Small Bathrooms and How to Maximize Space

The humble bathroom is the unsung hero of the home, where comfort, privacy, and (dare I say it?) moments of reflection are highly valued. But, often space is limited. So, how do you make the most of your bathroom space, when the space itself is modestly sized?

Writer and design expert Alyssa Davis is here to offer a few thoughts on how to make the most of your small bathrooms …


In most homes, bathrooms are often the smallest rooms in the house. But, if the bathrooms in your home are anything like the bathrooms in my home, they are also the rooms that get the most activity and traffic. In order to get the most out of your small bathroom, it’s important to find ways to maximize the space. If you’d like to transform your small and cluttered bathroom into a room that appears more spacious and efficient, I’ve found that the following decorating and layout tips can help.

Bathroom space efficiency

An efficiently designed floor plan should be part of every well-designed room. Unfortunately, in the case of bathrooms, it can be very difficult to re-arrange the space. Unless you are willing to move plumbing pipes and knock down walls, in most cases you are pretty much stuck with whatever floor plan the bathroom already has. However, although you can’t easily move the sink, bathtub and shower, there are some methods you can use to streamline and simplify your bathroom traffic patterns.

In order to optimize your bathroom’s floor plan, you first need to understand how your family customarily uses the room. For example, I discovered that while I store my cosmetics in the medicine cabinet, I actually use them on the other side of the bathroom. While this might not seem like a big deal, it means that I’m taking unnecessary steps every day. Once you understand your family’s bathroom habits, you’ll be able to rearrange accessories, mirrors, towel bars and storage containers to better suit your needs.

Efficient bathroom storage solutions

Efficient storage is extremely important in small bathrooms. If you feel as though your bathroom space is always cluttered, messy and difficult to navigate, chances are you need better storage options. If you have enough floor space, a floor-to-ceiling cabinet or shelving unit can be a great solution. However, floor space is often at a premium in small bathrooms. I’ve found that adding one or more wall shelves or a wall-mounted cabinet can be helpful. If you possess some handyman skills, creating one or more recessed shelves or small cabinets will provide you with extra storage without taking away from the overall size of the room.

There are also other ways to maximize your bathroom’s storage possibilities. If your countertops always seem to be cluttered with personal care products and accessories, add a few small baskets or boxes to keep things better organized. I like to hang a couple of small baskets on the wall over the bathtub to keep my bath items neat but close at hand.

Functional beauty of the bathroom

When decorating your small bathroom, it’s best to focus on decorative items that also serve a functional purpose. For example, instead of displaying a basket of flowers on the countertop, why not display a pretty basket filled with guest towels and soaps instead? A wall shelf filled with small decorative storage boxes is attractive and yet much more useful than a shelf filled with knick-knacks.

I also like to add a pretty candle, which adds a decorative touch, an auxiliary source of light and an air freshener, all at the same time. By choosing functional items that can serve double-duty as room decor, you can further maximize your bathroom’s limited amount of space.



Thanks, Alyssa!

Learn more about decorating with tropical art decor and large outdoor metal wall art from our exclusive designer and staff writer, Alyssa Davis, of



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