Making The Most Out Of Your Small Bathroom Design? (Mistakes to Avoid)
Small bathrooms are often a determining factor that decides whether you purchase a house or apartment. Renovating a small bathroom can sometimes seem pointless as you might not be staying there for too long or you might just not have any ideas. But even so, there are plenty of tips to design your small bathroom to give an illusion of space.
There are many different bathroom designs that would best suit your and your family’s taste. Our small bathroom design tips have been curated based on advice from our in-house designers as well as the trend we have seen with Auckland home owners.
In this article about small bathroom renovations:
- 17 Tips to Design your small bathroom design
- Dos and Don’ts of Tilling Your small bathroom design
- Design mistakes to avoid for a small bathroom design
- 10 Small Powder Room Design Ideas
How to make the most out of your Small Bathroom Design
Found the perfect place? Is the bathroom too small for your liking?
No matter where you live, bathrooms are always lacking in square footage. You want a home that you love in every room including the bathroom. Just because the bathroom is small. It just means it gives you a little side project to redecorate and design a bathroom to your liking.
But there’s no reason why having a small bathroom should stop you from creating a space that you love and enjoy spending time in. All it takes to improve your small bathroom is the right type of storage space. Some carefully placed decorations and a bit of optimism and effort to make it happen. Down below are 17 tips that we think will help you design your small bathroom and ways you can make it feel more open and spacious.
17 Tips To Designing and Renovating your Small Bathroom
1. Don’t Block the Sunlight
Natural light is best proven to style your small bathroom to make it feel open and spacious. Dark bathroom can dampens your mood and doesn’t look as nice compared to natural sunlight and having a dark bathroom won’t help make your bathroom feel open and spacious.
The combination of white wall and an abundance of natural light can make a space look a lot bigger. I your bathroom has a window, consider blinds, and get rid of your curtains. Especially if you have a mirror in the bathroom. The natural light will reflect and provide your bathroom with a sense of peace and makes it feel more open and spacious.
2. Keep it Simple
Using larger tiles also helps make your small bathroom look more bigger. Especially with a simple design as well as using subway tiles and hardware. Keeping your bathroom simple also implies sticking with one or two colors as having too many colors won’t make your bathroom look more spacious. Here is an example of one of our renovated bathrooms keeping it simple with sticking with one or two colors.
Simple colors used in bathroom renovation
Simple bathroom tiles in Greenlane
3. Use Dark Accents
A style success that works well with designing a bathroom to make it look more spacious is using black and white with metallic hardware. When designing your bathroom, it’s good to keep dark accents in mind as they can help provide a pop of contrast in a white bathroom.
Design tip: This vanity set was custom built to fit within this small bathroom design which utilizes the space well and provides more storage space.
4. Try Something Different
If you’re going for a more modern style in your bathroom, you should try mixing it up with traditional elements which can help create a rich and colourful bathroom. If you’re styling a bathroom based on a budget, invest on wallpaper as they are a great way to play with pattern or add a fun little flair without having to spend a ton of money and can fit within your budget. Just because the bathroom is small, don’t limit yourself to how much you can really do with the style.
If you’re feeling bold, go ahead and arrange a gallery wall on your bathroom walls.
Spanish style mosaic tiles and brass gold sink
Mosaic tiles in Hillsborough
5. Opt for a Monochromatic Palette.
Finding the perfect colour for your small bathroom may be the hardest part of designing your bathroom. It can often feel overwhelming and to help minimise your stress by picking just one colour, switch to choosing a monochromatic palette instead. That way you have different shades of colour which would also work well with bathroom sinks, tiles, shower, etc.
6. Swap your Shower Curtain for a Glass Door
Ever notice how lucite and acrylic furniture tends to disappear and make the space look much bigger? Glass shower doors have the same effect. To make the most out of your space in your small bathroom, considering swapping out your shower curtain for glass doors as this will help make your bathroom feel bigger.
