It’s a question that puzzles many an aspiring interior designer. How should you decorate those bare old spaces in your bathroom? Allow me to furnish you with all the inspiration you need…
Unless you’re aiming for a genuine minimalist look with your bathroom, empty walls can pose a real conundrum. What can you do with them? Dare to keep them bare and you’re left with a large expanse of colour (often white), which can feel a little overbearing, not to mention plain old boring!
So, what should you put on an empty bathroom wall? Well, I’ve turned to our creative customers and our own design team for inspiration. Here are 9 great ways to decorate your empty bathroom wall.
Carry on reading or jump to a specific section by clicking the links below:
- Good reflections
- Pretty as a picture
- Stack ‘em high
- Nothing beats panels
- Add a splash of fun with tiles or wallpaper
- Bring it to life with plants
- Store things in style
- A hot topic
- Sleek ceramics
- All in all, it’s just a bathroom wall
- Thirsty for more bathroom inspiration?
One of the most obvious and popular ways to decorate an empty bathroom wall is to fit a mirror. And let’s “face” it (pun very much intended!), where would your bathroom be without a mirror?
At a basic level, mirrors provide a vital function, helping to reflect natural light (and artificial light too!), making your space feel bigger—an age-old interior design trick! And, of course, they also offer a handy way to check yourself out, do makeup and make sure you’re looking your best before you head out of the door.
Go all out with an extra-special bathroom mirror like the Andromeda by Accents
While all this may seem pretty straightforward, choosing a bathroom mirror that reflects well on you can be a tricky old business. However, here are a few tips which might help.
Do you have enough storage?
If you have a small space, without much in the way of storage, a mirror cabinet is a great option. All those smaller items, like toiletries, toothbrushes and medication, which cause clutter can be carefully and cleverly concealed behind your mirror panes.
Do things often get hot and steamy?
If you have a shower you and your family members use regularly, you’ll know just how annoying it can be wiping condensation off your mirror immediately afterwards. In this instance, a bathroom mirror with demister would be a great choice.
The Mode Mandrelli illuminated mirror comes complete with demister and decorative leather strap
Do you like getting the mood just right?
Lighting in most modern bathrooms is designed to be bright and functional, which is great for everyday use, but what about those times you wish to lie back and relax? Not such a bright idea then, huh?
An illuminated mirror offers many benefits; a softer light source for bathing, plus focused task lighting for those close up tasks. For some great designer choices, why not check out our pick of the best bathroom mirrors?
Victoria Plum customer @zoeoliviaev proves your mirror needn't be overly fancy to look effortlessly stylish
Pretty as a picture
One of the most common and, dare I say it, easiest ways to decorate any bare wall space in your bathroom is to pick out and hang some wall art or prints. And there are some darn good reasons why wall art is such a popular choice:
- It’ll add a pop of colour and point of interest for both you and any house guests
- It’s a great way to show off your own personal tastes and add personality to your space
- You can make a bold statement with wall art, creating a focal point in your bathroom
- Artwork can be welcoming and inviting, arousing a positive emotional response from anyone that sees it
This bathroom, with floral artwork, was inspired by Victoria Plum customer @mayflowercottage55
Of course, the type of artwork you choose is entirely up to you (that’s the beauty of it!), but do bear the following tips in mind:
- Artwork in a bathroom should be calming and relaxing, with soothing colours that complement your general design theme
- Whimsical prints are a great way to put visitors at ease and will make you smile too
- Ensure the materials used within the artwork are suitable for damp environments like bathrooms
The wall print and message board bring a real element of fun to Victoria Plum customer @insidenumbertwelve's bathroom
One bathroom trend that we first spotted in 2021 is a growing interest in full wall graphics. With modern printing techniques, this is now a very real possibility for bathrooms, and an affordable one at that!
With that in mind, we worked with contemporary British artist Louise Dear to create a series of full wall panels, based on several of her most popular works. And, we were thrilled when Victoria Plum customer Amber (a professional interior designer) shared her latest work with us, which included one of Louise’s pieces (see below).
Amber (@carringtoninteriors on Instagram) did a great job picking out colours from the artwork and using them elsewhere in the bathroom
For more on the inspiration behind these works, why not read our interview with Louise Dear?
Stack ‘em high
One of the very best ways to utilise an empty bathroom wall is to put up shelving. From simple, inexpensive MDF to carefully-design, built-in units, there are many reasons why shelving is a great idea in a bathroom.
