How to create a stylish compact bathroom space
Smaller bathrooms can throw up a number of hurdles when it comes to designing a space that is as functional as it is stylish.
Many of us will see Instagram posts and Pinterest pins of beautiful, spacious bathrooms that we hope to recreate in our own homes, only to realise that our bathroom isn’t much bigger than a king-size bed – in fact, the average UK bathroom is around 2.4m by 1.8m.
No matter the size, your bathroom doesn’t have to lack style, though. With this guide to creating a stylish, compact bathrooms, we’ll give you plenty of transformative tips to refresh your small bathroom.
1. Be smart with your tiling
Recently, we’ve seen all kinds of interesting trends creep into bathrooms, from fluting to exotic wallpaper, to concrete. However, in a small bathroom, often functionality comes before statement features, so tiles are often the safest bet. If you wish to make the most of a compact space, though, being smart with your tiling is a must. If the room you’re working with is something of a box, opting for the usual square or rectangular tiles can enclose the space – something you don’t want to do to a small space. Try using different tile shapes and contrasting colours, in an effort to guide the eye upwards, as this will trick your brain into thinking the room is bigger.
2. Run your tiles from the floor up to the wall
Being smart with your tiling includes sometimes being a little more adventurous. Try running tiles up from the floor onto another wall. This creates a feature wall effect, which creates a more interesting space, but also leads to a more spacious feel that a compact space craves. It is particularly effective to contrast your tile choice with other wall paint colours – as you can see here. This is a great trick for narrow rooms, as it adds contrast to the space – reducing the box-like feel of a small room.
3. Small Furniture Units
More streamlined furniture units – or cloakroom units – as you may find them labelled, are designed specifically for small spaces. The units will keep your belongings packed away, and provide a little counter space. Often accompanied by integrated basins, the feature adds to the streamlined effect that creates the illusion of spaciousness in a small bathroom. Options like the Match unit combine the basin, cupboard space and toilet in one unit, which leaves ample room for showers or baths.
4. Wall Mounted Furniture
As with smaller furniture units, wall-mounted bathroom units are very space-conscious, and by keeping the floor free, the room will appear bigger. With so many options and styles available, you’ll be sure to find an option that suits your aesthetic. Pick a style that looks great and fits well in your space, to create a bespoke feel without the bespoke budget.
5. Invest in bespoke
On the topic of bespoke furniture, fitted furniture is certainly worth considering when it comes to a smaller space. If space is limited, you can utilise every nook, cranny and corner by ordering a bespoke unit that will make the most of what is available. Alternatively, try booking a design appointment for your bathroom, then you can learn what the experts would do to make the best of your space.
6. White and Bright
It doesn’t take an interior design master to know that white opens a space up. The age-old trick is a great option for smaller spaces, and white doesn’t have to mean dull and boring – you can add interest with pops of colour in the form of soft furnishings, baskets or plants. Opting for white furniture alongside white tiling and walls, creates a timeless crisp and clean effect, which can create a space that will require little updating.
7. Glass everywhere
If your small bathroom is sizeable enough to fit a bath (lucky you!), then this may not be the tip for you, but if you are limited to a shower only, then read on. Gone are the days of tattered, polyester curtains that look dated and tatty, now shower screens come in all kinds of contemporary styles. For a small bathroom, a glass shower screen can create a divide in a room that doesn’t seem to obstruct your eyeline. The glass will also bounce a little light around, naturally widening the space.
8. Storage Options
Surely storage isn’t an option in a small bathroom, you may think? Wrong! Storage is even more important in a small space. The clutter that takes up counter space, accumulates in corners, or teeters precariously on window sills, can take a room from tranquil to troublesome. Whilst most of us would love a bathroom furniture unit to place our belongings in, for some bathrooms it’s just not an option. Freestanding, lightweight storage is a great option for smaller bathrooms and more compact spaces, as it can be moved around according to the needs of the room. Alternatively, shelving – if space permits it – is a great option for odd bits and bobs you don’t mind being on display. If you want more detailed storage options, why not take a look at our dedicated bathroom storage blog?
9. Recessed Mirror Cabinets
On the topic of storage, mirrored bathroom cabinets are perfect for smaller bathrooms. Even better than the standard mirrored cabinets are inbuilt options. Although a little more work is required to install a recessed option, the investment is certainly worth it, as more space is available, due to the integrated design.
Creating zones in your bathroom is a great way for maximising the space that you have. Whilst zoning may be a term you’re unfamiliar with, it essentially refers to creating clear distinctions between different areas in one space. So, for a bathroom, that would be the sink, the toilet and the shower/bath space – this image is perhaps the best indicator. This will allow for the bathroom to look more interesting and be more intuitively laid out.