Whether you’re dealing with a tiny powder room or a shower stall that’s basically on top of the toilet (been there!), a small bathroom can make morning and evening routines a lot less glamorous and—more importantly—less efficient. But you don’t have to let limited space stop you from living large. Before you throw in the towel and call a broker to help you find a new place, consider these words of wisdom: All you need to make your small bathroom look as good (and work as hard) as its much larger counterparts are some strategic styling tips and a can-do attitude. Here, we’ve rounded up 46 easy storage and styling solutions that’ll make you forget how small your bathroom actually is.
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Replace Swinging Doors
“Everything feels sort of candlelit,” says designer Jae Joo of this Boston home. The elegant powder room is no exception. Ambient lighting radiates a soft glow, wood finishes emit warmth, and the green floral wallpaper brings the entire room to life; together, these elements have a cocooning effect. Replacing hinges and installing pocket doors—whether at the entrance or on a closet enclosure—saves a lot of usable space in a small bathroom.
Stick to a Tight Palette
Interior designer Elizabeth Cooper brought out the rich blue veining in the marble surfaces with an icy pale blue paint color on the cabinet doors. Keeping some of the wall unfinished creates a calming effect that helps keep pattern-pushing small spaces from feeling overwhelming.
Mix Different Materials
Designed by Cameron Schwabenton, this eclectic bathroom in a 1770s Charleston residence honors the integrity of the home’s history with rustic wood foundations. But by incorporating more modern materials, like the marble used in the shower, it also feels contemporary and polished. The country-style elements are perfect for a quaint, modestly-sized bathroom while the white marble brightens it up.
Only Keep Products You Love
AP Design House optimized this bathroom by installing a narrow shelf over the sink for storing small essentials like skincare products, cotton swabs, and more. But be sure to choose items with pretty packaging so there’s no need to hide them out of sight.
Make Cabinets Flush with the Wall
Customize built-in storage with a solid enclosure that’s hidden in the wall to take up less visual real estate. This crisp all-white bathroom designed by Adam Leskinen features a perfect example.
Use Your Toilet as a Surface
This bold and playful bathroom designed by Robin Henry proves there’s nothing wrong with using your toilet as an extra surface for propping up bathroom accessories. How to keep it looking clutter-free? Forget the open shelving and allow vibrantly hued walls to stay clear and in the spotlight.
Customize a Shower Bench
Even if your bathroom only has space for a small shower, you can still make it feel and look luxe. Take, for example, this one designed by Romanek Design Studio. The baby blue zellige tiles and sleek matte black and glass enclosure makes a modern statement. A floating bench adds both formal and functional value, too.
Hunt for Space-Savers
Everything in this small bathroom by design duo Nicky Kehoe serves a purpose while also adding some decorative style. For example, even the wall hook is perfect for tiny spaces. If you look closely, you’ll see that it has several swiveling prongs for extra hand towels—we love this simple one from Wayfair.
Use Unique Materials in Monochrome
In this bathroom by Tamsin Johnson Interiors, the stone surfaces, classic striped towels, sculptural sconce, and round mirror prove that minimalism can have edge. And the easy-going, grayscale elegance is proof that taking a minimalist approach can result in a unique and quirky space without overpowering the eye.
Related: Small Bathroom Paint Colors
Keep Toilet Paper In Bins
Corral toilet paper and other personal hygiene items you’d rather keep discreet in baskets and bins, then tuck them neatly under the sink, as designer Shari Francis does here.
Use a Big Mirror
A wall-to-wall mirror is a guaranteed way to create the illusion of spaciousness. Designed by Elizabeth Cooper, the bathroom boasts an open and airy vibe despite not getting ample natural light. That’s thanks to the light color scheme and sweet wallpaper.
Install Good Lighting
The obvious highlight of this bathroom is the fun use of tile and color, but good looks aside, designer Kureck Jones also knows how to maximize function. The oversized pendant adds just enough contrast but also floods the room with light, which is an essential in a bathroom (don’t forget extra lights by the sink and mirror areas, too).
Hang Curtains Strategically
Try a curtain that looks more like a drape than your average plastic shower curtain, and hang two from either side so you can tuck them away when you want to. Heidi Caillier opted for a soft oat-meets-blush linen shower curtain to add warmth to the cool space.
