Clever storage options and smart finishes means that even the smallest of bathrooms can be stylish as well as practical. Whether you opt for a sleek streamlined look, or traditional detailing, there are plenty of ways to pack a punch.
See our decorating section for more inspiration
Small bathrooms used to demand a compromise – often requiring homeowners to do away with a bath or a separate shower, not to mention issues arising from lack of storage. But the latest modern fittings can create a luxurious bathroom from minimal square footage. Shower baths remain a popular option in compact rooms, and choices are greater than ever.
Recent innovations have seen luxurious waterfall and rainfall-style showerheads added into the mix, able to offer the same invigorating feel of a dedicated shower enclosure. The latest bespoke glass screens help to create a more streamlined finish too, as specialists are able to template the glass to suit the space, with minimal brackets and no frames to create a more open feel. And if you crave traditional fittings in small space, the latest roll-top baths are available in smaller dimensions.
1. HALL OF MIRRORS
If the passage between a master bedroom and bathroom is wide enough, consider adding a shower enclosure. ‘Ensure it sits seamlessly in the background by using clear glass – possibly with a modesty panel – and a flush-to-floor tray,’ says Kirsten Wain of West One Bathrooms.
2. SHAPE UP
Awkward ceiling shapes in loft conversions can be cleverly incorporated into an en-suite bathroom with fixtures such as shower heads built into sloping walls. In this scheme, sandblasted glass panelling neatly partitions the bathroom from the sleeping area.
3. SIMPLE SOLUTIONS
‘Architecturally and visually, it is best to keep a small bathroom feeling open by not crowding too many things into it. Edit your amenities often, hang your towels on bars or hooks, keep pattern to a minimum, and generally, make it simple. The room will feel bigger if you use a pedestal sink rather than a bulky vanity, a clear glass door rather than shower curtain and reflective surfaces such as glossy ceramic tiles in a large scale,’ explains Barbara Sallick, Co-founder, Waterworks.
4. EXPERT EYE
Wet rooms are great for smaller spaces as they make the room look bigger by not closing it off with screens. You can of course also consider incorporating a generous shower into a large bath – giving you the option of both.
5. ON THE WALL
Mirrors are an essential part of any cloakroom both practically and aesthetically. They bounce natural light around a room, making the room seem instantly larger and brighter. Ornate options look fantastic in guest cloakrooms and are great statement pieces. If you prefer to keep things simple, then a mirror with a bevelled edge is an effective but subtle detail.
6. LIGHTEN UP
Lighting zones are a key consideration, as getting the lighting right can make all the difference to the ambience created in your bathroom. Try installing a dimmer switch so that you can control the intensity of light, depending on your mood. Spotlights, either recessed, fitted to a track, or as part of a multi-light fitting, instantly brighten a room.
7. MAKE YOUR MARK
A small bathroom or cloakroom need not be dull or boring. Small spaces can be elevated with bold decorating choices, like this compelling pictorial terrarium wallpaper and moody moss-green tongue-and-groove panelling.
8. SMALL WONDER
Many people shy away from classic styles as they assume that they can crowd a room and can be too oppressive, but this isn’t the case. By using light colours and tones and embracing traditional fittings such as an Art Deco style, you can achieve a period look in your bathroom despite its small size.
9. HUNG UP
Wall-mounted modular furniture remains a favourite for storage, due to its fuss-free, streamlined look. Available in a range of heights, widths and depths, it means that you can create semi-bespoke furniture that best suits your space. You’ll find a wide range of colours, from soft hues to strong brave tones, available too, as well as plenty of different textures.