Square Framed Art Prints by Irene Chan
My husband jokes that the bathroom is my favorite room in our house. That’s because, even though our bathroom, the guest bathroom, and the bathroom our little girls use are fully decorated, I still always have my eye out for new ways to freshen the walls. I recently found a tiny cameo of a seashell at a local art gallery that’s found a home in my girls’ mermaid bathroom—and the room has never felt more complete
There’s something so fulfilling about finding the perfect piece of art, even more so when it’s for a small room that can otherwise resist decoration. Small bathrooms can be particularly difficult, especially when you’re decorating for kids. Still, even in the tiniest half-baths for the tiniest people, you can establish a theme with colorful furnishings and embellish it with carefully selected pieces of wall art.
I only have three bathrooms, and I’ve decorated all three of them. I’m still always adding new touches to spruce up the walls and replacing old furnishings worn out by use. But at the end of the day, I have more ideas for how to decorate the walls in a small kids’ bathroom than I have bathrooms to decorate. So, I thought I’d share a few of my top small bathroom wall decorating ideas in hopes that you can use them for your own bathroom.
Bath towels by Mouse + Magpie
The two most important things to keep in mind when decorating your small kids’ bathroom are relatively simple:
Half-baths are typically tiny. Even three-quarters and full-baths can suffer from a serious lack of floor and wall space, depending on your home. You may feel like, with this lack of space, you can’t really add any major pieces of art on the walls, or any items that aren’t absolutely essential.
However, even in a cramped bathroom, bare walls are crying out for some coverage. Combining a few key wall art pieces with on-theme bathroom furnishings and accessories can completely transform the space. You just have to be crafty and work with what you have to unlock your decorating potential.
Little Sea World Shower Curtain by Teresa Bellón
One way to maximize the decorating space in your small bathroom is to make the most out of what’s there already. In many cases, that means adding in color and a theme via your bathroom furnishings.
In three-quarters and full baths—so those with showers and tubs—the shower itself provides many decorating opportunities. Simply having a shower or bath in your bathroom opens the door to adding color via:
Shower curtains take up a huge amount of visual space in a small bathroom. Choosing a fun, artful shower curtain allows you to use the shower as another decorative wall in the bathroom. Whether you choose a curtain in your kid’s favorite color or printed with a themed design, it will serve as a background for your other decor items. If you (or your son or daughter) want a mermaid bathroom, an under-the-sea bathroom, or an outer space bathroom, your shower curtain is a great place to start.
Once you have your shower curtain picked out, you can start to choose other furnishings to match. Your bath mat and towels—essentials for any bathroom with a shower or bathtub—create an easy, inexpensive opportunity to reinforce the theme you’ve created for your bathroom. If you have a mermaid shower curtain, try pairing it with a mermaid bath mat. If you went with an under-the-sea theme, consider a sea-life mat.
While curtains and bath mats are one-at-a-time furnishings, you can always find space for more towels. This gives you room to explore. Certainly, a mermaid towel fits your mermaid shower curtain, but so can a narwhal adventure towel. Because your towels rotate in and out of use in your bathrooms, the match doesn’t have to be exact—and changing it up can make bath time more fun! For instance, a dancing octopus can coordinate with your sea-life curtain on Monday, while a sandcastle towel takes over for Tuesday.
As you’re choosing curtains, mats, and towels, keep in mind your audience—your kids. Since they’ll be the ones using the furnishings you pick out, it’s important to solicit their advice. Shopping for fun towels together online can be a fun bonding experience without the hassle of going to the store, and it guarantees they’ll love what you decide on.
While furnishings help set the theme, it’s tasteful wall art that ties a small bathroom together without taking up much space. Especially when you only have room for a few, carefully chosen pieces, the small art you select will have a large impact.
It’s a good idea to reinforce an established bathroom theme with your art selections, but I advise staying away from being too matchy-matchy. Too much of one thing can be overwhelming in a small space, and varying art helps ensure the pieces you select will grow with your child for years to come.
For example, if you’ve chosen the ever-popular mermaid bathroom theme, consider off-setting your mermaid-printed shower curtain and bath mat with a small piece of octopus artwork. You’re staying on theme—think Ursula from “The Little Mermaid”—without overloading the eyes with an overabundance of merfolk.
In terms of choosing the right size wall art for your small bathroom, there are a few layouts I have found work well, especially if you have just one small wall to hang art:
Feature two or four square framed prints. Square framed art prints are a good space-saving solution for showcasing art in a small bathroom. These 8” x 8” prints are more compact than many larger pieces you’ll find. They look especially sharp in even numbers, for example, four prints arranged in a square, or two prints hung evenly side-by-side or staggered so one is slightly higher than the other.
For instance, in an outer space-themed bathroom, four animal astronaut prints by Irene Chan make a wall fun and colorful. If you don’t have space for all four, consider using two. Or for a different theme, two of my favorite square framed prints are this school of fish piece paired with a blue whale.
Create a small-scale gallery wall. You can often create a gallery wall on even the smallest of walls. It’s all about selecting the right-sized pieces. I find it helpful to work in a group of three pieces of differing sizes. This is aesthetically pleasing, and the pieces can be configured easily around things like a light switch or hand towel hook.
To personalize the space, consider balancing your art pieces with pictures of you and your family at the beach or by the lake. For half-baths without themes or shower curtains, this is a great way to make your bathroom unique.
Remember always, decorating your bathrooms is a work in progress. Shower curtains, bath mats, and towels will all eventually need to be replaced. If you find a new piece of art you like, there’s no reason it can’t add to or replace the art up on your walls already. Adding just a few pieces of art can help bring a breath of fresh air to even the tiniest bathroom.
Loving the decorating ideas we’ve shared here?
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