When your customers are seeking a unique bathroom look, art and decor is one of the best ways to keep things original. But how does one find original bathroom art that suits a particular client and style?
To make the decorating process easier and find art that compliments a bathroom’s fixtures, follow these tips on sourcing original bathroom decor.
Starting an Art and Decor Search
Finding the perfect art for a bathroom is much easier when you know what to look for. How do you know if photography or paintings would look best in the bath? When should you opt for handmade fixtures?
To make your search easier, consider a piece written by Jayna Mistry for Artfinder. In this roundup of top tips, Mistry recommends that homeowners start by finding pieces they truly love and choosing something that suits their budget. While some people choose art based on whether or not the subject matter is trendy, finding something that follows your taste and interests can be a much better investment because you’ll love it for years to come.
For more help on starting your original art collection, Laurel Bern Interiors offers a few suggestions for deciding on size and color scheme. For one, she says that it’s okay for bathrooms to boast large-scale pieces of art — even when the walls and room itself are small. Bern adds that grouping prints can be a great option, and that colorful art is a great way to spruce up an all white or a black and white bathroom.
Looking at what’s trending in home decor across popular handmade sites like Etsy could also be a good place to start a bathroom decor search.
House Beautiful decor editor Olivia Heath created a list showcasing Etsy’s top decor trends for spring, based on the best selling handmade items from its site. Since Etsy is a great source of unique home decor, it’s certainly worth a visit when looking for general themes that might work well in a particular bathroom.
If perusing the Etsy Trend Guide for the perfect artisan piece seems overwhelming, you might get a head start by looking to the most popular shops and artists on the site. Fashion and style writer Marlen Komar features a roundup of 10 vintage decor shops on Etsy, which sell everything from old school art to mid-century decor packed with character.
Original Art Websites
In addition to Etsy, there are a number of websites specifically focused on providing a platform for emerging artists to share and sell their work. Hadley Keller, digital design reporter at Architectural Digest, compiled a list of such sites, including Tappan Collective that connects emerging artists with high profile curators and buyers.
Zatista is another website that features a variety of original art and photography that can be used in the bathroom. From black and white architectural photos to tropical watercolor paintings, Zatista makes it easy to narrow searches based on medium, price, size and color.
How to Style Bathroom Art
Finding just the right painting or handcrafted piece can go a long way in making a bathroom feel unique and personalized. However, knowing how to incorporate that art into the bathroom seamlessly is key to ensuring that it is fully appreciated in the space.
For a successful example of how original art can work in a bathroom, consider this remodel showcased by Tobi Fairley. Fairley, who owns a business consulting and interior design firm, features an original black and white painting above her bathtub. The abstract artwork is primarily black and white, which complements the clean, chic look that’s present throughout the rest of the bathroom. Commissioned by Arkansas-based abstract artist Ashley Saer, the original piece also has a small green swatch in the corner, echoing other splashes of green in the room.
Aside from traditional wall art, there are many other ways to incorporate artistic decor into the bathroom. Since traditional wall art can sometimes get ruined in bathrooms due to the excessive moisture, looking for alternative forms of decor can be both cute and cost-effective.
Devine Bath, a remodeling company that prides itself on mastering timeless style, rather than trends, suggests hanging ceramic plates on the walls to add a colorful, eclectic look. Framed, laminated prints also stay safe and look great in bathrooms with limited ventilation.
Wallpaper adds originality and flair to bathrooms too. In the bathrooms section of her site, designer Hillary Thomas shows one bathroom in a California home with a zebra-themed wallpaper. Although zebra print is traditionally bold in black and white, this beige and peach-colored zebra print incorporates an artsy vibe in a more neutral way. The circular, beige-rimmed mirror echoes this theme while the black marble countertop contrasts against both.
Wall mural retailer LimitLess Walls says removable wallpaper is a flexible, impermanent approach to wall decoration. One idea is to add faux wood paneling or murals decorated in wood print. Maps can also serve as a bright addition to a bathroom’s walls. LimitLess Walls also allows people to create wall murals from their own photos, so this can be a great way to add decor that’s truly unique.
For those seeking a thrifty and unique approach to artistic walls, don’t rule out wrapping paper. Nicki Clendening, interior designer and owner of SCOUT Designs in New York, plastered the top half of a rental bathroom wall with a nature-inspired marbled wrapping paper. While this paper wasn’t created for the bathroom walls, wallpaper glue and sealant allowed Clendening to use it successfully, elevating the entire room to a true piece of art.
Beyond the Walls: Artsy Furniture and Hardware
New York-based interior design studio White Webb offers a line of clear acrylic tables that can be used throughout the home. These decorative pieces add a touch of glamour to the bathroom, serving as artful spots for toiletries or decor. Available in clear, smoke, and white shades, these tables are an example of how a simple bathroom element, such as a side table, can be sourced and added thoughtfully.
Door pulls, knobs and handles can also create opportunities to add more art to the bathroom. Martin Pierce Hardware, a company that designs handcrafted knobs and door pulls, is inspired by nature, their custom artwork assuming the form of trees, lizards and exotic fish. The pieces are produced using a method called “lost-wax casting.” The ancient process wax dates back to 3700 B.C., explains engineering and technology writer Cabe Atwell, and involves casting a metal sculpture from an original sculpture made of wax.