Our primary bathroom’s back wall wasn’t terribly plain, but it was a bit too simple for my taste. In true form, my brain immediately turned to dreaming up accent wall designs. Here’s how our bathroom board and batten wall came to be and how you can recreate it yourself.

Bathroom Board and Batten Wall
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Bathroom Before Photos

Here’s our primary bathroom before we moved in:

Builder Grade Primary Bathroom

And here’s how it’s looked the past few years:

Modern Boho Bathroom Greenery
copper lid jars | floating shelves

As you can see, it’s come a long way, but even this ‘after’ photo isn’t 100% current. I’ve tidied up the sink with my rotating bamboo tray, a clear glass soap dispenser and have added a neutral tissue box cover on the toilet, among a few other touches.

Though this space was still missing on big thing, and that was a major focal point. Your eye didn’t really gravitate to any one thing when you walked into this room. There’s a lot of smaller black accents but no large, eye-catching statement pieces.

Now, given it’s a bathroom, no one is expecting you to have fine art or paintings in there. However, a bathroom can still be really well-appointed for the space that it is.

How I Designed This Bathroom Board and Batten Wall

Ultimately, I dreamt this design up in my mind after staring at the wall for long enough. Given the grid-like way I already had things hanging on the wall, and having no intention to change the decor, I figured a grid-like pattern would slot right in around the current setup.

Bathroom Wall Before

The only variable was the small space above the shower. It’s much thiner than what I wanted for the rest of my grid pattern, but thought a thinner row at the top would be a great accent to the rest of the design. Not having any plans to hang anything up that high anyway, the smaller blank spaces are like their own decor, in a way.

Picking a Bathroom Accent Wall Paint Color

My biggest fear was committing to a color versus something neutral. I’ve only gone with a ‘color-color’ in Alexis’ nursery but every other accent wall or paint in our house has been neutral.

Green Sherwin Williams Paint Colors

However, after lots of deliberation and texting my family for their opinions, Liveable Green by Sherwin Williams won everyone over. It really is a more neutral/demure green and I’m really pleased with how it came out. It’s subtle but still adds color to the space, exactly what I needed.

Building a Bathroom Board and Batten Wall

Given my 6-months pregnant state Kevin ran nearly 100% point on this project once I gave him all of my design specifications and measurements.

For our specific space, I felt a 3×3 grid (minus the mini top row) made the most sense. It’s not an enormous wall and I didn’t want the squares to be tiny. Overly busy board and batten wall designs can quickly dwarf a space.

Square Board and Batten Accent Wall

From there, I needed to decide what size boards to use. At first I thought I may want to go smaller, but ultimately 1×3 boards were way too thin for this design. We went with 1×4 boards because in reality, they’re actually 1″ x 3.5″ and not the full 4″ wide so it worked out great!

How to Measure for Your Wall Design

Once you know what size boards you’re working with you can determine the exact final measurements for your wall. Below is my tried and true board and batten wall calculator that I use when planning all of our accent wall designs:

Total Width of Wall (minus) Total Width of Boards (divided by) Total Number of Gaps/Spaces/Squares (equals) Size of Gaps/Spaces/Squares

To clarify, the total width of boards will be how wide your boards are multiplied by the number of boards there are. For example, my wall has four boards across the width and they are 3.5″ wide each, so my total width of boards is 14″. So for the sake of example, if my wall was 62″ wide, I’d remove the 14″ of boards and divide that by the three squares I want, to find that each square needs to be 16″ wide.

Please Note: Not all measurements will be clean, and those figures are clean examples for the sake of demonstration.

Assembling the Bathroom Board and Batten Accent Wall

Now that you know how big the gaps between each board need to be, we recommend cutting two “spacer” boards. These boards are the exact width of your Size of Gaps/Spaces/Squares figure from above. Are these spacer boards absolutely necessary? No, but they do make assembling the wall WAY easier. Trust us, we’ve made a few of these before!

Board and Batten Tutorial Spacer Boards

Spacer boards give you something to lean your actual wall boards up against, and having two ensures the board you’re attaching is level. This can take an extra set of hands to hold up though, so you may want to tap a helper if using spacer boards.

How to Install Board and Batten Around an Outlet

Quick note on outlets and light switches that may unfortunately fall in your way… because that does happen.

How to Bevel Cut Around an Outlet

As you can see, this outlet BARELY got in the way, but it was enough to require a different approach. The two solutions that I know of are to cut a divot in the board so the outlet has just enough room to rest. Or, what we do, is stop the board, cut a bevel (the angle you see here) to ‘disappear’ into the outlet and then do the same on the other side.

We also used the bevel approach on our living room board and batten wall because it’s ultimately just easier. It really depends on your preference and where the outlet is, but in both cases, the outlets sit behind furniture for us, so using the bevel approach is really no big deal.

Bathroom Board and Batten Wall After Photos

Before and After Bathroom Photos

Personally, I love the space without extra lighting but it can be hard to get the full effect when all we have is a very narrow horizontal window over the shower. Here’s a mix of photos with and without some extra lighting.

Board and Batten Wall Design
Natural Bathroom Decor
tissue box cover (similar option) | alarm clock |toilet paper holder

For anyone curious, the other walls are Worldly Gray by Sherwin Williams. Actually, a majority of our house is this color. We love it!

Bathroom Board and Batten Wall
bamboo tower | cabinet hardware | glass soap dispenser
Bathroom Board and Batten Wall Tutorial

The area off to the left is like a mini spa. We have our oversized bath sheet towels and my beloved towel warmer. I can’t recommend adding one to your main bathroom enough!

Bath Towel Warmer
towel warmer | towel hooks | toilet paper holder

It’s my sincere hope that you now feel empowered to create your own bathroom board and batten wall. If you have any questions at all please drop me a comment and I’ll help in any way I can!

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