Reader SOS – Decor Ideas For A Bathroom Water Closet

I’m back with another “DIY Playbook, Save our Space”. My plan for this series is to take a reader’s space and (virtually) offer design tips and tricks on how to improve it.

Here are some of my favorite design solutions from this series…

How Can I Add Interest To Our Boring Water Closet?

Today, we’re helping Hilary transform her water closet. If you’re unfamiliar with the term water closet, it’s a separate room in your bathroom that pretty much just holds your toilet. We’ve never had one in our homes, but I’ve always liked the idea of one! One person can be getting ready near the bathroom vanity and sink, while the other does their business in privacy. It frees up the rest of the bathroom.

Hilary’s water closet is a blank canvas and she wrote in that she really wants to go bold. Oh man, that girl is speaking my language. Let’s read her submission and then we’ll come up with some water closet decor ideas for her…

Hilary’s Design Dilemma

Reader SOS - Water Closet

I have a very unglamorous SOS request, my water closet. I recently DIYed my primary bedroom and bathroom, but this tiny room right off them has no personality! I know it’s just a toilet room, but I hate how white it is… it’s just a blank canvas waiting to happen… but I have no idea what to do with it!

I want to go BOLD, and even wanted to do something on the ceiling since I wallpapered our bedroom ceiling, but due to the awkward placements of the vents and lights, I’m at a loss. Help! 

Hilary’s DIY Bedroom

Here’s a peek at Hilary’s bedroom with that gorgeous wallpaper on the ceiling. Can you even? I mean, this bedroom has some serious personality and we must continue that throughout the water closet.

Water Closet Decor – Inspiration

Here’s some small bathroom inspiration for Hilary’s water closet makeover. You’ll notice that all three of these designs are bold and feature wallpaper.

Turquiose Home

Photo via The Turquoise Home

Never Skip Brunch water closet decor ideas

Photo via Never Skip Brunch

My best water closet decor ideas

Photo via The Listed Home

Wow, right?! Who knew such a small room could have so much personality? These are the perfect jumping off point for Hilary’s design.

My Design Gameplan

Here’s what I think Hilary should implement in her own water closet to transform her blank space.

  • Add wood wall treatment
  • Paint the lower portion of the walls a bold color
  • Wallpaper the upper walls (and ceiling, if possible)
  • Add a wooden shelf
  • Add modern accessories

The Walls

Adding picture frame molding to a nursery

First up, the walls. Even though this is a tiny room, I think it’s a great place for a wood wall treatment. At first, I was tempted to tell Hilary to go with picture frame molding, similar to what I installed in Ellis’ room.

Board & Batten ideas

Photo via The Turquoise Home

However, after looking more closely at her bedroom style, I notice that their home style is a bit more modern. Because of that, I’d suggest a board and batten treatment with straight lines. I would take that at least a few feet over the toilet and on all three walls of the water closet.

Hilary's bedroom design

With the wall up, I would then paint the lower portion a bold color. I would suggest the same blue that they have in their bedroom OR the darker blue color of their dresser. Either would be a good choice and would make the space feel cozy and saturated. Plus, I always think it’s smart to repeat paint colors throughout your home to keep things looking cohesive.

Modern Wallpaper

Our main bedroom in our finn fixer upper

I love the wallpaper that Hilary added to her bedroom ceiling. You guys know I love a good wallpapered ceiling!

I think she could repeat that same wallpaper in this space, especially if she has some leftovers. Or, she could go with a wallpaper like this one. It’s modern and it incorporates the blues from the bedroom, along with some gold accents.

It would look really nice to have the wallpaper continue up onto the ceiling and she could just cut out the portions for the vents and ceiling lights. If that’s too tricky, painting the ceiling the same color as the lower portion of the walls works too!

Add A Wood Shelf & Accessories

how to style wood shelves

I’ve always loved the look of a wall-to-wall shelf above a toilet. It’s a nice place to add a basket, greenery, and extra toilet paper. I would go with the same dark wood color from their bed to bring that wood tone into the bathroom. She could easily DIY a floating shelf or make simple wood shelving with brackets. This would add warmth and storage to the small space.

If the shelving is too much, she could just add a small tray with accessories to the top of the toilet tank.

Bold Water Closet Design

Let’s bring all of those ideas together to showcase Hilary’s water closet transformation!

water closet decor ideas

Gold Wallpaper // Toilet Paper Holder // Wicker Trash Can // Faux Plant // Swirl Planter // Art Print

I mean, that is definitely one BOLD water closet! I am so eager to see if Hilary transforms this space. Yes, the DIYs would take some time and effort, but in a space that small it’s definitely doable. Keep us posted, Hilary!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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