How to decorate behind the toilet

Updated February 06, 2018

Even though most of us spend a lot of time in the bathroom, it is often overlooked when it comes to home decor -- especially the area around the toilet. But the area behind the toilet can provide useful storage space, or even become a focal feature of the room, with the right furniture and accessories, and dressing up this area of the room helps make the room feel finished. Even if the bathroom is just a small powder room or half bath, you can decorate behind the toilet to create a stylish and functional space.

Install shelves over the toilet. Inexpensive floating shelves provide a surface to display candles, flowers, towels or other decorative items.

Install a cabinet behind the toilet. Purchase a cabinet that can be installed on the wall or a freestanding unit that fits over the toilet. Some cabinets include a shelf surface, offering a place for displaying accessories as well as extra storage space.

Use the top of the toilet tank as a display area. Purchase a basket at a home goods retailer to store extra hand towels or toilet tissue, or place a flower arrangement or plant on the tank.

Hang a mirror behind the toilet. If your bathroom is small or doesn't get a lot of light, a mirror can reflect light and make the room feel larger.

Hang art behind the toilet. Use either one large framed piece, or create a vignette with several smaller pieces.

Hang a towel rack above the toilet. Use it to display several decorative towels.

Cover the entire wall behind the toilet with a bold or unusual tile to create a focal point. Coordinate the tile with the floor or tile in the tub or shower area to ensure a cohesive look.


When you install floating shelves or hang a cabinet behind the toilet, be sure to use wall anchors and find the wall stud. This will ensure that your cabinet is secure. Don't overfill the cabinet or shelves with heavy items; save the heavy jumbo-size bottles of shampoo for under the sink or in the linen closet. When purchasing art and accessories for bathroom decor, be sure to choose items that can withstand bathroom humidity and can be easily cleaned and sanitised. Avoid using toilet seat or tank covers, as they will make your bathroom look dated.


When you are placing items on the back of the toilet, be sure that the items fit securely on the tank and do not interfere with the use of the toilet. You don't want to get your hair or clothing caught in a floral arrangement every time you use the bathroom. Never place lit candles on the back of a toilet either.

Things You'll Need

  • Floating shelves
  • Bathroom cabinet
  • Baskets
  • Plants, candles, decorative soaps and other accessories
  • Mirror
  • Framed art
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About the Author

An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.