It’s fair to say that the bathroom isn’t the first place that springs to mind to hang and display art. Fear of splashes, water damage, and its general status as a steamy, misty space, means that we generally feel more confident hanging art in a bedroom or living room.
Yet a quick scroll through Instagram or a chat with any gallery owner reveals that bathrooms can be ingenious spaces to hang art in unusual and surprising ways, allowing you to spread your art collection further around your home and utilise a space that you use everyday. Let’s face it — standing in front of the mirror brushing your teeth isn’t the most engrossing way to spend a few minutes, but turning those moments into some contemplative time with your favourite print or painting makes them far more enjoyable.
In this blogpost, we’ll consider inspiring ways to hang art in your bathroom, while considering how to protect it. Read on for our top picks from Instagram, artworks we think will look magnificent in your bathroom, and some handy practical advice too.
Art to decorate the bathroom
Make a splash
Artwork in the bathroom doesn’t mean playing it safe. Take advantage of the block colours and clean lines a bathroom provides by adding a pop of bright colour or a graphic print. We love Marianne Nix’s ode to palm trees, the perfect way to add a little tropical style into the room. For a statement piece, a large canvas such as Philippe van Gele’s magical Haboob from Kahn Gallery, or the wonderfully abstract Deep from Joanne Hummel will create an immediate impact and a beautiful focal point.
The Great Escape
We’ve always been huge fans of work that transports you elsewhere and lets you escape, just for a moment, from daily life; and adding artwork which alludes to natural forms and the great outdoors is a great way to achieve this feeling at home. Works such as Jonathan Speed’s stunning Beyond the Harbour will add some very serene, seaside sensibilities to any bathroom, big or small.
Or, if you really want to change the scene entirely and transport yourself to say, a woodland cabin, consider ramping up the nature vibe in not just your artworks, but think wooden chairs, baskets, towel rail, mirror and even gorgeous wooden floors in your bathroom space. You’ll feel like you’re at one with nature in no time - see the Instagram post above for insparation!
Keep it simple
Bathrooms are places you want to be clean, tidy and organised — so adding some tranquil artworks, which ooze calm or a sense of simplicity, are an excellent starting point. Ron Lawson’s epic Arisaig Boathouse, with its open skies and deep tones, is a perfect way to inject some serenity into your space. Or perhaps you would prefer Jane Ansell's abstract seascape (main image) with is relaxing depth.
Try some eclecticism
If your bathroom is home to loud tiles, bright towels or lots of plants, then adding some well-placed arty oddities can be a welcome, characterful addition. We love the floral inspired work of Robin Duttson or how about Nam Tran’s fantastic sculpture?
Or, for something more subtle, a gallery wall of framed prints will inject a little intrigue into your bathroom interior without going overboard. We love the example below from @bathrooms_of_insta, particularly in a stark, white space like this.
The Practical Stuff
As a general rule, oil or acrylic paintings on canvas or board will fare better in humid conditions, but don't let that hold you back - with some careful preparation paper-based works can take pride of place too. If you are hanging a print or paper-based work, be especially careful to ensure that the frame is completely sealed, front and back, before hanging— if moisture gets inside the frame they could easily turn to mould - a framer will be able to advise you on this.
As with hanging artwork in any space, always check work is securely fastened to the wall to avoid accidents! You may want to ask the professionals if you’re drilling into a natural stone tile, such as marble and granite. Finally, if using sculpture in your bathroom, just make sure it’s carefully placed on a shelf, ledge or side table with some Museum Wax to hold it securely in place.
On a more playful note, bathrooms generally contain at least one mirror – so why not consider hanging your artwork opposite for maximum visibility, or where you can see it from the shower or bathtub?
For even more practical tips, check our our How to Care for your Art at Home blog.
And lastly… be yourself
It goes without saying that bathrooms are personal spaces. And this gives you the chance to be really creative. This is your space, so let your own style shine. If you’re redesigning your bathroom, the artwork you hang can inject a little fun and give you the chance to show your personality.
And there you have it! Your guide to filling your bathroom with affordable, beautiful art!
Jane Ansell, Waters Edge, 2016, oil, £4,000, REN FINE ART.
Featured art from first to last:
Cabin inspiration from @life_in_a_cabin.
Marianne Nix, Tropical thoughts II Blue, 2017, print, limited edition of 20, £200, I-CONTEMPORARY.
Philippe Van Gele, Haboob, 2018, acrylic, signed, £990, Kahn Gallery.
Joanne Hummel Newell, Deep, 2018, acrylic, signed, £400, Liberty Gallery.
Jonathan Speed, Beyond the Harbour, 2018, acrylic, signed, £450, Signet Contemporary Art.
Ron Lawson, Arisaig Boathouse, 2018, giclee, signed, £895, Alpha Art Gallery.
Robin Duttson, Gold Blossoms on Red, 2014, silkscreen print, £450, TAG FINE ARTS.
Nam Tran, Ego Man Trooper Parian Baby Blue, 2018, ceramic, signed, £350, Mint Art Gallery.
Gallery wall in a bathroom inspiration from @bathrooms_of_insta.