloakroom as a result. I think interiors exhibitions are the perfect places to gain inspiration for design projects! After all, this is where you get the chance to peruse the latest trends and new product launches. So, I’m really excited to hear Decorex is returning this year and this will be my first show since the pandemic started.

Instagram and Pinterest can also provide fantastic sources for interiors inspiration. I tend to use these two social channels before I start every room project. Perfect for picture-gathering, I tend to copy and paste images of room-sets I love into a folder on my desktop. Then, I will work my way through each one, picking all my favourite elements before I proceed.

Quirky cloakroom ideas with statement sanitaryware

Quirky cloakroom ideas from The Albion Bath Company
I love this chrome stand, from £1,198 on the Volda Basin from £340 from The Albion Bath Company. It creates a wonderful quirky cloakroom idea, which saves space too. Manette taps from £256, Volda back to wall toilet from £713 and Walnut toilet seat, £219

Sometimes choosing one piece of sanitaryware with standout features can instantly transform a space. After all, this can allow you to express your individuality. This way, if you pick wisely, you can make a small cloakroom look more unusual and visually appealing. However, size does matter in what is essentially a small area. So, space-saving sanitaryware could be crucial.

Phil Etherden, managing director at The Albion Bath Company, tells me: “The trick with a smaller bathroom or cloakroom is to maximise the visible area of the floor, as this creates the impression of space.  Wall-hung toilets and basins are an ideal solution.  Just because the room is small though, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a statement and adding metallic touches is a great way to do this.  They’re ideal for creating a focal point and adding structure and glamour to a bathroom scheme.”

‘Up and over’ wallpaper

In my Edwardian home, the husband and I were so lucky that many of the period features were still intact. However, our downstairs WC and our kitchen extension, would both be new additions to our home. So, when it came to the cloakroom, I actually asked our builders to add cornicing which would blend in with adjoining rooms, which still had the original features. However, if you decide to work with what you’ve got (no cornicing), this can open up other design possibilities for you. So, when it comes to quirky cloakroom ideas, ‘up and over’ wallpaper, which basically covers the ceiling too, gets my vote!

In terms of style, I think the more vibrant wallpaper you choose, the better – look for striking patterns and colourways. If you like nature as much as I do, why not consider a tropical vibe with bold foliage and animals or birds? I think statement wallpaper is one of my favourite quirky cloakroom ideas. And, if you get bored with it, you can simply change the paper. This is not only easier but kinder to your bank balance when compared to changing big ticket items, such as sanitaryware.

Midnight Tropic quirky cloakroom ideas with wallpaper from Graham & Brown
I just love this Midnight Tropic wallpaper, £65 a roll, in this cloakroom from Graham & Brown. It demonstrates just how ambitious you can be with a decadent design and I think it works so well with the pretty pink decorative vanity unit, emerald green panelling and monochrome floor tiles

I spoke to Paula Taylor, Senior Stylist & Trend Specialist at Graham & Brown. She told me: “In the past we have shied away from heavily patterned wallpapers in smaller rooms such as cloakrooms. But, these make the room feel very cosy. Using paper on all walls and even the ceiling if you’re brave enough, can also create a sanctuary. And it gives the impression of blurring edges in the room so this space feels limitless.

“In recent years, we are seeing more wild and wacky choices for small rooms. And choosing a feature wallpaper will make a statement and definitely start a conversation! I think selecting something that is bold and eye catching is easy. There are many designs styles that will work to create a quirky bathroom, from dramatic tropicals to giant geometrics. It’s all about whatever reflects your personality and style.”

Quirky cloakroom ideas with pattern clashing

Sarah in cloakroom
I love my cloakroom design – this space doesn’t have any windows and I felt bold would look best to add colour and interest

I think the idea of pattern clashing could be one of the most adventurous quirky cloakroom ideas out there! My own cloakroom features this and I absolutely love it. Just look at the Mini Moderns wallpaper and the Porcelain Superstore floor tiles. I love my downstairs WC – it’s fun, wacky and it’s certainly a talking point during dinner parties! My top tips are to choose colours which work together and play with scale. For walls, you might prefer a smaller pattern, which will help to add definition in a compact space. Then, for the floor, opt for a big, bold design. White or off-white could work well as the base colour to help to open up the space you have.

Wallpaper and tiles

quirky cloakroom ideas with pattern clashing from Heritage Bathrooms
This cloakroom showcases two of my favourite colours – the pink lilypad floor and wall tiles contrast beautifully against the green palm wallpaper with a tropical vibe featuring the Caversham Vanity Unit in ivory lace, £593, from Heritage Bathrooms

I asked Richard Farrimond, senior product manager at Heritage Bathrooms, for his take on quirky cloakroom ideas: “When you picture your dream home, often the small, awkwardly shaped rooms like your downstairs cloakroom are the last spaces you think about. Because of their small size, many people naturally feel nervous about using bright colours and prints in their cloakroom. But in actual fact, these small spaces are the perfect blank canvas for you to express your own distinctively individual style. 

