How To Design A Small Bathroom

Create a luxurious bathroom in a compact space with the use of fixtures and accessories

A renovated bathroom with chocolate brown tiles

Colourful accessories help to brighten a small space

A bathroom that is practical and aesthetically pleasing can be a challenge to design, especially when working with a small space.

Measuring only 2.4 x 1.9m, the bathroom in this first-floor extension needed every trick in the book to make it look and feel bigger than it is.

When the extension was added, the bathroom was built as an empty shell with only plumbing and wiring installed by the tradies.

The layout was kept simple, with plumbing for just a shower, toilet and vanity, as a bathtub in a room this size would occupy too much space.

For the waterproofing and tiling, a professional tiler was called in. Large-format tiles were selected to increase the sense of space.

The chocolate colour on the floor was continued up the wall opposite the door to add visual depth, while glossy white tiles were used for the other walls to brighten the space.

Boost the light levels

With a small, west-facing window, the room was designed to make the most of the limited natural light. A mirror was mounted on the wall above the vanity so there was no medicine cabinet creating an obstruction at eye level.

The vanity was positioned adjacent to the window so the mirror could bounce light into the room. The white wall tiles and glass shower panels also function as reflective surfaces.

Despite the small space, the bathroom door has just enough clearance to open inwards, without hitting the vanity.

Frameless glass was chosen for the shower screen to open up the space and make the room look bigger than it is.

The toilet was tucked into the corner next to the shower to keep it out of the line of sight from the doorway. 

To complete the contemporary look, chrome taps and shower fittings were installed, and complemented by chrome towel racks, as well as a handy shower caddy to keep the space tidy.

TIP Brighten up a modern bathroom by adding splashes of colour using towels or accessories.

Do it yourself

Here are five easy steps for a successful design in a small space:

  • Use large format tiles to make the room feel bigger.
  • Install a frameless shower screen to open up the space.
  • Maximise natural light using windows and mirrors.
  • Use compact and minimalist fixtures and fittings.
  • Don’t install a bathtub if you don’t have room for one.
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