How to Decorate a Bathroom

Ever since this time last year, when I did a second coat of paint in our downstairs bathroom (same color, just covering up the thin spots) and painted the ceiling to let the crown molding pop, I’ve been needing to decorate in there. 
I originally put up an existing decoration we got as a wedding present and found a pretty bowl to hold the extra TP:
Boring bathroom decor
And halfheartedly placed a votive of potpourri next to the sink (SUPERlame, I know)…
Lame potpourri

But there was still nothing on the main wall directly ahead as you walked through the door.
Blank wall 1blank wall 2
Well, I’m finally sick of the boring bathroom, so it was high time for some decor!
I knew I wanted

  • The wall art to have some vertical interest for the eye, which would effectively highlight the crown molding as a sort of “frame” for the rest of the wall
  • An “installation” for the long, bare wall – a montage of framed pictures, a set of three coordinating canvases…something in a group.
  • A bit of a nature theme, to tie it in with the rustic/cottage style décor in the rest of the house.
  • Bathroom-appropriate materials like glass, ceramic, etc that won’t feel “germy”  (I’m weird like that.)
  • A color scheme of white, cream, black or dark brown, gray, and a tiny dash of color (which color would depend on what I found – turns out it was red.)

So with that in mind, I went looking for things I already had as well as new items (on sale, of course!)
A while ago, I picked up a ledge shelf on sale for $7 at Hobby Lobby.  It had a red sticker on the front (on sale for a reason, apparently) that I removed with Goo Gone and a razor blade.  Even though red became the accent color….this was the *wrong* red, and not what I was going for.  The bare shelf was much better.ledge shelfledge facelift
Then it sat around in the closet for a while. Smile
Also from Hobby Lobby, I found a large, pretty vase for $5.  I snatched it up and went looking for some tall filler to put in it.  For another fiver ($10 at Jo-Ann, then 50% off coupon), I found some cool “sticks”.
Also at Jo-Ann, I ran across some vinyl wall decorations.  I was smitten.  For $6, they came home with me.  Vinyl is the perfect material for bathrooms.  The design of a budding branch with birds was perfect too.  (The buds – or are they berries? – are red, which provided the final ‘color splash’ for the bathroom color palette.)
Next, I wanted to replace the “as-cheap-as-I-could-find-clear-plastic-soap-pump” with a glass one….preferably with an oil-rubbed bronze or zinc lid.  No need to buy anything here. I found a glass jar in the fridge that had a high probability of mold inside it (what? you probably have some too…), washed it out, spray painted the lid, and poked an old softsoap dispenser pump into the top of it, similar to my kitchen mason jar soap dispenser.
DIY Jar Soap Dispenser
I was also tired of the cheapy towel ring.  I found a weathered-looking hook at Hobby Lobby for $3 and put that up instead.
Stylish towel hook
Now I needed some accessories for my ledge shelf.  Since there were bits of red in the vinyl, I decided to look for a larger red item….so I grabbed an old arrangement vase and made a second, homemade version, in the same color.  (Gotta have balance, right?)
Homemade vase
Then, for some character and texture, (and since books are a natural fit for a bathroom!)I tore the covers off a couple of old, to-be-donated paperback books and tied them together with string Pottery Barn-style. 
Twined booksTwined books 2
And finally, I thought the shelf could use some height, so I made a funny little (ok, funny to me) Victorian style sign and put it in a dollar store frame.
Homemade sign
On the long wall, I rigged up a hanging system with a wooden dowel and some cup hooks, and then I hung some dollar store art from it.  I have another idea for this area, but I’m good with the $1 ‘art’ for now Smile
Wall treatment
And lastly, the toilet tank needed something more than the “bowl of TP” (ha).  I already had a neat glass container with a zinc handle (an old Goodwill find), so I put a pillar candle in it.  A little twine and some pebble-filler later, I was in business.
Finally……$27 worth of new things + several repurposed items later….

=  we finally have a decorated bathroom!

Old books
A bigger picture
Vignette - close
Back wall
Vignette - angle
Vinyl birds
Mirror view
Bathroom decor
Candle w twine
There you have it!  Start with what you want….look for stuff you have…and fill in with new items (and yes, it counts as ‘new’ if you make it yourself – because I say so.)
I’m linked up to parties at these awesome blogs:
House of HepworthsFireflies and Jellybeans,  Tools are For Women Too, The Girl CreativeKeeping it Simple, Dittle Dattle, Making the World Cuter, Skip to My Lou, The Thrifty Home,
handmade projects


  1. This bathroom is so creative. I love it! And your use of the jar for a hand soap dispenser, love it! Please don't mind if I steal :). I too need to work on my guest bathroom. It leaves nothing to be desired.


  2. Love the use of mason jars throughout the house. I plan on decorating most of my house in the same rustic cottage theme and I think I may try out the idea for the kitchen! I love the tree/bird decal, as well. That would be awesome in my nature-themed guest room!


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