Hey friends! Amanda here, coming to you from my little corner of New York with coffee in hand. Today, we’re tackling a space that often gets neglected regarding decor – the bathroom.
I don’t know about you, but for the longest time, I thought bathrooms were only meant to be clean and functional spaces. White tiles, simple hardware, done. But over the years, I’ve learned just how much of an impact thoughtful bathroom decor can have. Your bathroom shouldn’t just be a place to freshen up; it should be a sanctuary, an oasis – a space that reflects your unique taste and personality.
This post will explain everything you need to know to give your bathroom walls a makeover. Get ready for tips on choosing a theme, picking paint colors, displaying artwork, a
- 1 Understanding Your Bathroom Space
- 2 Start With A Theme
- 3 Color Schemes and Paint Ideas
- 4 The Art of Wall Art
- 5 Wallpaper and Wall Decals Galore
- 6 Tile Tales
- 7 Shelving and Storage Solutions
- 8 Incorporating Mirrors
- 9 Textural Elements
- 10 Lighting Enhancements
- 11 Accessorizing Your Bathroom
- 12 Maintaining Your Bathroom Wall Décor
- 13 Final Thoughts
Understanding Your Bathroom Space
Before picking up a paintbrush, it’s vital to assess the bones of your bathroom. Take stock of the existing layout and features before decorating.
- Measure your wall dimensions and note any quirks. Are there oddly angled walls or built-in shelves? Take measurements and sketches to map it out.
- Consider the lighting. Does the room get ample natural light, or will it rely heavily on artificial lighting? Light levels impact the colors and styles that will look best.
- Note areas prone to moisture. Showers, sinks, and baths produce steam and humidity. In those spaces, focus on moisture-resistant materials.
- Identify the focal point. Every great room has one – the spot your eye gravitates towards. Is it a statement tub or a sprawling shower? Decorate to accentuate it.
With a solid understanding of the fundamentals, you can decorate your bathroom to highlight its unique perks and minimize challenges.
Start With A Theme
I’m a firm believer in the transformative power of a theme. It’s an opportunity to weave a little story into your design. Even if you don’t want to go all-in with a nautical oasis or rustic farmhouse bathroom, having a direction in mind will help pull the elements together into a cohesive look. Here are some popular bathroom themes to consider:
Coastal Serenity: Bringing the Beach Vibe
Want a daily escape to the seaside? Use shades of blue, tan, white, natural textures like weathered wood, and subtle nautical accents. Think sand dollars, driftwood, and beachy art prints.
Modern Chic: Sleek and Sophisticated Touches
Focus on neutral hues, sleek hardware, and contemporary art for a polished urban look. Simple floating shelves, geometric prints, and a statement pendant light over the vanity help nail the modern chic aesthetic.
Rustic Retreat: Earthy and Natural Elements
Channel the outdoors with warm wall tones of sage, cream, and terracotta. Incorporate reclaimed wood shelves, woven baskets, and organic shapes and textures. Add potted greenery for an extra rustic punch.
Spa-like Oasis: Creating a Tranquil Space
Elevate your bathroom with soft, soothing colors like powder blue and dove gray. Natural stone surfaces, candlelight from sconces, and plush towels and rugs enhance the spa vibe. Display fresh flowers and keep products in labeled jars for an extra zen touch.
A consistent style will make it easier to select fixtures, art, and accessories for your bathroom walls, regardless of your direction.
Color Schemes and Paint Ideas
Once you’ve settled on a style, it’s time for the fun part – choosing a color palette! Here are some of my go-to tips when selecting bathroom wall colors:
Consider the size. Bold, saturated colors can feel overwhelming in a small bathroom. Stick with lighter or neutral shades in a petite powder room for a spacious look.
Consider the lighting. Yellow and green hues come alive in bathrooms with sunshine streaming in, while darker blues and purples work best in artificially lit spaces.
Complement your features. Whether your bathroom has sleek modern fixtures or a vintage clawfoot tub, choose a color scheme that enhances those existing elements.
Paint one wall a contrasting shade to create an accent wall. This will inject personality into the space while keeping it manageable.
Regarding paint, semi-gloss or high-gloss latex enamel is your best bet. The subtle sheen is moisture-resistant and easy to scrub when it’s time to tidy up. Now let’s explore some beautiful bathroom color palette ideas:
- Ocean blues — Different shades of blue, from sky to navy, are soothing and inviting. Crisp white trim and tiles keep the look beachy.
- Earth tones — Shades of brown, beige, and taupe give a zen, spa-like feeling. Green plants provide a perfect pop of color.
