DIY diva

Man-Cave Bathroom: Wall Art

August 17, 2010 | 16 Comments | Bath, Style
DIY diva

Just what goes on the wall in a man-cave bathroom?

Ah, the number of sleepless nights I’ve spent pondering that question. As you might have seen in the man-cave bathroom reveal, I had several ideas about finishing this space, but Julie really brought it home for me with her comment on pictures of vintage cars… we do live in a gas station, after all.


I decided on a series of vintage car and gas station pictures. (The middle one having particular significance for us because we currently live in that building.)


The 5×7 frames, were $2 each at our local Meijers.

And here’s my secret about the pictures. Do you know the best place to find vintage or historical pictures on the internet that are free?

The Library of Congress

I know, right? Who would ever think of that?

Well, actually, the same person who– at 11 PM– decided to do the splits between the bathroom vanity and window sill to get a good shot of her new wall art AND THEN GOT STUCK THERE.

Kind of like this…


Yeah, not as young as I used to be, apparently. Listen, I can’t be all genius all the time.

Anyway. Either I finally managed to get down, or I’m posting this entire thing from my iPhone, waiting for someone to bring a crane in and hoist me down… you decide.

As I was saying, the Library of Congress was a great resource for high-res images– I pulled 5 of the ones I used from there for free–and the rest I got from iStock for about $3 apiece.

I tried the layout in Photoshop first…


Once they were printed and framed,  I admit it took some fairly complex mathematical equations to get them properly centered on the wall, but I don’t have a couple of college degrees for nothing, you know.

Okay, obviously the only reason our house hasn’t fallen down right now is because I wisely chose to live with an engineer for the rest of my life.

But it’s hard to argue with the end result, for under $30.


What do you think? Should I have gone vintage pin-up instead?

DIY diva


  • Caroline

    The Library of Congress! You are genius! I forgot all about that!!! GENIUS!! (I hope that crane came and got you!)

    Google images also has a pretty neat archive of Life photos.

    • kitliz

      Good one on the google Life photos… I like that. (I also very modestly admit to the genius part of my LOC idea.) Thanks!

  • Heather

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Can you come help with the re-design of my office / spare bedroom / junk room? :)

  • Eva

    Adore the vintage car shots, and that you have a picture of the gas station during its service days. That is just so neat!

    and since I’m such a book dork I thought I’d mention that I’m a card carrying Library of Congress reader. greatest.library.card.ever.

  • Lisa

    Love the choice of pics!

    Um, yeah..I’ve been stuck in similar situations while trying to reach something or taking a picture. Always a good time.

  • Julie

    Oh yeah!!!! Looks great!

  • runtymom

    Yes! that looks like a man cave bathroom and fits in perfectly with the vintage gas station the building actually IS. Very very cool.

    My question is this; You did not have to endure three hours of measurements, drawings and ensuing arguments about the photo placements??? If I tried something like this hubby and I would be at DefCon 1 level of disagreement in oh, about five minutes.

  • amisare waswerebeen

    No. It looks perfect.

  • Mae

    Love it, genius.

  • Kari

    Where exactly on the LOC website do you find said pictures? Thanks in advance.

    • kitliz

      Good question Kari. It’s under the digital collections space:

      You can search for anything from that link.

  • Lauren

    Great idea to lay out the thumbnails in Photoshop – I’ll be borrowing that one in the future. Usually I drag and drop massive, unwieldy frames until either they or I have cracked. Bathroom looks great & love the nostalgic pics.

  • Wall Art

    cool idea for man cave

  • Brooke

    Girl, it looks ahmazing! And… if it’s for free, it’s for me! Love the Library of Congress! Thank you! Exclamation point!

  • Marcelo

    Thank you for the tip on the LOC, never would have thought.

  • Darryl Tilden

    I decorated my man cave bathroom with old original Barber Shop signs & poles also also medical signs such as “Dentist” which is from 1900, a tin light bulb sign that went outdoors in front of the business, its 6′ wide, some other old signs as well..

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