7 Practical Small Shower Ideas, According To Designers

a modern bathroom
Catherine Kwong

A small bathroom may feel like a scourge on your otherwise spacious home, but we are here to tell you that it's not the end of the world. It may seem contrary to logic, but there are actually a number of ways to make your space seem larger than it is, even when working around hardware like showers and toilets. We polled a few interior designers who had creative small shower ideas in order to make this essential space feel special. Their suggestions range from foundational to aesthetic changes, which all depend on the options at your disposal. Give any combination of their tips a chance to see what works for your bathroom.

Go Big

a bathroom with a small shower
Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Katie Hodges Design

Contrary to what you might think, you don't have to coordinate small with small. "When working in a small shower, don't be scared of going big. If you have a small shower and are only using small plumbing fixtures, it makes the shower appear even smaller," says Katie Hodges of Hodges Design.

Delta Windemere Shower Faucet Trim with Lever Handles
Delta Windemere Shower Faucet Trim with Lever Handles $74

Mix Color and Pattern

a bathroom with a small shower
BHDM Design

You can never go wrong with cute towels and a corresponding shower curtain—especially if you have a small shower. "I like mixing in color and pattern with the linens in a small bathroom, especially when I keep the materials (tile, etc.) more basic," says Portland-based interior designer Max Humphrey.

Do Double Duty

a small bathroom
Catherine Kwong

No storage? No problem—there's a creative solution for that. "In a small bathroom, you need pieces that pull double duty," Humphrey says. For example, choose a vanity mirror with a shelf to give you some extra surface space, or opt for a storage cabinet that can hold extra linens, but also has a built-in, full-length mirror on the side.

Hugh Arch Mirror with Marble Shelf $299

Keep It Simple

a small, tiled bathrooms
Claire Esparros for Tali Roth Designs

Be careful of adding in too many design elements. "I believe you should have (maximum) two main materials and then two accent materials. For example, one material for the floor, one for the walls, and then the accents can be the material of the vanity and the metal of the lighting. Your space will feel bigger if there aren't too many points of interest to take in," says Tali Roth of Tali Roth Designs.

Go All Out With Tile

a bathroom with a small shower
Genevieve Garrupo

There's no such thing as too much when it comes to tile. "Tile all the walls in the bathroom, tile the ceiling if you can. Since it’s a small space you won’t have to spend a fortune on the tile itself and it will make the room feel bigger—especially if you use a glossy tile. You can’t go wrong with white subway tile," Humphrey advises.

If you want to mix things up, try a 4-by-4-inch square subway tile instead of a 3-by-6-inch rectangle.

subway tile
Daltile Restore Bright White Subway Tile $1.20 sq. ft.

Splurge on Fixtures

a wood-paneled bathroom
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

If you're going to invest in one thing, it should be plumbing fixtures."Your plumbing fixtures should also be a splurge since they’ll really be seen," Humphrey says. "I'm not getting tired of the brass trend—especially antique brass, which just looks better as it ages."

Delta Trinsic 1-Handle Wall Mount Tub and Shower Faucet $213

Consider the Details

a small bathroom with black and white tile
Katie Martinez

In a small shower, there's no detail too small—soap included. "You need to consider every detail in a small shower—even more than you do in a giant one—and really great soap is a must-have," Humphrey says. "My favorite is from Aesop, and you’ll never be the same again once you use it."

Aesop Coriander Seed Body Cleanser
Aesop Coriander Seed Body Cleanser 6.8oz $45

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