7. Even if there’s room for two, consider a single sink to increase counter space.
Although having two sinks are nice, realistically how often do you really use two sinks? Even if there is enough space for two sinks, consider only getting one as you’ll be able to have more counter space allowing you more storage space for your skincare/beauty products. Most people use counter space more than the sink when getting ready, therefore eliminating the need for two sinks. To make your small bathroom feel larger, consider only purchasing one sink. Storage space is important!
8. Hang a medicine cabinet above the toilet.
Most medicine cabinets are always hung above the sink with a mirror at the front which eliminates you the chance of having a big, beautiful mirror above the sink which can also help reflect natural light and make your small bathroom feel bigger. To solve this problem, you should hang your medicine cabinet above the toilet as it keeps it out of your way and provides you with another option for storage space.
9. Use open shelving to store towels or other pretty essentials.
Using open storage is a perfect way to make your bathroom look bigger and more open. In a small bathroom there is plenty of space on the wall for open shelves compared to having cabinets which can make the space feel compact and small. They also give you an option to redecorate where you put your bathroom essentials whenever you feel like it.
10. Take your shower tile all the way to the ceiling.
Experts agree that you should always take you shower tile all the way to the ceiling as it adds a feeling of height and draws your attention away from how close the walls are. Doing this will also help make your small bathroom feel more modern and make the shower space look larger. If you’re designing your small bathroom on a budget, consider purchasing white subway tiles as they’re an affordable and classic option for this look.
11. Decorative Waste Baskets
Whilst creating an illusion to making your bathroom look bigger, there is only so much decorating you can do to keep up that illusion. One of the things you can decorate however you want is waste baskets. Waste baskets are nice and small and doesn’t take up space which is perfect for your small bathroom as every bathroom needs a waste basket.
There are several different ways to use a decorative waste basket in your bathroom. First, you can choose a beautiful leather waste basket which is an incredibly elegant option. Leather is very beautiful and quite versatile in terms of looks. Leather is mainly known to be a traditional brown or black colour. But those aren’t the only colours that can help decorate your bathroom. Colours like white, grey, pink, etc are also good in terms of boosting your design quality and there many other options for decorative waste baskets.
Another popular option that people have in their bathrooms for waste baskets is stainless steel waste baskets. Chrome is a great example of a stainless-steel waste basket as they are extremely versatile in bathroom design, due to their durability, reliability, and affordability. The shine of these metallic finishes is very attractive and can often serve as a small focal point of a smaller bathroom design.
12. Decorative Towel Hooks
Another decorating option for you when designing your small bathroom is towel hooks. Although they are some of the smallest bathroom accessories, that doesn’t mean you can’t find the most decorative towel hooks. For a bathroom that is mainly white, finding black towel hooks would give the bathroom more contrast and make it pop due to the dark accents. There are different styles that towel hooks come in like chrome, stainless-steel, matte black or white and many more. Each of these different designs will offer a unique yet traditional element to your small bathroom design.
Bathroom hooks have more than one purpose and there are many ways you can use them for. Since you are designing your bathroom, don’t limit yourself to different decorative ideas. Here are just a few examples on the different ways you can use bathrooms hooks. You can use bathroom hooks to hang shelves, mesh bags for storage, loofahs, and shower scrubs, hanging baskets, etc. Bathroom hooks are incredibly versatile and are worth using when decorating a small bathroom area so let your creativity shine through here!
13. Wall Mounted Bathroom Sinks
Wall mounted bathroom sinks are crucial to have when designing your small bathroom as you’d want to have as much storage space as you can and having a wall mounted bathroom sink opens up space underneath the sink for you to store bathroom essentials. Not only does having a wall mounted sink opens more space, but it also helps make your bathroom feel bigger which is what we want. There are plenty of various shapes and designs that can add a great level of sense to your small bathroom design.
