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Small Bathroom Ideas to Maximise Space and Style

Small Bathroom Ideas to Maximise Space and Style

Maximising a tiny space while not compromising on style or functionality is a challenge that many homeowners face, especially when it comes to one of the most important rooms in the house: the bathroom. We are constantly searching for small bathroom ideas that can turn a cramped, awkward space into a room that feels both spacious and elegant. Whether you are undertaking small bathroom renovations or looking for small bathroom design ideas to refresh your space, the importance of clever design and strategic planning cannot be overstated. It is all about making the most of what you have, transforming your small bathroom into a retreat that combines utility with aesthetic appeal.

In this article, we will guide you through a range of small bathroom ideas, from choosing the right materials and fixtures to optimising the layout for maximum space efficiency. We will dive into space-saving bathroom ideas that do not skimp on style, creative design ideas that break the mould, and smart storage solutions that keep clutter at bay. Additionally, we will explore how lighting can be used to enhance the perception of space and when it is best to DIY or call in the professionals like Bishop Built for your bathroom remodel. With an emphasis on both small bathroom layout and practical tips for compact bathroom design, our aim is to provide you with inspiration and guidance to make your small bathroom not just functional, but a stylish statement in your home.

Planning Your Small Bathroom Renovation

Establish a Budget

When initiating a small bathroom renovation, the first step is to set a clear and realistic budget. Consider the overall costs, which can range from $7,000 to $35,000 depending on the extent of the remodel. It is essential to allocate about 10-20% of your budget as a buffer for unexpected expenses. The key expenses will include materials, labour, and any new fixtures or features you plan to incorporate. Remember, the cost will vary based on the size of your bathroom, the quality of materials, and the complexity of the project. For those looking for budget small bathroom ideas, planning is crucial to keep costs manageable.

Determine Your Priorities

Next, identify the must-have elements that are crucial for the functionality and style of your bathroom. This could include essential fixtures like toilets and sinks, or aesthetic choices such as tiles and lighting. Prioritising these elements ensures that your budget is spent wisely on aspects that will significantly impact the overall look and functionality of your bathroom. It is also important to consider long-term value; invest in high-quality materials and workmanship to avoid future costs associated with cheap materials or poor installation. These small bathroom renovation ideas can help you make the most of your budget.

Seek Inspiration

With a budget and priorities set, it is time to gather inspiration. Look at various sources such as design websites, magazines, and showrooms to get ideas. Pay attention to bathrooms that match the size and shape of your own space. Notice how designers utilise layouts, colours, and fixtures to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of small bathrooms. This research will help you form a clear vision of how you want your renovated bathroom to look and function, making it easier to communicate your ideas to contractors or designers. Exploring small bathroom makeover ideas on a budget can provide additional inspiration.

By following these steps, you can plan a small bathroom renovation that balances cost, quality, and style, ensuring that the space meets both your needs and preferences. Simple small bathroom ideas can make a big difference in achieving the perfect balance.

Choosing the Right Materials and Fixtures

Flooring Options

  1. Tile Selections: for small bathrooms, choosing the right flooring is crucial to both aesthetics and functionality. Ceramic tiles, especially smaller mosaic styles, not only create the illusion of more space but are also durable and water-resistant. For added safety, textured porcelain tiles offer slip resistance, enhancing peace of mind. While large-format tiles with minimal grout lines can also be considered, they should be chosen carefully to maintain the balance of the space.
  2. Underfloor Heating: Integrating underfloor heating with ceramic or porcelain tiles can provide extra comfort during colder months. This feature not only adds a touch of luxury but also ensures the floor remains dry, reducing the risk of slips. Such space-maximising features can enhance the overall experience of your small bathroom.
  3. Alternative Flooring Materials: While tiles are a popular choice, other materials like vinyl or engineered hardwood offer a cost-effective and visually appealing alternative. Luxury vinyl tiles, for instance, mimic more expensive materials and are easy to maintain, making them suitable for high moisture environments like bathrooms. These cost-efficient materials can help you achieve a stylish look without breaking the bank.

