What NOT to do when decorating your small bathroom | homify

What NOT to do when decorating your small bathroom

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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A small room (whether it’s a kitchen or a study) is never ideal; but such is life, and we make do with what we have. But when it comes to living in a small space, more often than not it’s the bathroom that suffers, which means having to get very creative in terms of décor and furniture pieces to ensure that small space is still stylish – and comfortable.

But did you know that the right design choices will make extra space appear as if by magic? It all comes down to what you must do and, perhaps more importantly, what you must not do. 

Let’s see how we can create a small bathroom with big impact in terms of both style and function.

1. Don’t clutter the floor

Less legroom means more clutter, a big no-no in any space, whether big or small.

Help your small bathroom feel (and look) bigger by opting for a pedestal sink or, even better, a wall-mounted one. This floating element frees up floor space and gives your bathroom a unique and unexpected look.

2. Don’t paint your ceiling a different colour

It should be the same tone as your walls, especially if it’s angled or has oddly shaped low areas. A unifying colour will soften up those unusual shapes, visually expanding your space and creating a cleaner and more expansive upper area. 

homify hint: If your ceiling is completely flat, you may go one shade lighter to achieve the same effect, as ceilings usually read a bit darker than the walls.

3. Don’t avoid pops of colour

That small space is going to need some pizzazz. In a predominantly neutral bathroom, bring in vibrant spots by adding fresh flowers in a simple vase / lush plants in a coloured pot. This is a quick and effective way of mixing up the palette.

Make sure to opt for different coloured flowers or pots each time to keep it interesting!

4. Don’t leave those walls empty

Use your wall space. A wall-hung shelving unit presents you with bathroom storage opportunities for toiletries while leaving your precious floor open. And some wall niches can do the same while also injecting some striking style into your bathroom. 

homify hint: Add some colour and/or texture by painting or tiling the wall area behind your open shelf.

5. Don’t opt for all white

Don’t be scared to bring in patterns and colours. Chequered wallpaper or coloured tiles, for example, can add some character, as long as you balance it with neutrals.

A classic white sink, toilet, and light fixture will offset with your patterned/coloured space.

6. Don’t skimp on shower tiles

Botanical Bathroom from Bathrooms.ccom Bathrooms.com BathroomBathtubs & showers

Botanical Bathroom from Bathrooms.ccom


Take those wall tiles in the shower up to the ceiling. This draws the eye all the way upwards, allowing you to take in the entire space.

Remember: Fewer transitions + less contrast = a more expansive feel.

7. Don’t include a shower door

Opt for a curtain instead. It moves back and forth and can fold, saving up much more space than a glass door that moves in and out. 

Need a bathroom designer? Check out our professionals page for a wide variety of experts.

8. Don’t neglect your mirror

Expand that reflective surface as much as you can. A mirror that stretches across the wall instead of just the vanity/sink can have two people use it at once.

And remember that light bounces off that mirror surface, meaning even more light and, thus, more visual space. 

Expecting company? Better check up on those: Essentials For Your Guest Bathroom.

Which of these tricks will you try in your small bathroom?

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