Should you display art in a bathroom? Here are some things to consider first

Is art a good decor choice for a bathroom? We've turned to interior designers to get the low down

Should you display art in a bathroom
(Image credit: Matthew Williamson/Tina Kulic/r.a.d. Interiors & Kristin Karch)

When decorating your space, you might be wondering if you should display art in a bathroom. In every other room of the home, it's a no-brainer, but with the damper environment of the bathroom, it's not uncommon to feel hesitant about displaying your favorite works.

A simple search for bathroom ideas brings you a whole host of ways to decorate your bathroom – most of which focus on tiles, paint colors, lighting, and countertop decor. And while these features are a wonderful way to personalize your space, bathroom art ideas are a much less talked about option.

Here's everything you need to know about the dos and don'ts of displaying art in your bathroom – from the factors you need to consider, practically and aesthetically, to the best styles to introduce.

Should you display art in a bathroom?

Without decor, bathrooms can feel cold and uninviting – art is an easy way to add style and personality to your scheme without cluttering the space. Although you need to be more careful about the way you display art in a bathroom, there's no reason not to introduce your favorite pieces to add a homey touch.

'I am a big proponent of putting just as much care into the design of your bathroom as you would any other room of your home, and wall art is a big piece of that,' says Kathy Kuo, interior designer and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home. A few simple artworks can instantly make a bathroom feel more cohesive with the rest of your home, rather than feeling like an afterthought.

Art can also add to the atmosphere your bathroom evokes, as Ryan Austin Hagood, principal designer at r.a.d. Interiors, explains: 'Bathrooms, often the most intimate spaces in the home, provide an ideal setting for displaying beloved artwork or photography. Whether it's something intriguing, humorous, or meaningful, having art enriches the time spent in these personal retreats daily. Art is always a wise choice when it resonates with you and complements the space.'

What do you need to consider when displaying art in a bathroom?

Moody bathroom with a striking portrait photo framed by the toilet

(Image credit: r.a.d. Interiors/Kristin Karch)

While displaying art in a bathroom is a favorable way to infuse your scheme with personality, there are some practical considerations to keep in mind. 'If the bathroom is prone to high moisture levels from showers, it's important to consider the durability of your artwork in such conditions,' says Ryan Austin Hagood, principal designer at r.a.d. Interiors.

As well as opting for frames that are water-tight and able to withstand damp conditions, it's also important to ensure the artwork itself is suitable – anything too fragile or delicate could be at a higher risk of damage. 'Select materials that can withstand the environment to ensure the longevity of the piece,' he suggests.

It's not just about function – as with any room in the house, the art you display in your bathroom needs to feel in keeping with the interior design style of your space. 'The choice of framing is crucial, as all components, such as the mat board and frame depth, should not only complement the artwork but also harmonize with the interior finishes of the space where it will be displayed,' Ryan advises.

What bathroom art is in style?

Pink bathroom with a gallery wall of art

(Image credit: Matthew Williamson/Iaia Cocoi)

Art, in the bathroom or anywhere in your home, is down to personal taste, but there are certain works and ways of hanging it that interior designers always gravitate towards. Of course, this will depend on your space, but there are cues to take that can work in any scheme – and naturally, it tends to focus on the walls.

'When it comes to hanging art, I like to create gallery walls or little curations in the same way that I might dress: gathering and layering, matching and contrasting, and telling a story that allows the artworks to enter a discourse on the wall. This is also true for the bathroom,' says interior designer Matthew Williamson.

'Hanging art is an art form in itself, so don’t be too harsh on yourself if you fancy swapping up the placement of the works after a few weeks. Ultimately, your walls should resemble a mosaic of your life; a patchwork of images that describe your essence,' he adds.

Gray bathroom with a gray bathtub, pink shower curtain, and blue and wood chequered flooring

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

However, walls aren't the only place to display art in your bathroom. If you don't have enough wall space, or you're looking for renter-friendly ideas, art can work beautifully as bathroom countertop decor. 'Placing art on a picture shelf or vanity table is a great way to switch up the look of your bathroom. If your bathroom is tiled, you can consider using art hanging stickers,' suggests Annica Wallin, executive creative director at Desenio.

There's no right or wrong way to choose the art for your bathroom, but whatever you introduce should work in cohesion with your bathroom scheme. 'There aren't any hard and fast rules about what kinds of art go well in a bathroom, but it's always a nice idea to stick with the same color scheme you're using for the paint, tiles, and shower curtain,' says Kathy.

It's important to choose art that catches your eye and appeals to your tastes – it's all very well choosing work that matches a color scheme, but it should bring you joy and elevate your space.

freestanding bath in ensuite

(Image credit: Tina Kulic)

'I tend to favor either humorous portraits or striking landscapes. These themes can add a distinctive touch and transform the space into a more engaging and personalized area,' says Ryan. 'While smaller pieces generally fit well due to the typical scale of bathrooms, the choice of artwork is highly subjective. Therefore, I recommend selecting a piece that resonates personally and stands,' he adds.

If you feel more daring, a bathroom is an ideal place to experiment with more playful designs that might not work in other rooms of your home. 'Bathrooms are a great chance to have a bit of fun with your style – it’s an opportunity to take more style risks without impeding on the rest of your home,' adds Annica.

In a similar vein, art can help to create the atmosphere you desire – from maximalist spaces to more serene environments, choose artworks that evoke those feelings. 'Art can also help to give your bathroom the relaxing spa feeling that many strive for. Choose quotation art prints that are visible from your bathtub or shower or a print that creates the feeling of zen,' she suggests.

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Art is the perfect way to fill empty wall space in your bathroom and adds a dose of personality. As long as you choose the right frames (that are water-tight and stylish), you're bathroom will feel just as aesthetic as the rest of your home.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.