Photo: Jamie Mertz

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Why it works: Masks, either handed down or mementos from travel, can add unexpected color and texture to walls, especially when grouped together.

Other options: Venetian or theatrical masks, helmets and swords

How to try it: (which has an association with National Geographic) sells masks from artisans around the world, including Peru, Ghana and Mali. Other ideas for three-dimensional pieces include vintage sports equipment, such as varnished wooden skis, painted wooden tennis rackets, wooden golf clubs or fishing rods and vintage creel fishing baskets. As mentioned, check eBay, Craigslist and garage sales for affordable options.

One last thing: A $2 wooden golf club from Goodwill with zero sentimental value can go anywhere, but more valuable items shouldn't be hung in a bathroom: Steam, along with the harsh cleaning products often used in that space, can damage pieces.