14. Bathroom Vanity Accessory Sets
There’s only so much creativity input that you can put into designing your small bathroom. But what all bathroom needs are vanity accessory sets which includes soap dishes, soap dispensers, toothbrush holders and other similar small accessories. Purchasing a bathroom vanity accessory set with increase the cohesiveness of your vanity area and is another thing you can decorate to your liking.
When purchasing bathroom vanity accessory sets, it’s important to find colours that best match your bathroom theme. It would be good to pick dark colours for your bathroom vanity accessory set if the theme of your bathroom is bright, as it will bring a bit of contrast and bring some colour to the room. Some common materials and finishes include ceramic, solid brass, chrome, brushed nickel, gold, and many more.
15. Magnifying Mirrors
You can never have too many mirrors, right? Magnifying mirrors are another small bathroom decoration that you can either put away or keep it on the counter. The mirror is perfect for the ladies when getting ready and applying their makeup. Since magnifying mirrors don’t take much space even if they were mounted on the wall. This is the preferred installation method for small bathrooms. To decorate the magnifying mirror some more, consider purchasing ones that have LED lighting which is useful for shaving, makeup, and similar things you may need it for.
Not only are the extremely useful, but they also come with a series of elegant design features that make a great addition of décor to your small bathroom. Main colours they come in are chrome, matte black, matte white. This is a great feature to consider as they’re highly likely to match well with your other bathroom accessories. This will create the perfect bathroom vanity area for yourself or a guest and receive compliments for your bathroom design. This magnifying mirror will be an additional with a wall mirror for better comfort as no bathroom is complete without a wall mirror.
16. Wall Décor
Wall décor is one of the best ways to decorate your small bathroom as there is limited space. Keeping your wall space empty eliminates potential storage space. Which limits you to how much decorating you can do for your bathroom. One of the most common wall décors in a small bathroom is wall art as they come in many different forms. Therefore, providing you with plenty of options to choose from. It’s important to choose a wall art that goes with the theme of your bathroom design to create a cohesive and comfortable space.
17. Ceiling Décor
Nowadays plants and succulents are very popular in households. They give people more creativity when it comes to decorating their house and provides a touch of colour. So why stop there? Add some hanging plants that thrive in humidity from the steam in the shower. It provides a touch of colour and gives you more decorating opportunities. Some plants that thrive well are aloe vera and ferns which is the perfect ceiling décor that you could have in your bathroom as finishing touches.
Another ceiling décor is lighting as that is another creativity opportunity for you to find the perfect lights for your bathroom that goes with your design. LED lights are most known to be used for bathrooms, but they might not suit your bathroom design. Ceiling décor is usually the last thought, but they are the most useful and most needed. Take your time and explore your options and pick what works best for your bathroom theme or style.
Dos and Don’ts of Tiling a Small Bathroom Design
When designing your small bathroom, there are many of tiles to choose from and different ways you can install them into your small bathroom. But there are many mistakes that are often made. These tips will help make your small bathroom look more attractive and spacious.
Due to the abundance of design and colors in the market nowadays. Choosing the perfect tiles for you can help make your small bathroom look bigger. Picking correct tile for your small bathroom takes planning and deliberations. This may be the biggest task you’d need to do before you can decorate your bathroom and requires a huge amount of patience. Before you invest into any materials, consider the following guidelines to help avoid an expensive mistake or something you’ll regret.
Do Carefully Measure the Space
Before you start making any major changes in your small bathroom, it’s best to measure the space beforehand and write it down which would help you find the right tiles you need, etc. Especially with smaller bathrooms, you’d want to make sure that the numbers are right to make the most out of the space. When calculating the amount of tile needed for floors or walls, you need to multiply the lengths of the area you are covering by the width to find the square footage. Double check your numbers before ordering and always purchase more than you need in case it’s not enough.
