The Habitat
Design Inspiration for Your Small Bathroom
Design Inspiration for Your Small Bathroom

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.


It's all about storage

Storage baskets in a bathroom Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images

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.


Use freestanding furniture

Chair in a small bathroom Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images

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.


Repurpose everything

Bathroom with ladder towel rack Maria Korneeva / Getty Images

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.


Build a niche

Shower recess Jupiterimages / Getty Images

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!


Work with awkward spaces

Shower in small bathroom corner Sisoje / Getty Images

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.


Mirror, mirror

Curved bathroom mirrors Michael Hall / Getty Images

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.


Light it up

Bathroom with large windows David Papazian / Getty Images

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.


Go monochrome

All-white bathroom imaginima / Getty Images

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.


Don't be afraid of color

Bathroom with blue walls Joe Schmelzer / Getty Images

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.


Embrace the unexpected

Bathroom with large plants asbe / Getty Images

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.




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