Living in a small space shouldn’t mean having to cramp your style. If your bathroom layout offers little in the way of extra room, there’s still plenty that you can do using its dimensions. Whether you’re making the most of a temporary rental or renovating your new forever home, our small bathroom ideas guide will show you how to use colour, décor and accessories to make even the most petite room look chic – with or without hammers, nails and DIY renovations.


Hanging light silver ball


Before you start brainstorming bathroom décor ideas, get a better sense of your what you have to work with by removing all of the items from your room. This will give you a clearer idea of your bathroom's shape, free from any obstructions. You'll be able to visualise how to maximise every inch of the precious space that you have – a must when you have a compact room. Don't forget to snap some handy pictures before you put your belongings back in. You can take these along with you when you're décor shopping to help you think about colour and space.

Lighting – both natural and artificial – is instrumental when working with a small bathroom. Harsh bright lights or low-hanging pendants will make the space feel smaller, while soft ceiling lights in pale colours are unobtrusive and elegant. If your bathroom gets a lot of natural light, choose minimalist lighting for the ceiling.

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White bath tub next to a hexagon marbled patterned wallpaper


You'll have heard that lighter colours tend to make a space seem bigger, but this doesn't mean that bold colour is out of the question. In fact, you can integrate bright bathroom colours by singling out a statement wall to be painted or covered with wallpaper. This also allows you to introduce a colour or pattern into your bathroom without overwhelming the entire space.

Wallpaper works especially well when you're dealing with awkwardly-shaped sections of wall, as it's a fantastic way to draw attention to characterful features of your room. You could opt for all-white tiling and highlight this section of the wall using an ornately patterned wallpaper. Don’t forget that your painted wall or wallpaper will need to be treated against water damage to preserve its appearance.

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Glass standing cabinet


The size, style and functionality of your bathroom elements can transform your room. For example, freestanding, floating or wall-mounted basins take up less space to the eye than built-in ones. Similarly, items with glass and mirrored finishes help to increase the perception of spaciousness by reflecting light.

Where possible, choose double duty storage items that have concealed sections for holding toiletries, washing and laundry baskets – in other words, items you’d like on hand but not necessarily in plain view. That way, your clutter is hidden away, leaving only the necessary items on show and ensuring that space isn't swallowed up by unattractive practical items.

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Black glittered bathroom accessories


Once the larger elements are in place, it's time to accessorise. Take your cue from the colours, textures and patterns you've chosen for paint, wallpaper, tiling and bathroom fittings, and consider whether you want your accessories to complement or contrast. Done right, small spaces can carry off bold styling; if you've gone for quite a neutral palette so far, think about adding interest with brightly coloured accessories.

Making the best possible use of a small room's natural light will work in your favour. An ideal way to do this that doesn't take up space is to have light or neutral-coloured curtains or blinds custom-fitted to any windows in the room. This thoughtful extra step can make a massive difference. Again, remember to take into consideration whether your window coverings can withstand a warm and humid atmosphere.

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When the painting, tiling and styling is done, all that's left is for you to sit back and enjoy your handiwork – easy to do if your room design includes a bath! Whether you've gone for minimalist spa chic or the colourful, eclectic look, simply remember to keep clutter to a minimum and welcome in plenty of light to bring life to your small bathroom.