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7 small bathroom ideas and tips to cheat a bigger (looking) space

a close up of a sink in a small room: null

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We are all about the small bathroom ideas, because let’s face it, most of us have tiny bathrooms that really could do with being bigger. For most of us, it’s also not an option to go expanding our homes just so we have a bit more room to brush our teeth so what’s the alternative? Making our bathrooms look and feel better with clever, space-enhancing cheats obviously!  So here are seven lovely looks to get you inspired…

For more of the best-ever bathroom ideas, go to our definitive feature.

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. 

See more of this room in our gallery.

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

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

© Provided by Real Homes
(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:

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(Image credit:

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.

And while we’re at it, don’t waste eaves storage in a small bathroom – fit out that awkward space with bespoke shelving, nooks or drawers.

a white sink sitting under a mirror: (Image credit: Fraser Marr)

© Provided by Real Homes
(Image credit: Fraser Marr)

6. Use colour to make a small bathroom more interesting

a room with a sink and a mirror: (Image credit: Britton)

© Provided by Real Homes
(Image credit: Britton)

You can easily distract from a small bathroom’s size by making it interesting (which is not the same as cluttered up with stuff). This bathroom has various things in its favour, not least the adventurous – but not overbearing colour scheme. The tiles, laid vertically, make the room look taller, which the floor tile pattern creates a visual trick, making the space look wider, too. Most of all, we just really like it.

7. Makeover a small bathroom with wallpaper

a green tub and a window: (Image credit: Design: Chango & Co)

© Provided by Real Homes
(Image credit: Design: Chango & Co)

How cool is this bathroom? We love wallpaper in a bathroom and it works even if you have a small bathroom too because it will blur the edges of the room. Don’t just wallpaper the walls either, create a really statement space by wallpapering the ceiling too.

You be aware that wallpaper works best in a bathroom that’s well ventilated, and you might want to seal your wallpaper to stop any moisture damage too. If you love the look of this wallpaper, check out Etsy, they have loads of budget-friendly options. 

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