Wall Treatments

  1. Tile Consistency: Extending the same tiles from the floor onto the walls can visually expand the space by creating a seamless look. This technique is particularly effective in small bathrooms, where continuity plays a key role in perceived space.
  2. Decorative Panels and Paint: for a more distinct look, consider using decorative wall panels or a unique paint colour. These options can add depth and interest to the bathroom without taking up physical space. Lighter colours, such as neutral colours, tend to make the room feel larger, so shades like pastel or neutral tones are ideal.
  3. Functional Aesthetics: When selecting wall treatments, consider their practicality as well. Waterproof paints and moisture-resistant panels are essential in a bathroom environment to prevent mould growth and water damage.

Lighting Solutions

  1. Task Lighting: Proper task bathroom lighting is crucial around the vanity area. Installing sconces or vertical lighting fixtures on either side of the mirror can eliminate shadows and provide even illumination, which is essential for tasks like applying makeup or shaving.
  2. Ambient and Accent Lighting: to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, incorporate layers of light. Ceiling fixtures, combined with adjustable wall lights and dimmer switches, can enhance the overall ambiance while providing sufficient lighting for the entire space.
  3. Space-Saving Fixtures: in small bathrooms, it is important to choose fixtures that do not overcrowd the space. Recessed lighting and wall-mounted fixtures can keep the area feeling open while still providing ample light.
  4. Smart Lighting: Consider installing dimmable LED lights to control the intensity based on the time of day or your current needs. This not only helps in energy conservation but also allows you to alter the mood of the space effortlessly.

By carefully selecting the right materials and fixtures, you can transform a small bathroom into a functional, stylish, and spacious-feeling area. Each choice should not only serve its practical purpose but also contribute to the overall aesthetic and feel of the room.

Space-Saving Solutions for Small Bathrooms

Compact Fixtures

Living with a small bathroom means every inch counts. Wall-mounted sinks, toilets, and cabinets are essential as they keep the floor clear, creating an illusion of more space and making the area easier to clean. Corner sinks are particularly effective in tiny spaces, allowing you to utilise corner areas that are often underused. Additionally, compact toilets are designed to fit snugly into small spaces without compromising on functionality or comfort, featuring a reduced footprint and shorter depth compared to standard models. Consider incorporating a pedestal sink or a corner shower to maximise space efficiency.

Vertical Storage

Maximising vertical space is key in small bathrooms. Tall, narrow cabinets or shelving units take advantage of the height of the room, keeping essentials within reach while maintaining a clutter-free floor. Floating shelves can be installed above the toilet or beside the mirror, providing not only storage but also a place to display decorative items. Innovative solutions like a tiered storage organiser in the shower or over-the-toilet double shelving can also help organise and beautify the space simultaneously. Creative shelving options, such as over-the-door organisers or recessed shelves, can further enhance storage without sacrificing style.

Multifunctional Elements

In compact bathrooms, it is crucial that every fixture serves multiple purposes. A vanity with built-in storage, for example, offers a sink while also providing ample space for toiletries and cleaning supplies. Look for furniture pieces that can double as storage, such as a mirrored medicine cabinet that provides storage while also enhancing the room’s brightness. Additionally, consider using multi-purpose hooks that can hold towels or robes, integrating functionality with sleek design to make the most of every square inch in your small bathroom. Multi-functional furniture, pull-out baskets, and under-sink cabinets are excellent choices for maximising space.

A image showcasing a bathroom renovation. A man dressed in a high-visibility vest is working on the Small Bathroom Ideas from Bishop Built

Creative Design for Small Bathroom Ideas

Use of Colour

When we tackle the challenge of decorating our small bathrooms, the choice of colour plays a pivotal role in the perception of space. Opting for light colours such as white, crème, pastel blue, Gray, or yellow can visually expand the room, making it appear larger and more inviting. However, for those of us who dare to be different, painting a single wall in a bold or deep colour can create a stunning visual impact without making the space feel cramped. This technique draws the eye to a focal point, adding depth and character to the bathroom. Additionally, painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls can create an optical illusion that visually raises the height of the room, enhancing the overall spaciousness.