Extra storage space
By their very nature, bathrooms are often small spaces, so every bit of storage counts. You can use your new shelving to store towels, toiletries, cleaning supplies and much more besides.
Keep your bathroom organised
When everything has a designated place, it's much easier to keep your bathroom tidy and uncluttered. Shelving can help you to create a functional and organised space that will, ultimately, leave you feeling relaxed.
Put a recess in your bathroom to good use by fitting shelving in it
Add style to your bathroom
There are many different styles of shelving available, so you can find the perfect option to match your bathroom décor. They can be used to add a touch of personality and style to your bathroom, with room for treasured possessions, photos and even plants (see below).
Create a more functional space
Shelving can be used to create a functional space in your bathroom. For example, you can use shelving to store potentially dangerous items out of the reach of curious children, create a vanity area, a storage area for towels or a display area for your favourite toiletries.
Keep things simple with pre-assembled shelving units from our Accents collection, large enough for all your bath time essentials
Nothing beats panels
Wall panels offer a whole world of possibilities, when it comes to decorating an empty wall in your bathroom. And there are 2 general routes to take, which we’ll explore in greater detail.
Shower wall panels
Offering a quick, easy and cost-effective alternative to tiles (which we’ll get round to shortly), shower wall panels are a great way to pep up an empty wall, and the options really are endless.
Made from easy-to-clean, watertight materials, all you need do is cut your wall panel to size and apply to your existing wall. In most cases, you can simply fit over the top of existing wall coverings, like tiles, to give you a new and exciting look.
Beautiful and botanical—these Victorian floral sage shower wall panels from Showerwall bring a real touch of character to a bathroom
With so many colours and designs, you can go as big and bold as you like, or keep things subtle and understated. From wood, stone and tile-effect designs to floral prints, a shower wall panel can transform your space into something more colourful and characterful.
And, the great thing is, you can use these panels in and around the splash zones in your bathroom too. Or mix and match with tiles for a really intriguing effect (see below).
Would you flamin-go for these stunning shower wall panels from Showerwall?
Traditional wall panels
Evoking the timeless look of a period home, traditional wall panelling is quite the trend at the moment and can be used to break up what would otherwise be a dull and uninspiring bathroom wall.
Complement the rest of your bathroom decor by painting your wall panels in a matching colour
One of the fabulous things about traditional wall panels is the fact you can paint them to match your chosen colour palette. And, there are plenty of designs for you to choose from, whether you prefer a border design or tongue and groove wall panelling, as used by Sarah Beeny in her new country home (see below).
Classic wood panelling, as featured in Sarah Beeny’s New Life In The Country
Add a splash of fun with tiles or wallpaper
Tiles and bathrooms really do go hand in hand, and are one of the first things you’ll probably think of when decorating an empty wall.
And there are many, many excellent reasons why tiles are so suited to a bathroom space. Here are just a few:
Tiles are highly durable, able to withstand the wear and tear of a busy bathroom environment. They are also resistant to water, which makes them ideal for areas where water is present, such as the shower and bathtub.
A great use of colourful metro tiles, inspired by Sarah Beeny’s New Life In The Country
Easy to clean
Tiles are easy to clean, which is important in a bathroom where dirt and grime can build up quickly. They can be wiped down with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any dirt or soap scum.
Tiles are a very hygienic surface, which is important in a bathroom where bacteria can easily grow. They are non-porous, which means that they do not absorb water or moisture, making them difficult for bacteria to grow on.
Available in a wide variety of shapes, styles, colours and sizes, you won’t need to look far to find a tile that suits the overall look and feel of your bathroom. And when it comes to decorating an empty wall, the choice is most definitely yours. You could simply fill the whole wall, from floor to ceiling, or go half-height with your tiles. And, to bring a bit of visual interest to your bathroom, why not consider arranging your tiles in a more unusual layout (see below)?
Why not fit your tiles vertically?
Another creative and cost-effective option for empty bathroom walls is wallpaper. However, whilst tiles are hardwearing and easy to clean, wallpaper isn’t quite as durable and should only be used in areas away from splash zones (e.g. your basin, shower and bath). Keep an eye out for washable wallpaper that is specifically suited to bathrooms.
