16 Clever Small Bathroom Ideas (2024)

When it comes to making the most of your home, how you design is more important than how much space you have to design. You could have a massive house, but if it’s not optimized for your family and your lifestyle, it won’t function in an effective (and beautiful!) way. Likewise, small spaces aren’t doomed to disorganization and disarray–in fact, the opposite is true. Even the most petite area of your home can live large when you combine form and function into a design that caters to your unique needs.

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A perfect example of that ethos? These genius small bathroom ideas, which rely on clever design hacks and decor additions to maximize the potential of every square inch. From caddy-cornered sinks to creative organization, these small bathroom ideas will inspire you to make the most of your powder room or petite primary bathroom so you can recharge, indulge in self-care, and wash up in style.

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Add a Skirt to Your Sink

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Storage vanities aren’t always an option, especially in small bathrooms. If a pedestal sink is all your room can fit, you can still sneak in some storage space with help from a sink skirt. Not only will the gathering of fabric add a pop of texture and pattern to your space, but it can disguise the area below your pedestal sink so you can stash extra rolls of toilet paper or hand towels. Looking to DIY your own creation? Head to Miss Mustard Seed to snag the tutorial from Marian Parsons for the skirt seen above.

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Try a Wall-Mounted Cabinet

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When considering bathroom storage options, many homeowners go straight to large-scale solutions like armoirs or built-in linen closets, both of which spell trouble for small space dwellers. Instead of sucking up your square footage with a too-big storage solution, opt to go small with a wall-mounted cabinet. Here, designer Meta Coleman put an empty corner to good use with a custom cabinet designed to nestle perfectly into the space.

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Install a Floating Sink

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When space is at a premium, every inch of the floor counts. Gain back a few square feet by swapping a pedestal sink or storage vanity for a floating design. It automatically adds a modern touch to your bathroom, while also freeing up the space below for a storage basket or garbage bin.

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Hang a Custom Shower Curtain

Bathrooms don’t have many moments dedicated to design and whimsy, so you have to carve out opportunities for decor where you can. In her small bathroom, creator Jennifer Griffin of Dimples and Tangles created a custom shower curtain and cornice out of playful floral fabric to help bring pattern and color to the space.

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Choose a Bold Stone

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In a small bathroom, all eyes are going to be on your sink anyways—so you may as well give them something beautiful to look at! Instead of opting for a builder-grade vanity, spring for a custom marble countertop that boasts heavy veining or unique colors, like the calacatta viola marble seen in this powder room by designer Heidi Woodman.

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Opt for a Glass Shower Enclosure

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When it comes to small bathroom ideas that make your space feel larger (and more functional) than it is, look for ways to maximize whatever light the room already has. Many petite bathrooms have a single source of natural light (if that), so it’s important that nothing you install in your room impedes that. We love how this shower in a project by Garrison Foundry relies on an all-glass door from Manhattan Steel Door Co. to allow light from the interior window to flood the rest of the space.

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Reuse an Antique Piece

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Pro tip: Antique pieces of furniture often have smaller footprints (as houses used to be much more modest in size), making them a great small bathroom idea if you’re looking for a piece of furniture to fit your snug space. Instead of a traditional vanity, shop for an antique cabinet or washstand—like the piece seen here, found by Danielle Herrett of Candlewood Cottage—that you can retrofit with plumbing to function as your sink and storage. Not only will the smaller size work better, but you’ll score a one-of-a-kind look that ups the style of your space.

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Lean Into Maximalism

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Sometimes, when designing a small space, you may feel like the quieter your design choices are, the better. Not so—at least, not when it comes to something as fun as a powder room. Small bathrooms are a great opportunity to lean into a more maximalist mentality. Case in point: This charming more-is-more bathroom designed by Katie Rosenfeld, which features impeccable details like designer wallpaper, a custom sink skirt, bespoke artwork, and antique details.

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Caddy Corner Your Sink

No free expanse of wall? No problem! In a small bathroom, creativity is the name of the game—even if that means sticking your sink into the corner of your space. In this petite powder room designed by Mallory Lunke of Plural Design Studio, a modest porcelain vessel eeks out just enough room in the corner, allowing the room to still accommodate a toilet, an expansive mirror, and other odds and ends.

