Here’s a good article on tricks to make small bathrooms feel larger by Hadley Mendelsohn for House Beautiful.
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Whether it’s a tiny powder room or a shower stall that’s basically on top of the toilet (been there!), a small bathroom can make those morning and evening routines a lot less glamorous, and, more importantly, less efficient. But before you toss in the towel and call a broker to help you find a new place, hear us out—you just need some strategic styling tips. And you’re in the right place because we’ve got over thirty easy storage and styling solutions that’ll make you forget how small your bathroom actually is.
Use a Big Mirror
A wall-to-wall mirror is a guaranteed way to create the illusion of spaciousness. Designed by Elizabeth Cooper, the bathroom boasts an open and airy vibe despite not getting ample natural light. That’s thanks to the light color scheme and sweet wallpaper.
Use Unique Materials in Monochrome
The stone surfaces, classic striped towels, sculptural sconce, and round mirror prove that minimalism can have edge. And the easy-going, grayscale elegance is proof that taking a minimalist approach can result in a unique and quirky space without overpowering the eye.
Hang Curtains Strategically
Try a curtain that looks more like a drape than your average plastic shower curtain, and hang two from either side so you can tuck them away when you want to. Heidi Caillier opted for a soft oat-meets-blush linen shower curtain to add warmth to the cool space.
Go Ham With a Gallery Wall
No room is too small for artwork. In fact, sometimes small spaces are the perfect places to display things on the walls since vertical space is all you have to show off your style. We love the eclectic artwork against the baby pink walls of this powder room.
Use Tile to Your Advantage
It doesn’t get much tinier than this bathroom, yet it still looks elevated and functional. The key is to use waterproof materials throughout so everything can get wet (a central drain is also a must) and then swap your shower head and secure towel racks to the walls.
By making the edge of your vanity soft and rounded, you’ll gain back space and you’re less likely to bang into the edge when you’re in a rush (win-win!). Full of fun patterns and whimsical motifs, this powder room designed by Chango & Co. proves that small spaces can still shine.
Make Sure Storage Is Deep Enough
Make up for a nonexistent linen closet with a strategic configuration. Whether it’s a mirrored medicine cabinet or a vanity with deep enough shelving to fit towels, as Robert McKinley Studio did here. We’re loving the offbeat yet neutral clay color scheme, too.
Make sure every piece has a purpose. Choose mirrors with drawers or shelves if you don’t want to go for a traditional medicine cabinet, or use your wall space to build cabinets. The vibrant tangerine-painted cabinets in this bathroom designed by ETC.etera bring out the orange undertones in the pink stone vanity topper, which also ties in the pink floor tiles and area rug.
Create Your Own Surfaces
In this modestly sized powder room designed by Corinne Mathern Studios, the tiny shelf transforms an awkward corner into something chic. It’s just large enough to fit a select few cosmetics or a vase with flowers. Either keep it at the same heigh as the sink, or put it right between the sink and mirror.
Interior design firm Robson Rak embraced the small size and lack of light in this powder room by making it feel snug and intimate with black tiles, mood lighting, and dark cabinets under the smoky natural stone sink. And while the mirror might be slim, its height draws the eye up and accentuates the high ceilings.
Extend Sink Surfaces
Instead of a double sink vanity, a long design could save you serious space. The sink and countertop are all one piece and it’s long enough that two people can get ready at the same time. There’s also plenty of room to hang towels on this one designed by Heidi Caillier.
Opt for Glass Shower Doors
Skip the foggy glass or dark curtain, and opt for glass doors. It’ll make the shower feel like livable square footage. Emil Dervish kept this industrial space clean with white graphic square tiles but added some funk with color on the upper half of the walls and ceiling.
Keep Things Bright
Some may say its boring, but an all white bathroom makes any tucked away space feel bigger and brighter. With interesting materials—like a natural stone countertop and corresponding trim, light wood cabinets, and graphic floor tiles—ensure plenty of style. And if you can, work with your designer and contractor to come up with a strategic layout that works with the odd shape of your space.
