• Tiger Oak Designs

Seafaring Wallpaper: Taking a whimsical approach to lake house bathroom design ...

Updated: Aug 23

I know this post may seem very targeted ... lake house powder bath?! But stay with us, because all this inspiration can be applied to any powder bathroom, in any style. The truth of the matter is that lately, we've had lake houses on the brain. While vacations may not look like they did pre-Covid (flights to incredible destinations and lush, tropical resorts), people have been renting summer beach cottages in droves. So what used to look like this, now looks a little more like this ...

... and we can see why!


A self-contained environment that lets you escape your home life but still feels safe for everyone is what summer has called for this year. So why the bathroom? At Tiger Oak Designs, our hands-down favorite room to design is the powder bath. If someone asked you what your favorite room in your home is, and your answer isn't your powder bath, maybe it's time for a revamp. Don't believe us? Ask yourself again at the end the post. Like we said, all these concepts can translate to any style, but for today, we are journeying 20,000 leagues under the sea ...


What makes the powder bath so special?

The powder bathroom is, in our option, the jewelry box of the home. Stepping inside one should be like lifting the lid off of a treasure chest: colorful, exotic, unexpected ... This is the room to make bold moves and take risks. What makes this room perfect for experimentation is twofold:

  1. it is a small, enclosed space that exists in and of itself. It doesn't need to speak to the living room, or the kitchen ... it is perfectly self-contained.

  2. the time spent in one is limited, so even the most over-the-top design won't feel overwhelming, and you can play around with lighting because it doesn't need to be utilitarian.


Why we love to go whimsical

Well, why not? Have you ever stumbled across a fabric or wall treatment that you just fell in love with, but thought, "I could never use that in my home"? Why? Chances are, it's because it would be "too much" ... the pattern on the wallpaper is gorgeous but would over-power your family room, or the print on the fabric is so much fun, but you could never live with it in your bedroom on a daily basis. Enter The Powder Bath. This is a place that can stand on it's own and support your wildest, color-infused, pattern-frenzied dreams! It's time to leave your guests with something really exciting to talk about on their way home!


So, back to the lake house ... some may be California beachy, some can feel very Hamptons-esque, while others are more literal renditions of a nautical theme. What they all have in common are lots of whites, blues and natural textures. The old you would have continued that into the bathroom and 'phoned it in' with shiplap walls and maritime artwork. But that's not who you are anymore. Today, we are pushing you to think outside the box and lean in to the oceanic vibes in a more whimsical, exciting way that only wallpaper can accomplish. First up, is one of our favorite marine life motifs by Cole & Son.

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This wallpaper is such a bold aquarium moment, but at the same time is so elegant and grand in a way that feels very polished but effortless. It appeals to us at Tiger Oak in a Leo DiCaprio, 'Romeo + Juliet first meeting' kind of way and we just love it.


Another favorite of ours is an incredible, hand-painted de gournay wallpaper used by designer Katie Ridder and featured on HGTV. Now, this paper comes with a hefty price tag, but the square footage is tiny, so, it's all relative? (winks at the husband) We love the sophistication of the wallpaper with the high end finishes. It feels luxurious and well-appointed but is still this really lively koi pond experience.



For a more playful bathroom that will excite both children and adults, go for prints in bright, bold colors. They are exciting and offer stimulation for the eye that you won't get in other rooms without being overwhelmed. These dreamlike, underwater seascapes are so much fun, it will be like entering a new world.


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Lastly, we can't do a post about whimsical wallpapers without featuring the storybook element of it, and these last two wallpapers will do the trick. We are crazy about the play on Herman Melville's nautical tale, 'Moby Dick' in this Cole & Son wallpaper. This paper is so handsome and would be a perfect way to layer something more masculine into the bathroom. And of course, is there anything more storybook and fanciful than mermaids? In 5 color ways, you are sure to find a favorite in this Hygee & West paper! This could easily be dressed up or down depending on the finishes.



We hope this helps you reconsider the basic approach to bathrooms, and provides you with some inspiration of exciting ways to rethink your own powder bath! Do you think we should do a full post on all things guest bath, including everything from favorite hardware choices to lighting and tile? Let us know in the comments!


xx - Natalie


"When your home shows up well for you, you can show up well for others"







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