Small Bathroom Ideas: The Best Design Tricks to Maximize and Upgrade Your Small Space
The tiniest room in your home can still be packed with personality and function. Sure, a lack of square footage and limited natural light can make small bathrooms feel like closets with some plumbing features thrown in. But we have solutions.
Our favorite small bathroom ideas will help your space feel brighter and more spacious with no full-scale renovation projects required. These are smart design tricks that will make the most of your space and infuse it with style. Your small bath may just become your new favorite room.
Get serious about storage space
You probably spend a lot of time in your bathroom, from getting ready in the morning to winding down at night—and all the business in between. So, it needs to be a space that works. While small rooms usually have limited organizational options, getting smart about how and where you store your items, and what you hold onto, can make a big difference.
Make a decluttering schedule for your tiny bathroom
First things first. It's time to declutter. We know you've grown emotionally attached to the expired Nyquil in your medicine cabinet and the 30-step skincare routine on your counter, but visible clutter makes small spaces seem even smaller and causes stress.
Set a monthly reminder to give away products you don’t use to friends and family, and toss anything that's expired. Save the best-looking, sturdiest packaging to reuse for other personal products or decorative purposes. Recycle the rest. Look into companies like Terracycle that specialize in hard-to-recycle items, like the tiny components of beauty containers that often can't be processed by traditional recycling facilities.
Another valuable decluttering tip? Only keep items you use daily in your bathroom. Yes, you need easy access to your first aid kit, but it's probably taking up valuable real estate under your sink despite rarely being used (we hope). Trim down to essentials like toothpaste, shower products, styling tools, and medications you take daily.
Use storage containers
Save space with organization bins beneath your sink. Look for reusable bins made from eco-friendly materials that can stand up to moist environments.
Before you buy any new storage solutions, jot down the exact measurements of every intended storage area. This will help you maximize the space you have; every square inch counts. Also, even if your containers are clear, think about labeling them so that you always know where to put new items or products you've recently used. The easiest way to keep clutter-free is to stick to your organization plan.
Insert organizational dividers into your bathroom drawers. It’ll be easier to find everything you need and help you resist the temptation to overstuff your drawers with things you don’t need. Repeat after us: Not every drawer is a junk drawer.
Maximize vertical storage to save floor space
If you still need more room, just look up. Vertical space is amazing for extra storage because it doesn’t crowd your counters or floor space—prime real estate in a narrow bathroom or powder room.
Consider installing a few floating shelves. Shelving above your toilet or bathroom door can add valuable organizational options without disrupting the flow of your space. Or place wall-mounted spice racks near your sink. They're the perfect size for your favorite products. Shelving solutions tend to be simple to install, and if you're renting, you can easily patch any holes left by screws before you move out.
For an even easier DIY solution, add a corner-style caddy to your shower. These space-savers typically use tension rods to stay in place, so you won't need anything from your toolbox. Plus, they'll help you keep your items organized and off the ledge of your tub or shower.
Tidy as you go
Once your bathroom is decluttered, keep it that way. Towels tossed over furniture or product-strewn countertops will make your bathroom look tinier. Move unnecessary countertop objects into your medicine cabinet, drawers, or other hidden spaces after use. Place extra linens in closets or cabinets.
Make a big design statement
These DIY design tips will add visual impact and make your small space look bigger. We've included plenty of renter-friendly options—just in case your lease has even less wiggle room than your bathroom.
Update your walls
Bold wallpaper can add heaps of style to a tiny bathroom. Cover every single wall or create an accent wall to make a statement. You don’t need to rely on a professional for installation. There are lots of accessible, attractive, DIY wallpaper options—including peel-and-stick paper.
Or, if wallpaper isn't your thing, create a mini gallery wall with light-colored artwork to add dimension and liven up your wall space.
To make your space seem larger, opt for lighter colors. If you choose to add patterned wallpaper, bigger designs help create the illusion of space. Dark color palettes can make your entire bathroom feel smaller.
Upgrade your floors
While installing new flooring might not be an option, using vinyl decals on existing floor tiles can be a fun way to add personality to your bathroom. These peel-and-stick flooring options come in a variety of colors, patterns, and even wood grain finishes. This tip is especially useful if you have dark or unattractive tiles that make your space feel busy.