Wallpaper can be used to great effect on an empty wall in your bathroom
Bring it to life with plants
If there’s one big trend I’ve noticed in recent years, it’s that bathrooms are getting greener. Now, I don’t mean the colour scheme (although green remains a popular bathroom colour), rather the amount of plantlife and botanicals being added to our most private of spaces.
Bring the outdoors indoors, just like Victoria Plum customer @ahousetomakeourhome
Greenery can make a great addition to a bare wall in your bathroom, whether it’s placed on a shelf, a cabinet or strung up using a macrame hanger. You will, of course need to take good care of your plants, and ensure they are suitable for moist and humid environments like bathrooms. Check out our bathroom plant ideas for further inspiration.
Give your empty bathroom wall a green makeover
If you wish to create a real green-fingered statement, why not consider creating a living wall? Check out our video below.
Store things in style
If you really do have an empty wall to play with and simply don’t know what to put there, why not consider increasing your storage space? A wall cabinet could be the perfect choice for a busy family bathroom, providing plenty of room for all those essentials, both big and small.
A wall cabinet will make great use of an empty wall, like the Reeves Newbury dusk grey tall storage unit (above), as featured in Helen Skelton’s country style bathroom
Make sure you choose something that fits with your overall design theme or, if you already have storage units, select from the same bathroom furniture range for a cohesive and coordinated look.
A hot topic
As we all know, the great British winter can be teeth-chatteringly chilly. Come to think of it, spring, autumn and even summer aren’t always that warm either, which is where an empty wall in your bathroom can work to your advantage.
If your current bathroom heating doesn’t always do the trick, why not consider upgrading to a brand new radiator or heated towel rail? With space at your disposal, you could opt for something infinitely more stylish than the conventional heating designs you’re probably used to.
The Santa Fe traditional radiator from The Heating Co. is bound to make you feel all warm inside
For example, in a traditional style bathroom, why not continue your theme with a Victorian-inspired radiator, like the Santa Fe (pictured above). And, for the more adventurous, you’ll find a range of inspiring colour options to complement your chosen décor. To make a real style statement, why not go bold with a brightly coloured radiator, like the Vibrance pink radiator from The Tap Factory (pictured below)?
Available in a variety of beautiful shades, the Vibrance radiator from The Tap Factory is a great way to add a pop of colour to your bathroom wall
For a sleek and stylish look, you could, potentially, hang your toilet and basin from an empty wall in your bathroom. This will, of course, depend on whether your wall can support the weight of a heavy ceramic and whether there is space for a concealed cistern and plumbing.
With clean lines and a curvaceous design, the Tate wall hung toilet from Mode Bathrooms is ideal for contemporary spaces
Wall hung toilets and basins are a great option for modern bathrooms due to the following reasons:
- They’re easier to clean, with no awkward gaps where dust and dirt can accumulate
- They save on space, with no pedestals or cisterns which could potentially take up vital inches
- With all the plumbing hidden, wall hung basins and toilets produce a sleek and seamless appearance
- You needn’t stick to a single style—you’ll find both traditional and contemporary designs to complement your chosen design theme
The Monnow white wall hung basin from Orchard Bathrooms is just the job for an empty bathroom wall
All in all, it’s just a bathroom wall…
As we’ve discovered, there are many, many ways to fill an empty bathroom wall. Whether you’re looking to adorn your space with a glittering mirror, some colourful artwork or living, breathing house plants, cover it up with wall panels or tiles, or make things more functional with a cabinet, shelving, heating or ceramics, the choice is entirely yours. And, if your decision wasn’t tough enough already, why not consider combining some of the suggestions above?
Thirsty for more bathroom inspiration?
If you’re seeking inspiration for your bathroom, you’ve just struck lucky! Victoria Plum is the place to be for amazing and utterly achievable bathroom ideas.
As a first port of call, may I recommend our #GetTheLook bathroom style guides, which show you how to create a distinct design theme using products, textures, colours and accessories. Including collaborations with celebs like Helen Skelton and Sarah Beeny, you’re bound to find the perfect style for your bathroom.
And, as you’ll already be aware, we love asking you, our creative customers, to "Share your Style". And you never disappoint! Take a look at our selection of beautiful customer bathrooms or head to Instagram and search the hashtag #VPShareYourStyle for fresh inspiration.
#GetTheLook with Helen Skelton’s Oasis of Calm