Small Bathroom Decor That Makes a Big Impression


We’ve probably all lived in a place with a small bathroom. Vintage homes are well-known for cozy water-closets. Most often they are half baths, but some older full bathrooms can also be small.So what are some approaches to décor that will help make a small bathroom feel more spacious?


  • Open and transparent
  • More up than out
  • Less is more

Let’s start at the bottom…

Large floor tiles, without a busy design, make a room look larger. With fewer grout lines to break up your view, large tiles create a single, solid-color floor. Stone floor tile looks more upscale and aren’t very costly in a small bathroom.

Wall Colors
Typically, lighter colors make small rooms less oppressive. But if you have a lot of light from a window or skylight, a dark color can look sophisticated and dramatic, especially when offset by white woodwork. Try painting the walls a light color and the woodwork to match.  White crown molding where the walls meet the ceiling is another touch that draws the eye up.

Wallpaper is making a comeback. A “tone on tone” vertical stripe provides a solid color with dimension. Other wallpapers come in light, solid colors with texture. If humidity is a concern (as in a full bath), add a large open print on vinyl wallpaper to a single accent wall.

If your small bathroom has a window, resist the urge to cover it with frilly curtains or heavy blinds. Use nothing at all or add a translucent shade inside the frame.  If your window isn’t frosted, use a shade that rolls up from the bottom. The point is to maintain as much transparency, openness and light as possible.

A tall rectangular or oval mirror can be a great vertical focal point. A clear glass shelf below it adds another surface without looking bulky. Achieve the most visual space by adding a full-wall mirror on the behind the sink, starting at mid-height.

A pedestal sink is always a great choice for a small bathroom as the area beneath it is open and airy. An oval or rectangular shaped sink takes up less space than a round shape coming further away from the wall. Another option is a glass vessel sink on a table top vanity with legs instead of cabinetry to keep your space open.

Decorative Accessories
Minimize or avoid a lot of decorative tchotchkes in a small bathroom. Visually, it helps to keep surfaces clear and open. But, make the accessories you do have of top quality. Beautiful plush towels, wall sconces alongside the mirror, a single artwork or a grouping of small-framed pieces adds a luxury look.

Store only absolute essentials in a small bathroom. Try a tall cabinet on one or both sides of the sink. Open storage is often suggested, but if you are concerned about dust, doors with glass fronts keep the transparent look and the items stored clean. Use glass containers any items needing easy access.

If possible, think about replacing a door that swings into the room with a pocket door that slides into the wall.

by Carolyn Staven


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