Don’t Scrimp When Buying Tiles
Why should you buy extra tiles? It’s always good to purchase more than you need as you never know when you might run out of material, and it can be frustrating as you’d have to pause the task to purchase some more and if you’re after custom tiles then it could take the supplier a few weeks to get more before you can finish your tiling. Ordering extra tiles are always useful as you might’ve miscalculated, or some tiles broke and cutting them up to fit into spaces. There are many reasons as to why you should always have extra tiles for future purposes. Check to see if your retailers offer refunds or exchanges on unopened boxes of tiles.
Do Think Small-Scale
If large tiles aren’t your style, there are many small-scale tiles that are the perfect fit for you that can make your small bathroom feel bigger. Using mosaic tiles are a great way to visually expand your small bathroom as they come with a variety of colors and style. Consider using glass mosaics tiles as they help deepen the illusion of having a bigger bathroom with more reflected light.
Don’t Underestimate Large Tiles
You may think large tiles won’t look good in a small bathroom due to the lack of square footage. You should think about using large tiles when designing your small bathroom. Because it can actually make your bathroom look bigger. Since our brain associates big tiles with a larger space, it gives off an illusion that a room is bigger than it is. If you’re considering large tiles treatment to your floors, consider continuing them up the wall to the height of a chair rail.
Do Keep It Simple
Select a variety of soft-hued colors that are a few shades lighter or darker than each other when selecting tiles as this will keep the bathroom simple compared to having different colors and patterns as that will overwhelm the space and make it seem cramped which is not what we want. Keep it simple, consider smaller-scale design.
Don’t Skip the Preparation
This is an extremely important step that you shouldn’t skip when tiling a small bathroom. Before you start, ensure that the surface you’re working on is clean, smooth, and solid, otherwise it will cause tiles to crack of loosen and allows moisture to get behind tiles from uneven walls which can cause them to loosen and fall off. Which would be disappointing to see after completing this labor-intensive project. Also remember to remove any wallpaper from walls and sand the surface before applying tiles to prevent those things from happening.
Do Set Tiles in a Diagonal Pattern
Another way you can make your small bathroom be perceived as bigger is by tiling your tiles in a diagonal pattern which gives off an illusion that your bathroom is bigger than it actually is. Although doing diagonal tile patterns require more planning, precise measuring, and cutting and may seem easier to not diagonal patterns, this is something to think about as it would make your small bathroom feel larger.
Key tip before starting – Use a graph paper to lay out a scaled diagram of your floor.
Don’t Use Shiny Tiles for small floor tiles
When thinking about tiles for your bathroom, don’t consider glossy tiles or polished stone as they can be a hazard for you. Although they may look nice and luxurious in your bathroom, you will more likely injure yourself more in your bathroom than anywhere else in your house. Once those tiles get wet, they become slippery and when rushing in the morning you can forget that they get slippery. But if you are 100% sold on glossy tiles, there are tiles that have a low slip resistance which can help minimize risk of falls/injuries. Be sure to check with your retailer before purchasing.
7 Design mistakes to avoid in Renovating a Small Bathroom
Small bathrooms aren’t always ideal but we just have to make do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it the second you get in there. Our bathrooms are supposed to be a relaxing space to end our days.
Thinking of designing your small bathroom to your style and standard? Don’t let your lack of square footage discourage your creativity side. Design and organization experts explained the mistakes people make in their small bathroom design that aren’t doing any favors to make your small bathroom look more open and spacious.
Down below are 7 mistakes you should avoid when designing your small bathroom.
1. Thinking Everything Needs to Be White
Nowadays a lot of people are going for a more modern design for their bathroom regardless of the size which entails having white sinks. White counters. White bathtubs, and white walls. Although using white isn’t a bad thing but using dark colours and bold patterns in a small space can make a huge impact in a small room and bring colour into it. Don’t be afraid to use colours!
Although you have limited space, don’t hold your creativity back!
