If you're the owner of a small house or flat, when it comes to remodelling your bathroom, you are faced with somewhat of a challenge. The objective is always to get the most out of the available space, and to achieve a stylish, up-to-date look despite the limitations on the type of suites and fittings you can choose. The good news is, there are plenty of options for small bathrooms, and you might not be as restricted as you think. From chic wet rooms to clever storage solutions, there are a number of tricks to help you create the impression of space in your bathroom without compromising on luxury or beauty.
The important thing to ask yourself is: How does every element in the bathroom interact with the space? What is necessary, and what could be smaller or more discreet? Today we're going to look at some ways you can make the most of your bathroom, so say goodbye to those drab and dated bath tubs, and hello to contemporary rain showers and quirky modern sinks:
The layout is absolutely essential in determining whether your bathroom is going to be a success or a disaster. Older bathrooms, pre-modernisation, often leave us wondering where the logic was when they were being designed in the first place: oversized tubs, sinks which are too low or too high, and a generally inefficient use of space are just a few of the mistakes we've noticed. It's easy to avoid any nightmares like this when you enlist a professional to design your bathroom for you. DIY really should be kept to the basics unless you know exactly what you're doing, as getting it wrong could cost you a lot of money. Make sure that the layout is practical and user-friendly, and that aesthetically everything looks considered rather than randomly placed with no thought.
Although in a small bathroom it is usually best to avoid boisterous colours or busy patterns, a splash of primary green or red helps to break up the standard neutral colour scheme. This funky splashback from Glass Splashbacks is a prime example of how a bold colour can act as a vibrant backdrop in a white bathroom. The white of the sink, and the silver of the beautifully simple tap design, provide a direct contrast with the colourful splashback. The key to implementing bright colours is to keep them to a minimum, opt for block colours, and avoid combining colours with patterns in the same piece.
This Grohe shower is ideal for a smaller bathroom: this shower in particular is part of an en-suite designed by Loveridge Kitchens & Bathrooms that could only accommodate smaller, contained fittings and fixtures. The polished marble tiling looks elegant, and the mixture of light and dark tones creates a rich layered effect without appearing too fussy. Sticking to one straight forward colour scheme and style is important in any bathroom, not just those on the smaller side. As a general rule, eclectic interior design only works in bigger rooms, so keep it simple. A modern shower with limited accessories and a sleek, seamless finish is the best choice when remodelling. Combine this with a glass shower door free from clunky plastic moulds or unsightly and unnecessary additions and it will make a big difference to the overall look of your bathroom.
You might have to decide between a walk-in shower and a bath tub with overhead shower due to a limited amount of space. If this is the case, remember that a bath tub with an overhead shower still gives you two bathing options: a shower before work, and a bath to relax in during the evening. Though it's still usual to see bathtubs placed 'out of the way' against the wall, with some clever planning you can have a free standing bath with overhead shower like this example from Kate Harris Interior Design. For a modern look, go for a curved rather than rectangular tub, and select raised tubs with legs to maximise the exposed floor space in the bathroom.
Forget the sinks of old, which were functional and boring, and experiment with some of the modern styles now on offer. This space-age inspired sink from BLA Architects is original and, though the transparent casing does take up a little bit of floor space, the material doesn't block the line of vision or compromise the light in the room. You can have a unique bathroom without bringing in too many different elements: one statement feature is enough to make the room impressive.
A free standing sink, whether you prefer square basins or those with a shallow curved design, is a sensible choice for a clean and tidy look. In addition, bulky cupboards should be avoided below the sink—glass shelving and hidden storage that utilises awkward corner spaces will look much better in a small bathroom.
As we've mentioned, a neutral colour scheme is much more visually rewarding once all of the finishing touches are in place. If you're a fan of colour in the rest of your home, having some restraint here will pay off: you can add some brightly coloured towels and decorative pieces at the end. These days, white is the obvious choice for the bathroom suite, and has been a popular colour for a long time (since we woke up to the tragedy of salmon pink and olive green bath tubs). So, why fix what isn't broken? We know it works, and we know shades of cream, grey and white are the best way to keep our lovely but little bathrooms looking light and fresh.
Once you're done remodelling your bathroom, it might be time to move on to the kitchen. Here are our tips for choosing a classic kitchen for your home.
If you want some more bathroom design inspiration, check out this ideabook on classic bathroom designs.