15 Tiny Bathrooms That Will Inspire You to Downsize + Declutter
High design homes don't require lots of square footage.
Surprisingly, designing a small bathroom is a lot harder than it seems. A small space limits your design decisions and can present a host of challenges. However, the good news is that it’s also often the perfect spot to experiment, go bold and take some chances in.
I’ve rounded up 15 of my favorite real-life tiny bathrooms from Instagram, and all of them feature fab design ideas that you can steal for your own space.
Tile the Whole Wall
While tile is often used on half of the wall in a bathroom, a small bath is the perfect spot to try taking it up to the ceiling. In this space, the penny tile draws your eyes up and helps to make the space much larger than it actually is.
Don't Be Afraid to Ditch the Tub
Sometimes you simply don’t have room for a tub. For a box-shaped small bath, you might want to consider ditching the tub altogether and instead putting in a beautiful glass shower. The glass really helps to open this space up and makes it feel light and airy. If you have the space (and budget) you can even add a small bench in the shower.
Use Mirrors and Go Glam
Mirrors are also a great go-to trick for opening up a small space. You could try going all in and mirroring the entire space. Or for a slightly less glam approach, try mirroring the entire wall above your sink. Another great bonus is that the glass for mirrors typically costs much less than tile.
Get Some Plants in There
Even though space is at a premium in a tiny bathroom, bringing in a bit of life is still always a good idea. A plant on a simple stool looks great, or if you truly don’t have one inch to spare, try putting a plant on the back of your toilet, in a windowsill or even hanging from the ceiling. Just remember to choose a plant that will thrive in whatever type of environment you have in your space.
Build Storage Around Your Tub
If you have the budget to add a custom element, building storage around your tub might be the perfect space-saving solution for your space. This surround provides a ton of additional storage and is completely invisible if you don’t know to look for it. You can store extra supplies, bath essentials or even cleaning supplies.
It's Time to Get Creative
If you lack counter space in your tiny bathroom, try creating some hanging storage. This pot doubles as some additional storage for smaller items such as makeup or hair supplies. If you have enough space, you could even hang several pots in a small grouping.
Ditch Shelving for a Ladder
Over-the-toilet storage is not known for being particularly chic. However, using a ladder is a stylish way to add some additional storage space for towels or magazines. A narrow, wood ladder would work well leaning against your wall, and you can easily remove the bottom few rungs so that it fits properly.
Use Baskets to Store Extra Items
While typical bathroom shelves and a cart are a fine solution, you can also use other items, such as baskets, to warm up your space a bit. Baskets are a great solution to store laundry, extra rolls of paper towels, magazines or even extra bathroom supplies.
Try a Rug Instead of a Bath Mat
Another great way to add some personality to your space is to use a small rug instead of a standard bath mat. A flat-weave rug would work best for a bathroom. (You definitely don’t want anything shaggy as it will absorb too much water.) Don’t forget to choose a rug that feels good under your bare feet!
Say "Yes" to Wallpaper
Small spaces are always a great place to start if you've been itching to experiment with wallpaper, and bathrooms are no exception. Wallpaper can help you add some color, texture or pattern to your tiny bathroom. And if you choose an economical wallpaper, it can often be less expensive than tile.
Choose a Vanity With Storage
Choosing a vanity with storage is often a clever way to stretch your space as much as possible in a small bathroom. If you can find something with closed storage, you’ll have a spot to hide away items such as hair dryers, cleaning supplies or anything else you’d like to keep out of view.
Add a Gallery Wall
An easy way to spiff up a small bathroom that you don’t want to do any major renovations in is to add some artwork. You can create a ton of visual interest by adding a gallery wall with your favorite pieces of artwork. If you need some inspiration about which pieces to include, try keeping a theme. You could do a family photo theme, an ode to your favorite city or even use pieces of your favorite wallpaper.
Find Narrow Storage Pieces
When looking for storage solutions for an itsy-bitsy bathroom, try to find pieces that are a bit more narrow. Standard storage pieces are often not sized for a tiny bathroom, so it’s worth it to measure your space and try to find a solution that works with your specifications.
Experiment With Pops of Color
If you have an all white or mostly white bathroom, try adding some fun pops of color to your space, like these bright yellow shelves. Other easy ways to add color include: artwork, colorful accessories or even some patterned towels. A bright shower curtain is always a great solution, too.
Dark + Moody Works, Too
If bright colors are not your thing, you can also go dark and moody in a bathroom for a more dramatic look. This eclectic bath goes all in on the dark and moody vibe by painting the walls and doors black and pairing it with a darker wood trim. Colors really pop against the black backdrop, and the worldly touches and accessories really help the space stand out.
Bold + Bright = Beautiful
Small bathroom color palettes don't have be limited to whites and grays. In a small space, you can use bright, bold colors and patterns that might be overwhelming in a larger room. This small bathroom from Dabito of Old Brand New is bursting with rich colors, quirky patterns and geometric shapes.
Go Small or Go Home
Small bathrooms unfortunately call for smaller fixtures. Instead of overwhelming your bathroom with a large sink and bulky vanity, choose a smaller, vintage-inspired sink. This piece serves its purpose while allowing extra room underneath to stow two small step stools.
