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8 tips to improve your small bathroom

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The first known record of a bathroom was in the Roman Empire in 3000 BC. These were shared places, usually vast in size and palatial in style. These days people bathe in private in rooms much smaller than the Roman palaces. Small bathrooms have been a popular trend in the majority of homes built in the recent past. Architects became very creative in finding ways to fit so much into such a small space. This can create a challenge when renovating or just decorating such a bathroom. How can you create the sense of space in such a tight space? There are tricks. With the right combination of colours, décor and lighting, a small bathroom can appear to be a lot larger than it actually is. It may be a matter of making a simple alteration, like the colour of the décor, or installing a new shower curtain. homify has found the top 8 ways to make a small bathroom appear more spacious.

​Clean Up

Singh Residence Modern bathroom by Space Interface Modern
Space Interface

Singh Residence

Space Interface

One of the best ways to create a sense of space in a room is to clear surfaces. A clean, clear surface can give the impression of space, organisation and order. This includes all surfaces in the bathroom. The main bathroom basin and mirror area is the main area of clutter in a bathroom. It is usually covered in bottles, soap, make-up and hair products. All these items can be placed in storage areas within the bathroom. A tall narrow shelf is a great storage solution for small bathrooms. Use small baskets for the smaller items, and large ones for the bottles and brushes. The shower area is another place where items can accumulate. Consider installing a shelf in the shower area for the important shower items. All other items can be placed in the bathroom storage areas.

Spice It Up With Tiles

The tiles within a bathroom can really bring a new lease of life to a small space. They can bring attention to a particular part of a design, making the entire space look larger. Consider choosing designs that include patterns, geometric shapes or lines. When arranging these designs, create a continuous line with the designs that lead the eye, making the room more spacious. This bathroom is a great example. The featured tiles are placed in the shower area. The detailed patterns on these Portuguese style tiles catch the eye. The eye is drawn to this space. To balance the space the rest of the room is painted in a plain white shade. This makes the area appear spacious and give the impression of space between the bathroom and the shower.

Spice up the Floor

The floor is a very important part of a small bathroom. What we choose to use on the floor can influence the level of spaciousness that is achieved in a small bathroom. One clever way of using tiles to increase the spaciousness of a bathroom is to use the same tiles on the floor as you have used on the walls. This will expand the space visually. The walls with blend in, and extend the floor. When choosing tiles for a small bathroom, chooser larger tiles. These will make the area seem more spacious. Small tiles make the room feel smaller. Consider using light coloured tiles. These will reflect light, and make the room appear bright and open.

​New Wall Colour

industrial  by KAGADATO, Industrial

Creative mirror—


Small bathrooms are often found to be dark and pokey. They may have a very small window, or no window at all. This can make the space seem smaller than it is. They may also have a clashing colour scheme, this may create a feeling of clutter. One way to bring a new freshness into a bathroom is to bring it the light. If your bathroom has a window, make the most of this natural light. Remove any dark window coverings and anything blocking the light from entering the room. When this is done, we want the light to reach the entire bathroom, so paint the bathroom a light colour. This will allow the natural light to bounce around the room to all corners, making the room more spacious.

​New Shower Curtain

Now that you have finished the difficult part of the bathroom redesign, you can look at what needs to be done next. The bathroom walls, and floor have been updated and changed to a light bright colour. This may be a neutral tone, or a colour that has become a theme that you intend to use throughout the design. The next step is the details of the bathroom. One of the most important parts is the shower curtain. A shower curtain is not a permanent fixture in a bathroom. For this reason you can afford to have a bit of fun with its design. For a bathroom that has a mainly neutral colour palate, you can be bold and choose something crazy and daring. For bathrooms with a colour scheme already established, choose something with similar colours. This bathroom was deigned by Upper Design.

​New Bathroom Accessories

When it comes to a small bathroom, the minimalist approach of ‘less is more’ applies. This is because there is simply not enough room for many accessories. For a small bathroom, choose the essential, practical accessories, and spend money getting good quality items. When choosing these items, consider the colour scheme that already exists in the room. To have a consistent streamlined bathroom is a good way to give it the appearance of order, tidiness and space. If you have neutral tiles and floor, consider adopting a feature colour in the space. Use this colour for the shower curtain, towels, soap holder and other accessories. If you have colour in the floor or walls, consider picking shades of this colour to use in the shower curtain, towels and other details. This cute toilet roll holder was made by The Pipe of South Korea.


Storage in a small bathroom can be one of the biggest challenges, and also one of the biggest rewards. With convenient, functional storage in a small bathroom, it can be kept clear and therefore clutter free and spacious. There are many clever ways of creating storage in a small bathroom. Shelves are a wonderful way of finding space on a higher level. Place baskets on these shelves to store smaller items, whilst maintaining an appearance of order. A small cabinet behind the mirror is another clever way of incorporating storage into a small space. Install a set of hooks behind the door to hang towels.  The space above the door is another clever space that is often forgotten. A small shelf can easily be installed here, providing a clever spot to store items such as spare toilet rolls and cleaning products. This bathroom was designed by Nexus Product Design.


In a small bathroom space is at a premium. If there are too many accessories and decorations, the room will appear to busy and cluttered. For this reason, it is best to keep decorations to a minimum. Place a few carefully chosen items in strategic places for effect. Choose colours that are in keeping with the style and colour scheme of the bathroom. If possible, choose items that not only decorate the space but also provide a function. This bathroom is a wonderful example. A few complementary coloured towels rolled neatly and placed into a basket can provide not only a wonderful decoration to a bathroom, but also have a functional purpose.

Small bathrooms are common in houses and apartments. Having a small bathroom does not necessarily mean having a cluttered and cramped space. There are many ways that you can transform a small bathroom into a sleek, streamlined, yet cosy space. When updating your small bathroom consider the available light. Open windows and allow the maximum amount of light to enter the space. This will make the room seem more spacious. Use light colours to enhance the light in the room. Finish this new and improved bathroom design with some strategically placed colours and decorations. It is a good idea to use a colour scheme to bring the design together. For more ideas on bathroom designs see Amanda PinheiroDesigns.

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