7 Creative Small Bathroom Ideas to Optimize Space

optico glass tile and bathroom sink mirror combo

Optico Mosaic Tile – Tribal Series (Dogon Dark Brown Multi 0.9″x0.9″) from BuildDirect

When you’ve got a small bathroom, design and storage strategy is important. Here are 7 small bathroom ideas to nail it. 


Small bathrooms can make life difficult, especially if you have a big family. In addition to being cramped, many pint-sized bathrooms are also difficult to expand by way of a full on bathroom remodel. Fortunately, enlarging your restroom without committing to a renovation is no problem. And to prove it, here are seven tips to help you expand the feel of your bathroom.

#1. Rethink bathroom cabinetry

Making sure that everything has a place is important in any room. But, it’s particularly important in a small bathroom. The right size and depth for your bathroom cabinets can make all the difference in making sure that clutter is kept to a minimum. This will help you to save space and to reduce the negative visual effects that make a small bathroom space look even smaller.

grafton bathroom cabinets

Grafton Bathroom Vanity Cabinets – Victorian Collection “Chestnut” (36″x21″x31.5″ Raised Panel Stained)

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#2. Optimize the natural light

A translucent window will allow the maximum amount of light into your bathroom (without a pricey fixture upgrade). For added privacy, consider installing blinds or shades. Otherwise, reflective surfaces are also helpful in making the most of natural light in a small bathroom. Glass tile back splashes are one way to accomplish this.

Cabot Glass Tile - Crystalized Glass Blend 4mm Series

Cabot Glass Tile – Crystalized Glass Blend 4mm Series (Majestic Ocean Brick Blend 1″x2″)

Browse for glass mosaics.

#3. Use mirrors effectively

The addition of mirrors is a great way to open up a cramped bathroom (without taking down any walls).

  • Think big: If you have double sinks, one large mirror will be much more impressive than two. Also, an upward stretching mirror will increase the perceived ceiling height of your bathroom.
  • Mirror lighting: The tasteful use of lighting is another great way to impact the sense of space in your bathroom. Several LED downlights placed around the edges of your mirror will dramatically expand the depth of your restroom.
  • Reflect natural light: Arrange decorative mirrors to reflect natural light from windows or skylights. If you have limited wall space, mirrored doors on cabinets are a practical and attractive option.

#4. Coordinate colors

It’s also important to ensure that all of your bathroom surfaces match in color, ideally light and neutral hues. Color contrast divides the available space, making your bathroom look smaller. Toning down a color range also masks sloping ceilings and other unusual shapes in your restroom.

#5. Cut down on transitions

Try to limit the transition between materials in your bathroom. A diverse mix of design elements can sometimes break up your visual flow and introduce a sense of clutter.

small bathroom lavender pedestal sink

#4 Replace shower door

While a clear shower door may not offer the privacy of frosted alternatives, an open shower space will dramatically expand your bathroom. A significant portion of your bathroom is more than likely blocked if your shower door is opaque. To avoid walling off a large portion of your bathroom, consider replacing your shower door with clear or lightly frosted glass.

#7 Create small recesses in the wall for storage

Small recesses in the walls of your bathroom will offer a more spacious look than ordinary shelving. Installing recesses may involve structural changes (moving electrical lines, etc.), so it’s important to double-check before you cut into a section of wall.

wall tile

Hammersmith Subway Tile with wall recess  (“White” / 4″x16″)

Don’t fret

Similar to your kitchen, your bathrooms are one of the most crucial rooms in your home. If you’re suffering from a cramped space in one (or all) of your bathrooms, don’t fret. Expanding your restroom doesn’t require a remodel or thousands of dollars, just a little effort and imagination.

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