How to make the most of a small bathroom


A small bathroom can present all sorts of design – not to mention logistical – challenges, particularly in a busy household.

A few clever storage and decor tricks can help you maximise the space you’ve got, not to mention help to reclaim your morning serenity.

Here are six practical fixes to make the most of the bathroom space that you do have.

Smart storage.

Keep floors and surfaces as clear as possible by storing as much as you can out of sight. Banish clutter by storing your toiletries, clean towels and bathroom accessories in a vanity cupboard, wall-hung cabinets or in recessed wall nooks.

If you need to add extra storage, but space is in short supply, be inventive. Consider adding it to the area above the doorway or even a cupboard or shelf above and around the toilet.  Howards Storage World  is a good place to source all kinds of fantastic space saving bathroom storage solutions.

Wall Tiles, Floor Tiles, Bathroom Tiles, Bathroom Makeover, Smart Storage, Howards Storage WorldImage source: 2607/27 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Wall-mounted features.

One of the best ways to visually enlarge a small space is to show as much of the floor space off as possible. You can achieve this by moving bathroom hardware off the floor and onto the walls. Think a wall-mounted toilet with a concealed cistern, a wall-hung basin and vanity, floating shelves and wall-mounted accessories, such as a toilet roll holder and hanging toilet brush set.

Wall Tiles, Floor Tiles, Bathroom Tiles, Bathroom Makeover, Wall-mounted Featuresimage source: 223/616 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, VIC

Bright colours and finishes.

Reflecting light back into the bathroom will make it feel bigger and brighter. Choose high gloss tiles and pale paint finishes for walls, and illuminate dark corners with artificial lighting.

When it comes to tile format, opt for large format ones over the smaller options. Fewer grout lines visually break up the floor and help create an illusion of more space and length in a room.

Wall Tiles, Floor Tiles, Bathroom Tiles, Bathroom Makeover, Florence Isola CollectionImage source: Perini Tiles Florence porcelain tiles

Clever designs.

Seek out furniture and fixtures that allow you to move through the bathroom comfortably. Go for a bathtub or basin that has been specifically designed for small or awkward spaces,  Reece  has a fine selection. Replace the shower curtain with a glass enclosure that lets through light or consider splashing out on a shower screen that folds away completely when not in use, such as the  Duravit EOOS Open Space  by  Bathe .

If your bathroom door protrudes into the room, consider changing the swing so that it opens outwards, or replace it with a cavity sliding door that tucks neatly into a wall cavity to maximise space.

Wall Tiles, Floor Tiles, Bathroom Tiles, Bathroom Makeover, Clever Designsimage source: 602/2 Tweed Street, Hawthorn, VIC

Let there be light.

Light – both natural and artificial – is your best friend in a small bathroom. Remove blinds and shutters from windows to let the natural light fill your bathroom. If you’re overlooked by your neighbours consider adding privacy glass, a stained glass window or tinting your bathroom windows.

If you don’t have windows in your bathroom consider installing a skylight or solatube to let natural light stream in. Alternatively give your room a boost with artificial light to brighten up those darker corners and nooks. Think about adding a wall mounted light, hanging pendant lights or a mirror light like those at Beacon to really brighten up the space.

Wall Tiles, Floor Tiles, Bathroom Tiles, Bathroom Makeover, LightingImage source: 14 Royal Crescent, Armadale, VIC

Strategic use of mirrors.

Mirrors can be a very effective tool for maximising light and making a room feel larger. A long vertical mirror that reaches to the ceiling will make the room appear larger, a wide horizontal mirror will broaden the walls and a mirror opposite a window will capture the incoming light and reflect it back into the room. Don’t use side by side mirrors over a double vanity, as this chops up the space and makes it feel smaller. A wide wall to wall horizontal mirror that reaches across your whole vanity is the best way to go!

Image source: 232 Danks Street, Albert Park, VIC

About the author-

Georgia Madden writes for and is a regular contributor to House & Garden magazine and a number of interiors websites.  Homely  is a new way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia. Homely incorporates beautiful design and community engagement, to create an enjoyable and simple experience that helps you find a new home quickly.