Ideas to design a smaller bathroom

In today’s day and age, lack of space is one of the biggest issues we face. This gives rise to the need for designing compact and small houses. House remodeling, renovation, and redevelopment are happening everywhere. Hence, the architect and the structural engineer working on such jobs need to work towards fulfilling the demands of modern clients. The structural design of these compact houses is complicated and needs to be handled by an experienced designer. 

With a small house, every room in the house needs to be compact including the kitchen and bathrooms. These two areas are the toughest to fit into a smaller place as these rooms are already the smallest in the house, hence making them smaller is a tricky job. That is where an architect and a structural engineer use their engineering concepts to make the most out of compact living spaces.

Designing and remodeling a bathroom essentially revolves around two points.

  • Practicality
  • Visual appeal

If these two boxes are checked, a smaller bathroom will not cause any problems and the final outcome can meet the client’s requirements.

A small bathroom, if not designed efficiently, will cause people to feel claustrophobic and may lead to panic attacks in the bathroom. Hence, it is equally important to design a bathroom for visual appeal as it is to design it for practicality.

1. Practical Placement of cabinets and drawers 

A bathroom is a place that needs a lot of storage space to store all the essentials that are used in daily routine like toothbrushes, tissue-papers, towels, etc. All these things need to be organized properly in a well-managed bathroom. Hence, proper and sufficient storage space is a priority in designing a bathroom.

As space is also a concern, it depends on how these small spaces can be used for storage. Some basic ideas for utilizing the storage spaces efficiently are listed below.

  • Wall-mounted storage space is best suited for small bathrooms. Unused spaces like the wall above the toilet seat are perfect to fit in that extra cabinet.
  • A storage cabinet behind the mirror above the sink is also a good place for daily essentials. This cabinet needs to be large enough for all the daily essentials to fit in properly as this is going to be the most used cabinet in the bathroom.
  • One place that very few people think of is space below the washbasin. This space can be efficiently used by installing sliding channels for drawers on both sides of the drainage pipe of the sink. This space can fit one of the largest cabinets in the bathroom.
  • Glass shelves and cabinets make the bathroom look sleek while adding the extra space to keep stuff with minimizing the design distractions.
  • A ceiling mounted shower increases the practicality of the bathroom as a wall-mounted shower in a small bathroom causes a congested approach and reduced bathing space.

Now, some things might not fit in the bathroom like guest towels, extra toothpaste boxes, etc. All these things can have a dedicated shelf just outside the bathroom in the hallway.

Also, a sliding door or a barn door is a great option for a small bathroom as it barely takes any room whether open or closed.

2. Visual Appeal 

A small bathroom, if not designed efficiently, will cause people to feel claustrophobic and may lead to panic attacks in the bathroom. Hence, it is equally important to design a bathroom for visual appeal as it is to design it for practicality.

For a small bathroom to have a large visual appeal some small changes can do the trick.

Some ideas for increasing the visual area of the bathroom are listed below.

  • Increasing the floor area is one of the most important things to do in a small bathroom as it makes the area of the bathroom look bigger than its actual size. To increase the floor area, wall-mounted toilet seats and pedestal sinks are the best things to do in a small bathroom.
  • Lighter and brighter colors decrease the feeling of claustrophobia in small spaces. Hence, colors like beige, tan, off-white, yellow, pink, etc. can instantly make the room feel airy and larger than it actually is.
  • A mirrored wall visually makes the bathroom twice as big. Just keep in mind to double the width of the bathroom rather than the length as it may give the feeling of a train carriage which makes it unpleasant and one would not like to spend time there.
  • Another important aspect of making the bathroom look bigger is lighting. Lighting is important for proper visibility inside the bathroom, especially while taking a bath, and getting ready or for applying makeup, and it is also important to make the small space look bigger. Bright colored lighting should be installed in the bathroom to make it appear larger than it actually is.

With all these things in mind a few more ideas that go with any bathroom remodel are, float on sink and vanity:

A float on the sink is a sink that is mounted entirely on the wall and with vanity below it hides the drainage pipe and has ample storage space below it. Hence, it is a classy installation to add to a small bathroom.

3. Add small-sized appliances:

One of the biggest mistakes that people make in a smaller bathroom is using regular-sized appliances. One should always opt for a smaller sized appliance in a small-sized bathroom.

Also, too many cabinets can make the bathroom look boxy and small, hence open shelves are the way to go where you don’t need a cabinet as such.

Along with open shelves, built-in shelves can also be used as they solve the biggest problems in small spaces. They can never go out of trend as they allow a lot of spaces without taking up much floor area.

The built-in shelves may not always be giant-sized, in fact, a small or mini built-in is the size of a medicine cabinet but looks classy and serves the purpose of organizing stuff properly.

Storage ladders and towel ladders are other good options to increase the vertical space for keeping essentials in the bathroom. They increase the storage space with barely taking any floor space inside the bathroom.

A small shelf, just a couple of inches wide, may go a long way here as some jars and bottles just need that much space to be stored neatly.

Therefore, to design a small bathroom these ideas may be considered and taken into account by the structural design provided by the architect and the structural engineer.

How we can help:

We have a lot more to offer at Design Everest. You can also reach out to us at  (877) 427-5585  or visit for a free consultation.

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