Small Bathroom Design Ideas Decor For Small Spaces

14 Small Bathroom Design Ideas

Originally contributed by Mackenzie Stratton • last updated 2/9/2021

Small bathroom designs provide a number of fun challenges. For example, because you don’t have a lot of space to work with, you’ll need to get creative with aspects of your design that you may not have given much thought to otherwise, like storage and lighting. 

Each decision you make will have a larger influence on the overall look and feel of your design. So this guide is written with the small bathroom designer in mind — to give you tips on how to effectively store your items, create a spacious feeling with light, and strategically plan your design so it makes an impact.

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Use A Large Mirror

Mounting large mirrors expands the feel of small bathroom designs. You can choose a mirror with a low profile and simple design for a more subtle effect or make it the statement of your bathroom with a bold frame or funky shape. The mirror in this image has a Victorian vibe, so it stands out amongst the accompanying neutral and airy decor.

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Go Monochrome

Monochrome color palettes have the dual benefit of being low-fuss and great for small bathrooms since it makes your design look more whole and less fractured. To keep things relaxed and fresh, choose a neutral color like cream, greige, or caramel. Though if you’d like to make a statement, millennial pink, green, or black also fair well.

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Install A Skylight

A view of the sky is certainly one way to make your small bathroom feel spacious. What’s more, creating a skylight doesn’t take up any additional room because it actually recedes from the walls. With all that natural light flooding in, you’ll also be able to nurture plants more easily — that is, if being a plant parent appeals to you.

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Tile All Over

Small bathroom designs often mean that when you take a shower, so does every surface in your bathroom. To this end, creating a waterproof space by tiling both your walls and floors is not only savvy, but also stylish. You can choose a tile that sticks to one color, simply varying the size or pattern of the design, or opt for two completely different styles.

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Floating Shelves

Floating shelves defy traditional drawers, simply anchoring the shelf right onto the wall. They’re a great trick to keep up your sleeve when designing for a small bathroom and what’s more, they’re a cinch to install. Choose between a variety of styles, from sturdy farmhouse style shelves, hanging shelves, or even those made with a marble finish.

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Take Advantage Of Glass

Small bathroom designs that use glass feel more spacious and buoyant. If this principle appeals to you, consider installing a glass shower door an essential first step. Then, feel free to experiment with other items like glass light fixtures, glass-topped side tables, or an array of glass vases to amplify the vibe.

Tile Your Walls

Small bathroom remodel ideas don't have to soak up a lot of your time or effort. One way to mix-up the look of your space is to add a swath of tile to your walls, where cutting away any drywall will be far easier than ripping up your floors. You can also customize the project by confining how much of your wall you cover in tile. For example, this bathroom features tile on two-thirds of its wall, but you can go even more minimal if you'd like. 

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Shower Niches

Shower niches challenge the notion that storage should take up any extra room at all. Indeed, these chic little cubbies do wonders for the person who’s short on space but not short on products. If you haven’t tiled your shower yet then you can easily install a niche but that said, with the right tools you can still do this project yourself.

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Fun Wallpaper

Although you may not want to cover a large room with a busy or patterned wallpaper, it’s a great way to make your small bathroom pop. Enter wallpaper that makes a statement with florals, abstract patterns, or animal prints (flamingos never looked so good). Just make sure you hang some wall art to vary its visual effect.

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Ladder Shelf

Apart from providing a practical place to hang your towels and keep your things, a ladder shelf draws the eye upwards, adding height to a small space. Some styles are meant to be propped up against your wall, while others can be anchored directly onto them. The former option tends to look a bit more farmhouse or bohemian, while the latter (no pun intended) leans modern and minimalist.  

Loud And Proud

Because small spaces don't infer a large time investment, small bathroom remodel design ideas that go all-in are still doable. Take this bathroom, which practically explodes with a combination of fun colors and patterns. To recreate this vibe, cover your walls with both a pattern and a paint color. Then move on to the floor, where you'll want to choose a distinct but compatible design to complement your walls. 

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Curtain Call

Instead of a curtain that only covers the front of your bath or shower, consider installing one that goes around it. This way, you can discreetly tuck the shower curtain away while it’s not being used, ultimately expanding the feel of your space. After all, when it comes to small bathroom designs, every win counts.    

Add A Touch Of Wood

If you're in need of small bathroom remodel ideas, consider using touches of wood. It's an unconventional style choice, given that the bathroom usually sports materials like tile, stone, and glass. For a light and airy feel, maple wood is a great choice, whereas if you prefer a dark aesthetic, try stained cedar. Though before you install your wood accent, prepare it to stand-up to humidity by waterproofing it first. 

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Recessed Lighting

Light can take the mood of your space from sultry to airy so it’s an important aspect of interior design. That said, if you’re working with a small bathroom, you may want to consider lights that recede into your walls and ceiling to minimize any unnecessary bulk. This bathroom takes advantage of LED lights to provide a subtle glow to both its back wall and shower niche.

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Smart Storage

A bathroom sink laid into a cabinet and countertop takes up a lot of space but in terms of storage, it doesn’t add much benefit. Instead, mount a simple sink basin and use the empty space below to install shelves or set down a few woven baskets. This allows you to store your things while nixing the extra bulk in your small bathroom.

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Break It Up

Small bathroom designs can still pack a punch, just the way you go about the process may be a bit different. Instead of focusing your efforts on decor, you’ll want to visually break up your design by varying the finishes and paint colors in your space. This means you can avoid cluttering your space while still enjoying a vibe that feels unique to you.  

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Keep A Low Profile

When selecting the decor for your small bathroom, choose items with lean instead of bulky dimensions. This allows your space to breathe more while still providing you room to play with its look and feel. For example, the bathroom in this image is decorated with a flat mirror, thin clay vessels, and a woven mat placed on a recessed shelf.  

Update Your Finishes

There's no way around it, a bathroom with matching finishes just looks more stylish. So, if you're looking into small bathroom remodel ideas that don't require you to revamp your whole space, try updating your metallics to match one another. What's more, there's a bevy of finishes to choose from, so explore outside the confines of polished brass and nickel for one like matte black or oil-rubbed bronze. 

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