I love my bathroom. It’s my calm place, my retreat from stress and strain. It’s my time alone. I close the door, run a hot bath, light a couple of candles, put some music on, and bliss takes over.
The only problem is space. It doesn’t matter too much to me that I have a small bathroom when I’m relaxing in the bathtub. And aesthetically, my bathroom ain’t too shabby given that I can’t fit too much in it. But think about how exposed we are to large, lavish bathrooms. They’re everywhere, in the movies and TV shows we watch, on the magazine covers of all the home and design magazines we see as we walk into the supermarket. They even feature on the sides and backs of double-decker buses!
One of my favourite sayings is “money doesn’t buy you class”. True, I think. And equally, space doesn’t buy you style. It’s what you do with that space that makes for style. And with minimalism being more popular a philosophy than ever, now’s the time to embrace small and make it stylish.
So, without any more ado, here are my top 5 tips on designing a small bathroom space.
1. Use Neutral, Light Colours
It’s a bit of a cliche, this one. But many cliches are correct!
Neutral, light colours open up space in a room and really make it feel airier. This is most true in a bathroom, which probably benefits more from light than any other room in the house, especially if its small. Have you ever been in a dark, dingy bathroom and actually felt as though there isn’t enough clean air to breathe? Then you know exactly what I mean.
2. Add Mirrored Fixtures
If you want to create more storage space, think ‘Up’. A wall cabinet will give you somewhere perfect to store your medicines, tooth cleaning products, creams, and makeup. And it doesn’t have to be above the sink, as they tend to be. My preference is for it to be above the toilet, which traditionally is an unused space. That way you can have a wide, large mirror above the sink, which will make that area look more luxurious.
Clutter can really affect how one feels about a room and you want your bathroom to radiate peace. So a good cabinet is ideal. If you install a cabinet with a mirrored exterior, even better. Mirrors reflect light, so more than one is just fine!
3. Use Wasted Space For Storage
Along similar lines, there are spaces in your bathroom that are just ‘there’ so to speak but don’t serve any particular purpose. That’s fine to an extent. You don’t want to have fixtures and fittings blocking all the wall space as that will make your bathroom look very cluttered. But every good bathroom needs good equipment. At the moment, for example, I have our bath towels and toilet paper in small straw baskets on the floor. Ok, but not too easy on the eye!
Open storage is very practical and can be really stylish. A couple of nice open shelves, for example, can be inexpensive and very pretty.
4. Get a Glass Shower Wall
There’s something about shower curtains that I just don’t like. Most of us grew up with them, of course, and know how unpleasant they are when they start attracting mold. Not to mention when their colour is out of sick with the rest of the bathroom.
I also think that somehow a shower curtain makes a shower space or bathtub look smaller. Even when its as out of the way as it can be.
A simple glass wall just makes the bathtub area look much classier. It reflects natural light which can help to further brighten the bathroom. You can opt for a half or a full glass wall. I prefer a half wall as it leaves part of the tub open to the naked eye and makes it look more natural.
Another great option is to go for a wet room. My step-kids are half Japanese and when they come back from holidays in Japan they always talk about how awesome Japanese bathrooms are. Stylish, practical wet rooms are standard in Japan and the trend is now catching on here. I recently visited Harrogate Bathroom’s Showroom to take a look at their creative wet rooms displays.
5. Tile your shower or bathtub area all the way up
Horizontal divisions can really affect space, making it feel partitioned and smaller. I adore white subway tile, and by having it all the way up to the ceiling, it adds a feeling of height. This will work with any type of tiling and will draw attention away from the closeness of the walls. Plus tiles can have a such a classy look.
I hope you found these tips on designing a small bathroom helpful. The best advice I can give is to keep it simple but don’t compromise on quality. That way you’ll make your bathroom stylish while really maximising the available space.