Elevate your window treatments
Consider repositioning your shower curtains and any window treatments so that they hang from right below your ceiling. It’s an effect that draws the eyes down to make the walls appear elongated.
When it comes to curtains, again, color matters. Choose light-colored, minimal shower curtains over patterned, busy, or darker-hued styles—whether you have a bathtub, a tub-and-shower combination, or a freestanding shower stall.
If you have a great-looking, sparkling clean shower and a nice shower head like hai’s smart shower, don’t be afraid to leave your shower curtains open when you entertain guests. Showcasing your full space will make it feel bigger.
Choose a focal point
Walk to your bathroom and take a quick look. What’s the first thing to draw your attention? That’s the focal point of the room. If you really can’t tell what’s drawing your eye first, the issue might be a lack of organization. If too many objects are placed in a disorganized fashion, it creates a busy or overwhelming effect, which you don't want in a small space.
Your bathroom’s focal point could be the wallpaper, a specific lighting fixture, or your sink. Decide what the main focus of your bathroom should be, then edit the objects in your compact bathroom accordingly.
Have fun styling your bathroom accessories
Choose high-quality bathroom accessories you plan to keep for years. Be sure to check out second-hand stores and other rooms at home for affordable, long-lasting, and sustainable options. You might be able to find amazing rugs and home accessories that weren’t originally intended for bathrooms but are loaded with personality.
Swap out your lighting
There’s a reason lighting is such a critical factor in everything from movie production to photoshoots to retail store design. Lighting has a major impact on our moods, energy levels, and how we perceive and interact with our surroundings. Use lighting to make your tiny bathroom seem bigger, brighter, and more inviting.
Here are some tips for lighting your small bathroom:
- Avoid big, visually-heavy light fixtures.
- Choose light-colored light fixtures.
- Try to light every corner. Dark zones will make your room appear cave-like.
- If you need brighter light in the bathroom, go for cool white LED light bulbs. For a spa-like environment, try warm white LED light bulbs that mimic natural light.
Create the illusion of more space with mirrors
Hang a mirror or two. It might seem counterintuitive, but your best bet is to go for medium or large styles with a thin or nonexistent frame. Mirrors work wonders to help a small room feel bigger. Get the most out of reflective glass by mirroring an entire wall of your tiny space.
Get a new shower head
Unfortunately, most bathrooms are home to unsightly shower heads. Especially rentals. If it’s time for a new shower head, choose a high-quality, efficient model that reduces water and energy consumption while still offering a great experience.
Do some research to figure out which brands use safe, easy-to-clean materials and leave the smallest carbon footprint.
Buy a smart hai shower head
When you’re ready to upgrade your small bathroom, get a hai. Attractive and easy to clean, hai showerheads are engineered from high-quality materials like stainless steel and designed to be durable. Choose from six shower face color hues to match your small space aesthetic: charcoal, moon, surf, citron, persimmon, or rose quartz.
hai showers not only give more coverage than the average shower head but also have handheld spa control sliders that let you easily shift settings—from a steady stream to a fine, dreamy mist. Installation is simple and totally DIY-able.
There are two hai models. The 2.5 GPM version meets the highest standard rate of water flow per minute allowed in the U.S. Most people can buy this model. However, states such as Hawaii, Vermont, California, Colorado, New York, and Washington have stricter water laws, limiting flows to between 2.0 and 1.8 GPM, depending on the state. If you live in one of those places, hai’s 1.8-GPM model was specially designed to give you the same great pressure as the 2.5-GPM showe rhead, all while using less water.
The 1.8-GPM hai shower head isn’t just for people in states with tighter water restrictions. It's perfect for energy-conscious showerers as well. It’s also the better choice for you if you have low water pressure coming through your shower, and can seriously improve your experience. (Learn how to find out the difference between the water pressure of your shower and the water pressure of your shower head here.)
On the flip side, even if you select the higher flow model, the hai shower was engineered to be better for the planet and will help you save water without compromising your best shower experience.
All hai showers come equipped with a Bluetooth base, which is powered by your shower water to help you track how much water and energy you use over time via hai’s companion app. Not only can you track your water consumption, you can also set actionable water goals through custom in-shower LED light alerts. These LED alerts even let you know when the show has reached your preferred temperature so you can hop in at the perfect time with less wasted water.
Enjoy turning your small bathroom into the sanctuary of your dreams.