We’re thrilled to see more color, pattern, and heirloom pieces fill the homes of design enthusiasts lately, and the bathroom should be no exception to this growing desire for personality-driven homes. While the powder bath has long been considered a “safe place” to experiment with the hues and prints we may not be so comfortable using in our living rooms and sleep spaces, all bathrooms deserve to be considered with such a design-centric mentality. However, that doesn’t mean you have to wallpaper your primary bath or paint it mauve to achieve a more well-collected, inspiring look (though we fully support both of those design decisions).
Art can be a powerful tool for transforming your bathroom into a more exciting, inspiring place to prepare for the day ahead and unwind at the end of it in style. Designers also love to employ artwork to give clients’ spaces more personality and exude their passions so it feels more inviting and comfortable. Designer Becky Nielsen says that bathroom art is a way to express oneself and show off a collection or something you love. Whether you’re an avid art collector or in the process of determining movements and artists that make your heart flutter, both a single print and a flush gallery wall can add some pizzaz and character to your washroom.
We’re highlighting 20 designer bathrooms that employ art in unique ways to inspire your next design project and make your house feel more like home. Whether you’re working with a quirky, angular guest bath or a generous owner’s suite, there’s something suitable for every space and style. Here, our 20 favorite bathroom art ideas.
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This charming Nova Scotia cottage by the sea designed by Philip Mitchell features an airy guest bathroom that’s full of dreamy design details—art included. Framed landscapes and an ocean scene evoke the natural environment right outside your window while you revel in the creature comforts of indoor life.
Seattle-based designer Heidi Caillier has a penchant for British interiors, and this beautiful bathroom highlights her take on the aesthetic. While the mirror feels like a work of art in itself, an oil painting of oranges ties the space together and brings a more carefree air to the space, reminding all who entire to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Employ a Vibrant Pop of Color
Instill a Sense of Serenity
It feels more important than ever before to designate a place of restoration and relaxation in the home. This primary bathroom in an Alabama country house designed by Melanie Pounds features a gorgeous soaking tub by Waterworks, oak paneling, a statement chandelier, and a beautiful landscape that invites the owners to slow down and find rest.
There’s nothing like a cozy pool bath to get experimenting with new colors, patterns, and textures. Designer Traci Connell evokes summertime fun in this funky pool bath from the 2021 Kips Bay Dallas Show House with a piece of art by Katherine Corden. She goes one step further by adding a textural natural fiber work by Lauren Williams Art and sculptural light fixtures to further infuse the space with tropical vibes and textures.
Infuse Just the Right Amount of Modern Flair
Designer Shawn Henderson‘s 19th-century farmhouse in Upstate New York is full of rustic charm while feeling suited to a forward-thinking creative and his loved ones. Exhibit A: his primary bathroom. A Bert Teunissen photograph in a bright white frame brings the bathroom into the modern era without taking away from the charming, cozy feel of this space.
Achieve Sophisticated Informality
This 19th-century cottage designed by the late Sharon Simonaire is all about showing off its architectural pedigree while artfully adding layers to the space. The designer used a collection of art on the sides of and across from the vanity mirror to bring a laid-back, artistic sense to this otherwise formal bathroom full of vintage-inspired pieces and antiquities.
Strike Balance in a Dramatic Space
This moody powder bath designed by Becky Nielsen oozes dramatic flair, so there’s no need for artwork to compete. Instead, the designer employs a darling butterfly print that brings a more traditional design element to this Southern California room that exudes Old Hollywood glam.
“I love a jewel box powder bath moment,” says Nielsen. “There is a lot of aqua in this house and the browns and eggplant in this room pair nicely with that. We chose the artwork because we wanted something old with a touch of brass, and we also didn’t want anything to overpower the wallpaper.”
Now if you’re looking to add drama to your wash space, a striking silhouette is sure to do the trick. Contrasted with a gorgeous marble floating vanity, the art really sings in this Florida powder room designed by Carey Karlan. Karlan says she chose the black and white nude to complement the vanity and Venetian plaster walls instead of competing for attention.