Mirrors and Reflections

Mirrors are not just functional; they are a decorator’s secret weapon for small spaces. A well-placed large mirror, or even better, mirrored panels from floor to ceiling, can dramatically alter the perception of space in our small bathrooms. These mirrors reflect light and views, effectively doubling the visual space. For an added touch of style, consider using mirrors with colourful trims or unique shapes like hexagons or triangles to inject personality into the room. Moreover, positioning a mirror opposite a window can maximise natural light and extend the visual depth of the space, making the bathroom feel more open and airier. Creating a mirror gallery wall can also add a unique and stylish element to the décor.

Customised Storage Solutions

In small bathrooms, every inch counts, especially when it comes to storage. Customised storage solutions can be both functional and stylish. Wall-to-wall mirror panelling not only gives the illusion of a larger space but can also incorporate hidden cabinets behind the mirrors, providing ample storage without sacrificing style. Another clever idea is to install floating shelves or recessed niches which blend seamlessly with the walls, keeping necessary items within reach but out of sight. For those of us looking to add a touch of luxury, illuminated mirrors with built-in storage can keep countertops free of clutter while providing adjustable lighting to set the mood.

By integrating these creative design ideas, we can transform our small bathrooms into beautiful and functional spaces that feel both larger and more luxurious.

Optimising Bathroom Layout

Maximise Sones

In our quest to optimise the layout of a small bathroom, we focus on defining and maximising distinct sones within the space. This includes the wet sone, which typically comprises the shower and bath area. Strategically positioning these elements next to each other not only saves space but also creates a streamlined look. For instance, incorporating a freestanding bathtub can add a touch of luxury without consuming excessive space, especially when paired with compact shower designs. This approach is ideal for creating a small bathroom with bath that feels both functional and elegant.

Consider Existing Plumbing

When planning the layout, it is crucial to consider the existing plumbing. Moving plumbing fixtures can be costly, so we aim to design around the current setup whenever possible. For example, keeping the toilet and sink in their original positions while updating or replacing them can significantly reduce renovation costs. If a layout change is necessary, such as introducing a second toilet or altering the shower position, we carefully assess the feasibility and cost implications before proceeding.

Enhance Natural Lighting

To make a small bathroom feel larger and more open, enhancing natural lighting is key. Installing a skylight can dramatically increase the amount of natural light, making the space feel brighter and more welcoming. Additionally, using glazed tiles and mirrors can amplify light throughout the room, creating a sense of depth and openness. Strategic placement of lighting fixtures, especially around mirrors and in darker corners, can also enhance the overall lighting of the bathroom, making it appear larger and more inviting. Incorporating translucent shades can further soften and diffuse natural light, adding to the room’s airy feel.

Incorporating Smart Storage Solutions

Hidden Storage

In our journey to maximise space in small bathrooms, hidden storage emerges as a clever and stylish solution. We can utilise spaces like the area above the toilet tank by adding lidded baskets on a tray. This not only keeps essentials handy but also maintains a clutter-free environment. Moreover, integrating a wall-to-wall mirror panelling can serve a dual purpose. It not only enhances the visual space but also allows for hidden cabinets behind the mirrors, providing ample storage without compromising on style.

Over-the-Toilet Storage

The space over the toilet is often underutilised in small bathrooms. By installing floating shelves or a vintage glass cabinet, we can transform this empty wall space into a functional storage area. Floating shelves are perfect for holding larger items like framed artwork or potted plants, adding both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Additionally, a ladder shelf adjacent to the toilet or a towel rack-and-shelf hybrid can offer convenient spots for storing magazines, extra rolls of toilet paper, and decorative towels, effectively using vertical space to keep essentials within reach.

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are a quintessential element in small bathroom design, offering both elegance and efficiency. By mounting an identical floating shelf below a chunky vanity shelf, we can double our storage space without encroaching on the bathroom’s limited floor area. These shelves can be used to display décor, art, or even to organise skincare products and toiletries in stylish apothecary jars. For added functionality, consider installing a floating vanity or floating picture ledges above the toilet to create an over-the-toilet storage area that can hold art, photos, and small accessories, infusing personal style into the space.

