Enlist Portable Storage

long island home of designer susannah charbin bathroom
Ngoc Minh Ngo

Susannah Charbin, founder and creative director of the multidisciplinary creative studio The Beaux Arts, chose to forego traditional storage pieces in this bathroom. Instead, she opted for a vintage stool to blend with the family’s vintage bathtub. Towels can stay off the floor without the need for any too-large furniture.

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Let Light In

waterborne home in northern california designed by colleen dowd saglimbeni of cds interiors powder room

In this floating home renovated by Colleen Dowd Saglimbeni of CDS Interiors, the door mimics a traditional porthole of a ship. The glass pane is not only a nod to the home’s nautical nature, but it also allows more light to enter the small space.

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Mirror the Entire Wall

house beautiful whole home 2023 1906 hinsdale\, illinois house

In House Beautiful‘s 2023 Whole Home, Marita Simmons and Krysta Gibbons of Kipling House chose a floor-to-ceiling wall mirror for this bathroom in the ladies’ lounge to make the tiny space feel that much bigger. Not only does the mirror create an optical illusion, but it also works to reflect light around the small room.

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Install Sconces on the Mirror

bathroom with sconces on the mirror
Stacy Goldberg

Three traditional sconces were mounted on the mirrors of this small bathroom—designed by Sara Swabb of Storie Collective and Tanya Smith-Shiflett of Unique Kitchens & Baths—to direct light where it’s needed. The mirror came from a creative solution: “While we originally envisioned one single mirror with hand-finished brass trim, it would have been too large to even get into the house,” says Swabb. “Instead, we decided to save a little money by doing four separate mirrors with beveled edges, which turned out to be one of our favorite design details.”

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Go for Pearly White

white bathroom with small brass table
Jacob Snavely

Create a sense of openness by drenching a small bathroom in white, as Toledo Geller did in this bathroom. The varying white marble tiles, white ceiling, and off-white window shade provide a bright yet soft atmosphere. Glass shower doors make the space feel larger, while the small brass table adds a pop of elegance.

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Use Furniture for Counter Space

small bathroom with floral wallpaper
Marisa Vitale

To make up for the lack of counter space and storage in the bathroom of her Los Angeles home, designer Francesca Grace placed a small cabinet next to the sink. A simple wall hook holds a single hand towel, while the wide mirror reflects light and makes the space feel bigger.

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Source Vintage Statement Pieces

bathroom with oval mirrors and intricate gold sconce with faux candles
Nick Mele

If you don’t have a ton of room to make a statement, do so with small vintage pieces. In the bathroom of a 1960s West Palm Beach, Florida, bungalow, Gillian Segal placed a delicate vintage sconce in between curved mirrors sourced from Mecox for a romantic touch.

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Put a Skirt on the Vanity

small bathroom ideas
James Merrell

Chintz brings a touch of the garden into the bathroom of this Southampton retreat, where Justine Cushing managed to fit in a dressing table and a matching chair that tucks underneath it thanks to a clever layout. The skirt hides other essential toiletries too.

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Select Translucent Shades

bathroom with silver tub and basket of towels nearby
Rikki Snyder

Ensure privacy without sacrificing light by picking out window shades that are translucent. The rattan shade in this bathroom by Becca Casey balances those needs while adding texture and warmth to the space.

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Personalize It With Your Monogram

bathroom with gallery wall
Alexander Reid

Alexander Reid personalized this small rental bathroom with a monogrammed shower curtain that also features a classic border. Pretty framed prints and a garden stool take up little space but go a long way as far as making it feel formal and polished.

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Work Around the Roofline

natalie chong house tour, toronto ontario en suite bath on the fourth floor, a tub set into the dormer offers a serene escape paint white dove, benjamin moore mirrors and sconces rh faucets brizo vanity custom flooring carrara marble tiles rug vintage
Lauren Miller

Don’t let a quirky floor plan block your creativity or your dream small bathroom layout. In the primary bath of her home (a former church), designer Nathalie Chong set a tub in the dormer windows and squeezed in a double vanity. She emphasized the drama of the ceiling by using different size mirrors, making the slanted roofline work for her and dabbling in asymmetry.

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Keep Millwork Minimal

bathroom the designer “chose minimal finishes and millwork that didn’t distract from the nature outside” paint all white, farrow ball sconces rich brilliant willing millwork teak, northstar cabinet construction
Stephen Kent Johnson

Design firm Studio Shamshiri “chose minimal finishes and millwork that didn’t distract from the nature outside” and used vertical space to play up the height of this bathroom. They also added sneaky storage via a floating custom cubby that spans the length of the double vanity and installed an equally long towel bar beneath it.

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Soften the Lights

powder room with green wallpaper
Shade Degges

“Everything feels sort of candlelit,” says Jae Joo of this Boston home. The elegant powder room is no exception. Ambient lighting radiates a soft glow, wood finishes emit warmth, and the green floral wallpaper brings the entire room to life; together, these elements have a cocooning effect.

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Add a Skylight

small bathroom with skylight
Kevin Scott

So your small bathroom doesn’t have any wall space for windows—but what about a skylight? Studio DIAA opted for a Crystalite one to flood the space with sunlight and maintains privacy.

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Use Fewer Materials

primary bathroom
Gieves Anderson

Use the same materials on the shower stall and sink vanity, as Nina Barbiras of Fig NYC did in this bathroom. It makes a strong case for rich marbled veining and unpolished brass.

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Hang a Mirror Gallery Wall

blue bathroom with mirror gallery wall
Jared Kuzia Photography

Besides looking incredibly charming, this collection of vintage mirrors in a Boston home by Cecilia Casagrande is also a great small-space solution: The mirrors move sunlight into every nook and cranny of the room. By painting the frames all in Farrow & Ball Pitch Black, the homeowner unified the quirky collection to feel cohesive. The Grow House Grow wallcovering adds flair.

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Choose a Freestanding Tub

pale pink bathroom with tiny tub

“The bathroom is really long and narrow, so it forced me to really find the right bathtub to fit in it,” says Delia Kenza of a small bathroom she renovated for clients in Brooklyn. She had the former bathtub surround demolished, gaining back several valuable inches, and replaced it with a freestanding Signature Hardware tub on an elevated platform.

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Build in the Vanity

small red bathroom
Haris Kenjar

The spacious drawers under the floating vanity help keep things tidy and maximize every spare inch in this small bathroom (in a cool Seattle treehouse) by Andy Beers of Ore Studios. Deep red walls, fun graphic floor tile, and a modern pendant add personality.

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Hide the Bathroom With a Jib Door

powder room behind hidden murphy door
Haris Kenjar

“I watched a lot of period piece murder mysteries, and I knew I wanted a secret door,” says Michelle L. Morby, the occupant of this fun powder room by Landed Interiors & Home. Hiding any room behind a Murphy door (no matter how small it is) is guaranteed to make it the most exciting place in the house.

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Stick to a Tight Palette

bathrooms with glass shower ideas
Read McKendree

Elizabeth Cooper brought out the rich blue veining of the marble surfaces in this small bathroom by using an icy blue paint color on the vanity. Leaving some of the wall blank has a calming effect; it offsets the patterns and prevents them from feeling overwhelming.

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