Who said bathroom walls have to be boring? With just a little imagination and elbow grease, my dears, those bland blank canvases can be transformed into a stylish statement. Trust me, your bathroom will thank you.
After living in my early 1900s bungalow for a few years, I realized the all-white bathroom needed some life. The tiny space had potential, but the builder-grade vanity and generic tiles weren’t cutting it. I longed for the bathroom of my Pinterest dreams – spa-like, peaceful, and uniquely me.
While a total renovation wasn’t in the budget, a mini makeover was! With clever decor tricks, a little DIY spirit, and a dash of color, I gave my bathroom walls a fresh look without breaking the bank. Read on for tips to spruce up your home’s bored bathroom walls.
- 1 Evaluating the Canvas: What Do You Work With?
- 2 A Fresh Coat of Paint is Transformative
- 3 Wallpaper Transforms a Space
- 4 The Allure of Natural Materials
- 5 Lighting Completes the Look
- 6 Accessorizing Your Bathroom Walls
- 7 Final Touches for Personality
Evaluating the Canvas: What Do You Work With?
Before diving in with paint swatches and wallpaper samples, take stock of what you’re working with. Study the space and consider the following:
- What are the dimensions? Is it a soaring space or a tiny powder room?
- What existing elements need to be worked around or incorporated? Take note of tile, fixtures, furniture, etc.
- What is the lighting situation? Is the room dark or flooded with natural light? Lighting affects how colors appear.
- What decorative items or color schemes are already in place? Work around existing rugs, shower curtains, etc.
Once you’ve assessed your blank canvas, it’s time for the fun part – making it your own!
A Fresh Coat of Paint is Transformative
Paint may seem too simple, but it truly works wonders. Choosing that perfect shade can make the room feel relaxing, elegant, or energizing.
The Psychology of Color
Color selection is more nuanced than personal preference. Different hues evoke different moods, which can enhance the feeling in your bathroom.
- Soothing blues and greens: Promotes relaxation, perfect for a spa-like oasis. Green also represents renewal.
- Clean, bright white: Feels open and airy, great for small bathrooms. Crisp and neutral.
- Warm beiges and taupes: For an enveloping, cozy atmosphere. Earthy and welcoming.
- Classic black: Dramatic and sophisticated. It is best for larger bathrooms due to negligible space absorption.
Choosing Durable Paint Finishes
In moisture-prone bathrooms, the paint finish directly affects durability and wipeability. Consider:
- High-gloss: Most reflective, most straightforward to wipe down. Resists moisture and mildew.
- Semi-gloss: It also shines and wipes clean. Withstands humidity better than flat or eggshell.
- Satin: Soft glow, decent durability, and moisture resistance.
- Specialty paints: Formulated for bathrooms, like anti-mildew paint.
Pro preparation and primer are musts for any bathroom paint job. Careful techniques, like using a mini roller in the tub, will also give the job a sleek, professional look. Don’t forget the ceiling and trim! Painting them all the same crisp white makes the room feel bright and polished.
Wallpaper Transforms a Space
While paint is the most straightforward bathroom wall treatment, don’t overlook the wow factor of wallpaper. From floral prints to geometric patterns, the options abound.
Many homeowners shy away from wallpaper in damp areas, but technology has created moisture-resistant papers perfect for baths. Consider washable vinyl, acrylic-coated articles, or even fiberglass wallpapers. For high-humidity zones like inside showers, solid vinyl works best.
Beyond the practicality, don’t forget about style! The pattern possibilities are endless. Play with different scales and combinations:
- Neutral grasscloth texture above a colorful print wainscoting
- Metallic geometric design behind a vanity
- Salute your inner botanist with jungle fever tropical prints
- Feature wall with cartoon flamingoes – fun in a kid’s bath!
Let your personality shine through. Wallpaper allows you to create a completely custom look. For best results, hire a professional installer.
The Allure of Natural Materials
Bring natural materials into the space for some relaxed, organic texture. Wood and stone add gorgeous visual interest while also being on-trend.
Wood’s Warming Effect
Incorporate wood touches like planks, panels, shelves, or trim to add cozy cabin vibes even in sleek, modern baths. Opt for moisture-resistant woods like:
Salvaged barnwood makes a charming, distressed accent wall. You can get the look with peel-and-stick reclaimed wood wallpaper for less money.
Wood ceilings feel fresh, and exposed wood beams add character. Painted wood wainscoting or shiplap boosts classic charm.
Drama of Stone and Brick
The earthy imperfections of stone or brick veneers add organic depth compared to flat drywall. Stone and wood blend modern and rustic styles.
Consider wet areas carefully. Porous natural wood can warp, but faux veneer stone/brick replicates the look in a water-resistant way.
Unglazed mosaic tile is water-friendly and lends an elegant Old World look. To maximize visual impact, tile only a focal accent wall.
Lighting Completes the Look
It’s not just the walls – lighting and mirrors make a bathroom shine.
Flattering Ambient Light
Layer light sources for a balanced glow that flatters people’s faces:
- Install overhead fixtures plus sconces flanking the mirror
- Add recessed can lights where needed
- Incorporate natural light with a window; amplify with mirrors across from it
Dimmable bulbs allow you to set just the right mood.
Drama of Accent Lighting
Spotlight key areas like wall art or a textured tile wall with directional lighting:
- Sleek track lights
- Recessed can lights
- Picture lights on a dimmer above framed art
- Sconces next to the mirror
Accent lighting adds style and visual interest after the sun goes down.
Mirrors Brighten and Reflect
Strategically place mirrors to reflect light and make a compact bathroom feel more spacious.
Hang one large mirror or creatively arrange a few framed mirrors on a wall for an eclectic gallery effect.
Antique mirrors add rustic charm. Lean an oval mirror in a corner to open up a small space.
Frame a primary mirror to complement your decor. Use wall-mounted sconces or pendants to illuminate both sides of a bathroom mirror.
Accessorizing Your Bathroom Walls
The little touches make a bathroom unique. Incorporate functional and decorative items that show off your personality.
Handsome Wall Storage
Keep essentials at hand without cluttering counters. Mounted wood shelves or a recessed cubby valance above the toilet are handy.
Display rolled towels in wall-mounted rods or bars. Floating shelves do double-duty storing decor.
Artwork for Interest
Make the walls an art gallery to showcase what you love. Just select moisture-resistant media:
- Canvas or acrylic prints (avoid paper)
- Prints are enclosed in a glass frame to protect them from humidity
- Watercolor or acrylic paintings are sealed to withstand the elements
Group coordinating prints over the toilet or tub for a collected look. Try painting abstract art for a fun, easy, customizable project.
Green Up the Space
Bring the outdoors in with natural elements that boost the room’s tranquility and purification.
Opt for low-maintenance greenery suited to bathroom conditions, like orchids, ferns, or air plants. Stacked stone planters holding bamboo accents can create a spa-like atmosphere.
Final Touches for Personality
Infuse creativity and have fun with special touches that show off your flair.
Make a wall pop with the following:
- Vinyl wall quotes or monograms
- Stenciled designs
- Wallpaper or tile insets framed with trim
Freshen up plain baseboards or crown molding with a splash of color for an extra wow factor.
There are endless options for DIY bathroom walls. With some planning and TLC, you can give those boring walls a stylish new lease on life. Let your creativity run free! Before you know it, you’ll have the bathroom of your dreams.
What do you think, friends? I’d love to hear your bathroom wall makeover stories and see photos of your inspiring spaces!