By Lindsay Williams
Getting the design right for your small bathroom can mean the difference between a cramped, awkward space and a heavenly, cosy sanctuary where you can breathe a sign of relief at the end of a long day.
Here are some of our best tips to make the most of your small bathroom space.
1. Keep it clean
Small spaces are easily cluttered with too much detail. To keep the area looking light and clean, select large format tiles. Using large tiles means clean lines, continuous colour and fewer visible grout lines to break up the space. This immediately gives the illusion of a larger, more luxurious area. Stay away from too much pattern and details that can look busy and crowded when combined.
2. Consider your bath selection
While we all know and love the feeling of relaxing in a big bathtub after a hard day’s work, when designing, remember to allow for the additional space you need around freestanding bathtub to ensure that it’s comfortable to hop in and also clean around. A small room may not provide the space for the visual appeal a freestanding bath demands. Back to wall bathtubs are much more compact, allow for easy cleaning and, if the space is really tight, can double as a shower.
3. Walk-in shower
In tight spaces where a bathtub would be impractical, we often recommend tiled floor, walk-in showers coupled with a frameless shower screen to create the illusion of space. Add some luxurious fixtures such as a rain shower to create that sense of opulence and perhaps a wall niche for shampoos.
4. Custom made cabinetry
In a small bathroom, correctly sized cabinetry is critical to getting the design right. In small spaces we often use compact custom made cabinetry to ensure that we make optimal use of the spaces and add some drawers around the plumbing for extra storage. Medicine cabinets that are recessed inside the wall are a clever space saving tip. When installed, the cabinets look like a flat mirror on the outside but can give you a few centimetres of storage depth inside.
5. Floating vanity
Vanities can take up a whole lot of precious floor space. To keep thing compact, choose a small, shallower one. Also, keeping things off the ground will immediately give that the illusion of spaciousness. A floating vanity which gives you lots of storage for toiletries and linen inside but also frees up a little storage space below for small items is a stylish and on-trend addition to your bathroom.
6. Smaller, shallower toilets
Compact wall-hung toilets with a shallow depth and recessed cistern are a great choice for small spaces as minimal floor space is taken up. With a cistern that is recessed inside the wall, you’ll need to choose an in-wall cistern button plate to suit your design.
Small bathrooms can easily look cramped when there is too much clutter so it’s a good idea to have to have a place to put everything. Fittings are a great way to neatly use every nook and cranny in your bathroom from toilet paper to linen. Hooks behind doors for your towels and robes are a must have as is storage for your smaller items such as medicines and toiletries. To keep things in proportion, when choosing fittings, make sure they are the right size and scale compared with the rest of your bathroom.
8. Use light colour and reflective surfaces
Light colours generally work better in small spaces compared with dark colours or dark wood grains. A light and airy colour scheme using whites, soft greys and light timbers will make your room brighter, more spacious and will always be in style. Use reflective surfaces such as a large mirror or even a mirrored wall to reflect your light source if possible. This will open up the space and brighten up the small room.
9. Pay attention to lighting
Well-lit spaces will always make a room feel bigger. When lighting a bathroom, it’s important that the lighting arrangement creates a space that feels well-lit but does not overpower the room. We recommend staying away from pendant lighting around eye or head level. More creative ways of lighting your bathroom include mirror or vanity lighting, tape lights under the cabinets or flush mounted ceiling lights.
–Lindsay Williams is the head designer and owner of Mint Kitchens Burwood, part of the Mint Kitchen Group in Melbourne. Regularly winning national awards for his kitchen and bathroom renovations, Lindsay is an industry leader and master of his craft.
Photography: May Photography