- Black and white — This classic combo always looks chic. Add metal details for contemporary flair or vintage accents for a retro vibe.
- Bold brights — Make a statement with an energizing color like fuchsia, chartreuse, or azure. Keep the rest of the space minimal.
Paint is hands-down the easiest way to refresh your bathroom walls, but don’t stop there! Read on for ways to infuse personality with tiles, textures, mirrors, and more.
The Art of Wall Art
After setting the overall look with paint, have fun dressing up those bare walls with art, prints, and photos. When choosing bathroom wall art, consider the following:
- Match the style. Is your bathroom full of sleek lines and modern hardware? Black-and-white abstract prints would wonderfully complement the aesthetic. If you’re going for a homier feel, framed nature photos fit right in.
- Mind the scale. Decorate proportionately. A tiny 4×6 photo would get dwarfed on an expansive empty wall. Take measurements so your art feels balanced within the space.
- Account for moisture. Since bathrooms are humid, take precautions like sealing the edges of paper-based prints. Instead of framing, opt for molded plastic, metal, or canvas materials.
- Double up on function. Take advantage of empty vertical space above a toilet or console sink by hanging floating shelves or towel racks that double as wall decor.
When it comes to arrangement, you can create visual interest by mixing up sizes, frames, subjects, colors, and materials for an eclectic gallery wall. Or you can make a statement by hanging a large central piece like an ornate mirror. However you arrange it, art gives your personality a voice. So let it shine!
Wallpaper and Wall Decals Galore
Chances are you’ve seen some stunning powder rooms decked out in wild wallpaper designs. While wallpaper does demand commitment, it can transform the feel of your bathroom. Here’s what to keep in mind:
- If your space experiences a lot of moisture, choose a durable, washable vinyl or acrylic wallpaper. Cellulose-based papers won’t hold up as well.
- If you want to remove the wallpaper later, look for the label ” strippable.” Peel-and-stick options make application and removal easy.
- Use water-resistant ceramic or stone tile for high-humidity areas around tubs and showers. Wallpaper can deteriorate quickly with excess moisture.
If you want wallpaper’s visual impact without the hassle, consider removable vinyl decals instead. Sold in various colors and prints, these stickers add style without commitment.
Tile is tough to beat if you want to make a significant impact. Beyond durable and water-resistant, tile comes in endless colors, shapes, textures, and patterns. Here are some tile tips:
For high-moisture areas, choose a durable material like ceramic or porcelain. Avoid high-maintenance natural stones near water sources.
Combine shapes for visual interest. Mixing square, rectangle, and mosaic tiles adds appealing asymmetry.
Use tile to create a focal point, such as solid tile wainscoting or an intricate mosaic inset surrounding the mirror.
Remember the grout. Contrasting grout draws the eye to each tile, while grout matching the tile color unifies the look.
Start with a backsplash. Installing a tile backsplash behind the sink is an easy DIY way to test the tile vibe. Take it up to the ceiling for dramatic results!
There are endless options, with many sizes, textures, colors, and prints. Visit showrooms and design studios to work with samples as you narrow it down.
Shelving and Storage Solutions
Once you’ve got the foundation of paint, wallpaper, or tile, don’t overlook the power of shelves, cabinets, and hooks to provide storage and décor.
Floating shelves add space for folded towels and toiletries in a sleek, minimalist way. For a super clean look, opt for shelf brackets with hidden mountings.
Decorate plain cabinets with trim, hardware, or paint to match your style. Display cute jars and baskets inside to corral all those lotions and potions.
Incorporate ladder shelves or hanging wall planters to add an organic touch and display fluffy towels within easy reach.
Use a colorful or distinctive knob on your medicine cabinet for a punch of personality. This is an easy swap that makes a noticeable impact.
Arrange collections like glass vases or rolled-up washi tape to turn utilitarian shelves into dazzling displays. Collections add depth and infuse style.
Maximize every wall space to store necessities and display meaningful mementos. Those bare walls offer prime real estate!
Mirrors have been a bathroom staple for centuries – and with good reason! Here are some creative ways to use mirrors to enhance your space:
- Illuminate dark corners by positioning mirrors across from windows. The reflective surface will bounce light around.
- Mount floor-to-ceiling mirrors to make your bathroom feel more spacious. The mirrors will give the illusion of more room.
- Choose an ornate, stand-out mirror frame to create a beautiful focal point above a console sink or vanity.
- Opt for rounded mirrors to soften hard edges or a set of rectangular mirrors to fill an awkward blank wall space.
- Include a vanity mirror, but also consider hanging a full-length mirror on the wall. It’s a perk to be able to see your whole outfit!
