Q&A Tuesday: Bathrooms & Art
So a few weeks ago I reached out to you and asked you to send me your burning design questions. One of the questions that came back was:
"What kind of pictures/art can you hang in a bathroom? Specifically, do you need to be concerned about moisture/mold when close to a shower or tub?" - JJ
This is a great question, and the timing is perfect since I'm working on two bathrooms at the moment. So here we go:
Things To Consider...
Unless you are working with a powder room, you need to consider the extra moisture or even direct contact of water onto the items and surfaces you place in your bathroom. Most products and materials are hardy enough to stand up to a little H2O exposure but when it comes to artwork, it's a whole other story. What you want to consider when selecting artwork for your bathroom is the following:
- Proximity to Wet Locations - Is it hanging above the toilet and far from the entry to the shower/tub? Is it hanging across from the toilet or right next to the entry to the shower/tub?
- Movement of Air - In bigger bathrooms, you typically will have better movement of air simply because it's bigger. However, if it's a basement bathroom, consider how much air moves around the basement as a whole. Are there often windows open? Is it a high traffic location? Main and secondary floors often have better air movement simply because we live more in them. We go in and out through our front/back/garage doors regularly; we open a window or two to let fresh air in; we move around to get dressed, do laundry, make dinner, etc. Also, how good is the fan in your bathroom? Does it move a lot of air or does it struggle to keep the steam from a hot bath/shower in check?
- Lighting - How good is the artificial lighting in your bathroom? Is it simply a vanity light that throws light all around or are you fortunate enough to have a few options of lighting throughout? Is there a window in the room? If so, do any of your walls take direct sunlight?
- Materials - The actual materials of the artwork itself. If you are wanting a framed piece, consider what the frame and backer is made of. Is it an aluminum frame with a coated backer or is it an open wood frame with an uncoated cardboard backer? If it is a canvas, how good is the quality of the canvas and the wood frame? Will it warp dramatically from the moisture swing?
What's My Style?
Once you've considered all the above items, next thing to think about is your personal style and what you want to express in the bathroom. Do you want to bring a beachy vibe to the space or do you want it to be an elegant affair? Is it a family bathroom and if so, do you want a reminder of that fabulous family vacation you all went on? The great thing about bathrooms is that they are not anchored to the style of the rest of the home. Yes, in virtually every showhome the style that runs throughout the house continues into the bathrooms but since this is YOUR home, you have the luxury of putting your own style into it. Maybe you'd rather have a shadow box with some fun items you've collected. Maybe you're in an apartment and you just want something to dream about. Whatever your situation and style, have confidence to express it in this space!
What's It Gonna Cost?
As always, you need to consider the cost of items you add into any space in your home and your bathroom is no different. If it's your main bathroom and you are in it every day and get to enjoy whatever you place in there daily, feel free to spend a little more to pick up that piece that you really love! If it's a guest or basement bath and it has virtually no visitors (except on special occasions and parties), limit the investment appropriately.
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