Planning a Small-Space Bathroom

Planning a small-space bathroom is tough to get just right; after all, you have to fit a bathtub, toilet and sink in a single, small room. And these are all typically large and expensive items. If you’re planning or renovating a bathroom in a tiny room, it’s going to be even more difficult to make your bathroom feel comfortable and spacious.

Luckily, there are some proven techniques to help you get the most space out of your bathroom. By choosing the correct accessories, colours and layout for your bathroom, you can increase its actual functionality while making it appear more roomy.

Bathroom Layout

As with any room, designing the perfect small-space bathroom starts with a good layout. Here are some tips to creating the best layout for your bathroom:

  • Use wall-mounted and pedestal sinks to save floor space; this space can be used for a waste bin, shelf or other accessory.
  • Put your shower in the corner to fully open one wall of the room.
  • Use a pocket door so you can place shelves and other wall-mounted fixtures in the bathroom without blocking the door.
  • Make use of each corner to open the centre of the room.

Incorporating these layout elements will save space without sacrificing any of your bathroom’s functionality.

Pale walls, painted or tiled, can give a sense of space

Bathroom Colours

To the human eye, colours can completely transform a room. Certain colours give rooms a more open look while others appear to shrink them. Painting particular parts of a room can also help to open it visually.

White is often used throughout homes because it makes rooms look bigger. To add a little more pizazz, however, a nice grey or muted blue will do the trick. If you’d rather tile your bathroom than paint the walls, be sure to keep colours and patterns in mind when choosing tiles.

Once you’ve decided on a primary colour, choose the right trim/ceiling paint to complement the room’s colours and give it a more spacious feeling. If you’re using white for your walls, find a soothing, muted trim colour to avoid sharp contrast. For an added roomy effect, paint the ceiling and trim the same colour.

Bathroom Tiling

After you’ve got your colours down, it’s time to decide on another crucial aspect of small bathroom design: tiles. For bathrooms, a light tile with minimal patterning provides a clean, spacious look. Matte tiles dull light; glossier tiles will reflect light and make the room feel bigger, which makes them a great choice for smaller bathrooms.

Perhaps the easiest choice you can make when it comes to tiles is the size; for small spaces, larger tiles will make a room feel more spacious.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous — or dealing with a particularly difficult small space — using the same tile on both the walls and floor provides one solid, clean backdrop and allows the sharp white of the sink, bathtub and toilet to pop.

Once you know the colour and size of tiles you want, you need to decide how you want them set. While straight set tiles work well for backsplashes, offsetting bathroom tiles can provide a smoother, less grid-like appearance.

Fitted under-sink storage and sleek designs maximise use of space

Bathroom Fixtures

Choosing the right fixtures saves a ton of space. Think of your bathroom’s size and layout; do you need (or can you fit) every fixture? Saving space in your bathroom may be as simple as buying a shower enclosure rather than a tub. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you need a bathtub? If so, does it need to be full-size? Cut down your bathtub’s size to increase floor space and make room for accessories and shelving.
  • Will you separate your shower and bathtub or use one unit to save space?
  • Which space-saving fixtures can you opt for? Using wall-mounted sinks and toilets opens up floor space and makes your bathroom feel larger.
Capitalise on natural light and use mirrors to add depth

Choosing the correct lighting is also important as large sconces and pendants can cramp a small bathroom. Go with spotlights or recessed lighting to effortlessly fit your lighting with the room.

Bathroom Accessories

The colour, layout and tiling lay the groundwork for your bathroom, but the accessories really bring everything together. The key to choosing bathroom accessories is combining style and function. We love the latest range from Habitat, as they really have an eye for sleek design and cool colours and both have their place in a modern small-space bathroom.

Bath mats, shower curtains and towels: Since colours are such an important part of bathroom design, use your shower curtains, towels and bath mats as an opportunity to complement your bathroom’s colour scheme. We love this bath mat from Habitat — it adds a splash of colour and pairs well with greys and whites. To avoid creating a clunky, closed-in effect, match the trim of your towels, curtains and bath mats with the trim of the bathroom.

Mirrors: Place a mirror or mirrored wall behind the sink to help reflect light and make it seem as if there’s more space behind the mirror. A cabinet with a mirror on the front provides this effect and creates extra storage space.

Storage: Using tiered storage is a great way to save space in your bathroom. If you don’t have room for standing shelves, use wall-mounted accessories such as wall hooks and shelves to create extra storage without sacrificing space.

Other accessories: Since accessories such as over door hooks, soap dispensers and waste bins are smaller, you can simply match their colour to that of your faucets and door knob and focus on functionality and saving space.

The days of the boring, generic bathroom are through. With a good layout, proper colours, and some space-saving fixtures and techniques, you can create the perfect bathroom in the smallest of rooms. Don’t wait to plan the bathroom you’ve always wanted; now is the time to get started!


More bathroom ideas

From a one to a two-bed in this small-space duplex
Wetrooms – a new bathroom trend


Image courtesy Feature image (c) artranq, Small bathroom space (c) in4mal, small bathroom with brown tiling (c) bialasiewicz, blue bathroom (c) piovesempre /123RF Stock Photo, Accessories (c) Habitat.

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