Small bath design ideas

Bathroom image by Nikolay Okhitin from

Small bathrooms are an unfortunate reality, but those living with small bathrooms need not let this reality limit them. Looking for ways to make small bathroom spaces more usable, storage-friendly or stylish can turn those small bathroom nightmares into big bathroom dreams.

Consider these simple small bathroom design ideas and breathe new life into your small bathroom space.

Go Neutral

Light, neutral colours make small spaces look larger. For small bathrooms, neutral colours are ideal because they add a dimension of space that does not actually exist, which achieves the look and feel of openness, a key for those who don't want their bathroom spaces to resemble a cave. White is sterile, but bleak, so think earthy, light tones in tans and browns.

Compensate With Height

Small bathrooms are light on vertical space, so think horizontally and use every inch of space the bathroom has available. HGTV suggests using small tiles on accent walls to emphasise the small bathroom's height, but to avoid large square tiles because of their bulk. Remember, vertical patterns make any space look taller, and therefore more spacious, than they really are.

Create Usable Space

Small bathrooms are almost always short on usable space. Introduce space-saving furniture to small bathrooms to create more workable area. Install an over-the-toilet space-saver cabinet, hang a multi-tiered rack on the wall for towels, install hanging racks for the back of the bathroom door or install small shelves in the shower. All of these elements are inexpensive and are available in modern and traditional styles.

Install Mirrors

Mirrors, like neutral colours, create an illusion of space. Small bathrooms should utilise mirrors smartly to bring the appearance of space where none exists. Install large mirrors over sinks in small bathrooms, but don't go overboard. Too many mirrors can make a bathroom uncomfortable, and mirrors should never reflect one another but should reflect the bathroom space. Mirrors with bulky frames are attractive but should be avoided in small bathrooms.

Cut the Clutter

Small bathrooms are easily cluttered, so throw away or remove anything that's not needed to make the space functional. A huge amount of cleaning supplies, medications and beauty products can take up much coveted bathroom space, so find creative ways to store these products and get rid of anything not used. Stackable, decorative bins are an excellent way to compartmentalise anything that does need to stay, but be honest with yourself about what those things are.

Find Another Place

Consider keeping such storage and utility items as the laundry hamper in other places. The laundry hamper is just as useful in the bedroom, for example, as in the bathroom. When there is no space in the small bathroom for towel storage, consider keeping towels in the bedroom, a hall closet or in the laundry room.