Small bathrooms and powder rooms are the vane of designers’ (and design enthusiasts’) existences. No matter the budget or time allocated for a project, the limitations of space are a constant in the world of interior design, and searching for solutions is a necessary activity. Not all bathroom spaces are born the same, but these ideas will help you think outside of the box when it comes to bathroom design!
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The basic rules of small bathrooms
Before we get into some specific examples from interior designers, we want to address the main ways you can make the most of small spaces when renovating a bathroom.
- Prioritise storage. The easiest way to cramp up a space is to have a disorganised array of objects lying around. To avoid this, plan your storage from the get-go.
- Play with distribution a lot. Designing a small bathroom is all about your elements (e.g. the bath, the shower, the sink, the toilet etc.), where they are facing, and how they are distributed in your space. Invest time in renders and sketches to understand how these parts will play together.
- Use the architecture to your advantage. Whether it’s a forgotten nook or a seemingly useless arch, the preexisting architectural elements in your bathroom can be used to maximise space.
- Source a great mirror. Mirrors are beautiful, and perfect at cheating the eye. Their reflective quality often gives the illusion of a larger space, so it’s worth using some of your wall space on this.
- Use your walls. If you depend entirely on furniture for storage, you’ll be in for a surprise when designing a small bathroom! Think of the walls as opportunities. You can use them to hold hangers, shelves, magnetic strips, cabinets, baskets and much more.
- Go translucent with your shower or bath doors. Nothing will get more in your visual way than an opaque wall!
Now that we’ve graduated from the 101 class, let’s learn from the masters.
Rustic, understated – and close together
Without the need for doors in outdoor bathrooms, this space by Tamsin Johnson is a testament to the possibilities of a small bathroom. All of the appliances are close together without the feeling of crampedness, due to the rustic minimalism preserved in the tiles, mirror and basin. The effect is singular and Tuscany-adjacent, with plenty of Mediterranean charm.
Small bathtub, and storage as a solution – and focal point
Bathtubs don’t have to be huge to serve their purpose. In this space by Karen from Milk and Honey Life, we can appreciate the use of wire and wicker baskets and wooden shelves as necessary elements but also decorative focal points. While the overall effect of the space is curated and Wabi sabi inspired, the usefulness is not lost on us. A perfect compromise for the ornament-lovers and the space-savers.
Seamlessly integrated into the structure
As we mentioned above, using the structures of the house as inspiration will give you perfectly embodied and bespoke-feeling results. Also, here Ville Design shows us that you can break the rules to give different results; we think the tap on the left hand side is both imaginative and useful, as well as a reminder that all advice is meant to be tested and broken.
Walk-in showers keep winning
When space is a scarce luxury, walk-in showers can easily come to save the day. Paired with a half-wall to demarcate different parts of the bathroom, we love this example below.
Primal, sculptural and total luxury
When we think of small bathrooms, we usually think of a low budget too. However, if you’ve got enough to spare, investing in natural stone and excellent materials will level-up your bathroom no matter the size. Less is not always more.
Modernity is not always the answer
When renovating bathrooms, many designers lean on modern or contemporary elements to counteract the lack of space. This is an attempt to lift the face of a space without the additional square meterage. However, in our opinion, this doesn’t have to be the only answer. This bathroom by James Mackie showcases how traditional elements can work beautifully, even in small spaces, when pairing them with small bathroom elements and a symmetrical layout. 10/10 from us!
Lovely, layered and charming
Personality is what makes a bathroom feel unique and luxurious. When dealing with small bathrooms, many opt for a totally minimalist approach to avoid as much clutter and visual noise as possible. However, touches of a clients’ taste and style go much further in making a bathroom feel lived-in and even bigger. Never be scared to include idiosyncratic details!
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