This Is the One Unexpected Spot You Probably Haven’t Thought to Hang a Gallery Wall

published Oct 17, 2022
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Gallery walls have been super popular for about a decade, and they were certainly around long before that — social media just wasn’t documenting it quite as closely. But that’s not to say arrangements haven’t evolved over the years. Formal configurations of paintings framed in gold and tight photo grid layouts have given way to looser, more organic displays of all kinds of work, from prints and drawings to felt pennants and woven fiber hangings.

Given the gallery wall’s sustained popularity, I still didn’t expect it to verge into this unexpected place: bathrooms.

Now that it’s here, I’m all for it — the more art, the better. Plus, I’ve seen a few gallery wall bathrooms in hotels, and honestly, some of the best ideas come from hospitality design.

So why this sudden explosion of bathrooms gallery walls? Maybe many of us were willfully ignoring this spot for hanging art for far too long: Bathrooms, especially in apartments, aren’t exactly abundant or sprawling for that matter. Now some people are starting to come around as their art collections grow, and they need more real estate for pieces.

Maybe you wanted wallpaper in your one-and-only bathroom (that you possibly even share with others), and all that shower steam put a damper on your plans. Is your bathroom more tile than drywall, so drilling is difficult? Whatever the reason, joining the gallery walls bathroom club is a brilliant idea. Like a laundry room glow-up providing the motivation you need to wash and fold, artwork in the most utilitarian of rooms just might make you smile more as you get ready in the morning and prepare for bed at night. If you’re one to entertain, a cheeky arrangement could give your guests something to look at when they, well, make a visit — or to talk about after they return. 

As far as rules are concerned, anything really goes. You can mount a smaller arrangement on the largest wall, spread pieces out so they wrap around a corner and touch two walls (as shown above, from AT’s own Adrienne Breaux’s New Orleans house), or just stick to a linear configuration if that’s more your speed. And don’t forget about using Command strips if you can’t use nails.

One thing worth noting? You might want to save your more precious or expensive pieces for less humid areas — condensation could be an issue if you don’t have great ventilation. This shouldn’t stop you from getting after bathroom gallery walls, though. It’s all up to you, and that’s the best part.

This piece is part of Art Month, where we’re sharing how to find, buy, and display art in your home, and so much more. Head on over here to see it all!