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Creating a Chic Small Bathroom: Style Guide

By Alicia Smith
Share to PinterestCreating a Chic Small Bathroom: Style Guide
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Decorating a bathroom can be a challenge at the best of times. Between the small windows, the constant humidity, and the fact that it's, well, a bathroom, it isn't normally a space where you want to spend a lot of time. But that doesn't mean that you can't make the most of a small space! In fact, with some clever organization and savvy styling, the bathroom might just become your new favorite room in the house.

01

It's all about storage

If you have a small bathroom, your biggest problem might just be a lack of storage. Luckily, this is also the easiest problem to fix. If you're lucky enough to own your own home, try adding some much-needed DIY shelving. This can be as easy as installing planks above the sink — never underestimate how much of a difference even a one extra shelf can make. If you rent, there are plenty of space-saving storage solutions available. The trick is to work out what you need first, and then buy it — do it the other way around and you risk ending up with a bunch of extra containers, or stuff that doesn't fit in your existing space.

Share to PinterestStorage baskets in a bathroom
Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images

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02

Use freestanding furniture

It might seem counterintuitive — why try to fit extra objects into an already small room? — but furniture can actually be a great way of adding extra storage to a small bathroom without having to renovate. Pop a small stool or chair in a corner to add not only an additional surface for essentials, but also space to sit, for an added air of relaxation.

Share to PinterestChair in a small bathroom
Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images

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03

Repurpose everything

If you don't have any ready-made storage solutions handy, don't rush off to the shops just yet! First, see if you have anything lying around the house that you can repurpose. Old silverware dividers and desk caddies can organize your drawers, a cake stand or lazy Susan makes a cute display for toiletries, and a cheap tension rod hung underneath the sink will suddenly free up a whole lot of extra space. You can even convert an old ladder into a stylish towel rack with nothing but a fresh coat of paint.

Share to PinterestBathroom with ladder towel rack
Maria Korneeva / Getty Images

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04

Build a niche

If you're confident in your DIY prowess, this nifty idea can create extra storage space out of literally nothing. A recessed niche in the wall provides a handy nook to keep shampoo bottles within easy reach without sacrificing precious shower space. Even if you're planning on doing this yourself, make sure you consult a professional first to be sure you aren't breaking through the wall into water pipes or electrical wires!

Share to PinterestShower recess
Jupiterimages / Getty Images

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05

Work with awkward spaces

Even the smallest bathroom often has spaces that are overlooked. Maybe they're weirdly sized, too small to look useful, or just in a corner somewhere. Before you write these off as dead zones, give them a closer look to see if you can uncover any hidden potential. A corner storage unit might provide more space than you think, while purpose-built storage shelves or drawers can fit even the most awkward crevice.

Share to PinterestShower in small bathroom corner
Sisoje / Getty Images

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06

Mirror, mirror

Hanging an extra mirror won't literally give you more space, but it will make it look bigger. Strategically placed mirrors trick the eye into thinking rooms are larger they appear, and the larger the mirror, the more pronounced the effect. You don't have to limit yourself to a simple mirror over the sink, either — any available wall will do.

Share to PinterestCurved bathroom mirrors
Michael Hall / Getty Images

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07

Light it up

Just because your bathroom is small doesn't mean it has to be dark, too. If your bathroom has natural light, make the most of it by eliminating curtains and letting the sun shine in. People with windowless bathrooms should invest in quality light fixtures — nobody wants to shower in the dark! And if you're feeling adventurous, a skylight might be the unconventional touch you're looking for.

Share to PinterestBathroom with large windows
David Papazian / Getty Images

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08

Go monochrome

One easy trick for making small spaces look bigger is to paint them all the same color. White is a classic choice for a reason — it adds a grandiose air to even the smallest space, making even tiny closet-sized washrooms feel roomy and bright. Using the same tiles on the walls as on the floor can also help the room look larger and more cohesive.

Share to PinterestAll-white bathroom
imaginima / Getty Images

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09

Don't be afraid of color

It's okay to buck the trend and go for a bit of color. Even a pop here and there can really brighten up a room. Colored glass, tiles, or a splash of paint will give your bathroom a new lease on life. For a similar effect with a lot less effort, swapping out faded or off-white towels for more colorful ones can make a world of difference. Don't be intimidated by black, either — contrary to popular belief, black walls can actually make small spaces look larger, as they give the illusion of depth.

