We’re thrilled that more colour, pattern and heirlooms are filling 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 that we might not be so keen on using in our living rooms and bedrooms, all bathrooms deserve to be looked at with such a design-led mentality. However, that doesn’t mean you have to wallpaper your master bathroom or paint your master bathroom mauve for a more appealing, inspirational look (although we fully support both design choices).
Art can be a powerful tool to transform your bathroom into a more exciting, inspiring place to prepare for the day ahead and relax in style at the end. Designers also love to use artwork to add personality to clients’ spaces and to radiate their passions to make them feel more welcoming and comfortable. Designer Becky Nielsen says bathroom art is a way to express yourself and showcase a collection or something you love. Whether you’re an avid art collector or just in the process of identifying movements and artists that get your heart pumping, both a single print and a flush gallery wall can add some pizzazz and character to your washroom.
We feature 20 designer bathrooms that use art in unique ways to inspire your next design project and make your house feel like home. Whether you’re working with a quirky, angular powder room or a lavish master suite, there’s something to suit every space and style. Here are our 20 most popular bathroom art ideas.
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This charming oceanfront Nova Scotia cottage designed by Philip Mitchell features an airy powder room that’s full of dreamy design details – art included. Framed landscapes and a seascape evoke the natural surroundings just outside your window while you enjoy the comforts of living inside.
Seattle-based designer Heidi Caillier has a penchant for British interiors, and this beautiful bathroom underscores her take on aesthetics. While the mirror feels like a work of art in itself, an oil painting of oranges ties the space together and gives the space a more light-hearted vibe that reminds everyone to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Put in a vibrant pop of color
Convey a sense of serenity
It is more important than ever to create a place of rest and relaxation in your own home. This master bathroom in a Melanie Pounds-designed Alabama cottage features a gorgeous Waterworks bathtub, oak paneling, a statement chandelier, and beautiful landscaping that invites the owners to slow down and find calm.
There’s nothing like a leisurely poolside swim to experiment with new colors, patterns and textures. Designer Traci Connell evokes summer fun in this funky pool bath from the 2021 Kips Bay Dallas Show House with artwork by Katherine Corden. She takes it a step further by adding textural natural fiber work by Lauren Williams Art and sculptural lights to infuse the space even more with tropical vibes and textures.
Add just the right amount of modern flair
Designer Shawn Henderson’s 19th-century farmhouse in upstate New York is bursting with rustic charm while also feeling appropriate for a forward-thinking creative and his loved ones. Exhibit A: his primary bathroom. A photograph of Bert Teunissen in a gleaming white frame brings the bathroom up to date without detracting from the charming, cozy vibe of this space.
Achieve sophisticated informality
This 19th-century cottage, designed by the late Sharon Simonaire, is all about showing his architectural pedigree while artfully adding layers to the space. The designer used a collection of artwork on the sides and opposite the vanity mirror to bring a relaxed, artistic sense to this otherwise formal bathroom full of vintage-inspired pieces and antiques.
Find balance in a dramatic space
This atmospheric powder bath, designed by Becky Nielsen, exudes dramatic flair that no work of art has to compete with. Instead, the designer uses a sweet butterfly print that brings a more traditional design element to this Southern California room that exudes old Hollywood glamor.
“I love the moment of a powder bath in a jewel box,” says Nielsen. “There’s a lot of aqua in this house and the brown and eggplant tones in this space go well with it. We chose the artwork because we wanted something vintage with a touch of brass, and we also didn’t want anything to overpower the wallpaper.”
If you’re looking to add drama to your washroom, an eye-catching silhouette is sure to suit you. In contrast to a gorgeous floating marble vanity, the art really sings in this Carey Karlan-designed Florida powder room. Karlan says she chose the black-and-white nude to complement the vanity and Venetian stucco walls rather than compete for attention.
Employ a sense of collection
Esther Cayzer-Colvin’s historic English estate is a living piece of history that chronicles the family’s collections, their passion for color and notable roles in the world of art and design – and the master bathroom is no exception. Decorative plates and a covetable ginger glass create a well-collected look against Soane Britain’s updated fern motif adorning the walls.
Designer Miles Redd brings an unexpected touch of modern flair to a 20th-century Victorian home in New Jersey. Framed contemporary prints scattered throughout the room and a modern figure on the end table add stark contrast to this formal, elegant washroom, lending it a gallery-like vibe.
Make the most of an oddly shaped room
The bathroom is an excellent place to harness the power of art to instill a sense of happiness and warmth, and designer Katie Rosenfeld does this beautifully in this layered, if quirky, space. A collection of sun-yellow art prints and a whimsical light fixture make the space an even more welcoming, happier place to get ready and prep—even first thing in the morning.
“It’s a tiny little powder room in an old sea captain’s house, and it’s nestled under the main staircase,” says Rosenfeld. “The proportions are whimsical, so I had to design it with all those angles and oddities in mind. A tiny space like this can use drama, hence the blue trim and floor-to-ceiling wallpaper, and I knew I wanted to hang vintage art all yellow, so I scoured online and in antique stores until I found just the right mix. “
We love a calming, neutral retreat in the bathroom as much as the next person, but luxurious materials and a few design touches are essential to keep it interesting. Here, designer Summer Thornton adorns the white walls of a master bathroom in a Naples, Florida home with a sweet fruit print by Salvador Dalí that matches the living room gallery wall.
This elegant bathroom designed by Sean Anderson features two large pieces of art that give the room a sense of antique sophistication. A framed portrait pays tribute to the primary “Throne Room” and gives it a deeper sense of personality to make the entire room feel like a distinguished Englishman’s retreat.
Embrace the history of your home
Jeffry Weisman and Andrew Fisher’s San Miguel de Allende vacation home is filled with Old World delicacies that honor its 18th-century origins. The owner’s bath features a framed decorative piece of canvas that further exudes the historical 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. The blue-grey paneled walls are lined with an array of decorative pieces, from plates to mirrors to paintings, making this a great place to find creative inspiration while forgetting your worries.
Make an unforgettable entrance
Legendary designer Alidad doesn’t let bathroom walls have all the artistic fun. His London home features a cheeky portrait upon entering and a 20th-century plaster relief of Nero inside. A palm-patterned ginger glass and tropical-inspired mirror cover the room, giving it a well-travelled feel in true Alidad fashion.
Use art to bring a tasteful dose of coastal magic
Coastal-inspired decor can go from tasteful to kitschy in an instant, but designer Chauncey Boothby uses elegant nautical artwork as well as some beach-inspired natural materials to fit this Maine home into its context, add antique character, and keep it from to feel sterile.
“My client was considering a number of pieces from a local art gallery, and this particular piece immediately jumped at me for this space,” says Boothby. “It’s such a calm and serene seascape and I thought it was just perfect for this elementary school seaside bathroom. Paired with the soft tones of the wall and vanity, it all blends in effortlessly.”
Put a collection in the spotlight
Show off a favorite photo
This light and airy bathroom designed by Lisa Kahn is anchored by a dreamy beach photo that will take you with you throughout your next evening swim – if only for a moment. Using a favorite photo you’ve collected or taken yourself is an easy tool to create a more peaceful, tranquil space.
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