Holly Willoughby took a risk with her bathroom wall panelling – experts say it's ‘elegant without being overpowering’

So it clearly paid off

Holly Willoughby
(Image credit: Getty Images/Dave Benett)

Recently, we’ve been loving the rare glimpses of Holly Willoughby’s home she’s been sharing on her Instagram. One thing that particularly caught our attention is the elegant wall panelling in Holly’s bathroom which she’s debuted as a backdrop in a couple of reels.

The most striking thing about this bathroom wall panelling idea is the height of this shaker or wainscotting panelling style – we’ve never seen it extended that high in a bathroom before. It’s certainly not very traditional to do this and Holly’s taken a risk but we think it really paid off, elevating the space and giving it a sense of grandeur.

But enough about us. What did the experts say?

Holly Willoughby’s bathroom wall panelling

This is not the first time Holly’s charmed us with her home as we’ve already become obsessed with her sellout M&S jug vase earlier this year, while frantically searching for similar-looking alternatives. And Holly’s lunar gardening hack had us intrigued too.

But her bold bathroom wall idea seriously impressed us – and DIY and wall panelling experts as well.

A bathroom with wall panelling

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter)

‘Decorative panelling with beading detail is very common for those wanting to create a timeless feel and add character,’ says Olivia Crosher, designer and visual stylist at Naturewall. ‘Usually seen in living rooms and hallways, this panelling is also used in bathrooms where a touch of luxury is wanting to be added.’

‘I’d definitely recommend injecting subtle detail with a feature like this, as it gives an elegant feel by adding depth without being overpowering. One main feature of this panelling is that it’s paintable, meaning it can be tailored to match your interior scheme perfectly,’ she adds.

A bathroom with wall panelling

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

The unusual height of Holly’s wall panelling

But while this style of wall panelling has become more common in bathrooms in recent years, the height of Holly’s panelling is the opposite of common.

‘The thing that makes Holly's panelling unusual is the height of it,’ says Jimmy Englezos, senior brand manager from Ronseal. ‘I have never seen bathroom panelling this high. Typically, when I see the trend for bathroom panelling, it's on the bottom half of the wall, ending about mid-point up the wall.’

A bathroom with wall panelling

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Olivia chimes in, ‘Traditionally, wainscotting panelling stops around one third up the wall. In this example, it can be seen over three quarters of the wall’s height, which works particularly well in homes with high ceilings. If your rooms have lower ceilings, I recommend going no more than halfway up the wall with this panelling.’

But owing to Holly’s fairly high ceilings, it works. As does the chosen paint colour, ‘The chosen colour evokes the feeling of calm, which is perfect for a bathroom. The muted, soft blue compliments the white accents to give an airy look, creating a sanctuary to relax and unwind,’ Olivia concludes.

What you’ll need to recreate the look

Content Editor

Sara Hesikova has been a Content Editor at Ideal Home since June 2024, starting at the title as a News Writer in July 2023. Sara brings the Ideal Home’s readership features and news stories from the world of homes and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more, focusing on all things room decor, specialising in living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, home offices and dining rooms. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.