A typical sized bathroom is 5×8 feet, but many are even smaller.
Some think, “what can I do with this small space?” or “how do I make a statement, yet still have the bathroom be functional”?
No matter the size or budget, a bathroom has an exorbitant amount of potential to create a dynamic, intriguing, and interesting environment. Even though a bathroom may be of a typical size (or smaller), you can still gather inspiration from larger bathroom spaces and introduce those same elements in a smaller scale and on a reasonable budget.
As I’ve just recently finished up my standard sized bathroom makeover, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some others creatively designed bathrooms that have added unique details and smart storage solutions.
Bathroom 1: Meredith and Stephen of Welcome to Heardmont made some incredible updates to their master bath, but kept many of the existing elements. They had waited three years to embark and complete this bathroom makeover, which turned out amazing. By keeping the floor in tact, as well as the sink cabinet, toilet, and shower, they were able to put their budget towards adding board and batten to the walls, as well as revamping the countertop with a new sealed butcher block and vessel sink. Complete with a new mirror, awesome accessories, interesting lighting, and a new DIY shower curtain, this space is a calming, yet refreshing makeover.
Bathroom 2: This newly renovated beadboard bathroom by Kim of Sand & Sisal shows how an ordinarly sized space can be truly sensational. By adding beadboard and gorgeous wall decor, this typical bathroom now has a sophisticated beach aesthetic. The tall beadboard heightens the feel of the bathroom and creates a ledge that allows for additional space to showcase accessories and enhance the beach setting. A beautiful and calming bathroom has absolutely been achieved.
Bathroom 3: Many bathrooms are much smaller than 5×8 feet, but using elements like this open sink cabinet can help enlarge the feeling of the overall space. This bathroom by YHL has been smartly designed to maximize the space available. Next to the tub is a small linen closet that the door was removed from and shelves were added for towel and accessory storage. By removing the door, the space feels larger, instead of a separate element.
Bathroom 4: Color. Color. Color. Bathrooms of any size are a great place to add color. Because bathrooms are usually their own space and don’t flow with the openness of the rest of the house, have fun with it by adding an unexpected burst of color. This bathroom (source unknown) has an eye popping burst of a pink/purple color (kind of like my old bathroom actually) amongst a crisp, white cabinet and tile.
Bathroom 5: Depending on the layout and aesthetic that you want to achieve, contrasting colors can be an interesting way to design a bathroom. This bathroom in the home of Emma Reddington has black on the walls with all white fixtures, and organic accents woodtones and plants throughout.
Bathroom 6: This recent half-bath makeover by Beth of Home Stories A to Z is a wonderful example of how to make a possible boring small space into a focal point of the home. By introducing soft colors and lots of texture, through the wallpaper, beadboard, baskets, and accessories, personality has been brought to this space. Storage in a small bathroom like this can often be a challenge, but Beth tackled that by adding wall-to-wall shelving over the toilet. If you desire more closed storage for a space of this size, opting for a cabinet with part open / part closed shelving could be the right solution.
Bathroom 7: As I did in my bathroom, the homeowner (bathroom featured on HGTV) chose to use two window panels instead of a typical shower curtain to conceal the tub / shower area. This is a very smart solution so the tub space can be seen from the remainder of the bathroom. With the unexpected addition of the sunburst mirror on the far wall, the room feels larger and the linear feel of the tile border continues around the room. (I have to mention though, that I think tile in a shower/tub area should go higher that shown here because in this setting the walls would probably get wet – the look is better than the actual function)
After Post Edit: Many readers wrote in about my comment on the low tile and mentioned that this bathroom setup is most likely a tub only and not a shower.
Bathroom 8: Wallpaper or a wall stencil can be another way to incorporate an interesting element into a typical bathroom setting. Interestingly in this bathroom, the wall seems to slant above the mirror, but because of the wall treatment, your eye is distracted away. The selections and soft tones of this bathroom designed by Graciela Rutowski are calming and serene. Even though the cabinet width is only about 4′, the space envelops you and makes you just want to hang out all day. And the mirror – SO gorgeous!
Bathroom 9: There are so many elements in this bathroom that I truly love, but again the core of it is typical for many bathrooms in homes that we all live in. Featured in House Beautiful, this bathroom has ordinary white fixtures with the accents of the bold wallpaper, mirror, roman shade, and shower curtain to give it the WOW-factor.
Bathroom 10: Even though pedestal sinks don’t allow for storage, they can absolutely save on space, as seen in this bathroom by Myra of The Casabella Project. As a renter, there was only so much she could change, but by introducing this smaller sink, the overall feel of this bathroom is much large. For storage she added a yard-sale-found nightstand and “collected” accessories to create a personalized bathroom.
Bathroom 11: This fun and bright typical sized bathroom showcases high, white beadboard paneling, all white fixtures, and a burst of happy yellow / green paint above. The shower curtain is engaging and a focal point for the space amongst the crisp white hue. Complete with a natural and textural wood style floor mat, this bathroom featured on BHG is a breathe of fresh air.
Bathroom 12: This bathroom featured on Lonny is small, but that doesn’t mean it’s not sensational! The corner, curved sink is so darling and is creatively incorporated right into the beadboard paneling which envelopes the perimeter of this bathroom. A strong teal color is a sharp contrast to the white, and beautiful pictures are hung on the upper section of the wall. The overall space feels higher than typical because of the white crown moulding surround, as well as the roman shade which goes up to the ceiling.
If you happened to miss my master bathroom makeover which I just finished up and shared earlier this week, here it is:
My bathroom is slightly larger than typical, but that’s mostly because of it’s configuration. The layout though is ordinary with the vanity, toilet, and tub next to each other. None of the plumbing fixtures or sink vanity were changed, but the overall soft elements and accessories were updated, including the painting of the cabinet, the shower curtain, window valance, rug, mirror, and lighting.
5 tips for making an standard sized bathroom sensational:
- Be inspired and incorporate elements from any sized space into your bathroom. Even though it may be smaller, use the general idea and simply scale it to your space.
- Heighten the space by hanging the window valance at the ceiling plane and using a shower curtain / window panel that is taller than typical.
- Add color. Be bold. Make a statement. Have fun.
- Add texture and intrique through wall treatments like wallpaper, a wall stencil, or paneling, as well as baskets and accessories.
- Work with what you have instead of starting from scratch. A bathroom can cost alot of money to makeover. Step back and consider what elements are a must to change and what elements can stay. If you saw my before bathroom, it looked like everything had to go, but it really wasn’t required. With new paint and accessories, a completely new space was created.
Do you have plans to make updates to your bathroom soon?