Use of colour on the floor and bathroom vanity
Spanish Style mosaic tiles in Stanmore Bay
2. Keeping Everything Out in the Open
Storage is one of the most crucial things that you need in your small bathroom. Clutter has always been the enemy of small spaces. Without the proper storage space, you will end up having a cramped-up area eliminating your goal of making you small bathroom look bigger. This would be a good idea to purchase bathroom vanity accessories set that go with your colour theme as you can put your toothbrush, soap, toothpaste, etc. Minimizing the items on your bathroom counter, stick to 3 things which most of them include what you need in a bathroom vanity accessory set. Add a decorative item like a plant or succulent.
Often, we forgot to utilize our storage space under our sink as we tend to put our bathroom stuff on the sink counter. Have them on shelves that we have scatter around the bathroom. To avoid making this mistake, invest more into looking at storage spaces to hide your bathroom essentials to make the room look more organized and less cluttered. Remember to use the space under your sink.
3. Focusing on Décor Without a Purpose
Designing a small bathroom can be overwhelming as there’s only so much decorating you can do, and you can either have a bathroom that is overflowing with decorations or have a bathroom that barely has any decorations. Even if you don’t want to over decorate your bathroom with flowers, wall art or succulents you can purchase an open storage shelf and place functional items like towels. Gathering inspiration from Pinterest on how to decorate your small bathroom is also extremely helpful.
4. Limiting Yourself to Bathroom Specific Items
If other houses in your room have wall art, or flowers, consider purchasing some to put in your bathroom. Another design mistake to avoid is limiting yourself to ONLY bathroom decorations and let’s be honest here. Bathroom decorations aren’t always the best. Using decorations in the bathroom that you can find anywhere else in the house makes it feel homier.
Based on previous small bathroom designs. The best non bathroom decoration you could put in your bathroom are plants that thrive well with the humidity of the bathroom. Hanging plants are a most popular one.
5. Not Thinking Beyond the Vanity
Counter space is not the only storage space available! Skincare products, makeup tend to fill up counter space which creates more clutter and makes your small bathroom feel more cramped that it is. Although it’s easy to put most products near the vanity/counter because it’s easier for you to reach, they aren’t the most helpful. Consider getting a medicine cabinet with storage space or install some floating shelves to utilize that wall space.
6.Going Small Because the Room is Small
Go big or go home! Just because you have a small bathroom doesn’t mean you can’t purchase big items for your bathroom. In fact, only purchasing small items can make your small bathroom feel crowded and create clutter which is not what we want. Purchasing medium/big decorations can make a huge difference in a small space.
7. Letting the Room Flatter You
A key point to always remember is that you’re designing the bathroom towards your needs and your standards. Bathrooms are always a space that’s about taking a moment for yourself and self-care no matter the size. It’s a place where we go every night to relax.
Key tips – create good lighting using natural light. A dim bedroom may be nice, but a dim bathroom is not. A brighter space can brighten up your mood more so than a dark space.
10 Small Powder Room Design Ideas
Powder rooms only contain the essentials like a toilet, sink and a mirror. It’s mainly used for guests when they stay over or when you host get togethers. It’s a place where you and your guests can get ready. Touch up on their makeup or for people to recharge themselves. Powder rooms are a lot easier and cheaper to design as it’s a small space and won’t suffer from steam or humidity. Which opens a range of options when thinking about designing it. To gather inspiration for your powder room design, here are 10 small powder room ideas.
There are many ways you can decorate your powder room with the eclectic theme. Eclectic powder rooms mainly consist of vintage decorations. This would be a perfect chance for you to transform a period dresser into a washbasin. If you are very interested in vintage items, and vintage theme rooms, then this is the perfect design for you.
Metallic finishes on your powder room gives it the perfect touch to bring the whole room together. These finishes are currently trendy, and these touches can be applied to any rooms in your house. Using gold, copper, and bronze with polished nickel and chrome metal will give the room warm. But for a more luxurious upscale look, use marble and dark wood accents to compliment your metallic powder room.