Build Shower Niches
If you need a big tub or yours just happens to take up all the space between the two walls, then make sure you’re saving space elsewhere. Incorporate built-in shelves and niches into the wall behind the bathtub for towels and products. Robert McKinley Studio used the same Heath tiles throughout so it blends right in.
Hide your Storage
For a powder room this small, a mirror hung at an angle above a corner sink maximizes every inch (and clutter can be stashed behind the fabric skirt). The Wedgwood plates and round accent table help counteract the boxiness, and add charm. And add a small table for your extras. Choose a small table with an open base so it doesn’t close off space. It’ll give you a spot to set magazines, flowers, or candles.
There’s a clever small-space solution everywhere you look in interior designer Shaun Smith’s New Orleans bathroom. From the extra storage created by placing a tray over the hamper to the towel bars and soap dish, this bathroom proves you can go big in a small bathroom.
Opt for Ledges over Furniture
If your bathroom doesn’t have a built-in vanity, opt for a ledge right above the sink. This will hold all your daily essentials (toothpaste, soap) but won’t take up as much floor space as a big piece of furniture. Install a floating shelf above the sink for your décor, essentials, and other small knick-knacks, as Leanne Ford Interiors did here. This is especially convenient for anyone who doesn’t have a hidden cabinet behind the bathroom sink. You could also arrange a few floating shelves above the toilet, if space is an issue.
Choose a Fun Wallpaper
In a small powder room without much access to natural light—for example, a windowless space under the stairs—embrace the moodier, edgier atmosphere with darker tones and dim lighting. In this powder room designed by Tamsin Johnson, the concrete floors, inky marble sink and modern wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler set the right mood.
Use Bins and Baskets
If you have open shelves, keep organized with wicker baskets and bowls. Shelves are sleek, but the lack of cabinetry cut down on storage space, but bins will do the trick. Having pretty linen towels like these in a bathroom designed by Katie Hodges doesn’t hurt either.
Work Around Your Windows
No walls to hang a mirror? No problem. Just hang it in front of the window, which creates privacy with a purpose. Or, if there’s a slim strip to secure an accordion mirror to between windows.
Install a Skylight
Natural light is the key to making a small space feel bigger. Skylights are a great option for when windows aren’t enough.
Stash Bottles in Niches
You could add a bulky shower caddy, but little cubbies look so much cuter. Alcoves keep soaps and sponges within arm’s reach.
Try A Floating Basin Sink
Skip bulky cabinets and install a floating basin sink to save space. Plus, it looks incredibly chic.
Choose A Big Mirror
Don’t be afraid of large pieces in a small bathroom. A giant mirror over a tub creates the illusion of a larger space. And hanging it somewhere unconventional will earn style points, too.
Inspired by showers in Europe, this is enclosed by a simple curtain and drain save serious space compared to traditional full installs.
Get Towel Bars
Towel bars = the best way to save surface space. If you can get a washstand with towel bars, it’ll look even sleeker.
Continue Floor Tile
Run tile from the bathroom floor straight into the shower stall. It makes the room feel larger. If you change materials, it interrupts the space.
Never Block Windows
Natural light is too important for cramped spaces to block with a dingy shower curtain. Instead, opt for clear glass doors instead. See more at Sarah Sherman Samuel
Use a Ladder
Lean a ladder right up against the wall behind your toilet to provide extra room for hanging linens or a shower caddy. See more at Jenna Sue Design Co.
Add More Mirrors
Mirrors are useful for more than just touching up your makeup: Light bounces off the reflective surfaces and helps make rooms appear bigger. So even if you can only fit in a mini mirror (like the one on the hanging shelf in this bathroom) it makes a big difference. See more at Maison de Pax.
Go With A Sliding Door
Instead of a door on a hinge that, when open, takes up space in your small room, opt for a door on a rail that stays parallel with the wall at all times. See more at Shades of Blue Interiors.