21 Big Bathroom Design Ideas For Small Bathrooms

21 Big Bathroom Design Ideas For Small Bathrooms

There are a cavalcade of happenings which help you to realise you are getting older; bad eyes, stiff joints, hair loss ads on your newsfeed, USB’s… My first indication was when I put my back out using a mates* toilet – after that you can pretty much guarantee that you’re not going to grow old gracefully.

The available floor space in his bathroom was standing room only and in order to get in and shut the door, I had to sidle up beside the toilet suite, being mindful that I didn’t accidentally switch on the shower tap.

It was while negotiating this on my exit that things went south… quickly.

I caught the shower tap on the way down so I was drenched and awkwardly wedged between the toilet and window with my head in the shower and my feet in the cupboard.

My apologetic hosts attempted to take my mind off my predicament by asking me for tips about redesigning their bathroom.

*Dear Anon Mate, I’m sorry I keep telling this story and I’m also sorry that I’m now writing about it, but I never mention your name and I helped you design your new bathroom. E

21 Big Bathroom Design Ideas For Small Bathrooms

Over the span of our lives, we spend 1.5 years in our bathrooms doing a multitude of things (shout out to those of you reading this in your bathroom) so it really does make sense to design them well.

  1. Work with the space you have – often there is space surrounding your bathroom that could be better utilised if it was part of the bathroom

“We took half of a hallway linen and converted it to a vanity ‘nook’ outside of the bathroom so Miss. 16 could do her hair and make-up while Mr. 14 fussed about in the bathroom. We included recessed mirrored cabinets in the 3 walls surrounding the vanity to make the absolute most of the space we had re-purposed.”

  1. Keep your layout functional and always base your design on how you use the room – towels and personal products at arms reach, separate or private toilet, excellent ventilation and room to move about when drying or navigating opening entry or shower doors
  1. Use your doors – having your shower and entry doors open into the same space could maximize usable floor space and mounting your towel hooks or rails to the rear of the doors is an awesome idea for two reasons – more wall space and when the door’s open you can’t see used bath towels hanging around. If your doors open onto a wall use longer doors stops to give the towel rails clearance
  1. Purpose designed storage including general waste and dirty laundry storage is incredibly handy – There will be rubbish and there will be dirty clothes, so incorporating a hamper or chute and a minimalist bin makes functional sense
  1. Easy maintenance – focus on ease of cleaning and maintenance by eliminating small gaps and hard to reach places or fussy detail. Select large format tiles and mould resistant grout, sealant and paints
  1. Make better use of available counter space by moving your basin to one side or opt for a wall mounted or recessed basin with low profile cabinets. The deeper the cabinet, the more wasted space back there hiding old products and hair balls

“Initially we had 500mm deep cabinetry under our basin, however by reducing the depth to 300mm we were able to install 300mm deep cabinetry along the adjacent wall.”

  1. Use large format tiles with 1-3mm grout joins and employ a skilled tiler to keep grout lines matching from floor to wall tile and minimize cutting and wastage
  1. If your room is long and narrow use long and narrow tiles running horizontal on the end wall adjacent the door to help the space feel wider
  1. Utilise ‘dead space’ often found in corners by incorporating a tiled seat or timber corner bench. This is especially useful in the shower
  1. Keep floor and wall tiles the same – blur the line of where the floor stops and the wall starts
  1. Keep vanity’s and toilet suites off the floor where possible – the greater the floor space the greater feeling of space
  1. Design the studwork so you can utilise the space between them – niches in showers, in-wall toilet cisterns, recessed wall vanity cabinets, recessed towel hanging and recessed roll holders, bins or shelving.
  1. Design a modern ‘Wet Room’ where your shower area is not defined by walls or glass – Used controlled shower heads such as rain showers or handheld showers on a rail and linear or grate drains in the floor
  1. Maximise the use of each space by doubling it’s function – discreet pullout airing lines over baths or in showers, seats or benches in showers, toilet suits with a basin on the cistern that feeds grey water to the pan or shelving in bulkheads
  1. Oversized mirrors or mirrored walls will open the space up incredibly and are functional too – treat any new glass with sealant to protect from hard water staining
  1. Let in as much natural light as possible – increase the size of small windows or invest in a ventilated skylight. Replace solid doors with frosted glass door
  1. Go beyond the external walls and incorporate a private external garden on the other side of a large picture window or glass door

“We had 800mm between the house and the boundary fence, so we opted for sliding glass doors to open off our bathroom onto a beautiful vertical garden framing a wall mounted water feature. We used mirrored gates on either side for added privacy and to create the illusion of an infinite garden.”

  1. More than adequate ventilation – keep mould and long-term damp away by providing for 3 types of ventilation; exhaust fans with enough power to suit the space, natural light, opening windows and natural, cross flow ventilation and higher ceilings.

Placement of your exhaust is important if you want to get the most out of it – Make sure your shower exhaust fan is over your shower and keep them clean.

  1. Provide functional lighting options to your vanity and shower and some feature or accent lighting to niches or areas where the space could use some height from a dropped pendant. Back lighting mirrors and up-lighting is an easy way to make your reflection look as good as your bathroom.
  1. Does your home require a bath? The inclusion of a bath over more important wants for your home’s demographic could cost you. A bath takes up roughly the same space as a double shower, large linen or robe, small shower and toilet or a double vanity.

Baths have a come along way and can be a huge feature in your bathroom – standard hob baths sit in a tiled hob and this hob can be designed with open shelving suitable for bath products, toys or relaxing décor. Freestanding baths can be a vogue space saver option in small bathrooms however they can be surrounded by small, hard to reach places. Sunken, Step-Down or Roman-Style baths look incredible and help provide a spacious feeling. They work beautifully in wet rooms or where you need the shower over the bath. They are usually tiled which creates some cleaning challenges and steps in bathrooms are often seen as a hazard so keep this in mind when you’re drawing it up.

  1. Style it – Have a space for some great art, fresh floral and stlylised accessories and personal products such as hand soaps and coordinated linen

Bathrooms are top of the list when it comes to resale and rental and if anyone is judging you on anything; it’s the state of your bathroom and the car you drive.

Catch you next month and if you need me in the mean time, drop me a line below.

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About

Edam Triffett is an Interior Designer with over 10 years of specialised experience in the Design industry and a lifelong passion for bringing aesthetic, function and personality to every space. Edam specialises in Design and Specification at the Architectural Stage and Interior Styling and currently manages projects for some of Australia’s foremost builders and developers. Edam is a feature columnist, blog contributor and speaker on interior design and styling, with his work enabling him to explore the domestic and international design scene.