Design Ideas for Small Bathrooms

The Challenge

small bathroom

I have been looking for inspiration recently, and it’s a depressing business. You see, I am seeking inspiration for my bathroom. I have decided that I can no longer live with the avocado bathroom suite, the tiling is boring, and the wall and wood colors my predecessor chose for the room have to go. Plus, I want new flooring. I want to redesign my bathroom completely, so I have searched interior blogs and websites for ideas. Sadly, it would seem I have a problem.

My bathroom is just too small

I see many images of beautiful bathrooms with free-standing baths, separate showers, and his-n-hers washbasins. There may be a floor-to-ceiling window with billowing curtains and a sea view. Some will throw in a chaise longue for good measure.

Can you imagine having a bathroom so large it has a seating area? Me neither.

While I would love a snow-white, free-standing, roll-top bath complete with claw feet, I wouldn’t be able to get to the toilet if I had one. Some sites suggest turning a small bathroom into a wet room, and while that’s not a bad idea in principle, I would prefer to have the option of a soak in a bubble-filled bath.

Fortunately, I have picked out a few ideas from the envy-inducing images I have been looking at.

Bathroom Lighting

For such a small room, my bathroom is surprisingly dark. The light over the mirror emits a hideous orange glow, which does nothing for me and makes applying makeup challenging. It’s better to rely on the main light and not turn on the one over the mirror, but that’s hardly satisfactory.

Having a shower is always conducted in a slight gloom too. The bathroom light is on the other side of the shower curtain rail, and although I like the idea of the black shower curtain I recently acquired, it was not the smartest choice of decor. My morning shower is now in perpetual twilight.

There were some interesting lighting suggestions that I came across on the inspiration blog. It would not have occurred to me that maybe I needed to add more lights to such a small space, but it makes sense. A few downlights above the bath would sort out the gloomy shower problem and create a subdued mood for lazy bubble baths. No room for candles, you see.

My basin is in a little alcove, so a wall light on either side of the mirror would brighten the place. Plus, I wouldn’t look orange as I apply makeup. An alternative would be illuminated mirrors, but since that conjures up images of the lightbulb-surrounded mirrors in the dressing rooms on The Muppets, I think that might be a bit much.

small bathroom lighting

Bathroom Tiling

If I’m going to the trouble of putting downlights over the bath, I want to tile that will be something to show off. The bathroom suite will be white, but whether I carry that to the tiles. While I would like a black and red mosaic effect, it might be too overpowering in such a small space. If I’m making it brighter by putting in more lights, I don’t want to go all dim again with the tiles.

White tiling by itself could be quite boring, though. The traditional option would be a checkerboard pattern or a single line of a different color to break up the wall. I did see a quite nice rough stone effect on Houzz, which was carried from the wall to the bath surround, but price-wise that might be beyond me. Instead, I want to try something like the white floral design pictured. It’s a bit different, and although red is a strong color, it shouldn’t be too overpowering.

I think I can get away with something darker for the floor tiles. After all, white suit, white and red wall tiles, and additional lighting – hopefully, by this point, my bathroom will feel a bit more spacious, light, and airy. So I’ll go for the classic dark grey slate for the flooring.

Space-Saving Fixtures for Small Bathrooms

When designing a small bathroom, every inch of space counts. But fear not; plenty of space-saving fixtures can transform a cramped bathroom into a functional and stylish space.

One of the most versatile space-saving fixtures is the corner sink. By installing a corner sink instead of a traditional pedestal or vanity sink, you can free up valuable floor space and create a more open and airy feel. Corner sinks come in various sizes and styles, so finding one that matches your design aesthetic and meets your practical needs is easy. A corner sink can be a unique and unexpected feature in your bathroom design.

Another great option for small bathrooms is a wall-mounted toilet. These toilets have a compact design that allows for more floor space, giving your bathroom a modern and sleek look. Not only do wall-mounted toilets save space, but they are also easier to clean since there are no hard-to-reach areas around the base. Plus, they can be a great way to add a touch of luxury to your bathroom design.

If you’re looking for a bathtub option in your small bathroom, a Japanese soaking tub is a fantastic space-saving solution. These tubs are deeper than traditional ones and have a smaller footprint, making them ideal for smaller spaces. Plus, Japanese soaking tubs are often made from high-quality materials like wood or stone, adding a touch of elegance and luxury to your bathroom. So why not add extra zen and relaxation to your small bathroom with a Japanese soaking tub?

So, what would you do?

I’m only at the ideas stage right now. Going from inspiration to a completed bathroom will take time. But I’ve set out a few ideas, and I’ve even given you a hint of my bathroom’s size with the photo at the top.

So, what do you think? Does it sound like a good plan? As a complete interior design novice, I welcome anyone’s thoughts. Maybe you have a small bathroom, too – what solutions did you come up with to give your bathroom a bit of style? Please feel free to comment below and share your sources of inspiration.

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