How to Make the Most of a Small Bathroom

Small bathrooms don’t have to be cramped, dark and overcrowded. With some simple design tricks you can make it appear larger and more stylish.

When designing a small bathroom, the key to success is creativity and strategic thinking. With some key design tricks, you can transform your small space into an inviting and functional area for your family to enjoy.

Table of Contents


A bright paint job can give a small bathroom the illusion of more space, particularly when the walls are painted in an even hue.

First, remove any old paint or grimy residue that has built up on walls. Then, use a soapy solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) to wash down walls and trim to eliminate dust particles that could prevent new paint from adhering properly.

Next, tape off any items on the wall you can’t easily take out, such as mirrors, toilet tanks and other obstructions that might slow you down.

You should also use an angled brush to smooth out the edges of the walls. Dip it in paint, tap off any excess, and carefully paint around the perimeters.

Once the edges are dry, use a roller to finish painting the remaining walls. A lightweight nap roller dipped in a tray can help cover the entire wall more evenly and quickly than using a brush alone.


Flooring or wall tile, the right tiles can make a small bathroom appear spacious. It all depends on the style, size and color you select as well as the overall design scheme in the space.

Light-colored floor tiles can help create the illusion of spaciousness in a bathroom, as they reflect light and make small spaces appear even larger.

Ceramic tiles are a popular choice for bathrooms due to their water-resistant qualities and ease of maintenance. Unfortunately, they may crack underfoot when used in shower stalls or bathtubs.

When selecting tiles for a space, opt for ones that aren’t too large. Large tiles can appear overwhelming and their more grout lines contribute to visual clutter in the room.


The bathroom is the ideal spot to utilize lighting to maximize a small space. Good illumination creates an open, airy ambience which helps make a room appear larger.

As a general guideline, aim for at least 50 lumens of lighting per square foot that mimics natural daylight. This will provide enough illumination to get ready in the morning but not so much that you are blinded when first waking up or when winding down at night.

You can layer different types of lights to achieve this look, from ceiling downlights and wall sconces that cast a warm ambiance throughout the space, to accent lighting that focuses light on specific areas.

You can add extra lighting by using under cabinet lights or strip lighting. These can be placed beneath a vanity or in a recessed niche.


Storage is an integral part of keeping your bathroom looking neat and organized. From toiletries to cleaning products, lotions, potions – there’s a lot that needs its place in there, so finding clever ways to organize your space will help maximize its potential.

One of the best storage ideas for a small bathroom is to utilize slim cabinets or carts against narrow walls. Not only do they provide additional space without taking up much room, but they’re portable and easy to move if necessary.

Another simple way to keep your counters tidy is by using decorative trays and dish sets for holding essential items like soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and hairbrushes. You could also use them for storing decorative toiletries and other accessories.