Turn your bathroom into a miniature art gallery

Guest post by Lydia de Leeuw

Remember Offbeat Homie Lydia who told us about learning to play the ukulele? She’s back with a great idea for your bathroom!

toiletart2Like it or not, the lavatory is a place in which we all spend quite some time. Sometimes even long stretches. Sure, a magazine might help to pass the time, but what if you’ve read every article twice already?

In our toilet room, there is still plenty to look at, because I’ve turned it into a miniature art gallery, using nothing but postcards and some picture frames. Now anyone using our loo can enjoy works from artists as varied as J.W. Waterhouse, Alphonse Mucha, Anton Pieck and Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun.

There are various ways to go about this miniature art gallery. Here are my tips…

I had all the postcards lying around already — some I bought at museums throughout the years and some I received through Postcrossing (a good way to get a very varied collection).

I used super cheap picture frames from Ikea, but you can also try thrift stores if you like a more mismatched look. I did need to trim most of the cards a little, as standard postcards are just slightly wider than the standard photo frame sizes.

After framing all my pictures, I needed to figure out a good gallery wall composition. For this, I cut out paper strips the size of the frames and put those on the wall with poster putty, so I could gauge the effect of the composition.

I used a hammer and nails to hang the frames. But if you’d like to do a no damage bathroom gallery, or you want to change the composition a little more often, you could use sticker strips or even poster putty if your frames are lightweight enough.


I decided to put the frames on two opposing walls, because I had plenty of material, and also, while I might face one wall all the time, my husband sees quite a lot of the back wall too, if you know what I mean. The side wall is used for two calendars (keeping a birthday calendar in the toilet room is traditional in the Netherlands).

Comments on Turn your bathroom into a miniature art gallery

  1. This is perfect timing, I just moved into a new place and wondered what I was gonna do in there… I recently went to South Africa and bout a ton of postcards for my friends that I never sent, ha! this is better! my friends can come use my bathroom and see their postcard

  2. Oooh … this just might work! I’ve been searching for decor ideas for my bathroom forever, our bathroom has a *lot* of humidity, so I didn’t want something expensive that would get ruined. I’ve got a gallery theme going through the rest of the apartment, so this sounds like it’s just the thing.

    Thank you so much!!

  3. My Mum is big on scrapbooking and at one stage had a whole pile of duplicate and not-quite-right-for-the-album photos that were just cluttering up the place with no purpose. Her solution was to create two collages which she then put into big frames (Ikea cheapies again) and put one above the loo and one opposite the loo – so you have something to look at whichever way you face. Makes me think of a my-family version of Where’s Wally (Waldo)..

      • I have my 20Q sitting on the window sill within easy reach of the loo. It blends in nicely with my other bathroom decor sitting up there. Anywhere it can be reached without having to move from your sitting position would suffice. I think my 20Q has realised he’s in the bathroom though, because he now guesses any ‘facilities’ answers (ie bath, towel, tp) within about 10 questions lol

  4. I have a Dutch friend and there’s a birthday calendar in their bathroom, I’ve always thought it was a lovely thing but I had no idea it was a tradition!!
    In another house she shared with other students, they had a guest book in the only toilet of a very busy house that hosted a lot of parties. They also used it to drop notes between roommates. It was very funny and efficient.

  5. I just “had” to post and say I have that pin-up calendar in my living room. I love it and I really hope another one comes out this year. Especially since all the money goes to Worldbuilders/Heifer International.

  6. We also travel alot and end up with a lot of postcards. I put a rotating selection in our guest bathroom. Definitely a nice and cheap way to change up the walls.

  7. be really careful framing stuff you want to keep hold of and placing in it a humid environment. One thing I saw in a public toilet once that I thought was very cool was lightly modge-podging newspaper clippings (including wordsearch, sudoku and short crosswords to posterboard or foamcore and sort of ‘wall-papering’ the loo or part of the loo with that. Add a couple of waterproof or dry-erase pens hanging around and you have either replaceable or easily re-usable toilet entertainment, without worrying about ruining something you’d like to keep in the long run.

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