8 Ways to Make the Most of Small Bathrooms

Whether you’re rushing in the morning or getting ready to go out in the evening, it’s easy to feel like the bathroom is a liminal space; somewhere you pass through on trips between the bedroom and the front door. It’s no surprise then that we often fail to give it the attention it deserves, neglecting renovations and using it as storage space for all of the items that we can’t bear to get rid of, but don’t want on display in our living rooms.

However, with a few simple updates, even the humblest of bathrooms can become a haven. Rather than a necessary stopgap, a carefully curated bathroom becomes a space you want to spend time in to unwind from the stresses of everyday life. This may seem impossible, particularly when it comes to more compact spaces. However, by using a few clever techniques you can transform even the smallest bathroom into a relaxing, inspiring place.

Discover our top tips for making the most of small bathrooms, maximising the space you have and creating the illusion of a bigger, calmer room.

Declutter

The first way to make your bathroom appear larger may be the hardest step to take – getting rid of unnecessary clutter. Bin empty toothpaste tubes, hide perfumes and cosmetics, and move your laundry basket elsewhere. Beautiful boxes and jars provide storage without compromising on style. We love the Muuto Restore basket – its curved shape is visually appealing, while also providing ample room to store all of your objects.

A roll of kitchen paper unrolling off a table into a pink Muuto Restore felt basket.
Muuto Restore basket

Lighten up

Dense patterns and bold colour can create the impression of smaller space, so light-coloured walls and floors will open your bathroom up. White is ideal, but pale greys, pinks, greens, and blues are also light and serene. If pared-back minimalism isn’t your style, introduce elements of colour with a tiled border, a painted tub, or a vibrant soap dish. This hand-painted dish from Artisans and Adventurers will add a creative touch to your countertop.

A hand-painted Redecker Dark Pattern ceramic soap dish, in mint, blue, and orange.
Redecker Dark Pattern Ceramic Soap Dish

 

Freestanding sinks

Though they do provide useful storage for towels and toiletries, countertop sinks eat up valuable floor space in small bathrooms. Opt for a freestanding sink, and if you’re missing the storage space, a small cabinet or laundry basket will tuck neatly behind the bathroom door or underneath the sink, providing an unobtrusive way to store bathroom items.

An earthenware basin on a freestanding wooden shelf
Free-standing sink inspiration

Wall lighting

One of the quickest ways to make your bathroom seem cramped is to keep it in the dark. Switch out dim lighting for brighter bulbs – wall-mounted lighting requires little space for maximum results. This striking Flos IC wall light puts a contemporary twist on the traditional wall sconce. Its illuminated orb is balanced carefully on a fine golden stem, creating the illusion of a floating ball of light.

The Flos IC Wall Light. A large illuminated orb attached to the wall by an "L-shaped" golden stem
Flos IC Wall Light

 

Introduce mirrors

It’s an old tip, but one worth repeating. Mirrors are an excellent way to create the impression of extra space, making small rooms appear twice as large. By leaving them unframed, you extend the illusion even further. Circular models have great room-expanding properties, and are more visually interesting than traditional rectangular mirrors.

A large circular mirror hangs above a bathroom unit, with a sink, decorative plants, and baskets.
Mirrors create the illusion of larger space

 

For a clever way to increase bathroom storage, mirrors with attached shelves have the benefit of making rooms appear bigger and creating additional room storage space. The built-in shelf on this Madam Stoltz mirror creates the perfect surface to place toothbrushes,toiletries, and even a potted plant or two.

Madam Stoltz mirror

Hang from hooks

Rather than messily stacking bathroom linens, hang them on wall-mounted hooks. Use the dead space behind the bathroom door for an unobtrusive place to store robes, or hang beautiful coloured towels on a disused wall. Wooden hooks lend themselves to a calming, natural aesthetic, while wrought iron or metallic versions create an industrial look.

A pink wall with four wooden bathroom hooks, one holding a hand towel.
Hooks are an efficient way to use wall space

 

Add glass

Introduce a little transparency, and your bathroom space will instantly feel larger. A frameless glass shower will stop you losing the valuable corner space that a shower curtain or frosted glass frame would obscure, while glass jars and boxes allow you to display toiletries without cluttering the counter. Glass is clean, crisp, and perfect for letting light into smaller bathrooms.

White bathtub with a glass shower screen next to a small stool and potted plant
Glass shower screens let in light

 

Bathroom wall shelving

Embrace upwards mobility with wall shelving. You’ll gain back the floor space your cabinet was taking up, and create visual interest on plain walls. The beautiful Restoration cage shelf is lightweight and elegant, while the playful Sue Parkinson toilet roll shelf is the stylish storage solution you never knew you needed.

 

Small shelf made from caged wire with two potted cacti
Restoration cage shelf
Cloud shaped shelf in grey with rolls of toilet paper stacked on it
Sue Parkinson toilet paper shelf

 

Discover our curated bathroom edit for a hand-picked selection of Trouva products from our independent boutique community that will help you transform your bathroom into a beautiful, relaxing space.

In search of more inspiring ideas? Head to our dedicated Pinterest board, or follow us on Instagram.

Kate Richmond

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