Expert Ideas for Designing a Small Bathroom

When it comes to small bathrooms, many of us feel like we are stuck between a rock and a hard place based on the space we have to work with. Even the most design-savvy among us can be challenged when creating a design for such a small, confined bathroom. We want our bathrooms to be functional and stylish, but oftentimes, a small bathroom can make this seem like an impossible feat. Thankfully, there are ways to design a small bathroom that is beautiful or  practical, even both. With a little creativity and careful planning, even the most petite bathroom space can be transformed. Here are some genius ideas for designing a small bathroom:

Opt for light colors

When you have a small bathroom, it can be tempting to go for dark colors in order to make it feel more intimate. However, one of the best ways to make a small bathroom look bigger is to use light colors. White is always a good choice, but you can also consider other light shades like pale blue, green, or gray. These colors will help to reflect light and make the room appear larger. 

Maximize natural light

Any small space will benefit from extra light, but this is especially true in a bathroom.  Tasks like makeup application and shaving require a well-lit environment. If your bathroom has a window, make sure it is clean and clear so that as much light can come in as possible. If the space or location permits, adding a skylight will brighten up the space even more. Skylights are an excellent way to bring natural light into a small bathroom. It can reduce needs for artificial lighting, particularly during the day, and in some cases aid in ventilation as well.  For most, a skylight is not an option, so look for other ways to maximize natural light in the bathroom such as installing a window or using mirrors to reflect light. 

Install a corner sink

In small bathrooms, every inch counts. Installing a corner sink could be a great way to make the most of your limited space. In some small bathrooms, designing the sink in the corner can free up valuable space that would otherwise be taken up by a traditional vanity. Not only can a corner sink save valuable square footage, in some cases it also provides easier access to the sink itself. And since the sink is often one of the busiest areas in the bathroom, this can be a major advantage. Corner sinks often have sleek, minimalist designs that can help to give your bathroom a more contemporary feel.  Whatever your style, be sure to select a model that fits the space well.

Declutter the floor space

An effective way to open up your bathroom and make it feel bigger is to declutter the floor space. Remove any unnecessary items you do not use regularly, need on hand or that serve any designated purpose. Consider shelves or hooks to store items that you don't necessarily need on hand. You can install shelves above the toilet, keep extra toiletries in a nearby closet, or use hooks to hang towels from the back of the door.

Install a wall-mounted toilet

Consider a wall-mounted toilet for your bathroom remodel to make the most of your small bathroom space. This type of toilet can be ideal for small spaces because it does not require a lot of floor space. In addition, wall-mounted toilets offer a number of other benefits. They are easy to clean, as there is no area around the base of the toilet that can collect dirt and grime.  They also offer the illusion of extra space because they do not break up the visual line of the room. A wall-mounted toilet can also add a touch of luxury to a bathroom, making it feel more like a spa and less like a cramped closet. 

If you are seriously considering installing a wall-mounted toilet in your home, there are a few things you should keep in mind. You will need to make sure that your bathroom has the necessary wall structural support to accommodate the weight of the toilet. You should also hire a professional to install the toilet, as the process is more complex. 

Float the vanity too!

Floating vanities can be a game-changer when it comes to small bathrooms. By mounting the sink and storage cabinet on the wall rather than having them sitting on the floor it not only gives the illusion of more space, it also makes it easier to clean the floor. This move can transform a small bathroom from cramped and cluttered to feeling open and airy.  If you are worried about losing storage, consider options that offer shelves or even modified drawers based on the location of plumbing. 

Speaking of shelves… open it up!

Embrace open shelving and ditch traditional cabinets. This helps create the illusion of more space. Open shelving also provides the perfect opportunity to show off your unique sense of style. Whether you are displaying colorful towels or pretty glass bottles, open shelving can help you turn your small bathroom into a true design statement.

Conisder tile design options for your walls and floor

Covering your small bathroom walls and floor with the same tile creates a continuous look that makes a space feel larger and more cohesive. If you are worried about the tile becoming too monotonous, consider using two different shades of the same color or choosing a tile with a subtle pattern. You could choose a light blue tile for the walls with a dark blue tile for the floor. Or you could choose a white tile with a small floral design for both the walls and floor. 

Another idea is for small bathrooms is to select large format tile for the floor. According to Reico Kitchen & Bath Annapolis, MD Designer Katherine Dashiell, "People have the tendency to select small tiles for small bathrooms thinking the space can’t handle a large tile. The opposite is actually true, larger tiles have less pattern created by the grout lines so they actually make your space look larger."

Create the illusion of more space with mirrors and glass

Another option is to create an entire wall of mirror. Mirrors create the illusion of a larger space. They also bounce light around, making the room feel brighter and more open. A mirror is a great way to add a decorative touch to your bathroom without taking up any valuable real estate. If you are worried that a full mirrored wall might be too much, then consider a large mirror above your sink and toilet, or using a mirrored medicine cabinet to store toiletries and towels. 

If cost is a concern, a great alternative might be sheets of self-adhesive mirror film found online or at home decor or improvement stores.  Another budget friendly design idea is to hang several small mirrors in a grid or other pattern. This can create a comparable effect to a large mirror but at a lesser cost. 

The shower might be another opportunity to create the feel of more space.  Added Dashiell, "Replacing a shower curtain with a glass shower door is a nice way to create the illusion of space in a small bathroom. You have the added bonus of being able to use the shower tile as a decorative feature." 

Choose wall-mounted faucets

Choosing the right fixtures for a small bathroom can be tricky. You want pieces that are both functional and stylish without overcrowding the space. Wall-mounted faucets are a great option for small bathrooms, as they provide room and free up space on the countertop. They also add to the aesthetic of your bathroom space, creating a sleek and stylish look. Wall-mounted faucets are often easier to keep clean than traditional ones, since there are fewer nooks and crannies for dirt and grime to collect. 

Design an open shower

Anyone who has ever tried to take a shower in a tiny bathroom knows that it can be a bit of a challenge. In addition to feeling cramped, you also have to contend with wet floors and condensation-covered walls. One way to make the most of a small bathroom is to install an open shower. Compared to a traditional enclosed one, this type of shower does not have any doors or curtains.  There is no barrier between the shower and the rest of the room, creating a space that feels more open and spacious. An open shower is much easier to keep clean than a traditional shower, with less places for mold and mildew.  

Organize cabinet storage

The layout of most small bathrooms do not leave a lot of room for storage, which can be a problem if you do not want the space to feel cluttered. One way to solve this problem is to organize your cabinets. Most cabinet lines offer ready-made organizing solutions, allowing you to get creative and come up with your own system. Or add a shelf to organize and store your items. 

Mount a towel rack

Mounting a towel rack on the wall or back of the door is a smart, fast and easy way to add storage without taking up almost no space. You can install it at any height or even location, perfect for small bathrooms with limited space. At a minimum, it keeps towels off the sink or the floor, which means less to worry about them sitting wet or dirty. Towel racks come in a variety of styles and finishes, so you can easily find one that coordinates with the rest of your decor. Really short on space?  Some models can fold up when not in use.

The Bottom Line

If you are considering remodeling your small bathroom, or are just starting to think about what you might want in a new design, we hope that our tips have given you some ideas to get your started. Our team at Reico Kitchen & Bath would be more than happy to help take those ideas and turn your small bathroom into a space that is both beautiful and functional. Give us a call today, or visit any of our showrooms in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Let us show you how easy it can be to get more out of your own small bathroom. 

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