Space Saving Bathrooms

This post and images were contributed by our Dress for Sale partner, Jo Woodward of Sienna Interiors & House Doctor.

The bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in the home, but often one of the smallest. This places great emphasis on the need for good planning and design. A small bathroom obviously involves some limitations but attention to detail such as re-hanging the door the opposite way, or to open outwards, or replacing an existing door with a sliding one can make a great difference.

If there were sufficient ceiling height to allow the floor to be raised to accommodate a sunken bath, this would create an illusion of space. An alternative approach is to consider sitting some of the sanitary ware, elsewhere to create a separate shower room or WC. Tiny bathrooms are a common breed so manufacturers are responding to the demands for scaled-down fittings. Planning is the most important aspect of fitting out a bathroom. To optimise your space take advantage of the expert advice and computer-aided design packages offered by bathroom companies.

Design Tips to make the space more efficient

Choosing sanitaryware

White ceramic ware is still the most popular; an up to the minute suite with smooth curves will give the smallest bathroom a sleek look. Try to fit the bath, basin and loo in a line to give as much clear floor space as possible. For a combined bath & shower, a rectangular bath with a tapered end would provide generous space for the actual shower, creating more floor space.

If you opt for a shower instead of a bath, choose a large enclosure to give it a more luxurious feel. A glass door will prevent it from making the room feel cramped and choose one that opens inwards to save space.

If you opt for a shower instead of a bath, choose a large enclosure to give it a more luxurious feel. (Image sienna interiors)

Wall mounted basin leaves the floor clear creating a feeling of space.


A wall mounted towel rail doubles up to give heat and warm towels, however in small bathrooms care must be taken not to site a radiator where it could cause injury – too close to a bath for example.

A space saving solution would be under floor heating which can be electric or attached to your gas central heating system.

Tips to make room look bigger

• Make efficient use of space with multifunctional items, such as cabinet doors that double as mirrors. A wall-mounted cupboard swallows up toiletries and cosmetics, leaving basin and bath surrounds clear and preventing clutter from killing the sensation of space.

• As well as having a clean, contemporary appeal, glass shelves give a more open look than those made from solid materials and can be supported by discreet brackets that will blend in with the wall.

• Using large-scale furnishings in a small room can trick the eye.

Big tiles seem to enlarge a floor area, while hanging a sizable picture on the wall may also create a surprisingly spacious feel.

Large tiles enlarge floor area

Every bathroom needs at least one mirror; so make full use of their space-enhancing properties. Large mirrors visually expand a small room by reflecting space and light, and placing one along a wall in a narrow room can make it feel twice as wide.

If you want to fit a large bath into a small space, opt for depth over length. A roll-top bath combines character with a generous bathing area.

Fuss free white walls and matching sanitaryware can work like magic in a small room, creating a bright contemporary scheme that really opens up the space. However a dash of colour saves a tiny bathroom from that broom-cupboard feeling Although light cool colours give the illusion of space, deep warm shades will make the room feel cosier. To enhance the space you have, choose plain shades rather than patterned and balance a deep colour with pale wood or lighter tiles.

A dash of colour saves a tiny bathroom from that broom cupboard feeling.

Accessorise the bathroom with matching towels and if possible, roll up the spare ones place on a glass shelf for an instant spa look. Besides, it’s much easier to roll than fold tidily.

Have a few large church candles dotted about were you can you don’t have to light them, but if you do want to then it’s much easier to light a few big ones than faffing around with a 100 tealights like they do in the movies. As well as the pure function of keeping everyone clean, the bathroom maybe the only room where you can be alone for half an hour. Make sure it has flexible lighting, storage to clear the clutter and somewhere to rest a glass of wine. At the end of a hard day this is your sanctuary and you’ll thank yourself for the little etc’s you have managed to plan in.

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