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Say bye bye to boring, blank kitchen and bathroom walls and bring them to life with art.

Oct 17, 2018

by Jess Barron handmade and vintage goods

To celebrate Art Month, we’ve been working with Interiors Blogger, Jess from Gold is a Neutral on a 3 part blog series with tips, tricks and inspiration for art in your home. 

If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a considerable amount of time
in your kitchen and bathroom. Whether you’re a foodie who is never happier
than when you’re mastering your seaweed infused emulsion, or a mum who has
spent the last 45 minutes cooking the salmon risotto the kids loved last week,
only for it to be thrown on the floor in disgust (been there!) the kitchen really is
the heart of the home. And the bathroom is where we go to unwind, relax and
pamper, or to hide in a desperate bid for five minutes peace.

And yet these are the areas of the home that are often most neglected when it
comes to displaying art. But they don’t have to be! Why not treat your
bathroom and kitchen walls just like you do the walls in the rest of your house,
and use art to create talking points and add interest. I’ve worked with the
wonderful folk over at Etsy to put together a series of tips for adding art to
those lonely walls. They have a huge range of options and I’m sharing some of
my favourites with you below.

In my own house, I made a point of hanging some of my favourite pieces in the
kitchen, despite my husband’s concerns that they were “too good” to go in
there. Why too good? When I’m not making breakfast, lunch and dinner x2,
I’m in there making cups of tea and coffee for the stream of builders,
carpenters, electricians etc who you can guarantee will be in our house at any
given time. The kitchen also acts as my temporary office, and the place where I
sit and natter with my friends over a cup of tea or a glass of wine. So if I’m
going to spend so much time in there, I don’t want to look at boring,
uninspiring, blank walls.

For those of you who are lucky enough to be familiar with the phenomenon of
a long hot soak in the bath, or an indulgent bathroom pamper session, the same
theory applies. Choosing the right art was a really important final piece of the
puzzle in our recently completed bathroom renovation and there’s no doubt it
wouldn’t be the same in there without it.

So here are my tips for adding art in the kitchen and bathroom…the what, the
where and the how.


Don’t be precious…about what to display in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to
display your favourite artwork in the kitchen if that’s where you spend all your
time, because that is where you will get the most enjoyment out of it. That is, of course, as long as your best artwork isn’t a Monet, in which case you definitely
shouldn’t stick it anywhere near the oven/kettle/toaster. But broadly speaking,
as long as your fave piece is behind glass, it’s easy enough to wipe off a stray
blob of Bolognese sauce, and even vintage oil paintings are surprisingly
resilient to stray sauce splodges.

However…I wouldn’t recommend you display your best artworks in the
bathroom. Bathrooms produce a lot of moisture and steam, which isn’t the
ideal environment for your prized possession. Stick to the lower cost pieces that
you are not going to be devastated about if they do get some water/steam
damage over time, and that are easy and inexpensive to replace. Etsy offers an
huge selection of printable art that you can pick up for a few pounds and have
printed out yourself, like the large scale abstract art I’ve styled in the

It’s all in the mix…Play around with old and new, and pair vintage pieces with
bold and modern typography for an interesting, layered look that adds weight
to a kitchen setting. I combined vintage florals with modern, minimalist
typography and the striking gold leaf initial which connects the other two
pieces. When layering art try to stick to a limited colour palette so there is a
thread which ties each piece together. In this case, I stuck to a thread of green,
black and gold to echo the rest of the kitchen and it’s fittings. Etsy has a
number of sellers who specialise in vintage prints and oil paintings.
Light it up…Another great option in the kitchen is adding a neon light with a
trademark phrase or motto. It is a clever way of creating an instantly sociable
and convivial atmosphere.

Go large…Add drama and impact in the bathroom with large scale pieces.
Many of the Etsy sellers who offer printables are happy to rescale a piece to a
bespoke size where possible.


– If you’re lucky enough to have a big kitchen, think about creating a gallerywall next to the family dining table.

– Open shelving is another great place to display art in the kitchen. I’m a big
fan of ‘the lean’ aka resting art on shelves, especially smaller pieces, because
you can layer different sizes, and move them around easily if you get bored.

– If you have cabinets on the top and bottom, try leaning smaller pieces
between the upper and lower cabinets to cover things like plugs and switches.

– In the bathroom, the key is not to hang anything too close to the bath or
shower. Above the bath is fine but be sure to place it high enough to avoid any
potential splashes, and make sure it’s fixed securely to the wall.

– In my own bathroom, the art is displayed over the mantelpiece opposite the
bath and is the perfect way to add interest, character and style on what would
otherwise be a big blank wall.


Let it breathe…One way to keep the humidity at bay in the bathroom is
to leave the windows and doors open whenever possible to let your
artwork breathe and keep the steam build up to a minimum. It also
helps if you have a good extractor fan.

Be plexi-ble…Think about using plexi instead of glass in the bathroom just in
case of any accidents.

Have fun…If the kitchen is where the whole family hangs out, look for
something which makes a playful nod to that. We love a kitchen disco, so this
piece says it all really. Alternatively, a selection of abstract nudes in the
bathroom is a cheeky nod to bath time.

Tune in next week where we’ll share more top tips from Gold is a Neutral!

Blog post by Jess Hurrell from Gold is a Neutral.