Tuck It Away
This hidden vanity in this Gail Davis-designed bathroom is such a fun surprise. The orange mirror picks up on the warmth of the curtains and wallpaper accents while the striped penny tile floor complements the navy paint. Apply this trick to your own bathroom to double its function without cramping it visually.
Use Tile to Your Advantage
It doesn’t get much tinier than this bathroom, yet it still looks elevated and functional. The key is to use waterproof materials throughout so everything can get wet (a central drain is also a must) and then swap your shower head and secure towel racks to the walls.
Go Ham With a Gallery Wall
No room is too small for artwork. In fact, sometimes small spaces are the perfect places to display things on the walls since vertical space is all you have to show off your style. We love the eclectic artwork against the baby pink walls of Ailana Michelle Ralph’s powder room. Framebridge is a great resource if you’re looking for ways to elevate your art collection and family photos.
In another bathroom designed by Jae Joo, the careful balance between clean contemporary style and the 200-year-old bones of the house live in harmony. Instead of cluttering the walls and floor with shelving units and storage furniture, Joo simply leaned a framed print on the windowsill and then added a tiny vase.
By making the edge of your vanity soft and rounded, you’ll gain back space and you’re less likely to bang into the edge when you’re in a rush (win-win!). Full of fun patterns and whimsical motifs, this powder room designed by Chango & Co. proves that small spaces can still shine.
Find Deep Storage
Make up for a nonexistent linen closet with a strategic configuration. Whether it’s a mirrored medicine cabinet or a vanity with deep enough shelving to fit towels, as Robert McKinley Studio did here. We’re loving the offbeat (yet still neutral!) clay color scheme, too.
Make sure every piece has a purpose. Choose mirrors with drawers or shelves if you don’t want to go for a traditional medicine cabinet, or use your wall space to build cabinets. The vibrant tangerine-painted cabinets in this bathroom designed by ETC.etera bring out the orange undertones in the pink stone vanity topper, which also ties in the pink floor tiles and area rug.
Install a Floating Shelf
In a small powder room, a floating shelf will be a life-saver for essentials like washcloths, hand soap, candles, and tissues. Interior designer Gail Davis installed a simple glass shelf right under the mirror for a nice, symmetrical display. And if there isn’t much room for fun decor, choose a texture-rich wallpaper.
Create Outside-the-Box Surfaces
In this modestly sized powder room designed by Corinne Mathern Studios, the tiny shelf transforms an awkward corner into something chic. It’s just large enough to fit a select few cosmetics or a vase with flowers. Either keep it at the same heigh as the sink, or put it right between the sink and mirror.
Interior design firm Robson Rak embraced the small size and lack of light in this powder room by making it feel snug and intimate with black tiles, mood lighting, and dark cabinets under the smoky natural stone sink. And while the mirror might be slim, its height draws the eye up and accentuates the high ceilings.
Extend Sink Surfaces
Instead of a double sink vanity, a long design could save you serious space. The sink and countertop are all one piece and it’s long enough that two people can get ready at the same time. There’s also plenty of room to hang towels on this one designed by Heidi Caillier.
Opt for Glass Shower Doors
Skip the foggy glass or dark curtain, and opt for glass doors. It’ll make the shower feel like livable square footage. Emil Dervish kept this industrial space clean with white graphic square tiles but added some funk with color on the upper half of the walls and ceiling.
Keep Things Bright
Some may say its boring, but an all white bathroom makes any tucked away space feel bigger and brighter (just look at this one by Shapeless Studio for proof). With interesting materials—like a natural stone countertop and corresponding trim, light wood cabinets, and graphic floor tiles—ensure plenty of style. And if you can, work with your designer and contractor to come up with a strategic layout that works with the odd shape of your space.
Designer Celerie Kemble’s daughter’s bathroom is long and narrow, so she made sure to keep proportion in mind when shopping for extra storage pieces and decorative items (tall and slim plant stands and a skirted shelving unit to be exact). To keep the shelving inline with the dainty floral theme, she found a tablecloth from eBay and turned it into a shelf cover.
