So, you've found the perfect apartment or house that ticks just about every box on your list—there's only one little problem: The bathroom is a little too small for your taste. Whether you live in a sprawling abode or a small apartment, most homes have at least one bathroom that's seriously lacking in square footage.
But that's no reason to discount the space: There are actually quite a few ways to make any tiny bathroom feel like a spa-worthy suite. All it takes is a few carefully placed decorations, the right type of storage, and a bit of optimism to make it happen.
We tapped interior designer Baylee Floyd for her best small bathroom design ideas. While she has many ideas to make a room feel larger, there's also one major decorating mistake that she wants you to avoid. "A common mistake I see a lot of people make when decorating a small bathroom is thinking that just because they have a small space, they can't have storage," she explains.
Meet the Expert
Below, keep reading to learn Floyd's best small bathroom ideas, tips, and tricks to make your space feel larger than you ever dreamed when you first laid eyes on it.
Use Light, Bright, Neutral Paint Colors
When it comes to painting a small bathroom, Floyd recommends sticking to light, neutral shades. "I find that there is often not much natural light, or [a window] at all in a tight bathroom space, so I like to stick with whites and neutral grays to make the space feel as bright and airy as possible," the designer explains.
See Through the Shower
Your shower takes up the most space in the bathroom, so why close it off with a curtain? We love how this designer opened up the entire room with the simple choice of clear shower doors. With the window tucked inside, there's a clear line of sight to the back wall and plenty of natural light from the moment you enter the room.
Decorate With Plants
"Plants are a must in the bathroom," Floyd says. "There is just something about that small touch of greenery that really brings the space together and invites you in." If you don't have room for a potted statement plant, opt for hanging plants that float in the corner. "It also adds a very calming and serene feel for a spa-like bathroom vibe."
Take Storage to the Ceiling
This modern statement is also functional. Design built-in storage from the floor to the ceiling in your space to utilize every inch without making your bathroom feel cluttered. We love the small open shelf in the center that breaks up the cabinetry and makes room for décor.
The right mirrors can work wonders to make a small bathroom feel spacious. "Not only do they reflect more light around the space, but they also make it feel bigger overall," Floyd explains. Large mirrors reflect light to create the illusion of more space in a cramped bathroom.
Work With Length
Narrow rooms are tough to design: We get it. But with the right décor and furnishings, your bathroom can still feel like a suite. Slim cabinetry, wall hooks, and the creative use of a standalone tub with an overhanging showerhead all use negative space to an advantage in this room to leave plenty of walking area.
Upgrade Your Medicine Cabinet
According to Floyd, the right medicine cabinet can be "a life-saver." The trick is finding one that doesn't feel dated. Floyd suggests seeking out a piece that you'd never guess was a medicine cabinet, thanks to its contemporary design. Hiding storage behind your bathroom mirror keeps the space feeling sleek and open.
Find Space for a Soaker Tub
This design works best in square-shaped rooms. If your main bedroom doesn't have the luxurious en-suite bathroom you hoped for, make the space feel more open by arranging plumbing and cabinetry around the outsides of the room. Here, a small soaker tub carefully placed next to the shower barely fits—but the result is just right.
Don't Skimp on Drawers
A small bathroom doesn't mean you should opt for a pedestal sink instead of something with drawers and hidden storage. "With a small bathroom space, you want to maximize your storage options," Floyd suggests. Even a simple 18-inch vanity with a few built-in drawers can make all the difference.
Blend Spaces Together
The floor tile in this bathroom seamlessly blends the shower into the rest of the room. It's not a fully open bathroom, which still leaves space to keep the main area dry after you've showered. But thanks to clear glass doors, this room feels united as one.
Experiment With Wallpaper
On the opposite end of neutral colors, Floyd isn't opposed to using wallpaper in a small bathroom. "I find that wallpaper is a great solution to updating small space bathrooms in rentals. It gives the whole space a facelift while being removable and affordable," she adds.
Play Up the Windows
Natural light has a wonderful way of making rooms feel clean, open, and airy. Play up the windows in your bathroom to put the focus on the outside—even if you're working with limited square footage, it'll draw attention to the scenery rather than cramped walking areas.
Opt for Floating Vanities
Opt for a floating vanity to place beneath a modern mirror that doubles as extra storage space. "You wouldn't believe what a difference it makes not having legs on your vanities or a built-in cabinet-type vanity," Floyd notes. "When you get the vanity off the floor, you'll be surprised how much bigger it makes the space feel."
Use the space underneath your floating vanity to stow storage baskets that can hold towels, extra soap or makeup, and other daily necessities.
Embrace Your Room's Height
When you can't make the room feel wider, make it feel taller. We love the small chandelier in this bathroom that draws the eye up to the ceiling for an open design. Its matte, light paint color complements the room's tilework, and blends into the space while adding a pop of texture.