Employ a Sense of Well-Collectedness
Esther Cayzer-Colvin’s historic English estate is a living piece of history, chronicling the family’s collections, passion for color, and notable roles in the worlds of art and design—and the primary bathroom is no exception. Decorative plates and a covet-worthy ginger jar create a well-collected look against Soane Britain‘s updated fern motif dressing the walls.
Designer Miles Redd brings an unexpected pop of modern flair to a 20th-century Victorian home in New Jersey. Framed contemporary prints dotted throughout the space and a modern figure on the side table bring a punch of contrast to this formal, elegant wash room and give it a gallery-like feel.
Make the Most of an Oddly Shaped Space
The bathroom is an excellent place to use art’s power to instill a sense of cheeriness and warmth, and designer Katie Rosenfeld does so beautifully in this layered, albeit quirky, space. A collection of sunny yellow art prints and a whimsical light fixture make the room feel like an even more inviting, happy place to primp and prep—even first thing in the morning.
“This is a teeny-tiny powder room in an old sea captain’s home and it is nestled under the main stairs,” says Rosenfeld. “The proportions are quirky, therefore I had to design it with all these angles and oddities in mind. A tiny room like this can handle drama, hence the blue trim and floor-to-ceiling wallpaper, and I knew I wanted to hang vintage art all in yellow, so I scoured online and in antique stores until I found just the right mix.”
We love a soothing, neutral bathroom retreat as much as the next person, but luxurious materials and a few design details are imperative for keeping it interesting. Here, designer Summer Thornton adorns the white walls of a primary bathroom in a Naples, Florida home with a darling fruit print by Salvador Dalí that matches the gallery wall in the living room.
This elegant bathroom designed by Sean Anderson features two large artworks that bring a sense of antique sophistication to the space. A framed portrait dignifies the primary “throne room” and infuses a deeper sense of personality to make the entire space feel like a distinguished Englishman’s refuge.
Embrace Your Home’s History
Jeffry Weisman and Andrew Fisher’s holiday house in San Miguel de Allende is full of Old World delights that honor its 18th-century origins. The owner’s bath features a framed decorative piece of canvas that further exudes historic appeal without detracting from one of the room’s most striking statement pieces: a custom chandelier fitted with a Kohler tub filler for the copper bath.
Create an Unexpected Yet Elegant Gallery Space
Designer Cathy Kincaid transformed the bathroom of a historic Dallas home into a tranquil retreat for its owners. Lining the blue-gray paneled walls are an array of decorative pieces from plates to mirrors to paintings that make this a great place to source creative inspiration while you soak your cares away.
Make a Memorable Entrance
Legendary designer Alidad doesn’t let the bathroom walls have all the artistic fun. His London home features a cheeky portrait as you enter and a 20th-century plaster relief of Nero once inside. A palm print ginger jar and tropical-looking mirror layer the space and give it a well-traveled feel in true Alidad fashion.
Use Art to Bring a Tasteful Dose of Coastal Magic
Coastal-inspired decorating can go from tasteful to tacky in the blink of an eye, but designer Chauncey Boothby uses an elegant nautical artwork, plus some beach-inspired natural materials to make this Maine home fit its context, add antiquated character, and keep it from feeling sterile.
“My client was considering a number of pieces from a local art gallery and this particular piece immediately jumped out at me for this space,” says Boothby.” It is such a quiet and serene seascape and I thought it just perfect for this oceanfront primary bathroom. Paired with the soft tones of the wall and vanity, it all blends effortlessly.”
Spotlight a Collection
Show Off a Favorite Photograph
This light and airy sanctuary bathroom designed by Lisa Kahn is anchored by a dreamy seaside photo that will transport you during your next evening bath—even if just for a moment. Utilizing a favorite photograph you’ve collected or taken yourself is a simple tool for creating a more peaceful, tranquil space.
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