Build Shower Niches
If you need a big tub or yours just happens to take up all the space between the two walls, then make sure you’re saving space elsewhere. Incorporate built-in shelves and niches into the wall behind the bathtub for towels and products. Robert McKinley used the same Heath tiles throughout so it blends right in.
Hide Your Storage
For a powder room this small, a mirror hung at an angle above a corner sink maximizes every inch (and clutter can be stashed behind the fabric skirt). The Wedgwood plates and round accent table help counteract the boxiness, and add charm. And add a small table for your extras, just like Thom Filicia did. Choose a small table with an open base so it doesn’t close off space. It’ll give you a spot to set magazines, flowers, or candles.
There’s a clever small-space solution everywhere you look in interior designer Shaun Smith’s New Orleans bathroom. From the extra storage created by placing a tray over the hamper to the towel bars and soap dish, this bathroom proves you can go big in a small bathroom.
Innovate With Colorful Bulbs
So you want your bathroom to be bright and unique without the hassle and commitment of paint. Well, here’s a fun hack that won’t overwhelm a small space: Take note of this powder room by Breegan Jane, where circadian-rhythm color lights turn the cream walls temporarily pink.
Opt for Ledges over Furniture
If your bathroom doesn’t have a built-in vanity, opt for a ledge right above the sink. This will hold all your daily essentials (toothpaste, soap) but won’t take up as much floor space as a big piece of furniture. Install a floating shelf above the sink for your décor, essentials, and other small knick-knacks, as Leanne Ford Interiors did here. This is especially convenient for anyone who doesn’t have a hidden cabinet behind the bathroom sink. You could also arrange a few floating shelves above the toilet, if space is an issue.
Choose a Fun Wallpaper
In a small powder room without much access to natural light—for example, a windowless space under the stairs—embrace the moodier, edgier atmosphere with darker tones and dim lighting. In this powder room designed by Tamsin Johnson, the concrete floors, inky marble sink and modern wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler set the right mood.
Use Bins and Baskets
If you have open shelves, keep organized with wicker baskets and bowls. Shelves are sleek, but the lack of cabinetry cut down on storage space, but bins will do the trick. Having pretty linen towels like these in a bathroom designed by Katie Hodges doesn’t hurt either.
Work Around Your Windows
No walls to hang a mirror? No problem. Just hang it in front of the window, which creates privacy with a purpose. Or, if there’s a slim strip to secure an accordion mirror to between windows.
Install a Skylight
Natural light is the key to making a small space feel bigger. Skylights are a great option for when windows aren’t enough, like in Maxwell Ryan’s Hamptons home.
Stash Bottles in Niches
You could add a bulky shower caddy, but little cubbies look so much cuter. Alcoves keep soaps and sponges within arm’s reach. Take note from this one by Justina Blakeney.
Continue Floor Tile
Run tile from the bathroom floor straight into the shower stall, like Alla Akimova did here. It makes the room feel so much larger.
Try A Floating Basin Sink
Skip bulky cabinets and install a floating basin sink to save space. Plus, it looks incredibly chic.
Choose A Big Mirror
Don’t be afraid of large pieces in a small bathroom. A giant mirror over a tub creates the illusion of a larger space. And hanging it somewhere unconventional will earn style points, too.
Inspired by showers in Europe, this is enclosed by a simple curtain and drain save serious space compared to traditional full installs.
Get Towel Bars
Towel bars = the best way to save surface space. If you can get a washstand with towel bars, it’ll look even sleeker.
Never Block Windows
Natural light is too important for cramped spaces to block with a dingy shower curtain. Instead, opt for clear glass doors instead. See more at Sarah Sherman Samuel .
Use a Ladder
Lean a ladder right up against the wall behind your toilet to provide extra room for hanging linens or a shower caddy. See more at Jenna Sue Design Co.
Add More Mirrors
Mirrors are useful for more than just touching up your makeup: Light bounces off the reflective surfaces and helps make rooms appear bigger. So even if you can only fit in a mini mirror (like the one on the hanging shelf in this bathroom) it makes a big difference. See more at Maison de Pax.
Go With A Sliding Door
Instead of a door on a hinge that, when open, takes up space in your small room, opt for a door on a rail that stays parallel with the wall at all times. See more at Shades of Blue Interiors.
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