Small Bathroom Ideas: Traditional-Style Bathrooms

Tour these compact bathrooms and find classic, traditional bathroom design ideas for your small bath.


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white bathroom vanity
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Small Bathroom 1: Vintage Charm

    This bath connects the 19th century with the 21st century through a mix of some things old -- or at least old-looking -- and some things new.

    The homeowners wanted their small master bathroom to reflect the style of their Coronado Island, California, home, which dates to 1886. To add a touch of vintage charm, the couple included a rewired chandelier and chrome accessories. Modern conveniences such as a double vanity, solid-surfacing countertop, and recessed lighting supplement the other fixtures.

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Small Bathroom 1: Glass Shower Stall

    To maximize light from a high window, the homeowners chose clear glass for the shower stall. They tucked the shower and toilet against the side wall, where the roof slopes, reserving the full-height wall for the cabinetry.

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Small Bathroom 2: Kids' Bath

    This bath gets cozy with golden hues and a lighthearted motif for children.

    Working within the original footprint of the space and staying true to the Arts and Crafts style of the home, the homeowners put in a new vanity. The piece in buttery hues serves as a focal point, dressed up with fanciful cutouts.

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Small Bathroom 2: Tile Floor Detail

    Golden travertine floors are warmed by radiant heat. A braided-mosaic border punctuates the floor, complementing the multicolor antiqued wash on the sunny vanity. A darker band in the mosaic pattern provides a contrast to the bright colors used throughout the room.

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Small Bathroom 3: Wheelchair-Friendly Vanity

    A curvy bath makes a splash by going with the flow of a distinctively shaped house.

    Inside the bathroom, yellow-cedar woodwork glows against gray subway tile and salt-and-pepper granite. The vanity doors and drawer panels are made of fiddleback sycamore, and hide a secret -- the center portion can be removed to allow a wheelchair user to roll closer to the sink.

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Small Bathroom 3: Curved Shower Wall

    A surprisingly prominent curved wall stretches from one end of the vanity to the back of the shower. The wall forms part of the home's central tower. Rather than downplay the unusual shape, residential designer David Root decided to accentuate it with subway tiles. "I knew that applying tile to the wall would really strengthen the sense of the curve," Root says.

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Small Bathroom 3: Glass Shower

    The nearly invisible shower causes guests to do a double take. The clear-glass door, attached to the walls with minimal hardware, makes the small bath feel open and spacious yet contains the spray of water. For wheelchair accessibility, no threshold stretches across the shower entry.

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Small Bathroom 4: Sophisticated Bath

    Traditional touches turned this once-dated bath into a haven influenced by the past.

    The mahogany used for the vanity repeats in chair-rail molding, shower trim, and the mirror frame, and warms up the light mocha color of the walls. The cool granite countertop balances the rich mahogany of the cabinet. Wall sconces are a source of soft lighting for the vanity area, and coordinate with the shower door pull.

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Small Bathroom 4: Walk-In Shower

    To update this small space, the homeowner replaced the shower with a glass enclosure that integrates the room's entry into the rest of the space. Although the makeover didn't alter the room's existing footprint, the glass shower visually opens the space.

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Small Bathroom 5: Family Bath

    This elegant master bath is a crowd pleaser, handling with ease one couple plus three young children.

    Getting ready in the morning is a family affair in this home, but this bath elegantly allows for family togetherness. The vanities are separated by the closet door, which creates two sink stations, and the kid-friendly shower door swings both in and out.

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Small Bathroom 5: Oval Sink

    For a calming effect, the homeowners used a neutral palette of black, gray, and white with nickel-finish hardware and silver-tone accessories. Oval drop-in sinks add eye-pleasing shapes and echo the oval shape of the tub.

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Small Bathroom 6: Mirrored Wall

    With only one full bathroom in this small ranch home, it was essential to create a space that is uncluttered and provides lots of storage.

    A custom-designed vanity replaced the former standard unit. A curved solid-surfacing countertop allows closeups in the mirror as it stretches to the wall.

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Small Bathroom 6: Custom Storage

    The custom counter provides a no-excuses storage unit underneath to cut clutter. Drawers on one side of the toilet and a slender cabinet on the other hold bath essentials and cleaning products.

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Small Bathroom 7: Thoughtful Details

    Simple changes open the layout of this small bath. To maximize storage, an extra expanse of countertop runs over the toilet tank, serving as a banjo shelf while still leaving the toilet accessible for repairs. Butter-yellow walls provide a soft backdrop for crisp white fixtures and field tile. A raised shower curtain makes effective use of the newly vaulted ceiling.

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Small Bathroom 7: Mirror Panels

    Two mirror panels flank the main panel, offering more views of the bathroom and making it feel larger. The mirrors give a new dimension to the room. An old-fashioned white-and-gold faucet adds a bit of nostalgia.

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Small Bathroom 8: Timeless Charm

    The homeowners swapped the old tub in favor of a white-tiled tub-shower combination. The couple saved money by shopping at a home center for basic white fixtures, including a toilet, a wide-ledge pedestal sink, and earth-tone cobblestone floor tiles.

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Small Bathroom 9: Luxurious Tiles

    A few strokes of design ingenuity let a condo bath live larger and more luxuriously.

    In addition to making the 7x11-foot room look larger without changing its dimensions, the homeowners wanted it to feel more luxurious. Removing a wall between the vanity and toilet opened the room and allowed the vanity to be widened by 4 inches. The tub-shower combo gave way to an open shower-only stall covered in travertine tiles.

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Small Bathroom 9: Limestone Sink

    The bath's final flourish is a custom limestone sink with mosaic-tile and pebble accents. Its wide border didn't work well with a sink faucet -- water barely reached the bowl and dripped onto the border. The homeowners' elegant solution was to install a tub spout instead.

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Small Bathroom 9: Closet Laundry

    To get more out of the bath closet, which is the primary storage area for the condo, the homeowners equipped half of it with custom cabinetry. Three louvered doors on separate tracks replaced two wide, unwieldy sliding doors. The space-saving doors slide to avoid interfering with the swinging entry door.

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Small Bathroom 10: Wallpapered Bath

    A classic blue-and-white color scheme and an assortment of prized possessions revive this once-dated bath.

    The interior designer used the homeowners' passion for French toile fabrics and blue-and-white porcelain as a foundation for the remodel. The wallpaper was chosen for its intense color, which matches their china collection.

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Small Bathroom 10: Painted Vanity

    To keep costs down, the original vanity was recycled. A fresh coat of white paint, a ceramic tile countertop, and new recessed-panel doors and drawers made it new again. A reproduction faucet was paired with an antique porcelain hand-painted sink.

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Small Bathroom 10: Ceramic Tile Wainscoting

    Crisp ceramic tile, capped with stacked ceramic moldings, create wainscoting around most of the room, adding a significant dose of architectural detail and texture. To make the modest room look and feel larger, a tub replaced a shower stall in the same location.

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Small Bathroom 11: Vintage Details

    The homeowners chose vintage-style elements for the bathroom and laundry room combination. To play up the period flavor of the bath and to make it seem more spacious, they chose reflective finishes and white surfaces punctuated with black, such as the marble tile basket-weave pattern on the floor. Without much space for a vanity, they picked a small sink on chrome legs that didn't appear bulky.

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Small Bathroom 11: Soft Shower Curtain

    A shower curtain adds soft texture to offset the hard, smooth tile, plus its rod can be used for hang-drying clothing in the bath that doubles as a laundry room.

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