Top Fresh Ideas for Your Small Bathroom Renovation

Sherry Willing

By Sherry Willing

Lead Interior Designer and Co-Owner of Make It Real Design

Are you cramped for space in your bathroom? Make It Real Design can help you maximize the potential of your area. We have some ideas to help make your bathroom more functional and beautiful.

You don’t need a lot of square footage to have a luxurious bathroom. With these ideas from our lead designer, you can add function and beauty to your bathroom without breaking the bank.

Small Bathroom Ideas to Make You Love Your Space

Many homes in the Victoria area have that one bathroom that just seems too small. Maybe it’s a powder room downstairs, a Jack-and-Jill bathroom shared by siblings, or even the primary bathroom. Whatever the case, we all want our bathrooms to be stylish sanctuaries where we can relax and recharge.

If you’re dealing with tight quarters, don’t despair — there are plenty of ways to make the most of your limited space. With a few strategic design choices, you can create a bathroom that feels larger than it is and functions perfectly for your needs.

In this article, we’ll share our favorite ways to make your bathroom look and feel spacious and inviting, using real-life examples.

natural wood works well with dark bathroom tile
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Accent Wall

Black tile makes for a dramatic accent wall

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Wood Side Table

Keep only a few items on exposed storage surfaces

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Black Fixtures

Matte black hardware pairs well with natural features

Hover over blue dots

Tap blue dots

How To Make Your Small Bathroom Feel Larger

When remodeling a bathroom, many people assume you need to tear down walls and enlarge the actual room. However, there are many ways to make a small bathroom feel larger without expanding the existing floor space. 

Ideas for small bathrooms with showers

glass shower door creates the illusion of space
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Use Glass

Skip the shower curtain. Glass makes a space look bigger because you can see straight through to the back walls. Frameless glass on the shower door increases the effect.

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Barrier-free Shower Entrance

The flow of tile between the shower and the rest of the bathroom creates the illusion of more space.

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Neo-angle

Don't be afraid of angles. We enlarged the existing shower and then cut off the corner. More room in the shower was the overall result.

1. Tile the Walls

Wall tile is especially eye-catching in a tiny bathroom. You can make one wall the focus by using a color or a pattern, or tile everything to make the space cohesive. Also, light colors, like whites, off whites, and greys, enhance the sense of spaciousness.

2. Tile the Ceiling

At Make It Real Design, we often tile bathroom ceilings. Ceilings tend to collect a lot of condensation. Keeping the drywall covered helps prevent mold.

Consider tiling over the shower if you don’t want to tile the entire ceiling. If your shower wall is a focal point, extending the tile up to the ceiling will help give the illusion of a taller space.

3. Change Your Door

We sometimes suggest a barn door for a small bathroom. If you have a door swinging into your bathroom, invariably, there’s some dance you have to do to get around the door.

A barn door that slides open gives you access to the bathroom without taking up any space in the room. These doors come in various styles and can be customized to match your bathroom’s design.

4. Think Sink

Consider a corner sink. There are some small sinks out now that are super functional and space-saving. You can even get a small floating sink that doesn’t have any legs, which makes it look very sleek and modern.

5. Go Double Duty

The old idea about using your bathtub to double as a shower space is still practical, especially for families. You can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Getting a Modern & Stylish Look

One goal of many renos is to make the bathroom seem less dated. There are many ways to achieve a more modern look without starting from scratch. A small bathroom can be both functional and stylish with a few key updates.

A Modern Small Bathroom Design

Small bathroom renovation ideas
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Accent Wall

wallpaper designed for moist areas

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Wall-mounted Vanity

light pastel color for a fresh statement

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Framed Mirror

Adds interest and a sense of space

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Open Shelves

Store only a few items to prevent a cluttered feel

1. Update the Wallpaper

There are wallpapers with coating or vinyl that are designed to go into moist areas. These are an excellent option for small bathrooms because they can help you achieve that high-end, spa-like look without breaking the bank.

2. Mind the Vanity

Anything bulky and built-in is automatically going to date your bathroom. The vanities make a big difference. Use a light-colored vanity to make the room feel more open and airy.

If you use a wall-hung vanity, even better. These floating-style vanities have become hugely popular over the last ten years. They tend to take up less visual space, making the room appear larger.

3. Light from Below

One small thing you can do is put lights under the vanity or counters. The light from underneath adds to the sense of space – and you don’t have to turn on the light when you walk into the room.

4. Put it On a Pedestal

If you don’t need a lot of bathroom storage space, use a pedestal sink. You will see through the base, which visually elongates the room. Again, you lose a bit of storage, but what you gain in the feel of your bathroom is significant.

5. Use Framed Mirrors

Small mirrors with interesting frames create interest without overpowering the space. If you have an old-style builder mirror that dominates one wall, try replacing it with two smaller ones.

 

6. Pay Attention to Toilet Type

You want something that’s going to be comfortable, but choose a toilet that’s a one-piece construction. The design is simple and modern – and as a bonus, they are easier to keep clean.

Storage Solutions for Smaller Baths

One of the biggest challenges in small baths is finding enough storage space. But with a little creativity, it is possible to create functional and stylish storage solutions.

 

1. Hook it Up

Try using towel hooks. They don’t take up much space and you won’t have a big rod or ring jutting from your wall.

2. Take Advantage of Smart Style

Manufactured vanities are becoming smart and clever. In the old days, vanities just had doors. Today, these units come with a plug for your hair dryer and charging stations for your electronics.

3. Open it Up

Open shelves are lovely, and they do add storage. However, only use them to display things like plants, beautiful things, or even a couple of fun items. Using this shelving as a dumping place could be very tempting, so stay disciplined if you go this route.

4. Store Items ElsEwhere

You don’t have to have cleaning products for the whole house under your vanity. Instead, put them in a caddy or a little bucket and store them elsewhere. Just carry them to your bathroom when you need them. The same idea goes for the toilet brush and plunger. These items don’t need to be on display.

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9 Ways to Save on Bathroom Renovation

Embrace Current Trends

When updating your space, look to current trends for design inspiration.

Bathroom tile mimicking nature
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Nature Inspired

Tile mimics the pattern of leaves

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Stone Sink

Adds another natural material and provides a dark accent

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Framed Mirror

Adds interest and a sense of space

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Lighting

Unexpected placement of an interesting light fixture

1. Look to Nature

Right now, designers are starting to bring in more elements from nature. Think leafy patterns on wallpaper or even tiles arranged to mimic an organic form.

A stone sink can also be a grounding force in a small room. If you don’t want to go that far, try earth-toned towels or even a plant or two. (Orchids are one of the great things to have in bathrooms – they thrive in the warm, damp environment).

2. Experiment with Lighting

We used to think light fixtures had to be directly over the sink. But lighting has changed so much that we can play with placement. Now, light fixtures and their light can be a little dramatic statement.

3. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Dark elements, like black tile or matte black hardware, are popular to pair with natural features. Try adding a wood element, like a small stand or shelf, to balance out the bold starkness of the black.

We hope these tips have given you some ideas for renovating your small bathroom. If you need help with your renovation or interior design, we are happy to assist you!

Sherry Willing

Lead Designer & Co-Owner, Make It Real Design

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