Jaguars and Parrots and Trees, Oh My!

I’m not actually sure HOW to describe the bathroom design that I recently created.  It’s a combination of contemporary styling and a little bit of industrial, with a statement, exotic print thrown into the mix.  I know that this may sound a little peculiar, but bear with me.

I’ve incorporated the big hitters: blush, brass, plush velvet and those lovely Farrow & Ball-esque dark hues that dominate every other popular (interiors) Instagram account these days.  And with good reason: those dark hues pack a punch!  They’re dramatic, and all sorts of moody.  But if, like me, you’re not mentally ready to paint your entire room inky blue or muddy grey, I’ve come up with a great way to incorporate darker colours for the more risk-averse interiors fan, whilst also throwing some eye-catching pattern at the wall too.




Even though this is just a snapshot of the corner of a room, I worked hard on this design.  I wanted to create something with tons of character and personality, whilst ensuring the overall design remained tasteful and contemporary.  The starting point for the bathroom design was the wallpaper.  This is the result of a very successful collaboration between Clarke & Clarke and Emma J Shipley.  I first became aware of this collection of utterly astounding prints whilst catching up with/stalking one of my favourite Interior Designers on Instagram and was literally transfixed the minute I clapped eyes on them.  The wallpaper entitled ‘Amazon’ in the pink and teal colourway smacked me around the face, to the extent that I felt I had no choice but to include it in a design scheme.

‘Amazon’ Wallpaper, Emma J Shipley in collaboration with Clarke & Clarke

THEN I stumbled upon this vintage inspired mirror courtesy of Not On The High Street, and loved it so much that I decided to replicate it in SketchUp, as a 3D model.  It was actually a joy to construct and I’m very pleased with the result.

On a side note, the SketchUp Hub is planning on launching a new online 3D model shop, where peeps can purchase and instantly download SketchUp 3D models for their projects.  The online shop will be launched around the same time as our new 3D courses, so we’ve been considering the structure and content of the new courses, in addition to constructing 3D models for the new shop.  It’s all GO, GO, GO around here.  If you’d like to be kept updated on the big launch, sign-up to our newsletter.

Back to this awesome design.

I decided to include the mirror in the design too, and then I went crazy and opted for TWO mirrors, with two sinks obviously.  Let’s be honest, you can’t have a wallpaper as opulent as THAT and not have two sinks, right?  It was the same with Carrie Bradshaw’s wedding (the first one), the dress changed everything.  She went from 75 guests to 200 and it was all because of that dress.

The Amazon wallpaper is the same as Carrie’s wedding dress: it upped the ante.

Now that I had decided on the double sink/mirror situation, I needed to consider the design of the vanity unit and lighting.  The stars aligned for this little project, because no sooner had I punched ‘Pinterest’ into my keyboard, THIS sight for sore eyes leapt out from the screen.  No joke!

I decided to use the vanity in the above bathroom design (I had to modify it a little because of the change of height due to my sink design) and I opted for a brass finish for the mirrors too, because well, LOOK. AT. THEM.

It would have been so easy to throw a few simple Edison bulbs at this design but I wanted to try something a little different.  I’m a massive fan of Rockett St George and took a peek at their lighting selections and was overjoyed to see some lovely velvet lampshades in blush pink.


Well, hypothetically speaking because this bathroom only exists in my imagination (sorry, I should have mentioned that the above image is a photo-real render!).

I decided to pair the pink lampshades (which highlight the pink used in the wallpaper beautifully) with vintage/aged brass because it’s nice to mix different finishes for a touch of variety.  And they add so much character.  LOVE!

I added some choice accessories like the industrial bowl (which complements the finish of the sconces perfectly), glass tealight holders and luxurious bathroom products.  The decorative accessories have been kept quite understated due to the detail of the patterned wallpaper, as it didn’t make sense to include items that competed for attention.

This wallpaper should be allowed to shine!


Here’s the thing, I LOVE statement wallpapers in bathrooms, especially a little WC tucked under the stairs!  It’s a great way to be inventive with small spaces and to provide an element of surprise, because no one expects to see such opulence and drama in a WC, do they?!

Check out the links below to learn more about some of the products featured in my contemporary bathroom design.

  1. Amazon Wallpaper, Emily J Shipley in collaboration with Clarke & Clarke;
  2. Brass Industrial Mirror, Cox & Cox;
  3. River Blue, Benjamin Moore Paint;
  4. Grown Alchemist Hand Wash & Hand Cream, House Curious;
  5. Glass Tealight Holder; The Lovely Room;
  6. Industrial Bowl, Cozy Living;
  7. Pink Velvet Lampshades, Rockett St George

The SketchUp Hub Facebook Group has many Interior Design professionals and we asked them to provide expert tips when designing bathrooms, here’s our favourites!

Paul recommended integrating storage by making use of the space under a sink or utilising the walls above.

Sarah advises to splash the cash on a good quality shower and if necessary compromising on the cost of tiles, where loads of awesome budget designs are available. 

If your bathroom is adjacent to a bedroom, Charlotte recommends not placing the loo on the shared wall, especially if the bed is up against a wall. No-one wants to hear someone else “going” in the middle of the night!

Nadia thinks it’s a great idea to install underfloor heating in a bathroom because it’s so affordable and one of the rooms in the house where your toes would most appreciate it.

Kate’s professional advice is to choose classic, timeless shapes and colours for your sanitary ware and taps, allowing you to inject personality via wall colour and accessories.  

Register with the SketchUp Hub for a free online course and a free PDF of our top tips when creating digital mood boards.


2 responses on "Jaguars and Parrots and Trees, Oh My!"

  1. A great blog post, thank you Anita. It’s really good to hear your thought process throughout the design. I do very much love that mirror and I echo your enthusiasm for statement wallpaper in a bathroom or cloakroom. I just cannot wait for the 3D course to become live. It they are anything like the rest of your courses we will be in for a creative treat.

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for your lovely feedback 🙂 This wallpaper is pretty special, right?! Lots of planning and strategising required before the big launch of the 3D courses! Watch this space!

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