Decorating a small bathroom doesn’t have to feel daunting. If anything, it should be viewed as a fun puzzle to crack! With the right colours, lighting, storage and fixtures, your small bathroom design will have just as much impact as a large, sprawling room – in fact, a small room can sometimes be more dramatic than a big one.
To help you on your small bathroom decorating journey, we’ve delved into the YourHomeStyle archives to find some of the savviest small bathroom ideas and added in a few indispensable bathroom products that we think will help to make the most of your limited space. These tips and tricks will make your small bathroom feel bigger and hopefully make it a pleasanter place to spend time in.
Looking for ultra-speedy fixes on a tight budget? Then be sure to check out our guide to the best ways to update your bathroom on a budget, too.
How to make a small bathroom look bigger
1. Paint walls a bold colour
Wondering what colour to paint a small bathroom? Oftentimes white paint is chosen as the best option for opening up a small space, but there are many other colours to think about when it comes to a small bathroom. Picking a deep, bold colour can embolden a small room and make it feel cosier, rather than cramped, and warm rather than bare and cold which can often be the case in white bathrooms.
Another option is to create a half-wall paint effect like Lisa has done in her compact bathroom makeover above. The white half on top gives the illusion of a much higher ceiling while the deep emerald green on the bottom half makes the room feel more welcoming.
2. Choose stylish storage
With nowhere to hide in a small bathroom, storage should be as stylish as it is practical. Think outside the box, as Liz has above in her bathroom makeover, with a statement pink storage locker.
If floor space is limited, take to the walls! Over-door storage baskets and hooks are ideal for renters as you don’t need to drill into the walls. There are some great style options too, like rattan and metal, to suit a range of interior aesthetics.
Removable hanging strips will also come in handy for adding stylish hooks or floating shelves which you can use for storing bathroom trinkets as well as displaying plants.
3. Pick statement tiles
Statement tiles have been all over Pinterest lately; they’re the perfect decorating idea for combining practicality and style in a bathroom. Wondering how much to tile a small bathroom? Whether you fancy being tiled to the nines with both tiled floors and walls or just fancy feature tiles behind your sink or shower, any addition will add interest and charm to a small space.
You don’t have to replace your existing tiles to make a difference, though. Sometimes a lick of tile paint will have just as much impact, as Carla did in her dinky bathroom makeover above. This monochrome look, with the classic white metro tiles, is a safe choice for small bathrooms.
In Judith’s compact bathroom makeover above, she went for decorative floor tiles to create impact. ‘It was love at first sight with these tiles. I really wanted to create a monochrome patterned floor and knew they’d look amazing teamed with some white wall tiles laid in a herringbone pattern.’
4. Add a feature wall
There’s a range of styles to choose from when thinking about a feature wall. Murals, a gallery wall, statement wallpaper, and a simple yet impactful painted arch are just a few examples of packing a punch in your small bathroom.
If you favour a rustic look, you may want to give a copper-effect wall a go, as Charlotte did in her bathroom makeover above. She found a copper-effect paint from Craig & Rose; to apply you simply paint the wall, dab with a sponge then paint on the solution where you want the patina effect to be.
5. Opt for a walk-in shower
This will be off the cards for bath lovers, but if you prefer a shower day to day, then it may be worth waving goodbye to your bath and replacing it with a space-saving walk-in shower instead.
In Keeley’s bathroom makeover, she proved that even a tiny cloakroom can be made into a glamorous shower room. She made use of a tight corner for her walk-in shower cubicle, as shown above.
6. Make an impact with mirrors
Mirrors, no matter how big or small, will instantly add depth to your small bathroom. For added impact, choose a couple of mirrors in different sizes or go big and bold with a large mirror.
Round mirrors are a good idea for a dinky bathroom as they counteract the look of tight, sharp-edged corners (like in an under-the-stairs loo). Or, for an on-trend look, try out a wavy mirror!
7. Get the lighting right
If you’re lucky enough to have lots of natural light in your small bathroom, try not to overcrowd your windowsill with trinkets or products and avoid blocking any of the light and taking up too much wall space with a prominent blind. Try frosting film for your window instead as this will help to open up the space more and take full advantage of the daylight glow.
Many small bathrooms are without windows though, so how do you make your bathroom feel lighter in this case? It can be as simple as adding statement wall lights, like the MADE.com ones shown above, in favour of cold stark ceiling lights. Position wall lights near a mirror to get the double the glow.
Opting for a bulb that emits a warmer glow, such as this Porcelain LED Dimmable Globe Bulb from John Lewis & Partners is another simple yet effective trick to making your small space feel cosier and lighter.
8. Use multi-purpose furniture
Be savvy with bathroom furniture and choose pieces that have multiple uses, such as Sarah’s sideboard above that serves as a washstand and storage unit. You can also pick up these kinds of items for bargain prices on sites such as eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.
‘I found this 1950s sideboard on Gumtree and turned it into a stand for the basin from Victorian Plumbing, as well as storage for the towels,’ she says.