Choose a Petite Tub
Yes, you can make a tub work in a small bathroom! This otherwise cramped enclosure is the perfect spot for a small soaking tub. From bright, tribal pattern flooring to towel hooks that double as fun art, this is a great example of a small bathroom that gets everything right.
Break the Rules
"Powder rooms are usually where I really go all out, break all the rules and use materials that might look 'over the top' in larger spaces," says interior designer Melissa Miranda. In tiny powder rooms like this one, small, medium and large wallpaper patterns work well. In larger powder rooms and bathrooms, wall coverings featuring small patterns can look cluttered.
Pick a Patterned Floor
Patterns look great in small bathrooms. Try a quirky patterned floor and see how the small square footage actually works in your favor. For another decor trick that adds interest to your bathroom without taking up space, try brass or gold fixtures instead of more common chrome.
Welcome to the Jungle
A small space, like this powder room, can be a fun place to try out bold colors or patterns. Here, green leafy wallpaper gives the space jungle fever and is imaginatively contrasted by the reds and yellows of the rug.
Or, Think Horizontal
Adding long, uninterrupted horizontal planks to a small bathroom is also a great way to make it seem larger than it actually is. In this small bathroom, the shiplap walls maximize horizontal space and keep the room from feeling closed in.
An advantage of small bathrooms? Smaller prices. "Since the space is usually so small, you can get away with using higher priced materials as you need so little of them," says interior designer Melissa Miranda. Sparkling damask wallpaper creates a stunning setting for a pair of contemporary pendant lights and golden sunburst mirror in this ultra-glam bathroom.
Kick Up the Color
Sometimes bold color is all you need to make a big statement. Although this space is small, the bold salmon-pink walls give it fresh personality. A simple white vanity and sleek fixtures balance the vibrant color.
Keep Clutter Controlled
While you'd never want clothes lying all over the floor even in a palatial bathroom, it's especially important to keep things neat and tidy in a small bathroom like this one from the HGTV Dream Home 2017. The rolling wire laundry basket shown here is a great design choice that blends function and style.
Bring On the Charm
Go for Glass
Walk-in showers are far from your only option for high-style bathing. This bathroom features a subway-tiled tub married with a barely-there glass enclosure. The use of glass keeps the full expanse of the room visible for a spacious feel.
Take a Trip to the Country
A yellow, footed tub framed by yellow, floral curtains create a cozy, French country-inspired bath. A wood cabinet, antique door with glass handle and a blue, distressed footstool complete the aesthetic. Design by Sarah Richardson.
Make Shelving Matter
Small bathrooms can't afford to be cluttered. If your bathroom doesn't have space for large amounts of storage, the storage you do have should pull double duty as an accent piece like these sleek natural wood shelves with well-placed essentials and decor pieces.
Lose the Rug
Besides a bath mat, small bathrooms don't necessarily need rugs. Take a tip from this bathroom that's not much bigger than a corner and decorate your floor with a cheeky tile design instead. The message adds spunk without taking up space.
Skirt the Issue
Careful attention to design ensured that this already-small bathroom would not feel closed in. Wine boxes add beautiful, warm color and create easy storage. A skirt for the sink provides extra storage underneath, and the pages of an old book are taped to the wall for inexpensive and effective decoration.
DIY Your Way to a Fresh Look
No matter how small your bath, gutting and replacing fixtures is an expensive undertaking. Save money by updating what you can yourself. For example, give a builder-basic vanity a trendy cottage-style update by stripping the paint or stain down to the natural wood, then adding a coat of whitewash.
Install a Large Mirror
It's a well-known design truth that mirrors can create the illusion of more space. The floor-to-ceiling mirror shown here is a perfect example of this tactic. The floating marble vanity and soft, clean color scheme further complete the posh, airy look of this bathroom.
Quirky, colorful book cover wallpaper makes a major statement in this small bathroom. Simple decor, like thin brass wall sconces, a retro mirror and white marble vanity, balance the bold paperback pattern.
From the mesmerizing floor tile to the slanted ceiling, this bathroom is nothing but first-rate design inspiration. One of designer Emily Henderson's tactics for decorating this small bathroom (photographed by Tessa Neustadt) was to match metals, from towel bars to faucets, for a more cohesive appearance.
Light It Up
Try a bold, dark ceiling color in your small bathroom, such as the black ceiling in this room from Sarah Gibson, designer and blogger at Room for Tuesday. The dramatic shade also helps expand the height of this small bathroom by drawing the eye upwards.
Show Off Your Shower
Fish scale tile is a hot bathroom trend and using it on a small shower accent wall is a great way to elevate your bathroom in a very subtle way. Bonus: Having less wall space to cover also means you'll spend less on this crave-able tile. Finish off the shower with a sleek glass door to strut your shower's new style.
Try Open Shelving
Any kind of enclosure or barrier in a room can divide it up and make the space feel smaller. While that might be desirable in some spaces, it's not what you want in a small bathroom. In this ultra-modern bathroom, the shower has no enclosure at all, which lends a roomier feel.