The Best Decorating Tips For Compact Spaces

The Best Decorating Tips For Compact Spaces

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Miniaturised bathroom furniture

small bathroom ideas
Mark Bolton

Compromises do have to be made in small spaces, but it is possible to contain all of the necessary bathroom features – your sink, mirror, storage etc. – if you’re willing to miniaturise. This clever shelving unit started life as an apple crate, whilst the tiny mirror hides some modest shelves.



small bathroom ideas
Rachel Whiting

“Neutral décor in the bathroom has always been popular, and even more so in smaller spaces,” says Ruth Foster, interior designer at Victoria Plum. “Adopting light shades like taupe, cream and white will create a lighter and brighter bathroom, making it appear larger than it really is. If you keep this in mind when choosing the colour of your wall and floor tiles, you can create a warm and harmonious design with timeless elegance.”

Read more: Creative ways to use tiles in a bathroom


Under-sink storage

small bathroom ideas
Rachel Whiting

In small bathrooms, hidden storage will be your best friend. This blocky sink offers cupboard space below, with a weathered and worn door for a bit of character.

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small bathroom ideas antiques
Annie Sloan

A bathroom retailer might be your first port of call when designing a small space, but their standardised sizing may not be suitable. Look instead around antique fairs and in second-hand shops for unique little cupboards and shelving units. A compact antique dressers can be used as a bespoke sink unit too.

Pictured: Wall paint by Annie Sloan


Maximalist wallpaper

wallpaper in small bathroom ideas
Rachel Whiting

The upside of a small bathroom is that you can experiment with big ideas without them being overwhelming. Blousy florals work well in small spaces – and don’t be afraid of wallpaper in a bathroom, it’s more resilient than you think.

Pictured: G P & J Baker Magnolia Wallpaper at Wallpaper Direct


Compact double sink

small bathroom ideas
Huntley Hedworth

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Embrace clutter

small bathroom ideas
Country Living

Clutter is just a reality of small bathrooms, and can only be mitigated so much with clever storage and stringent organisation. This bathroom embraces a bit of charming messiness with mismatched mirrors, piles of towels and lots of well-loved accessories.

Pictured: Country Living Artisan Stormy Grey Ceramic Wall Tile


Clever shelving

small bathroom ideas
Caroline Arber

“Shelves are a great way of storing luxury products that you want to show off,” says Rikki. “Instead of wasting cupboard space intended for uglier bathroom paraphernalia, create a spa-like display with a mix of candles, body lotions, reed diffusers and plants, just ensure that everything is fit for purpose and keep on top of this. Hooks on the back of a door can come in handy for towels and robes too but remember to place too much on them as this well make the room look crowded.”


Use every corner

small bathroom ideas
Mark Bolton

Planning your space carefully is so important in a small bathroom. Consider a corner basin – you can buy some that are just 35cm in width, or if a wet room isn’t feasible, corner showers can be as little as 70cm in depth.

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small bathroom ideas curtains
Tori Murphy

Curtains are an unobtrusive way to soften, and add pattern, texture or colour to a bathroom without taking up any space – perfect in the tiniest of bathrooms. Hang your curtain rod as high as you can and well above your window to create a dramatic, sweeping drape.

Pictured: Sheer Natural Rod Pocket Curtain at Tori Murphy


Tiny tubs

small bathroom ideas
The Albion Bath Co.

The sweetest solution to small bathrooms. The diminutive Tubby Tub bath from The Albion Bath Co. measures just 120cm in length, offering a small dose of luxury in even the tiniest of spaces.

Pictured: Tubby Tub Roll Top Bath at The Albion Bath Co.


Uplifting colour

small bathroom ideas
Penny Wincer

Using colour can alter your perception of small spaces – a cheerful and uplifting yellow or sunny sky blue for instance can open up even the most cramped or claustrophobic of rooms. “Consider painting a wall a bright and happy shade – this can open up the space really well, especially in small bathrooms,” says Rhiannon Johns, interior designer and head of brand at Piglet in Bed. “If you have a favourite colour, your bathroom might be the best place to use it (particularly if it’s a bit extravagant) and doing so will create a lovely backdrop for your morning routine.”

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Mirrored cabinets

small bathroom ideas wallpaper

“A mirror cupboard is a popular choice for smaller washrooms as it’s another way of combining storage with a key bathroom feature to use space efficiently,” says Rikki. “Here you can store sink essentials like toothbrushes, paste, floss and soap, consequently freeing your sink space up completely and making everything look much neater. An added bonus of a mirror cupboard is that it will help to open up the space and create the illusion of a larger bathroom.”

Pictured: Country Living Wicklow Bathroom at Homebase


Ambient lighting

small bathroom ideas
Penny Wincer

There is a case for leaning into the cosiness of small spaces and replacing glaring overhead lights with softer ambient lighting. “Bathrooms are often fitted with fluorescent, bright lighting,” says Rhiannon. “If you’re not a fan of stark white light in your home, swap out the fitted bulbs for some warm-toned bulbs. Alternatively, set the scene in the evening with candles. Bathing or undertaking your self-care routine in candlelight can feel particularly therapeutic.”

Pictured: For a similar marble basin, try this handmade version from Etsy


Paint and murals

small bathroom ideas paint
Annie Sloan

Paint and murals can enliven a space and the furniture within it. We love the joyful scene painted on the side of this bathtub, and if you were to do the same in your own bathroom, consider investing in Annie Sloan’s brilliant chalk paint that works on wood, metal, laminate and concrete.

Pictured: Paint by Annie Sloan

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Decorative details

small bathroom ideas
Catherine Gratwicke

The worst thing you can do in a small bathroom is strip away all character. Some framed artwork, an antique chair to hold towels, pretty bath curtains – any decorative detailing will go a long way in making a cramped space more welcoming.



small bathroom ideas dressers
Davey Lighting

Feature items

small bathroom ideas
Oliver Perrott

One or two feature items is perfectly sufficient in small spaces, so make the most of them. They can in fact become the inspiration or base for the rest of the room – like the fabulous powder blue on this Burlington basin.

Pictured: Enchanted Blue Edwardian Cloakroom Basin at Burlington


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