“To create your dream cloakroom, first you need to start with the basics – and the suite you choose can either make or break your bathroom design. To maximise available space, consider opting for a wall-hung basin like our Caversham Vanity Unit in ivory lace by Heritage Bathrooms, which has been designed to maximise floor space in smaller bathrooms but still makes a style statement.

“Once you’ve chosen your basin and WC, you can then start to think about those personal touches that will bring your bathroom design to life. To create a maximalist look that will really wow your guests, consider opting for statement wallpaper and matching floor and wall tiles to add depth.”

Coliseum Arabascato Cloakroom
This cloakroom is wonderfully quirky with an air of luxury thrown in. I just love the gold accents and the clever pattern clashing too. Coliseum Arabascato honed tiles, £144 per sq m, luxurious marble-effect porcelain slab tiles, £180 per sq m from The Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. Image: Kallums Bathrooms

Jo Oliver, director at The Stone & Ceramic Warehouse tells me: “Combining bold patterns in a downstairs cloakroom is a great way to add interest in what can be a dull room.  Don’t be afraid to use dark colours to create drama and have fun with quirky wallpapers. Using the same tiles on the walls, floor and countertop will also enhance the feeling of space by creating a continuous look.  Large-format designs mean fewer grout lines, and therefore less maintenance and cleaning. Slab tiles are ideal for creating a striking, high-end look, and can often make smaller rooms appear larger thanks to their seamless appearance.

Mixing tiles

Rouse Bathrooms cloakroom design
This is a great example of a super stylish cloakroom where different tiles have been used to create a striking effect in this design by bathroom specialists Rouse Bathrooms. The pattern clashing here is toned down by the beautiful gold accents, which pull the scheme together, such as the Docklands rectangular mirror, £340, from Bathroom Origins, the tap and cabinet door handle

Floor-to-ceiling tiles are not only easy to clean but you could choose different colours, and pattern against plain. This will instantly create a more quirky cloakroom. The best way in which to pull this off is by dividing the room in two halves. You can produce a powerful backdrop for your sanitaryware with a strong patterned tile. However, if you use this design from floor to ceiling, you may find it overpowering. So, add a different tile in a block colour and size on the walls above to add more depth. You really don’t have to use the same tile in a quirky cloakroom. Rouse Bathrooms has created this look perfectly above.

Sofia Charalambous from Bathroom Origins tells me: “I love quirky cloakrooms and the trend for them is growing massively.  As it’s usually  the smallest room in the house, you can express your personality and let your imagination run riot without spending a fortune. You can have a simply designed toilet, basin and taps. Then, go big on way-out wallpaper, experiment with colourful paint,  hang a statement mirror and ‘cloakroomscape’ with stylish accessories and art, which are relatively easy and inexpensive to change when you fancy a refresh.”

Rustic vibes

Orlando wire cage wall light in pewter for industrial style cloakroom
The Orlando wire cage wall lights, £49 each, rated IP20, by Industville showcase a rustic, antique look, which I think sets the scene perfectly in this cloakroom. Image: @iansandersontextiles

If you’re a fan of the rustic look, then why not embrace this in your cloakroom? This could be your chance to really play with materials and design. Think distinctive wood panelling and copper pipework. Choose pewter lighting and tie the scheme together with a matching radiator and basin perhaps. Add stone elements and pattern, and you’ll create a strong style statement.

Marketa Rypacek, Managing Director at Industville adds: “Including some rustic accessories in an interior scheme is a great way to add character. Not only do they evoke nostalgic memories of the ‘good times’ but they also offer a unique quirky twist to interiors. Mixing vintage style lighting with contemporary fittings in a cloakroom works surprisingly well. Also, combining something modern with elements from the past gives an authentic style which is never likely to date. To get an authentic rustic interior, choose natural materials. If you opt for handcrafted lighting made of natural elements will give you a more genuine and durable look.”

Waterproof quirky cloakroom ideas

One major issue in my home throughout the pandemic has been not having a cleaner. While I realise this is a first world problem, I’ve found it so hard to keep on top of this while running my business. The husband has helped too, but he also works full-time. Thankfully we’ve both had our jabs, so can now enlist in the help of a cleaner again.

I think anything which can make cleaning easier for all in my home, gets my vote. So, I love the idea of installing acrylic panels in your cloakroom. You can achieve a watertight finish, which you can simply wipe down and choose different wall panel finishes too. Gloss, matt or textured are such examples and you can literally choose any image to create your own personalised cloakroom design. Perfect for feature walls, you simply wipe them down to clean.

Oriental Showerwall for quirky cloakroom ideas
This design is Oriental from the Showerwall collection however you can choose your own design. Prices vary and you can find your nearest retailer here

Steph Harris, product manager at Showerwall tells me: “Wall panelling is a great way to add personality to your cloakroom, without the cost and hassle of tiling or wallpapering. Choose herringbone or scallop designs for a tile-like effect that’s grout-free for easy cleaning. Or go bold with nature-inspired designs to create a statement feature wall. This will work brilliantly behind the basin to add a dramatic focal point.”

A downstairs cloakroom will instantly add value to your home, regardless of the design you choose. In fact, I think it’s a vital addition, especially when it can add up to 5% to the average UK house price. I can’t wait to hear what you do with your cloakroom!

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