If you’re after a simpler design, then this minimal powder room idea is perfect for you. This design only requires a single colour to tie walls, fixtures and finishing touches together. Using a darker wall colour will create a dramatic and intimate atmosphere and a metal washbasin creates focus. When creating a minimal design, always opt for a light-colours floor as it bounces light around and will help keep the room from feeling small.
After a more eastern décor? This oriental theme powder room design is the right fit for you. Create a custom vanity with a mosaic design and combine it with a patterned tile accent wall. Using a dark red wall colour will create a rich backdrop that invokes oriental designs and will help highlight the accent wall. Include an eastern-influenced vanity mirror and decorative lightning to complete the look.
Still stuck on ideas for your oriental design power room? Check out Pinterest for more ideas and inspiration.
Rustic powder room design has finishing touches that include wood and. You can create a more modern design to this rustic powder room look by using a natural wood vanity and a black metal mirror. To avoid a heavy cabin like feel to your powder room. Opt for lighter wood finishes, and white tiles to bring the room together.
Be creative and have fun designing your powder room by making it colourful! Use bold colour wallpaper to create a theme and choose different colours for bath accessories that complement the wallpaper well to create a fun, simple, and colourful room. Go bold and have a different colour washbasin instead of sticking with the usual white colour ones. Contrast the room with simple white fixtures and finishes to keep it from overwhelming the room.
Create a playful powder room by using fun wallpaper with different patterns and colour that provides the room with a more playful feel. Using an interesting wallpaper will add colour and interest as well as character to your powder room without overwhelming it and making it look busy and cramped.
8. Mid-Century Modern
Sick of the modern powder room design? With the mid-century modern design twist, you are sure to spruce up your powder room with this theme. Add a pop of colour to your walls, even your floors. Add in a nice rug to give it some colour. Make it interesting and include fun details like retro wallpaper, mid-century artwork and include some vintage vibes.
Love natural light? Love plants? This organic design is perfect for your powder room. Using light colour wood with earth-tone finishes and textures would make the room lighter. Include plants and river stone pebbles to tie the room together and make it more organic.
Make your powder room have characteristics of a city you love by using colours like black and white. Use dark walls and furnishings to visually expand the room. Also consider using large scale tiles to create a graphic pattern. To finish it off, use white in contrast to draw attention the key features in your powder room.
As you can see, there are many different creative ways to design your small bathroom and 17 design tips to design your small bathroom to make it more open and create the illusion of space. We have also included 7 mistakes that you should avoid when designing your small bathroom to help you avoid cluttering up the small space. If you’re on a budget and decided to DIY your own tiles in your small bathroom, we have also given a few dos and don’ts when it comes to tilling your small bathroom. Not only do we have tips for small bathrooms, but we also have 10 small powder room ideas to help make it more look more appealing and towards your liking.
With our helpful tips, you’ll be sure to design a beautiful bathroom and make your small bathroom look more open and spacious as the lack of square footage shouldn’t discourage you from designing a small bathroom towards your liking.
- Ideas for Bathroom renovations in our bathroom renovation gallery of bathrooms we have renovated in Auckland
- Featured projects and Client stories to see specifications on some of the projects.
- Real client stories from Auckland
How much does it cost to renovate a small bathroom in NZ
The average cost for bathroom renovation in NZ starts at $19,500. Though there are different prices for different companies. At Superior Renovations we include all labor costs, products, renovation materials and all different trades and project management in our proposals.
What type of tiles should I be using for my bathroom?
There are heaps of tiles that are available to you that will cater towards your needs as there are a lot of factors for you to consider. Read more about various tiles from the ladies at Tile Depot to understand more about what is suitable for your family https://superiorrenovations.co.nz/emerging-tile-trends-by-tile-depot-common-mistakes-to-avoid/
Do I have to get my own products?
No you do not need to get your own products, as we do a full renovation service which includes choosing all your fixtures, flooring and renovation materials from our suppliers in Auckland.
Still have questions unanswered? schedule a no-obligation consultation with the team at Superior Renovations
Or call us on 0800 199 888
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