10 tried-and-tested small bathroom design rules I guarantee will max out your space

If you are remodeling a tiny bathroom, these design rules will help you make the most of your space so that it's functional and fabulous

Desk, shower, bathroom
(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

If you are faced with rethinking a tiny space, it pays to heed rules that have been proven to work in the past.

I've spent many years gathering small bathroom ideas that will help you not only create a beautiful, inviting room, but also one that's functional and practical.

More than that, many of these tips will make your bathroom look bigger, too.

1. Distract from the room size with a bold vanity

Pink cabinets and drawers, twin sinks

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

Elevate your bathroom design by accenting the vanity with a bold color. Opt for a vibrant and eye-catching shade that adds depth and dimension to the space. This bold statement not only creates a focal point that demands attention but also gives the illusion of a larger and more inviting bathroom.

2. Make it personal

Black and white tiled shower and sink counter

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

Make it a personal moment: add framed photos, inspirational poems, and mementos from your travels. These personal elements transform your bathroom into a private sanctuary that feels more spacious and also exudes a one-of-a-kind charm.

3. Wall-mount faucets

Black and white wallpaper, black taps and lights

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

Maximize every inch of space in your small bathroom by considering a wall-mounted faucet. A wall-mounted faucet adds visual interest while freeing up valuable countertop space.

4. Have fun with it

Heart plant with eyes wallpaper

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

Search for a funky vintage mirror: Explore antique shops and flea markets for one-of-a-kind pieces that make a statement. A unique vintage mirror becomes a captivating focal point that adds character and personality to your small bathroom.

5. Pay attention to your sink size

Diamond shaped mirror, white sink

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

Or opt for an oval shape instead of the traditional rectangular designs. Oval sinks have a clever advantage – they take up less precious countertop space, say goodbye to cluttered countertops!

6. Make the space look taller

White and grey tiles. black shower heads and bath

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

Extend your shower tile all the way to the ceiling for a cohesive and visually stunning look. You can create an illusion of height and expansiveness in your bathroom. This design trick draws the eyes upward, making the ceiling appear higher and the overall space feel more open and airy.

7. Mount a soap dish to the wall

Keep your bathroom countertops clean and clutter-free by mounting a soap dish directly on the wall. This not only saves space but also adds a touch of elegance to your bathroom design.

8. Make mirrors work hard

Yellow chair, counter, wooden desk

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

Create the illusion of a larger space by installing a tall mirror on one of the walls. A floor-to-ceiling mirror not only reflects light, making the room brighter, but also visually expands the bathroom!

9. Consider a cantilevered sink

White and black tiled floor and sink

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

Cantilevered sinks are mounted directly to the wall without a visible countertop or supporting structure underneath, creating a clean and minimalist aesthetic. The open space beneath the sink also gives the illusion of more floor space, making your small bathroom appear larger.

10. Wall-mount shelves

Twin sinks and mirrors, wooden shelves, green drawers

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

Maximize small bathroom storage with wall-mounted shelves: in a small bathroom, storage is crucial. Install wall-mounted shelves to maximize vertical space. Floating shelves or built-in niches provide storage solutions while keeping the floor space clear and uncluttered.

Cortney Bishop
Contributing Editor

Cortney Bishop, principal design and owner of Cortney Bishop Design, founded the full-service interior design firm in 2007. She holds a BBA in business marketing from the University of Georgia, and pursued her design career by blending her passions for travel, art, fashion and music. Her wide-ranging talent and innate ability to mix patterns and hues has resulted in a robust portfolio of diverse, inspiring residential and commercial projects, each reflective of a client’s lifestyle, personality and aesthetic. Cortney regularly contributes to Homes & Gardens.