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7 ways to make a tiny bathroom feel bigger

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With a few clever space saving bathroom design and storage ideas, a small bathroom can be stylish, practical and a joy to use

Here's how you make a small bathroom feel bigger.


Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes and if your cloakroom, shower room or bathroom space is a little on the bijou size, you may be worried about how to fit everything in. No need – with a few clever space saving bathroom design and storage ideas, a small bathroom can be stylish, practical and a joy to use. Here are 7 tips how to get the most out of tiny bathroom spaces.

1. Blur the boundaries

Interestingly, the actual amount of space and what the eye perceives is not always the same. One clever trick is to use the same tiles for walls and floors. If you play with the boundaries of visual perception by, for instance, using the same marble tiles for the side of the bath and the wall behind it, it makes it more difficult to tell where one starts and the other one ends. Result? Your bathroom feels bigger.

Tricking the eye by using mirrors is a popular way to visually enlarge the room, routinely used by interior designers. Whether you use wall mirrors, mirrored tiles or wall panels, your compact bathroom won’t only feel more spacious, the reflection will bounce the light around and brighten the space up.

2. Fit space efficient washbasins


While the washbasin can take up a lot of room, luckily there are many designs out there that work better with a limited footprint in the bathroom. For starters, avoid sharp corners and go for a rounded style so you don’t keep bumping into the sink on your way past.

Fit a space saving trough sink with a low, narrow profile that doesn’t protrude as much as a regular basin. If you choose a pedestal basin, look for a design with a shelf to give you extra storage space for towels or toilet paper.

3. Get off the floor

The more floor can be seen, the bigger your bathroom will look. One way to achieve this is to choose a wall hung WC and basin, which will have the added bonus of making floor cleaning a cinch. The area under the sink can be a useful storage area for pretty containers of toiletries and other small items. Wall mounted taps are also a good idea, particularly if you’ve opted for a space saving narrow trough sink rather than a regular washbasin.

When it comes to storage, think vertical! Shelving, particularly if it’s out of the way, is your friend. Is there space above the door, in an alcove, above the WC for a storage shelf or cabinet? The more things you can put away, and more you can put things away, the better.

4. Use the corners

With limited space available, you need to think outside the square box. Corner shower enclosures, corner sinks and even corner WCs are a clever way to maximise every inch of space in your bathroom. Even corner baths are coming back into fashion!

Corner designs take up a lot less room and won’t disrupt the traffic lane through the bathroom. Space saving shower enclosures, in particular, should be designed without swingout or pivot doors that require extra room to open and close, which you don’t have.

5. Space efficient sanitary ware

If space is tight, look for bathroom elements that double up on functionality. No room for a bath? Get a shower. If you need both, go for an over-shower bath to get the best of both worlds, and use a glass panel instead of a glass shower door to give you extra elbow room while keeping the water safely in.

A wetroom can make the most of a small bathroom space, both in terms of space efficiency and style. For added comfort and to avoid having to install a radiator, make sure you fit underfloor heating too.

6. Use neutrals and colour

A simple all white bathroom scheme may seem the easiest solution for giving the illusion of space, but unless you play with different textures (glossy tiles, fluffy towels etc) the result may be a cold and characterless room.

Adding a dash of colour may be just what’s needed. A hint of colour on the walls, or a pop of colour with bath towels and accessories, can really help to inject vibrancy and personality into the room. Why not create a focal point using a coloured bath screen, a modern art print on the wall or a bright purple orchid on the windowsill?

7. Consider bold wallpaper

One of the best ways to disguise the size of the room is to create interest – and wallpaper is the way to go. It may be counterintuitive to think of using a large scale, bold patterns on the walls of a small bathroom or cloakroom, but the impact it makes cannot be understated. If it’s a wow factor you’re after, a lively wallpaper design will make a real statement.

If the room is more than just a downstairs loo and has a bath or shower in it, make sure you use specialist bathroom paper that can cope with damp, warm air and condensation, or fit a sheet or clear Perspex as a splashback behind the basin to prevent damage to the wallpaper.

First published date: 15 February 2018

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