40 Stylish and functional small bathroom design ideas

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Whether you are looking to freshen up your small bathroom design or create a brand new one, there are plenty of ways to imbue spaciousness and functionality if you design right. Most of us live in small spaces and are faced with challenges of how to create enough storage and feel organized while still having a great design aesthetic.

Well, we are here to tell you that you don’t have to compromise on style just because you don’t have a lot of space. In this article, we offer you some great tips on how to design small bathrooms with functionality and style, and as a bonus, there is plenty of photographic inspiration!

We have gathered together 40 images below that guarantee that with the combination of practicality and visual harmony, it is not quite as difficult as you think to design a small bathroom that is both livable and enjoyable. Taking inspiration from this article could be your first step towards assessing your next bathroom project.

If you are looking for further inspiration on bathrooms, refer to our past articles on, 51 Insanely beautiful rustic barn bathrooms and 60 Most incredible bathrooms with breathtaking views. Enjoy!

{ Photo Above: Taking the elements of the traditional 1929 bathroom as a spring board, this bathroom’s design asserts that modern interiors can live beautifully within a conventional backdrop. While paying homage to the work-a-day bathroom, the finished room successfully combines modern sophistication and whimsy. The familiar black and white tile clad bathroom was re-envisioned utilizing a custom mosaic tile, updated fixtures and fittings, an unexpected color palette, state of the art light fixtures and bold modern art. }

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Decorating with white can help a small bathroom feel larger. Sometimes the lack of color can make a space feel cold and uninviting. This small, all-white bathroom gets a dose of warmth from bold lime green and buttery yellow accents. A black chair next to the pedestal sink adds contrast.

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Mount the Towel Bar on a Door. When space is at a minimum, mounting a towel bar on the shower door keeps towels handy. You may need to store the bulk of your towels in a nearby linen closet or in a basket, space permitting.

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Install a Corner Sink. Sometimes even a pedestal sink can disrupt the flow of traffic in the bathroom. In this case, installing a corner sink across from the toilet is more functional than a sink across from the shower. The opening and closing of the shower door typically create an awkward walk-around situation.

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Try Rounding your Vanity. Tight spaces can create hazardous sharp corners. If the corners of your vanity will get in the way, opt for a rounded style. A round vanity works great in a square space.

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Install a Shower Curtain. A shower curtain that moves back and forth will save a lot of space over a glass door that moves in and out. Shower/tub combos fit well into small spaces, with some tubs coming in at 60 inches in length. Tip: If you have a narrow shower/tub combo, try a curved shower rod, it will give you plenty more elbow room in the shower and it adds a little bit of extra style to your bathroom!

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Incorporate Large-Scale Pattern.  Applying a large-scale pattern into your design scheme, such as this painted wide striping on the walls, can trick the eye into seeing expanded space. The square footage may stay the same, but the bathroom will feel more spacious.

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Expand the Mirror. In the tightest of spaces, having a mirror extended across the wall instead of just the vanity enables two people to more easily share. In less-than-ideal space conditions, every inch helps.

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Self-Reflection. Visually expand a small bathroom with mirrors and reflective surfaces. This bathroom packs a dramatic punch with a wall tiled in mirrors, which also helps to add depth to the small space. A metallic vessel sink and shimmering hardware throughout the bathroom add to the glamorous effect of the mirrored wall.

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Install a Trough Sink. The clean and narrow styling of a trough sink is a great-looking space solution. Trough sinks have a low profile. When wall-mounted, they free up floor space for foot traffic or for additional storage such as placing a basket underneath.

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Framing Spaces. With limited wall space, small bathrooms require creative thinking when it comes to decorating. Transform a plain mirror into a standout feature with decorative trim. This ornate mirror frame echoes the traditional European vibe of this pint-size powder room.

