Decorating a small bathroom can be a challenge, but I believe it’s much easier to handle a too-small space than a too-large one. (Count your blessings, because large bathrooms can all to easily feel cold and stark!)
Consider these things before designing or decorating a small bathroom. And here’s to making the most of your square footage!Understand good small space design.
It pays to know what colors and fixtures work best in small spaces. Glass – like a glass vanity or shower door – is great in small spaces because it allows the eye to see through it. Light colors or a one-color color scheme also tend to work well in small spaces. If you are having trouble visualizing what would work best in your small bath, consider hiring a designer for an hour or two of advice. Good ones can be found on a tight budget.
Don’t skimp on storage.
At the minimum, you’ll need a place for extra towels and toiletries. Keeping storage shelving open can give a feeling of space, but closed storage looks tidier. Seek out storage – like collapsible hampers, hooks or hanger systems – that fold or hide away when not in use. And don’t forget to look up. Much storage can often be worked in along the ceiling or above a vanity mirror or toilet.
Reuse unique items to add contrast.
Small bathrooms need not be bland! Get creative with your bathroom design. Install a vanity made from old dresser, or create a tile mosaic from old pottery. These things don’t add space – they are necessary elements in a bath – but they do add style at a greatly reduced cost. Plus, they can act as art in a small space where wall space may be best used as storage.
Keep it simple & open.
Too many design details in a small space will muddle the room. Think clean and simple. Cantilever or pedestal sinks without legs look great in small baths, though they don’t offer much storage so you may want to keep them out of the master bath. Glass shower doors or an open shower also work well in small baths. Consider a single stall shower instead of a full-size one; this may leave you room for a separate tub. Pocket doors are also a great way to save space.
Create a color scheme with neutrals.
Small spaces work well with a neutral color palette, such as soft greens, grays, whites and tans. But don’t be afraid to go big with one feature element or pop of color. Every room needs a little drama.
Make the most of mirrors.
Mirrors are great for visually enlarging a space and adding light, and since a mirror is a necessary element in a bath, use it to its fullest advantage. In a bath, one large mirror will probably work better than a grouping of smaller ones. I know mirrored walls went out with the 70s, but they are still appropriate and lovely in some situations and may work well in your small bath. Before hanging your mirror(s), consider the position of the toilet. Most people would prefer not to watch themselves, um, go.
Keep the floors clear.
When storage space is tight, I know it’s tempting to put the trash can, hamper and towel stand on the floor, but there may be other options. Trash cans can slide under vanities or be built-in. Hampers can be built into a cabinet or hung behind the door. If you don’t have wall space for hanging towel bars, opt for discreet hooks instead of a floor stand. This keeps you from banging your toes in the dark during those nighttime potty runs.
Break all the rules.
Yes, light colors work well in small space and pedestal sinks can be a pain in master baths, but there are always exceptions to the rules. Sometimes, breaking small space design rules is what makes your bathroom unique … and amazing. So don’t be afraid to experiment. However, unless you have a bit of experience decorating or you naturally have “an eye for these things,” you may want to stick with the rules for major purchases and permanent fixtures like tile and tubs. Have more fun with things like the paint color and accent decor, which can be easily replaced if it doesn’t work.