14 DIY Ideas for Bathroom Wall Décor
While you soak, relax, and unwind, treat yourself to a room of artistry. Decorate the walls with framed prints, sconces, modern tile work, or a wreath that's au naturel—courtesy of you, the artist.
Oh, the irony of a cluttered bathroom. This is the place you go to tidy up, after all—to get a fresh start. To decorate any bathroom, whether it's a tiny powder room or a sprawling master bath, you need to think creatively about the space: Could an extra shelving unit supplement your built-in medicine cabinet? Is there a better place to store those extra rolls of tissue? A few quick updates (and some thoughtful paring down) can give the room just the freshening up it needs.
For one idea, channel your inner deckhand and get the bathroom shipshape with easy rope-based decorations as pictured here (anyone who can tie a knot can make these). To set up the towel holder, use natural fiber rope from a home-supply store. Secure a series of large screw eyes to the wall; feed the rope through and knot. You can make the mirror and a matching bath caddy using the rope, too. For function that doubles as art, opt for organizational shelves and wall caddies in luxurious materials like marble and copper hardware. For a nautical-inspired look, mount a mirror onto the wall bordered with maritime rope, sand dollars or seashells; a sea fan even makes a stunning base for a wall sconce. And because each one is washed ashore from the ocean, there are no two alike. A blank wall is even well-suited for displaying a collection, such as a school of fish-shaped plates and platters.
When a bathroom is beautifully designed, it fulfills its purpose: helping you prepare to face the world in the morning and retire from it at the end of the day. Try one of these wall décor ideas to turn your bathroom into a personal oasis.
Where you decide to hang a mirror can boost the energy—and the beauty—of your home. Crafted using natural jute, you'll love how the textural rope border anchors the look of these mirrors and lends a natural touch to your walls.
Sand Dollar Mirror
Sand dollars encircle this mirror as if they've washed ashore. Using an inexpensive frameless beveled mirror, position the sand dollars randomly—a large one here, a few smaller ones there— for the most organic looking arrangement, almost as though they had been strewn by the tide along the water’s edge.
Shop Now: Better Bevel Frameless Beveled Oval Mirror, $134, homedepot.com; The Seashell Company Florida Arrowhead Sand dollars, 4" to 5", $3 each, seashellco.com; The Seashell Company Florida Round Sand Dollars, $1 each, seashellco.com.
Sea Fan Sconce
A trio of sea fan sconces gives the bathroom a modern (and almost otherworldly) look. Plus, they're a simple way to decorate a big blank wall. To make one, whitewash and sand a wrought-iron candleholder. A metal sconce with a simple design lets the sea fan take the starring role; sanding the sconce after painting gives it a soft patina. Use a screwdriver and mallet to chisel away excess matter at the base of the sea fan so it can slide behind the base of the sconce, and smooth what remains with a metal file. Position a sea fan on the sconce; there should be some overlap at the top to hide the nail hole. Using a craft stick, carefully apply a small amount of glue to two spots on the sconce: one at the fan base and one about halfway up to the nail hole. Adhere the sea fan, and insert a candle.
Shop Now: Fredericks & Mae Black Taper Candleholder Wall Sconce, $45, food52.com; Golden Fluid Acrylic Paint, in Titanium White, $18.75, cheapjoes.com; The Seashell Company Red Sea Fan, $14.39, seashellco.com; Devcon High Strength 5 Minute Epoxy, $12, maxwarehouse.com.
Take a (road) trip down memory lane with this instant art, which is beautiful for your summer home's bathroom by the lake or oceanside. Hand-stitch the route you took on a vacation, and frame it. You'll have a gallery of getaways and a reminder to look back fondly on family adventures—including that time the car broke down.
Who says form supersedes function? Cut down on morning bathroom time and carve out a quiet space just for you by mounting spice racks on the wall. You can even invert one of these narrow shelves and use it as a towel-bar-slash-accessories-perch; just slip out the two keyhole-shaped brackets on the back, flip them, pop them back in, and hang it upside down. Behold: your very own stress-free dressing station, with no one knocking to come in.
Shop Now: IKEA Bekväm Spice Racks, $5 each, ikea.com.
Seashell and Pebble Prints
Decorate stationery, postcards, or a travel journal using tokens collected on a recent trip. For this craft, use card stock or other thick paper; it's less likely to warp under the condensation of the bathroom shower.
Glass shelves are popular in the bathroom for good reason: They're a breeze to clean and can handle spills and steam with ease. For a more stylish take on clear shelving, opt for milk glass shelves to match your tub and tile. Ours are nine inches deep—narrow enough that they don't jut out too much from the wall, but deep enough to hold necessary toiletries. (Standard shelving sizes are between 8 and 12 inches.) If you can't find the size you need, consult a local glass fabricator.
Shop Now: Capitol Glass NYC Custom Shelves, 9" by 30" by 1/4", in Pure White with Polished Edges, inquire for pricing, capitolglassnyc.com; Ferm Living Shelf Hangers, in Gray, $49.50, battenhome.co; Martha Stewart Collection Quick-Dry Towels, in White, $8, macys.com.
Copper-Pipe Towel Ladder
Mount this to the wall: A towel ladder made of copper plumbing fittings gives your bathroom the charm of a fancy Parisian hotel suite for the cost of room-service petit déjeuner.
To keep a counter-less bathroom's most valuable real estate—the rim of a pedestal sink—looking clean, raise your gaze. We used suction hooks to stick a wire organizer directly onto the wall above. Clip-on name tags keep supplies separated, and the open-grid frame ensures that toothbrush handles stay dry and goop-free.
Hang one of these tied wreaths in the bathroom, where the shower's steam will release their invigorating scent. We made ours from a single branch of seeded eucalyptus, secured with wire, but you could do the same with bunches of rosemary or bay laurel.
Shop Now: West Elm Eucalyptus Bundle, $20, westelm.com.
Schools of plates, platters, and other wares bring the tranquil feel of the sea to home shores. Seek out streamlined shapes, and group them by color. Then consider mounting the collection against a marine-inspired backdrop, such as blue-green wallpaper or cool-colored tiles. An ornamental collection can glide along a wall or above a shelf, creating the serene mood of a softly bubbling aquarium while requiring none of the maintenance.
Shop Now: Tetra Side Plates, $64 for set of 4, anthropologie.com.
Window Blinds That Double as Art
There aren't a lot of options for bathroom window treatments, considering that the usual suspects (fabric curtains, slatted blinds) are prone to mildew. Adhesive window film, on the other hand, is easy to spray and wipe clean. Create privacy and a modern look by applying horizontal strips of the film that resemble frosted glass.
When decorating, a few earthy materials—like sticks and stones—can bring cohesion to a room. In the bathroom, a large tree limb doubles as a towel rack. A plank of weathered driftwood, mounted to the wall above the sink, serves as a bathroom shelf. Underfoot, small stone mats are taped together to create a massaging bath mat.
Sunprints are the type of beautiful summer project that's just made for display. In it, the cyanotype paper undergoes a chemical change when exposed to sunlight. Place stencils, flowers, rocks or other items on the paper, then watch as the sunlight magically creates the designs. Then, they're ready for framing on the wall of a bathroom or outdoor shower.