By thoughtfully incorporating these smart storage solutions, we can significantly enhance the functionality and style of small bathrooms, making them more organised and visually appealing.

A image showcasing a bathroom renovation. A man dressed in a high-visibility vest is working on the Small Bathroom Ideas from Bishop Built Renovations

Using Lighting to Enhance your Small Bathroom Ideas

Natural Light

Maximising natural light in our small bathrooms not only enhances the overall aesthetic but also promotes a sense of well-being. To increase natural light, consider strategic placement of mirrors to reflect light around the room. Placing mirrors opposite or perpendicular to windows can distribute light more evenly, making the space feel larger and more open. Additionally, using translucent window treatments made from materials like frosted glass allows soft, diffused light to permeate the room, creating a pleasant glow without compromising privacy. For those of us with the opportunity to modify the exterior, pruning large shrubs or trees that block sunlight can significantly brighten the bathroom. However, it is crucial to balance this with maintaining privacy.

Artificial Lighting Techniques

Artificial lighting plays a crucial role, especially in bathrooms lacking sufficient natural light. To create a bright and welcoming space, integrate a variety of lighting types:

  1. Task Lighting Essential around the vanity for activities like applying makeup or shaving. Install sconces or vertical fixtures on either side of the mirror to provide even illumination.
  2. Ambient Lighting Use ceiling fixtures and adjustable wall lights to establish a warm atmosphere and ensure sufficient lighting throughout the space.
  3. Accent Lighting Consider using directed lights to highlight architectural features or décor elements, adding depth and dimension to the bathroom.

Incorporating dimmable LED lights allows you to adjust the lighting intensity based on the time of day or your specific needs, helping to conserve energy and modify the bathroom’s ambiance effortlessly.

Creative Light Fixtures

Choosing the right fixtures can transform the lighting in a small bathroom:

  1. Pendant Lights These are excellent for small bathrooms with limited wall space. Hanging a pendant light above the mirror or on the sides can provide both task and ambient lighting without taking up much space.
  2. Glass Elements Using clear or frosted glass fixtures helps to distribute light evenly and can make the bathroom appear larger. Glass pendant lights or even glass-shaded wall sconces can add elegance while enhancing the light distribution.
  3. Decorative and Flush Mount Lighting Adding a decorative flush mount light can serve as a statement piece while providing ample ambient light. opt for designs that complement the bathroom’s décor to maintain a cohesive look. Additionally, incorporating stylish bathroom accessories can further enhance the overall aesthetic.

By integrating these lighting solutions, we can significantly enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of small bathrooms, making them feel more spacious and luxurious.

DIY vs. Hiring Professionals

DIY Pros and Cons

Cost Savings

One of the most compelling reasons to choose DIY bathroom renovations is the potential for significant cost savings. Handling the project yourself can save you anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, which typically accounts for 40-60% of what you might pay a professional. This is particularly attractive if you are on a tight budget or prefer to allocate funds to higher quality materials or special features.

Control and Customisation

DIY projects offer complete control over every aspect of the renovation, from the initial design to the final touches. This allows for a high degree of customisation and the flexibility to alter the project timeline as needed. Whether it is experimenting with eco-friendly materials or trying out unique fixtures, the DIY route enables you to realise a vision that might be constrained by a contractor’s approach.

Skill Building and Personal Satisfaction

There’s undeniable satisfaction and emotional value in completing a renovation on your own. Beyond just saving money, DIY projects can be a rewarding way to acquire new skills in areas like carpentry, tiling, and plumbing, which can be beneficial for future projects.

Time Commitment and Potential Risks

However, DIY renovations often require a significant time investment and can be prone to mistakes due to inexperience. These errors can sometimes lead to higher costs overall, especially if you need to fix plumbing or electrical mishaps, which could have been avoided with professional help.

