When decorating small spaces in your home, you’ll often run into a lot of headaches. For many homeowners, the bathroom is the smallest room of them all, and it can be one of the most frustrating spaces to design.
According to Jen Rhodes, founder of bathroom and hot tub website, Tuptopia, she was able to turn her bathroom into a gorgeous space! In her own words, “I was able to add plenty of storage and make the room feel more open. I started by adding a tall shelving unit above the toilet. This gave me a place to put extra towels, toiletries, and other things that I need but don’t use every day. I also found a hanging vertical storage unit to put on the back of the door, with hooks for my robe and towels. And instead of having a bulky towel rack, I found a low-profile one which fits perfectly on my one remaining empty wall, and doesn’t get in the way at all.”
If you’re like Jen, you might be wondering how you can create a beautiful space that reflects your style when the space is small. How do you keep it functional while making it stylish? This is especially difficult to figure out when you consider all of the functions that a bathroom serves.
For starters, you’ll want to add some storage space while leaving enough room around the toilet area. You’ll also want to add some accent pieces without placing them too close to the shower or bathtub.
Furthermore, you might even want to add some fun colors or wallpaper to the walls as well. This should be something that you’d think would be easy, given that neither of those options would necessarily take away space from the room.
However, you might realize that the colors you’ve chosen for the walls ultimately made the room seem even smaller. And don’t even get us started on revamping that vanity!
If you feel like everything you’re doing is just making your small bathroom feel even tinier, you may just need to change your approach. Let us help you! Here are 23 ways to maximize space in this unique room in your home.
Easy Small Bathroom Ideas
Are you working with a tight budget for your small bathroom? No worries! You can make your small bathroom feel larger and design it so that it works more efficiently for you and your family without spending a lot of money knocking down walls or losing your renters’ deposit.
Here are a few easy small bathroom redecorating ideas that you can do on any random afternoon when you have a few minutes to spare.
1. Add a Large Mirror… Maybe Two or Three!
Want to create the illusion of a larger space? Add a few mirrors to your modern bathroom. Sure, you likely already have a mirror over your sink and vanity, but where else can you add some reflective glass? Try to find taller mirrors to show off the full height of your space and try to position mirrors so they’ll reflect any exterior and natural light.
2. Pick One Key Statement Piece
While maximalism may be a trend, it’s not one that works well in tiny bathrooms. If you want a more playful, fun room feel, though, versus a sleek, modern, minimalist style, you can still achieve it in your small bathroom. Just pick one key accent or focal point, versus overdoing it with a lot of different statement pieces.
Maybe you want a vanity with a really dark wood or dark marble top or you want a bright and bold wallpaper. If so, only go dark for your vanity and leave the rest of the room light and bright or, for wallpaper, choose to wallpaper only one wall and go with a matching, but single-color, color scheme for the rest of the walls.
3. Ditch Your Doors
You still definitely need a bathroom door… But does your vanity? Constantly opening your vanity doors can leave you annoyed, as they take up space.
From there, they force you to move out of the way when all you really need is to be able to easily access your cosmetics or haircare products. Take those doors off their hinges, so you no longer need to worry about the space they take up when you open and close them, and so you can easily access all of your vanity’s storage.
To hide your products from view, add a cute, space-saving curtain. This tutorial shows you how. As a bonus, you don’t even need to know how to sew!
4. Ditch Your Main Door, Too
Yes, you do need a powder room door, but you don’t have to settle for your current situation. Instead, if your bathroom door swings open into your tiny space, taking up precious real estate, replace it with a sliding bathroom door. A trendy farmhouse door not only looks great, it also is easy to install on your own and takes up very little space compared to a traditional swinging door.
5. Put Your Storage Space Overhead
You might not have room for a bathroom storage solution that sits directly on the ground, taking up extra space. However, have you considered going upward with your storage?
Narrow, floating shelves and medicine cabinets tuck away neatly above vanities and toilets, or along free walls, without taking up tons of space in your small bath, while still giving you a spot to store needed items or just to display bathroom decor.