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Hang a Playful Wallpaper

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Instead of viewing it as a hindrance, consider your small bathroom an excuse to pack in as much fun as possible. One of our favorite ways to do so? With a totally playful and unexpected wallpaper. Here, designer Whitney McNell of McNell Interiors hung a fierce, feline-covered wallpaper from Thibaut in a powder room for a cheeky touch.

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Continue Your Tile Up the Wall

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If you’re hoping to create a synergetic, modern feel in your bathroom, look no further than this next small bathroom idea from K. Space Interiors. Designer Krystyna Martin-Dominguez carried the same funky-yet-neutral terrazzo tile from the floors to the backsplash, resulting in a serene space that—bonus!—is totally waterproof.

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When In Doubt, Go Custom

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Sometimes, a custom storage or furniture solution can mean the difference between a room that functions beautifully and one that falls flat. If you’re dealing with a small bathroom that also has an unusual shape or unique use, your best bet may be to option custom finishes that will help you make the most of every inch. Here, designer Missy Baxter of Baxter Design leveled up a snug powder room with help from a custom fluted vanity, specifically designed to fill a small corner and maximize counter space.

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Incorporate Playful Accessories

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Who says a toilet paper holder can’t be beautiful? There’s not a sight unseen in a small space, making it even more important to pay a little extra attention when choosing decorative accessories like towel racks and toiletry holders. Designer Whitney McNell had fun with color in this Connecticut space, where the towel rack, toilet paper holder, and towel hook all coordinated with the room’s contrast trim.

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Take Advantage of the Space Above the Toilet

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When storage is at a premium, no surface can go untouched. While many consider above the toilet a “dead” space, it’s actually the perfect spot to eke out some extra organization, especially if your bathroom is too small for a traditional linen closet. We love how Jamin and Ashley Mills of The Handmade Home installed floating shelves above their toilet for a visually airy—yet extremely effective—place to stash linens, toiletries, and more.

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Don’t Forget About Decor

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While all your focus may be on dreaming up small bathroom ideas that make the most of your space, you shouldn’t push personality to the wayside either. Even the tiniest of bathrooms can be designed as an extension of your home and personality, complete with trinkets and decor that make them feel like you. Here, Christina Gerstner of White Pepper Vintage dotted the cabinet above her toilet with favorite antique collectibles—plus a few practical additions (like cotton swabs), too.

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Stick to a Unifying Color Scheme

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The right color palette has a magical way of tying a space together, and even a dark and rich hue can work wonders in making a small bathroom feel larger (yes, larger!). The perfect example: While this bathroom by designer Natasha Burton of NB Interiors is actually very slim, it boasts tons of visual depth and interest, thanks to a moody color scheme anchored in navy blue that is carried throughout almost every detail.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What color should I paint a small bathroom to make it look larger?

    It’s generally assumed that white paint makes a space look larger—and while that is true, it’s not your only option when looking to make a small bathroom seem more expansive. Instead, consider a variety of hues—including darker shades—that play up the most impressive features of your space, whether that’s its long and narrow footprint or a specialty ceiling treatment.

  • What type of tile makes a room look larger?

    If you’re looking to make a small bathroom appear larger and are turning to tile as one of your finishes, look to incorporate the largest tile format size possible, especially when it comes to your floors. The fewer grout lines you see, the better! If going big isn’t an option, aim to choose a grout color that blends in with your tile pick, rather than contrasts. This will lead to less visual clutter for the eye, resulting in a brighter and airier space.

  • What flooring color and style will make my small bathroom look bigger?

    Subtle picks like limestone, marble, and subway tile are usually a sure bet when it comes to choosing a floor that will make your small bathroom appear larger. Stay away from any floor tiles that boast an oversized pattern, which can compete in the space for attention and add to visual clutter. If you do want to go with a bold flooring pick, opt for simpler finishes throughout the rest of the room to maximize perceived space.

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