Whether it’s a tiny powder room or a shower stall that’s basically on top of the toilet (been there!), a small bathroom can make those morning and evening routines a lot less glamorous, and, more importantly, less efficient. But before you toss in the towel and call a broker to help you find a new place, hear us out—you just need some strategic styling tips to make small bathrooms look as good and work as hard as their larger counterparts. And you’re in the right place because we’ve got over thirty easy storage and styling solutions that’ll make you forget how small your bathroom actually is.
A wall-to-wall mirror is a guaranteed way to create the illusion of spaciousness. Designed by Elizabeth Cooper, the bathroom boasts an open and airy vibe despite not getting ample natural light. That’s thanks to the light color scheme and sweet wallpaper.
Even if your bathroom only has space for a small shower, you can still make it feel and look luxe. Take, for example, this one designed by Romanek Design Studio. The baby blue zellige tiles and sleek matte black and glass enclosure makes a modern statement. A floating bench adds both formal and functional value, too.
In this bathroom by Tamsin Johnson Interiors, the stone surfaces, classic striped towels, sculptural sconce, and round mirror prove that minimalism can have edge. And the easy-going, grayscale elegance is proof that taking a minimalist approach can result in a unique and quirky space without overpowering the eye.
The obvious highlight of this bathroom is the fun use of tile and color, but good looks aside, designer Corey Damen Jenkins also knows how to maximize function. The oversized pendant adds just enough contrast but also floods the room with light, which is an essential in a bathroom (don’t forget extra lights by the sink and mirror areas, too).
Try a curtain that looks more like a drape than your average plastic shower curtain, and hang two from either side so you can tuck them away when you want to. Heidi Caillier opted for a soft oat-meets-blush linen shower curtain to add warmth to the cool space.
This hidden vanity in this Gail Davis-designed bathroom is such a fun surprise. The orange mirror picks up on the warmth of the curtains and wallpaper accents while the striped penny tile floor complements the navy paint. Apply this trick to your own bathroom to double its function without cramping it visually.
It doesn’t get much tinier than this bathroom, yet it still looks elevated and functional. The key is to use waterproof materials throughout so everything can get wet (a central drain is also a must) and then swap your shower head and secure towel racks to the walls.
No room is too small for artwork. In fact, sometimes small spaces are the perfect places to display things on the walls since vertical space is all you have to show off your style. We love the eclectic artwork against the baby pink walls of Ailana Michelle Ralph’s powder room.
By making the edge of your vanity soft and rounded, you’ll gain back space and you’re less likely to bang into the edge when you’re in a rush (win-win!). Full of fun patterns and whimsical motifs, this powder room designed by Chango & Co. proves that small spaces can still shine.
Make up for a nonexistent linen closet with a strategic configuration. Whether it’s a mirrored medicine cabinet or a vanity with deep enough shelving to fit towels, as Robert McKinley Studio did here. We’re loving the offbeat (yet still neutral!) clay color scheme, too.
Make sure every piece has a purpose. Choose mirrors with drawers or shelves if you don’t want to go for a traditional medicine cabinet, or use your wall space to build cabinets. The vibrant tangerine-painted cabinets in this bathroom designed by ETC.etera bring out the orange undertones in the pink stone vanity topper, which also ties in the pink floor tiles and area rug.
In a small powder room, a floating shelf will be a life-saver for essentials like washcloths, hand soap, candles, and tissues. Interior designer Gail Davis installed a simple glass shelf right under the mirror for a nice, symmetrical display. And if there isn’t much room for fun decor, choose a texture-rich wallpaper.
In this modestly sized powder room designed by Corinne Mathern Studios, the tiny shelf transforms an awkward corner into something chic. It’s just large enough to fit a select few cosmetics or a vase with flowers. Either keep it at the same heigh as the sink, or put it right between the sink and mirror.
Interior design firm Robson Rak embraced the small size and lack of light in this powder room by making it feel snug and intimate with black tiles, mood lighting, and dark cabinets under the smoky natural stone sink. And while the mirror might be slim, its height draws the eye up and accentuates the high ceilings.
Instead of a double sink vanity, a long design could save you serious space. The sink and countertop are all one piece and it’s long enough that two people can get ready at the same time. There’s also plenty of room to hang towels on this one designed by Heidi Caillier.
Skip the foggy glass or dark curtain, and opt for glass doors. It’ll make the shower feel like livable square footage. Emil Dervish kept this industrial space clean with white graphic square tiles but added some funk with color on the upper half of the walls and ceiling.
Some may say its boring, but an all white bathroom makes any tucked away space feel bigger and brighter (just look at this one by Shapeless Studio for proof). With interesting materials—like a natural stone countertop and corresponding trim, light wood cabinets, and graphic floor tiles—ensure plenty of style. And if you can, work with your designer and contractor to come up with a strategic layout that works with the odd shape of your space.
If you need a big tub or yours just happens to take up all the space between the two walls, then make sure you’re saving space elsewhere. Incorporate built-in shelves and niches into the wall behind the bathtub for towels and products. Robert McKinley used the same Heath tiles throughout so it blends right in.
For a powder room this small, a mirror hung at an angle above a corner sink maximizes every inch (and clutter can be stashed behind the fabric skirt). The Wedgwood plates and round accent table help counteract the boxiness, and add charm. And add a small table for your extras. Choose a small table with an open base so it doesn’t close off space. It’ll give you a spot to set magazines, flowers, or candles.
There’s a clever small-space solution everywhere you look in interior designer Shaun Smith’s New Orleans bathroom. From the extra storage created by placing a tray over the hamper to the towel bars and soap dish, this bathroom proves you can go big in a small bathroom.
If your bathroom doesn’t have a built-in vanity, opt for a ledge right above the sink. This will hold all your daily essentials (toothpaste, soap) but won’t take up as much floor space as a big piece of furniture. Install a floating shelf above the sink for your décor, essentials, and other small knick-knacks, as Leanne Ford Interiors did here. This is especially convenient for anyone who doesn’t have a hidden cabinet behind the bathroom sink. You could also arrange a few floating shelves above the toilet, if space is an issue.
In a small powder room without much access to natural light—for example, a windowless space under the stairs—embrace the moodier, edgier atmosphere with darker tones and dim lighting. In this powder room designed by Tamsin Johnson, the concrete floors, inky marble sink and modern wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler set the right mood.
If you have open shelves, keep organized with wicker baskets and bowls. Shelves are sleek, but the lack of cabinetry cut down on storage space, but bins will do the trick. Having pretty linen towels like these in a bathroom designed by Katie Hodges doesn’t hurt either.
No walls to hang a mirror? No problem. Just hang it in front of the window, which creates privacy with a purpose. Or, if there’s a slim strip to secure an accordion mirror to between windows.
Natural light is the key to making a small space feel bigger. Skylights are a great option for when windows aren’t enough, like in Maxwell Ryan’s Hamptons home.
You could add a bulky shower caddy, but little cubbies look so much cuter. Alcoves keep soaps and sponges within arm’s reach. Take note from this one by Justina Blakeney.
Run tile from the bathroom floor straight into the shower stall, like Alla Akimova did here. It makes the room feel so much larger.
Skip bulky cabinets and install a floating basin sink to save space. Plus, it looks incredibly chic.
Don’t be afraid of large pieces in a small bathroom. A giant mirror over a tub creates the illusion of a larger space. And hanging it somewhere unconventional will earn style points, too.
Inspired by showers in Europe, this is enclosed by a simple curtain and drain save serious space compared to traditional full installs.