6. Maximize Your Natural Light
Natural light will help your bathroom feel larger, brighter and airier. If you currently use window treatments on your bathroom windows, consider replacing those window treatments with transparent options (or removing them completely), to expose as much of the window and its light as possible.
7. Hang Decor Vertically
For an easy way to add the illusion of height, without painting or wallpapering, simply add some decor to your walls, vertically. Whether you just hang some floating shelves in a vertical row or you hang some prints vertically above the toilet, doing so will maximize your space and draw the eye upward.
8. Utilize Space on Your Toilet and Window Ledges
Make your toilet’s water tank pull double duty and act as shelving. It’s already there, so you might as well put it to work. The same holds true for any exposed window ledges. If they’re wide enough, you can use them for shelving, holding decorative containers of items such as cotton balls or even a decorative plant.
9. Move Your Extra Storage Elsewhere
If you really can’t find a way to add storage to your small bathroom, consider moving your bathroom items elsewhere. A nearby hall closet makes the perfect spot for fresh towels and the kids may just need to keep their expansive toiletry collections in their bedrooms for the time being.
10. Swap Out Your Overhead Lighting
If you want to draw your visitors’ eyes upward, rather than letting them linger on the lack of floorspace in your bathroom, consider swapping out your bathroom’s current overhead lighting for something a little flashier or stylish. Picking a statement piece for your lighting is an easy way to make your bathroom your own, without taking up valuable space.
11. Pick the Right Paint
You can paint a small bathroom with just about any color palette you like. You don’t need to necessarily settle for light and bright paint colors only, so long as you’re careful about not overdoing it in terms of statement pieces and colors. However, whatever color paint you pick, whether you go with light or dark hues, make sure to pick a high-gloss paint. The high-gloss sheen will help to further reflect light.
12. Organize, Organize, Organize
You may feel like you’re constantly cramped in your bathroom, but could it really just all come down to a lack of organization?
If you’re always wrestling with hair dryer chords or spilling beauty products on the floor because you can’t find what you need, you may very well find that, when you invest in some organization, your bathroom will work much better for you, regardless of size.
So, clean out those cabinets, clear off the countertops and beneath your vanity, throw out what you don’t need and organize the rest using organization solutions, baskets and more.
Related: Shiplap: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (Plus 7 Ways To Use It In Your Home)
More Extensive Small Bathroom Designs
But what if you have a big remodeling budget or you’re willing to drop a heavy investment into a home that you plan on staying in for decades? What if you’re ready to take on a big DIY project? If so, you might want to consider one of these small bathroom ideas that are a little more extensive than just changing a shower curtain or swapping out the rugs.
13. Go Up
Can’t knock down any of the walls adjacent to your tiny bathroom? You might want to consider knocking down the ceiling.
If you have unused space right above your bathroom, or even space you’d be willing to give up, such as a hall closet, you can steal that space for your bathroom, creating higher ceilings and loftier looks. A vaulted or pitched ceiling and a larger, taller shower go a long way to making your tiny bathroom feel that much bigger.
14. Build Your Own Storage
Can’t really find a storage solution that works for your bathroom? It might be time to build your own! If you already have a storage solution in mind and you know exactly what you want to do with your bathroom, head to your favorite home project shop or DIY store and get started!
But if you’re not sure that you’re up for building a piece of furniture on your own, you can commission custom projects from cabinetry outfitters and interior designers instead. Check with your local providers to see what’s possible in your area.
15. Show Everything Off
If you’re rebuilding your bathroom from scratch but you aren’t actually adding any extra square footage, think about how you can show off the square footage that you do have. For instance, the more floor you expose, the more floor there will appear to be.
Opt for floor-to-ceiling glass and a standing shower versus a heavy tub. Go with a vanity that features slender legs and exposed lower shelving, or even a floating vanity, as opposed to heavy cabinetry.