Expansive mirrors instantly make a bathroom feel brighter and open, while unique framed mirrors provide an easy way to infuse personality. Use mirrors intentionally to solve problems like darkness or small spaces. Let mirrors reflect light and amplify your beautiful design choices!
At this point, you may have selected paint colors, arranged art, and decided on tiles. But don’t stop there! Consider adding layers of texture to give your bathroom richness and depth.
- Wood-look tile insets, shiplap panels, or tongue and groove planks add natural warmth. The contrast of wood against tile or paint is striking.
- 3D tile, carved ornamentation, or embossed wallpaper offer tactile texture. Use sparingly to keep the look from becoming too busy.
- Wainscoting, whether natural wood panels or faux-painted lines, provides a distinctive dimension. Above it, use high-gloss paint to accentuate the detailing.
- Faux bricks, textured paint techniques (think Venetian plaster or mottled lime wash), and textured wall tiles all add depth and character to walls.
Bathrooms have a reputation for being sterile and utilitarian, but you can break that mold using materials with richer textures. Touches of stone, wood, textured paint, and tile create a multi-dimensional look brimming with personality.
The proper lighting can make or break a bathroom. After all, this is typically where we start and end each day and prepare ourselves to face the world. Lighting sets the mood. Evaluate the existing lighting and make upgrades where needed:
- Swap out an old fluorescent fixture for a pendant light or sconces. Allocate lighting to shower, sink, and vanity areas.
- If your bathroom lacks windows, consider adding a skylight over the tub or pot lights in the shower. Natural light is best.
- Install dimmers to control light levels at different times of the day. Bright light early in the morning or late in the evening can be harsh.
- Accent with stylish sconces, an eye-catching chandelier, or vanity lighting to create a focal point.
- Ensure lighting is adjustable and adequate for tasks like shaving, makeup application, and grooming.
Take time to assess whether the lighting is appropriate for the size of the space, whether it aligns with your style, and whether it works for the room’s purpose. Adjust fixtures and add new lighting features to create a functional yet dazzling ambiance.
Accessorizing Your Bathroom
The accessories beautifully tie everything together. Have fun brainstorming creative ways to outfit your bathroom with coordinated towels, rugs, shower curtains, and more!
- If your bathroom’s color scheme is seafoam and coral, use the same colors for the towels, bath mat, shower curtain, and wastebasket.
- Rugs aren’t just for the floor. Try a coordinating rug in front of the sink or a carpet runner on the vanity.
- Display candles, plants, and knickknacks on floating shelves or wall-mounted towel racks. This adds interest while maximizing space.
- Incorporate unexpected materials like bamboo or rattan into wastebaskets, curtain tiebacks, and tissue box holders. Natural textures dazzle.
- Look for monogrammed and personalized elements like embroidered towels, custom shower curtains, and initialed canisters to personalize the space.
Little touches like luxurious towels and artful accessorizing transform a generic bathroom into glamorous, so don’t skimp on the finishing flourishes!
Maintaining Your Bathroom Wall Décor
You’ve chosen the perfect palette, adorned the walls with gorgeous textures, and accessorized perfectly. But there’s one critical step left — committing to upkeep. Bathrooms require regular maintenance. Here are my top tips for preserving your Oasis:
- Seal tile grout and caulk edges with waterproof sealants as needed. This prevents moisture from seeping in and causing erosion or mold.
- Use bathroom fan regularly and open windows during/after showers. Limiting humidity preserves materials and prevents issues.
- Clean often using gentle cleaners and microfiber cloths to keep surfaces shiny. Harsh chemicals can degrade surfaces over time.
- Apply bathroom-safe sealants to surfaces like framed art prints or canvas wall hangings. Waterproofing preserves them.
- Fix any drips or leaks from faucets, showerheads, and toilets promptly to avoid damage. Address minor issues before they escalate.
- Consider radiant heating in the flooring to reduce ambient moisture in the air. This creates a drier environment.
I know I know – maintenance sounds boring after all the fun decorating. But trust me, a little effort will keep your stylish oasis looking refreshed year after year.
These tips inspire you and spark ideas for your beautiful bathroom wall makeover! Remember to start with your goals, assess your bathroom’s needs, and then have fun layering paint, tile, textures, art, accessories, and lighting to create a space you love.
Bathrooms are such unique retreats. Let the space reflect your spirit as you unwind in a candlelit soak or prep for a night out. And if you feel like your bathroom could use a little TLC but don’t know where to start, don’t fret! Drop me a line using the contact page, and we can chat. Refreshed and welcoming bathrooms are my specialty.