While we might dream of a big bathroom in which we can splash around a double walk-in shower, triple basin and huge, freestanding tub, the reality is that many of have little more than a handkerchief-size space to play with. Fear not, though: There is a wealth of mini fixtures and fittings (teeny tubs and narrow basins, for starters), as well as loads of clever design tricks that can help maximize your bathroom’s footprint.
White is always a winner in small spaces — be it on tubs, basins, floors or walls — but that doesn’t mean you have to enforce a total color ban. Far from it. In fact, playing with light and shade, color and contrast, will inject personality and style into what can be a sterile look. After all, doesn’t the saying go, “The best things come in small packages”?
1. Try a tiny tub. Some of today’s roll-top baths have been shrunk so you can squeeze one into even the tiniest bathroom. Make the best use of an awkwardly shaped room by locating your bath underneath the eaves. A teeny space also means you can splurge on luxe materials without breaking the bank.
2. Exploit corners. Corner shower enclosures are one of the best decorating tools for bathrooms that refuse to conform to standard dimensions. Wall-hung furniture is also a boon for creating the illusion of space, as your eye can see the floor right to the wall.
3. Finish with a soothing color. Don’t be afraid to use color in a small bathroom. This duck egg blue used on the ceiling, walls and paneling lengthens the room by drawing the eye out through the windows. And isn’t it the most restful of shades to boot?
4. Keep it white and bright. You can’t go wrong with white subway tiles in a small bathroom. They are crisp, classic and space enhancing, and look particularly on trend with gray grout. Keep the rest of the room simple and unadorned to create maximum impact in the most miniature of bathrooms.
5. Work around awkward architecture. This looks like a troublesome space to work with, but the narrow dimensions and sloping roof have been skillfully harnessed to create a stylish bathroom. The mammoth roof window brings in masses of natural light (which is doubled by the mirror wall), while the nearly invisible glass shelves and wall-hung basins help to streamline and declutter.
6. Experiment with darker shades. White is a classic, and your gut instinct might be to steer clear of darker colors in a small bathroom, but look how warm and cocooning this deep taupe shade is in this walk-in shower room. The soft washes of light simply add to the spa-like ambience.
7. Be smart about fixtures. With small bathrooms you need to use every trick in the design book to cram in everything you want.
In this room with a sloping ceiling, a 3-foot by 5-foot, 2-inch glass-screened shower has been fitted at the highest end, while a plunge-pool-style tub is tucked nicely under the lower end and provides the opportunity to add a stylish panel of mosaics. A built-in vanity unit, meanwhile, offers sleek storage.
8. Use built-in shelving for display. Most of us are clamoring for more storage, and this smart bathroom uses every last inch of space, with custom shelving fitted into every teeny nook and skinny alcove. The simple chunks of wood look smart against the white background.
9. Create a space with personality. Who says “small” always has to mean “white and minimalist”? I love this pocket-size shower in a wooden tub. It is cute and unassuming and uses a very small space in a very inventive way.
10. Try a bath-in-bedroom setup. Fitting an extra bathroom into a slice of a bedroom is a great idea, and a lot of square footage isn’t needed for it to work effectively. This converted loft space includes a full-length bath that sits directly under a skylight, so someone can lie back and soak away any stresses and strains while staring into the sky.