Share to PinterestBathroom with blue walls
Joe Schmelzer / Getty Images

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10

Embrace the unexpected

Finding minor ways to accessorize your space can make a major impact. Little changes — like using a round or even hexagonal mirror instead of a rectangular one, adding a few plants that can withstand the humidity, or even hanging some artwork — can elevate your bathroom from basic to luxurious without requiring a lot of time, effort, or space.

Share to PinterestBathroom with large plants
asbe / Getty Images

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11

Side with a shower bath

Share to Pinteresttub and shower

In the realm of space-saving bathroom solutions, the shower bath stands out as a beacon of functional elegance. This ingenious design marries the deep relaxation of a bath with the quick convenience of a shower. Especially for those evenings when you're torn between a quick rinse and a long soak, this hybrid offers the best of both worlds. Its sleek design, coupled with its dual functionality, makes it an essential for small bathrooms that don't want to compromise on luxury.

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12

Marble-patterned wallpaper

Share to Pinterestbathroom with marble

Wallpapers have long been the unsung heroes of interior design, and the bathroom is no exception. Opting for a marble-patterned design infuses a touch of opulence into the space. The intricate veining and subtle color variations mimic the natural beauty of real marble, creating a backdrop that's both timeless and trendy. And the best part? It's a fraction of the cost of actual marble. So, if you're looking to elevate your bathroom's aesthetics without a complete overhaul, this wallpaper might just be your answer.

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13

Wet rooms and folding shower screens

Share to Pinterestbathroom with shower screen

The modern bathroom is all about seamless design and functionality, and nothing embodies this more than wet rooms. These open, waterproofed spaces are easy to clean and give an illusion of expansiveness. Complement this with a folding shower screen, and you've got a setup that's both stylish and space-efficient. The screen ensures water stays contained, while its foldable design means you can tuck it away when not in use. It's a contemporary solution for those looking to maximize space without sacrificing style.

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14

Building a false wall shelf

Share to Pinterestbathroom with shelves

Innovation in design often comes from addressing challenges, and the false wall shelf is a prime example. Beyond its primary function of concealing plumbing, it offers a recessed shelf space for your bathroom essentials. Whether it's your favorite scented candles, skincare products, or decorative pieces, this built-in shelf becomes a focal point. It's a design trick that not only optimizes space but also adds a layer of sophistication to the bathroom's aesthetics.

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15

Faux panelling for a period feel

Share to Pinterestpanel in bathroom

There's something undeniably charming about vintage designs. Faux panelling captures this essence, offering a nod to yesteryears without the maintenance of real wood. Whether you're aiming for a rustic farmhouse vibe or a regal Victorian feel, this panelling can be painted and styled accordingly. It's a design element that brings depth, character, and a touch of nostalgia to any small bathroom.

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16

Faux foliage for greenery

Share to Pinterestgreenery in bathroom

Nature has an innate ability to soothe the senses. While real plants require care, faux foliage offers the beauty of greenery without the upkeep. Whether it's a wall of faux ferns or a strategically placed potted plant, these additions breathe life into the space. They introduce a pop of color, a touch of freshness, and a sense of tranquility. It's a decor choice that's both aesthetically pleasing and mood-enhancing.

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17

Floating vanities

Share to Pinterestfloating vanity

The magic of floating vanities lies in their ability to create an illusion of space. By being mounted to the wall and freeing up floor space, they introduce a sense of airiness. Beyond the visual appeal, they offer ample storage for bathroom essentials, keeping the area clutter-free. Paired with the right fixtures and fittings, these vanities can transform a bathroom from cramped to contemporary.

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18

Slimline trolleys for storage

Share to Pinteresttrolley in bathroom

In the quest for storage solutions that don't compromise on style, slimline trolleys emerge as frontrunners. Their slender design ensures they fit even in the tightest of spaces, while the wheels offer mobility. Whether you're storing fresh towels, skincare products, or decorative items, these trolleys add a touch of elegance. They're a testament to the fact that functionality and design can go hand in hand.

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19

Positioning taps on the side of a sink

Share to Pinteresttap

Sometimes, the smallest design tweaks have the most profound impact. Positioning taps on the side of a sink is one such choice. It's a departure from the norm, offering a fresh perspective on bathroom design. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, it's a practical solution for narrower sinks or tight spaces. It's a design choice that's both functional and fashion-forward.

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20

Oval baths

Share to Pinterestoval bath

The allure of oval baths lies in their organic shape, which offers a stark contrast to the often angular design of bathrooms. Their curved design is not only visually appealing but also ergonomically sound, cradling the body for a luxurious soak. When space is limited, these baths prove that you don't have to sacrifice comfort for size. Paired with the right fixtures, they become the centerpiece of any bathroom.

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