Small Bathroom Solutions

Make a small bathroom feel bigger with these design tips and tricks.


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Maximize Natural Light
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Maximize Natural Light

    Maximize the perceived size of a small bath by visually sharing space from the outdoors with the indoors.

    Here, a large window provides access to beautiful, private views. The glass shower surround and wall mirror reflect the outdoor view and help the bath feel open and airy.

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Draw the Eye Upward

    Play up the ceiling or add eye-catching details high on the wall. It's a design trick professionals use to visually heighten a space.

    Here, a small, all-white bathroom benefits from the dramatic stroke of blue that lines the ceiling, instantly drawing the eye upward. The vertical lines in the tall beaded-board wainscoting help move the eye toward the ceiling as well.

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No Wasted Space

    Thoughtful planning can help make the most of a small bath. Study the floor plan carefully. Built-in, custom cabinetry is usually the best option for maximizing cabinet space.

    In this small bath, a line of cabinetry extends the full length of two walls. Even the corner is well-utilized with a large upper cabinet that maximizes space with a door set on the diagonal.

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Use Reflective Surfaces

    Enlarging a small space is part illusion. Lights and mirrors are two key tools that, when used in conjunction with reflective surfaces, can instantly make a small room feel bigger.

    This ocean-inspired bath uses light and reflective surfaces -- stainless-steel sinks, glass-front cabinets, mirrors, shiny tile -- to create a greater sense of space.

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Store with Style

    Storage has two options: on display or put away. Balancing capacity and style is the key to organization. A small bath has very little room for error when it comes to clutter, so making deliberate choices is key.

    Here, generously sized wicker baskets house neatly folded bath towels. By including only white linens, the open storage enhances the room's decor.

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Create a Cozy Feel with Color

    Choosing a single color in various shades can create a sense of coziness. Add plenty of pattern and texture to create visual interest.

    Soothing coffee-color walls envelop this tiny room like a hug. A richly stained wood vanity and dark brown countertop add a touch of luxury. The texture of the mirror frame helps ensure the space remains stylish, not boring.

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Retain Views

    An interrupted view is essential to making a space feel more open and inviting.

    Here, a glass surround prevents the shower from feeling boxy and dark. The line of sight remains uninterrupted, both from inside or outside the shower.

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Install a Pocket Door

    When space is a premium, consider a pocket door. Because the floor plan doesn't have to accommodate a swinging door, every inch of floor and wall space can be put to good use.

    A private toilet area fits in this bathroom, thanks to a space-saving pocket door.

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Create Drama

    Just because a bathroom is small doesn't mean it needs to be plain. Play with textures and colors to create a focal point for instant impact.

    This modest-sized double vanity benefits from neutral-color tile and streamlined cabinetry. But the real appeal is in the dramatic stripe of black countertop underneath stylish glass sinks. Another clever space-saving trick: cabinet hardware doubles as towel racks.

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Use a Large Mirror

    Mirrors expand a room by creating the illusion of more space.

    Here, a large mirror reflects the wall opposite the sinks, making the room look twice as big.

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Choose Light Surfaces

    Avoid a heavy look by choosing surface materials that are unobtrusive.

    This bathroom evokes serenity with creamy whites and a subtle light sage-green wall color. Even the vanity hardware is painted the same color as the cabinet, to create a seamless feel. Translucent glass blocks provide privacy for the shower area.

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Show Off Detail and Craftsmanship

    In a small room, every detail gets noticed. Amp up the style with luxurious detail and quality craftsmanship.

    This stylish double vanity is infused with charming details. Turned legs and molding-topped mirrors offer the feel of fine furniture. A marble countertop and romantic sconces with crystal details add a sense of luxury.

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Keep It Simple

    Simple lines. Basic colors and patterns. Sparse furnishings. These design ideas can make all the difference when trying to visually enlarge a small space.

    This streamlined bath is a study in stylish contrasts. A bold black-and-white color scheme provides visual interest, while the clean, uninterrupted lines of the mirror and console vanity help anchor the space.

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Find the Right Size

    Sometimes a small footprint dictates design decisions. And scale and proportion are critical factors when working in a small space.

    This tiny vanity is the perfect (and only) fit in this closet-sized powder room. Space constraints dictated the wall-mount faucet and mixing-bowl-size vessel sink.

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Add Little Luxuries

    Ultimately, a bathroom needs to be functional. But no matter the size, there's always room for special touches to create character and pleasure.

    This small bathroom enjoys ample storage, thanks to built-in cabinetry that surrounds the window, creating a sunny sitting area. Delicate light fixtures provide a romantic feel.

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Stretch the Storage

    If a bathroom's tiny footprint is maxed out, start looking up. Use shallow or recessed wall cabinets to provide storage without taking up floor space.

    Here, a small bath vanity makes the most of its space. A bowed front accommodates a full-size sink, but the recessed drawers still allow ample floor space. The shelves flanking the mirror stretch all the way to the ceiling to maximize storage. The opaque glass doors prevent the wood tones from overwhelming the room.

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Streamline

    Make the most of a small room by streamlining: Create long, interrupted lines to elongate the room.

    This bathroom may be small but it's certainly big on style. Part of its appeal comes from the clean lines of the dual sinks and bathtub. With little countertop area, there's less opportunity to create clutter, so the room is more likely to stay neat and tidy. The clean, crisp wall surfaces are interrupted only by shapely mirrors and a light-filled window.

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