When decorating a home with art, so often the bathroom is the last room to get our attention. Choosing the right artwork, however, can transform a neglected space from merely functional to truly finished. By following a few simple guidelines, it can be easy as well as fun! Here are some tips to help you put the final touches on yours.
The size of your bathroom can be a determining factor in the pieces you chose. Larger artwork benefits from having enough room so that it can be viewed at a distance. If you are lucky enough to have a spacious bathroom, a large-scaled piece will offer great visual impact. If, like most of us, your bathroom is a little smaller but you still have a large expanse of wall to cover, consider grouping several smaller pieces together to give the impression of a larger piece.
If you have a modern bathroom, the natural impulse is to select modern artwork; if you have a vintage bathroom, the impulse is to select vintage. Keep in mind that juxtaposing styles can make an interesting design. An old photo in a weathered, antique frame can add great texture and dimension to modern design scheme, and hanging a bold, simple piece in a vintage bathroom offers unexpected drama.
If you have a beach-y theme, consider collecting artwork that reinforces this. Don’t be too literal though, hanging only beach landscapes; try to expand on the theme by using photographs of ships or arranging shells or beach glass you’ve collected in a shadow box frame. Shadowboxes are a great way to reinforce theme, as almost any related item of appropriate size can be used. Try using vintage hand tools or seed packets in a garden-themed bathroom.
If you’ve created a soothing, spa-like environment, bright, vivid colors will work against this. Likewise, in a bold, vibrant color scheme, delicate pastels can seem less than invigorating.
If you are decorating a half bath or a guest bathroom that isn’t used frequently, there are virtually no limitations on the quality of artwork you can use. If you are decorating a bathroom that gets used regularly for showering, expensive, high-quality, or other valuable pieces may not be the best idea. Even in well-ventilated bathrooms there will be some moisture in the air that can damage artwork, especially over the long term. This shouldn’t discourage you, however. There are plenty of inexpensive and interesting options that still offer plenty of impact.
Ideas and Suggestions
An excellent and affordable idea for bathroom artwork is using photographs. It’s easy enough to make color copies, so the originals won’t be damaged. One interesting (and personal) option is to frame a collection of old family photos. If you don’t have any of your own, comb local flea markets and antique stores for interesting shots of someone else’s ancestors. While there, keep an eye out for vintage magazine advertisements for items such as toothpaste and soap. These are reasonably priced, and often have great, quirky slogans as well as highly appealing color combinations.