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Turn a Closet into a Wet Bath. This guest bath was created out of two adjoining closets that measured only 39 x 79 combined. Since the space was limited, the designer’s first step was to get everything up off the floor to allow for a more spacious feel. A wall-hung vanity, wall-hung toilet, and a curb-free shower created a sense of space inside the room. A small bump out into the adjacent bedroom was necessary to allow for proper clearances for the sink and toilet. Due to the limited space, a wet room concept was used, with the shower open to the rest of the room. Therefore all the materials specified can get wet without damage – porcelain, teak & tile. A small teak flip-up bench provides seating in the shower. A teak shelf, medicine cabinet, and niches near the sink and in the shower provide additional areas for storage. A small towel bar on the front of the sink even provides a spot for a hand towel.

Proper ventilation and lighting were very important in this small space, so a higher-powered ventilation system was used. A combination fan/light and recessed lighting make sure the space is properly illuminated. The large-format tone-on-tone tiles that cover the walls floor to ceiling were selected to help make the room appear larger. The smaller format floor tiles in a darker color provide contrast and a surer grip for safety.

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Accent Walls. Apply an accent wall to stylize your small bathroom.

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Extend the Counter over the Toilet. This banjo-style arrangement can be done with stone or a wood slab. The extended counter adds some extra space for a few needed items. Toilet placement is not affected, and the appearance is minimalist and clean.

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Use a Wall-Mounted Faucet. Mounting a faucet on the wall will allow for a narrower sink or vanity, helping to free up space in the bathroom. Don’t be afraid to try a wall-mounted faucet in a traditionally designed bathroom, it will look great anywhere! The complete home can be viewed here: Astounding renovation of a mountain home

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Don’t Install a Shower Door. If your bathroom is roughly 5 feet wide, that is just enough space to squeeze in a toilet and a 30- by 60-inch tub. With these tight conditions, you may want to consider a glass panel instead of a glass shower door. It will keep most of the water in the shower, freeing up additional elbow room.

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Choose a Vanity with a Shelf. A pedestal-style vanity with one shelf can hold towels or a basket for toilet paper, perfect for extra storage!

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Float the vanity. Besides visually helping the bathroom appear larger, mounting a vanity above the floor frees up some space for smaller items.

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Wallstickers by Ferm Living were applied to this fun bathroom, making it easy to create a new look and change the style of a room in a matter of minutes.

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Murphy Design takes a mini-sized powder bath and updates it to the max with this floor-to-ceiling WOW wallpaper — Timorous Beasties wallpaper. The mirror has a mid-century vibe, sourced from Lawson-Fenning. Since the space is tiny, there was not much room for shelving or a cabinet, so the design instead opted for a stool from Serena & Lily. It is used to hold a soap dispenser and hand towel from CB2.


Interior designer Charles Mellersh has beautifully designed this small powder room with colorful wallpaper by Timorous Beasties. The beadboard paneling is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Green Smoke.

Tip: If you are lacking in space for a small guest bathroom, try converting a closet.

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Photo Sources: 1. De Meza + Architecture, 2. BHG, 3. DKOR Interiors, 4. Hillary Thomas Designs, 5. JL Interior Design, 6. Incorporated, 7. Blackband Design, 8. BHG, 9. Inhabit Design, 10. Peter S. Balsam Associates, 11. Alvhem, 12. KitchenLab Design, 13. Minor Details Interior Design, 14. Dunlap Design Group, 15. BHG, 16. Lauren Rubin Architecture, 17. Favreau Design, 18. Milk and Honey Home, 19. BHG, 20. Moment Design + Productions, 21. JRP Design & Remodel, 22. Renewal Design-Build, 23. Toronto Interior Design Group, 24. Design Cube, 25. BHG, 26. Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers, 27. The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn, 28. Aaron Gordon Construction, 29. Charlie Allen Renovations, 30. Chris A. Dorsey Photography, 31. Studio Frank, 32. Wagner Studio Architecture, 33. Shelly Chung Design, 34. Sheila Rich Interiors, 35. L. Pumpa Designs, 36. Encompass Studio, 37. Lauren Rubin Architecture, 38. Smith & Vansant Architects, 39. Virginia Kitchens, 40. UK Bathrooms

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9 years ago

20 Small Bathroom Vanities that Are Big on Style!


My top picks. You can also get some expert tips to make a small bathroom look bigger by reading my 2 part series here:


Bigger is not always better. In this case, smaller is cozy, homey, and comforting. Embrace your bathroom! :)