Professional Help Pros and Cons

Expertise and Efficiency

Hiring a professional contractor brings a wealth of experience and expertise, particularly in complex areas such as plumbing, electrical systems, and structural layouts. Bathroom renovation experts can manage the entire project more efficiently, often resulting in a faster completion time compared to DIY efforts. This can be crucial if you are looking for quality workmanship and a high level of finish, which can significantly impact the resale value of your home.

Compliance and Warranty

Professional contractors are familiar with local building codes and regulations, ensuring that all aspects of the renovation comply with legal standards. Additionally, most professionals offer warranties on their workmanship and materials used, providing peace of mind that is not available with DIY projects.

Higher Costs

The primary downside to hiring professionals is the cost. Labour can constitute a significant portion of the total project expense. While the upfront cost might be higher, it is important to consider the long-term benefits and potential increase in property value due to professional-quality work.

Limited Control and Potential Delays

When working with contractors, you might experience less control over the day-to-day execution of your project. Scheduling delays and the availability of materials can also extend the timeline beyond your initial expectation, potentially causing inconvenience.

By weighing these pros and cons, you can make an informed decision on whether a DIY approach or professional assistance is more suitable for your bathroom renovation needs. Each option offers distinct advantages and challenges, and the right choice depends on your specific circumstances, including budget, time constraints, and the complexity of the project.


Throughout this article, we have explored an array of strategies and ideas aimed at enhancing the functionality, style, and perception of space within small bathrooms. From carefully selecting materials and fixtures to optimising the bathroom’s layout, incorporating smart storage solutions, and employing strategic lighting techniques, these insights are designed to guide you in transforming a compact space into a more appealing and practical area. The emphasis on planning and prioritising, drawing inspiration, and understanding the balance between DIY efforts and professional involvement further equips homeowners with the knowledge needed to embark on a small bathroom renovation project successfully, maximising space effectively.

The journey of renovating a small bathroom is not just about navigating the constraints of space but about unleashing creativity and innovation to craft a space that feels both expansive and inviting. By applying the ideas and principles discussed, you can achieve a bathroom renovation that not only meets your needs and preferences but also enhances the overall appeal and value of your home. Whether you are aiming for a minor refresh or a complete overhaul, the goal remains clear: to create a bathroom that balances form with function, making every square inch count.


What are some effective ways to increase storage in a small bathroom?

To maximise storage in a small bathroom, consider these strategies:

  • opt for a vanity that includes storage compartments.
  • Replace a standard mirror with a medicine cabinet for additional hidden storage.
  • Install a shelf above the bathroom door to utilise unused space.
  • Hang towel racks on the back of the door to save wall space.
  • Make use of the area above the toilet by adding shelves or cabinets.

How can I enhance the style of my small bathroom?
To make your small bathroom look stylish, follow these tips:

  • Minimise clutter to keep the space open and clean.
  • Improve the lighting to brighten the space and make it appear larger.
  • Choose paint colours that enhance the lighting and overall brightness of the room.
  • Use white hues to achieve an elegant and simple look.
  • Consider using larger tiles or continuous material to cover more space and reduce visual fragmentation.

What are some tips to make you Small Bathroom Ideas more functional?

To increase the functionality of a small bathroom, you can:

  • Add visual interest and functionality with wainscoting.
  • Keep toiletries cleverly hidden to reduce clutter.
  • Consider raising the sink to create more usable space underneath.
  • Install a floating shelf for extra storage without consuming floor space.
  • Use white accents to keep the look cohesive and bright.
  • Apply tiles creatively on walls as a stylish alternative to traditional wallpaper.
  • Ensure cohesion in design by matching hardware finishes.
  • Add a storage shelf to organise essentials neatly.

How do I optimise shower space in a small bathroom?
To maximise shower space in a compact bathroom, consider these design choices:

  • Place the shower in a corner to make efficient use of limited floor space.
  • Choose a shower stall shape that deviates from the standard square or rectangle. Options like curved, rounded, or neo-angle designs can significantly reduce the shower’s footprint and add a unique aesthetic element to the bathroom. These limited space small bathroom designs with shower options are perfect for tiny bathroom layouts and Small Bathroom Ideas.

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