Think About the Hardware
Even if your bathroom is small, making it feel intentional and put together can create a more modern vibe. We'd love to get ready each morning in this space: Sleek gold hardware ties the design together to contrast patterned gray wallpaper and add an elegant finish.
Keep Accessories Off the Shelves
With limited storage space on shelves and in bathroom cabinets, it's especially helpful to find efficient ways to stow towels and other accessories. It seems like an obvious solution, but in addition to towel hooks, you can also hang small baskets and jewelry to save space in your main storage areas.
Pay Attention to Layout
We love how the first thing you see when you walk into this bathroom is the modern vanity and décor. All-white walls get a touch of texture with shiplap, and thanks to the bright design, the small space still feels open and airy.
Install Wall Shelves
Another key space saver? Wall-mounted shelves above the toilet. "Most toilets are beside the shower or the tub in small bathrooms, so I love to put floating shelves above with rolled-up towels for linen storage and easy access from the shower," Floyd says.
Use Every Inch
When you're lacking storage, it can be hard to find room for larger items like towels. In this bathroom design, a woven basket is cleverly tucked underneath the vanity to stow them in style (and save valuable cabinet and shelf space).
Try a Pedestal Sink in Guest Rooms
If you're not redesigning your most-used space, opt for a pedestal sink in guest bathrooms. This style saves the most room on the floor to comfortably walk around. We're also fans of bold wallpaper and unique light fixtures in guest bath spaces, as they add a burst of personality to small rooms.
Mix Different Textures
There's nothing like a white design to make a small room feel larger. To keep an all-white space feeling dynamic, mix in different textures. We love how the marble counters and tile stand out from the matte walls in this room.
Choose a Smaller Vanity
While you still need the valuable drawer and counter space, opting for a smaller vanity can keep things functional while preventing the room from feeling cramped. We love the dark blue design in this bathroom that creates modern vibes with gold hardware. Since it's tucked into the corner, it doesn't take away from the walking room.
Choose Smaller Tile
When you have limited floor space, it's important to make it look as large as possible. By using smaller tiles, your intricate patterns will have more room to repeat several times and create the illusion of a longer design. We love the minimalistic black tile in this bathroom that complements black hardware and contrasts white walls.
Tuck in the Vanity
There's a good chance that your vanity is taking up most of the open space in your bathroom. If your home's layout allows, take space from a spare bedroom or hall closet to tuck the vanity into the wall. Work with a contractor to determine the most efficient way to move the wall further back.
Tile It Up
Create the look of cohesion in your bathroom by tiling not just the shower and floors, but the walls as well. An oversized showerhead plays with scale in this bathroom, and small built-in shower shelving has just enough space to store the necessities. We also love the wooden stool that adds a functional element to the walk-in shower.
Make the Most of Your Space
In this bathroom design, the vanity is creatively tucked in next to the shower. By installing shower doors that swing open rather than sliding, the designer was able to use the extra space for cabinetry and storage. A sleek round mirror helps bounce light across the room and tie the décor together.
Embrace Unconventional Layouts
Many of us would be stumped by how to design an angular room (especially a bathroom), but this designer has mastered the art of layout. Rather than using the straight wall for a vanity, they made space for a soaker tub by putting the cabinets along the angular wall. A step-in shower is cleverly tucked into the corner.
Try an Open Vanity
This unconventional bathroom design extends the space effortlessly. With open shelving, the vanity creates a clear view to the back wall for an open vibe. Storage is easily accessible, so you'll never find yourself rummaging in the back of the cabinet for items that are hard to see.
To style open shelving, fold items like towels and robes and style them directly on the shelves with attractive soaps and accessories. Store smaller, less-attractive items (like extra toothpaste, hair dryers, or combs) in storage bins to keep the space looking tidy.
Leave Walking Space Open
When you're planning your bathroom's layout, be sure to leave any walking space directly in front of the door open. We've all stepped into a bathroom that directly meets us with a toilet—and this designer avoided that awkward layout by moving it off to the side to keep a clean, spacious area in front of the vanity.
Design an Open Bathroom
We love an open bathroom. When there aren't doors to fully close the shower, the entire room functions as one space. The tile work in this design extends from the shower into the rest of the room, making it especially simple to step right into the shower and keep the small space feeling open.
Make a Statement
The right décor can make even the smallest of bathrooms feel inviting, vibrant, and unique. We love the densely patterned wallpaper that covers the walls in this space, paired with a thick-framed black mirror that plays on the pattern's round shapes. A pop of color on the vanity makes the design look eclectic and visually interesting—so no one's focused on the room's size.
Don't Be Afraid to Go Dark
Dark walls may seem counterproductive in a small space, but sometimes, making a statement is key. We love how the deep, rich blue paint in this room adds contrast to white ceilings and floors. Natural décor helps the modern space feel inviting.
Let the Light In
Without the skylight, this small bathroom could feel dark and closed off. If your room is short on windows (or doesn't have any at all), let the light in by installing a skylight. Bright, natural light pours into this space and makes the room's white walls feel airy and open.