16. Make Use of Your Corners
Don’t think that corner in your bathroom is truly pulling its weight? If you’re replacing your sink and vanity, consider opting for a corner-friendly option, like this one from Wayfair.
17. Opt For Larger Wall and Floor Tiles
The main secret behind making a small room seem bigger is to simply play tricks on the eyes. Just like the use of mirrors and light can make a room appear larger, big bathroom tiles can have a similar effect. Picking big tiles will make for fewer grout lines, which means you’ll achieve the illusion of more space without any noticeable visual interruption.
18. Reconsider Your Tub Shape
When replacing your bathtub, consider opting for a tub that’s deeper than it is wide or long. If you can give up the idea of being able to stretch out in a long bathtub after a tiring day, then you may just find that you’ll save a lot of space by making this compromise.
Plus, you’ll also be able to give your bathroom more of a spa-like feel. For instance, this freestanding tub from Wayfair is more than 10 inches shorter than some of the comparable soaking tub options.
19. Create an Alcove in Your Shower
When redesigning your shower space, create storage alcoves for shampoo and other items. This is a better idea than choosing to install tiled shelves that take up space within your shower. You’ll get the storage you need without having to sacrifice any of your already-limited space.
You can do the same thing in other corners of your bathroom. This is an excellent idea if you’re in the process of redesigning the entire room and you need to free up extra wall space.
20. Install a Skylight
Don’t want to add a window to your bathroom? Maybe you don’t have the option to provide extra natural light in your bathroom in this manner.
While a window can bring light into the space, thereby creating the illusion of more space, it’s not the only option! You can also consider adding a skylight. You’ll get the perks of a window without requiring an exterior wall or dealing with privacy concerns.
21. Panel the Walls
While paneling your walls is a bit more time- and labor-intensive than simply slapping on a new coat of paint, panels can add extra height to your small bathroom, which will make it look more spacious. It’s the same concept as wearing stripes!
If you put on an outfit that features horizontal stripes, your body will look wider. On the other hand, if you sport some vertical stripes, you’ll look taller. Similarly, the art of adding panels to bathroom walls can give the illusion of a taller ceiling and more overall space, thanks to the vertical rows and seams of said panels.
22. Match Your Tile
If you have tile in your shower and tiles all over your bathroom floor, opt to use the same tile throughout the entire room. This will give the illusion that you have more room, both outside and inside of your shower.
Want to take things even further? Use the same tile on your walls as you do your floor!
23. Ditch the Shower Door
Do you find that a glass shower door is just taking up too much space in your bathroom? Converting your bathroom to a wetroom may be an expensive endeavor, but it’s one that can leave you with a lot of extra space.
Don’t Settle For Small
Sure, you might not be able to swap your bathroom out completely, but you can make changes — both big and small — that can help you make the most out of the space you have. Whatever decor style you pick for your bathroom look, just remember to pay close attention to lighting.
Also, make it a point to choose functional pieces that add value to the space. Never settle for a look you don’t love, especially when there are so many decor options out there!
Need more home decor ideas for small spaces? Check out these 10 things to do right now to make a small space feel bigger.
You might also be interested in: The 10 Best Portable Bathtubs
23 Bathroom Design Ideas to Maximize Space:
- Add a Large Mirror… Maybe Two or Three!
- Pick One Key Statement Piece
- Ditch Your Doors
- Ditch Your Main Door, Too
- Put Your Storage Space Overhead
- Maximize Your Natural Light
- Hang Decor Vertically
- Utilize Space on Your Toilet and Window Ledges
- Move Your Extra Storage Elsewhere
- Swap Out Your Overhead Lighting
- Pick the Right Paint
- Organize, Organize, Organize
- Go Up
- Build Your Own Storage
- Show Everything Off
- Make Use of Your Corners
- Opt For Larger Wall and Floor Tiles
- Reconsider Your Tub Shape
- Create an Alcove in Your Shower
- Install a Skylight
- Panel the Walls
- Match Your Tile
- Ditch the Shower Door