10 tips on how to design a small bathroom

Contributed by

September 12, 2018

Small bathroom mirror


Just because you have a small bathroom doesn’t mean you have to compromise on function or storage, and certainly not aesthetics

Whether it’s the color palette, the vanity, the shower fixtures, or the décor, the most important idea to remember for a small bathroom is simplification.


Small bathroom design ideas

Practical tips to inspire your project:


Use two or maybe three design materials at most.

For this powder room we kept material choices simple with metallic penny rounds and paint.

Create continuous lines to prevent the small space from looking too busy.

We used metallic penny rounds on the floor and continued them up the wall for dramatic impact.

Keep the color palette to a minimum.

This classic combo of black and white is simple and can be used in all sorts of ways. In this 23 sq. ft. bathroom, we did a modern take on black and white. To keep it open in feel we used white subway tile on 3 walls. We used small format black rectangular tiles in a stacked pattern on shower wall and floor to give the room interest. And to unify the small space, we used the same grout color throughout.

Use open shelving to keep room airy and to provide a lot of storage.

(If you have items that you want unseen, buy a couple of bins or baskets that tie into the look of the space)

Use a mirrored medicine cabinet.

Install mirrored medicine cabinets which can be recessed into the wall or surface mounted. They do double duty of mirror and storage of small bathroom items.

Find a vanity that is made for a small space.

There are many options out there today which have enclosed storage for those items you don’t want to see (i.e. cleaning supplies).

Minimize your shower/bath gear.

Use fixtures that have dual or even triple function (i.e. opt for one valve that also serves as a diverter, one shower head either fixed or hand held, and bath spout with a diverter). Speak with a plumbing professional or kitchen and bath designer about how to achieve this.

Show as much floor as possible.

In this very narrow bathroom we used a wall hung vanity to see more of the floor to make the space feel wider and larger. Inside the vanity are two large drawers that can be divided into smaller compartments for more organization.

Use a light color palette with low color contrast.

This creates a calm, open feeling. In this bathroom we let the textures and patterns of the material deliver the visual interest.

Select materials that are made for the scale of the room.

Choose tile formats that are of proportionate size. Items that are too bulky or tiles that are too large can make the space feel smaller or cramped.


You May Also Like…

All About Kitchen Countertops

All About Kitchen Countertops

What Material Is Right for You (Quartz, Quartzite, Granite, Marble, Soapstone, Butcherblock)?  As kitchen...