Small Bathroom Layouts

Explore your options for small bathroom layouts, and get ready to create an efficient and comfortable bathroom in the smallest of spaces.



"We were interested in a slightly punk rock approach, while still using a traditional language," says Robin Standefer, one of the two designers who created the Ace Hotel's distinctive look. "When we deal with materials and languages that are historical in nature, we try to approach them with a new originality, a new life," she told Wallpaper magazine. Here, they've combined classic white subway tile with black wooden trim, dark grout, a claw-foot tub with brass faucets and period furniture to give the feel of an Edwardian-era men's club.

By: Sean McEvoy

Redesigning or installing a bathroom in a small space can be a challenge, but luckily, a wide variety of small bathroom layouts can be found to help guide your design.

The first suggestion when it comes to small bathroom layouts is to build up, not out. Use as much wall space as possible for shelves and storage cabinets. This way the small amount of available floor space won't be infringed by necessary storage elements.

Small Baths With Big Style

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Be Consistent With Patterns

Don’t be afraid to add dimension to small spaces by using a graphic wall covering. This black-and-white pattern adds depth to a small powder room designed by Jennifer Jones. The simple sink adds visual space to the room, without distracting from the statement of the wallpaper. Photo by Hale Photography

Create Storage As a Focal Point

Filling a blank wall with open shelving maximizes storage and function while keeping the space feeling light. Make your space even more functional by adding baskets or other found objects you may have throughout your home.

Take Tile All the Way

Floor-to-ceiling tile can help a space feel larger by adding continuity, like in this design by Joseph Pubillones. The floating vanity gives a light feeling and frees up floor space visually, while keeping the colors neutral further expands the space. Photo by Daniel Newcomb

Be Bold Yet Simple With Color

Bold colors and textures can actually make a small space feel larger. Using one bold color, balanced with neutrals — like in this design by Gary Lee Partners — is one way to do it. Keeping the bold color glossy makes it feel brighter, visually stretching the space. Photo by Nathan Kirkman

Photo By: Nathan Kirkman

Textures Add Interest

The textured tile used in this small bathroom by Amelie de Gaulle adds depth and impact to the space, while the reflective quality of it tricks your eye, making the space feel larger. Taking the tile floor to ceiling again unifies the room, creating even more visual space.

Use Vertical Space

Add function and style by utilizing wasted vertical space. Adding shelves above the toilet maximizes the space in this small-bathroom design by Erica Islas.

Mix Textures Within a Color Scheme

Mix and match tile choices to add visual interest to small spaces, but keep elements monochromatic like in this bathroom design by Erica Islas. Keeping the color consistent makes the space feel unified.

Add Reflective Surfaces

Use reflective materials such as mirrors and stainless steel to visually expand small bathrooms, like in this design by Belmont Freeman. Using frameless glass for the shower divider helps merge the areas and make it feel roomy.

Build Storage

Building shelving into the wall can add a charming detail, while adding ultimate functionality like in this design by Gail Drury. Using a reflective, textured wall treatment adds sparkle; moving light around the space tricks your eye into thinking it is larger.

From: Drury Design

Free Up Floor Space

Using a wall-mounted vanity and sink frees up floor space, making a small bathroom feel spacious while remaining functional. In this design by Marie Burgos, the frameless glass shower door again helps to make the space feel more continuous.

Mirror a Wall

The metallic accents in this small bathroom by Pepe Calderin Design add a bit of style to the all-white color palette. The white walls make the room feel expansive, while the mirrored wall behind the toilet visually doubles the space. Photo by Barry Grossman

Photo By: Pep Escoda

When planning for a sink, scrap the idea of a floating pedestal sink if space is an issue. While this design technically takes up less space than a sunken sink in a cabinet, you'll be wasting precious storage space on an airy design.

Focus on storage in a small shower, as well, by adding hanging racks wherever possible, so shower accessories can be easily stored and accessed.

Let the light in—consider adding a skylight if possible, to create the illusion of more space and ensure that the bathroom will always receive adequate natural light.

Finally, stay on top of lighting. When it comes to light fixtures, go low-profile and elegant instead of big and bold so the light fixtures don't overwhelm the small space.

Small Bathroom Design
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