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Making a Small Bathroom Work

Are you tired of a crowded bathroom first thing in the morning? Can’t relax because your bathroom is outdated and feels about as relaxing (and as roomy) as a broom closet? No problem. These tips can help you transform a tiny room into a larger (or larger-looking) space:

1) Step back and get some perspective.

When faced with a tiny bathroom, one of the most common reactions is to bemoan the lack of space and to look with envy at those apartment-sized bathrooms in magazines – the types of spas that can fit a sound system, four-person hot tub and fireplace. That sort of thinking will not get you closer to your ideal bathroom. Instead, get some inspiration by taking a look at some truly miniscule bathrooms that pack in lots of style. Houzz has some great inspiration here and here. Some wet bathrooms are only 3 feet by 3 feet – the bathroom itself is also the entire shower stall. Yet, some interior designers are able to transform these tiny rooms into stylish bathrooms. You probably have more room than you realize.


2) Rethink your bath.

Many homes with small bathrooms have a shower/tub combo. If you mostly take showers, though, you will get a lot more mileage out of your space if you get rid of the tub entirely and install just a shower. You can enjoy a better-quality shower, too, including a shower with steam or other special features, if you choose to invest in just a shower. To create the illusion of even more space, consider clear glass shower doors and enclosure – being able to see through to the walls will mean a much larger-looking bathroom. If you must have a bath, opt for a claw-foot tub. Not only are they more comfortable (and usually taller) than traditional small tubs, but they often take up less floor space and allow you to see the tiles under the tub, which is another optical illusion that can make your bathroom seem larger.


3) Rely on light.

A small bathroom is one thing; a small, dark and dingy bathroom, though, will never look cute. Paint your bathroom in pale colors or in white and use mirrors as well as bright lights to open up the space. Choose large floor tiles in pale colors to create the feel of a bigger space. If you can, increase the size of the window or install skylights to open up the space more.

4) Balance the smaller space with luxury touches.

One of the risks with a tiny bathroom is that it can seem cheap and dingy. The good news? Smaller spaces means that furnishing your space with spa-like details can be less expensive. Even adding marble can be less costly than you think, thanks to the fact that you won’t need very much of it. Consider adding touches such as heated towel racks, marble finishes, beautiful mirrors, gorgeous lighting, and top-of-the-line fixtures and showers to create a spa haven.


5) Choose a tall pedestal sink rather than a vanity.

If you need space for towels and other bathroom things, consider an armoire just outside the bathroom or a cabinet above the sink. Using the wall space for storage rather than the floor space will ensure you can get ready in the mornings without bumping into everything. Another option is a console sink, which gives you some storage underneath but still doesn’t take up much room. If you must have a vanity, opt for a floating vanity, which will make more room for your feet. If you have a truly tiny space, consider a small wall-mounted sink with shallow fixtures, which will take up the least space. To get some inspiration for great sink ideas, check out the Homedit post here.


6) Draw the eye upward.

Use a tall pedestal sink, attractive walls and lighting fixtures and tall mirrors or windows to draw the eye upwards and to create the feeling of more space. Long, thin lines will keep the room from feeling cramped.

7) Keep things simple.

A monochrome palette and simple patterns and designs work best, since too many patterns and designs make the space look too busy and smaller. That said, it is important to avoid a clinical look. You’ll want to add some interest, but keep it simple with one focal piece. You may want to add a beautiful shower curtain, for example, or a stylish mirror frame for your mirror. One or two touches like this don’t take up room but add your own unique style to your bathroom. If you need a little inspiration on how to make your bathroom stand out, check out this Creativefan post.


8) Get clever about storage space.

Keep the items you need for your shower in the shower – use a streamlined shelving system or a shower basket. Use hooks for towels or towel racks that hang up high and draw the eye up. Keep a few extra towels rolled on a shelf. Ultimately, though, if you have a very small bathroom, there will be only so much you can keep in it. Remove the majority of your toiletries to another room (makeup can spoil in the humid and warm conditions of a bathroom, anyway). Keep extra toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and most of your extra towels elsewhere, too. When reviewing what to keep, consider what your morning and evening routine is – just keep what you need for those routines and nothing else.


Small bathrooms don’t have to mean boring style choices and bruised shins in the mornings. With a little inspiration and some work, you can create a chic spa-like room.