5 small bathroom ideas and tricks that will cheat you a bigger (looking) space



a cat sitting next to a window: null


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We’re BIG into small bathroom ideas, because, let’s face it, 99.99{3fd454b43fbfd7aa8a551fa339f02ecfdee40c34b6b5df10527629ca3647b822} of us have small bathrooms that really could do with being bigger. And short of extending our homes, converting spacious bedrooms into bigger bathrooms or moving house, we’re pretty much stuck with the footprint. So what’s the alternative? Making our bathrooms look and feel better with clever cheats. Yes, you can hang a mirror, yes, you can stick to light colours and wall-hung furniture. But what else?  Here’s what in five easy steps.

1. Use tall (really tall) storage to save floor space



a kitchen with a sink and a mirror: (Image credit: Ikea)


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(Image credit: Ikea)

There’s no way bulky storage makes any sense at all in a small bathroom, but tall storage with a small footprint (in other words, it takes up almost no floor space) really does. There is a but, though… but make sure it’s light-coloured or mirrored. Otherwise, putting tall storage in an already limited space will be like bringing the walls forward. This clever storage is, of course, by Ikea… but other suppliers are available.

2. Perform visual tricks with tiles and fittings



a white sink sitting under a window: (Image credit: Chris Snook)


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(Image credit: Chris Snook)

There are a few things going on here, but let’s talk tiles first. The floor tiles are doing two jobs: laid diagonally as they are, they make the eye travel both the length and width of the room, making it seem bigger. The wall tiles perform the same trick: their layout draws the eye into and across the room. And, of course, they’re dominated by light colours, so plenty of advantage there. Then the shower screen. It’s brilliant. It lets in light (bonus), it’s the focal feature in the room (every room needs one), and it’s  bang on trend (marvellous). And its simplicity doesn’t complicate the room so it still feels totally spacious. 

3. Make use of storage space you didn’t know you had



a room filled with furniture and a sink: (Image credit: Ikea)


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(Image credit: Ikea)

We think this room is a little over the top in terms of the storage opportunities it’s taking advantage of but it’s a brilliant example of just what you can do in a small bathroom shared by lots of people, whether a growing family or a bunch of house-sharers. And, because not all of it is wall-fixed, it’s essentially an instant solution. Our favourite piece is the cupboard below the sink: it’s an opportunity that’s often missed in a small bathroom but a real must-have. Bathroom, Ikea.

4. Divide the room halfway up



a screen shot of a living room: (Image credit: Rust-Oleum)


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(Image credit: Rust-Oleum)

Another visual trick, another bathroom that suddenly feels that much bigger. How does this work? Whether you fit panelling as in this bathroom, tile half way up or simply use paint to divide the room horizontally, the rules are the same: put a darker colour in the lower half of the room, a lighter colour above. Doing so can rebalance the proportions of a narrow room with a high ceiling, it adds character and colour that you couldn’t take up to the ceiling (or rather you could, but you shouldn’t). 

And look, it’s that trick with the floor tiles again. Finally, let’s have a word about the roll top bath: in a small space, it’s a great way to stretch space because the eye can travel beneath it to the floor and wall beyond, helping the room feel (you guessed it) bigger.

5. Get the layout bang on



a white tub sitting next to a window: (Image credit: Bathrooms.com)


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(Image credit: Bathrooms.com)

Is your small bathroom in a loft? The bathroom layout is essential here in particular. The bath – which you lie down in (we hope) – is in the part of the room with the lowest ceiling; the shower or sink – which needs decent height – sits in the tallest part of the room. Simples.



a large white tub sitting next to a sink: We love the uniqueness of this attic conversion where a stylish wet room now lives.


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We love the uniqueness of this attic conversion where a stylish wet room now lives.

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