Living in a home with a small bathroom can be a design challenge, especially with a bathtub taking up the already limited space. Storage options are often abysmal, and small bathrooms with a tub can all end up looking the same. Bland, cramped, and boring are the classic features of all the ones I’ve seen. Trust me, I’ve seen them all – the good, the bad, and the nasty! It doesn’t matter how you say it, “industrial” “compact”, they’re all tiny spaces that can seem impossible to elevate to your design standards.
I’m not one to walk away from a challenge, though, so I researched plenty of inspiration to make your small bathroom stand out from the rest. You deserve a bathroom that is modern and appealing, whether you live in a cozy city apartment or a mansion on the hills. It doesn’t matter when your home was built or how adept you are at renovations, there is a design option that will fit your contemporary needs.
That’s right, your traditional tub-sink-toilet trio can be brought into 2021. It’s time for you to get those toiletries out of sight, create storage out of nothing, and design a space you actually want to take a bath in.
Built In Storage
This warm space practically invites you to hop in the tub. The extended edge of the tub is just waiting for your glass of wine and book to rest on it. I like the simple geometric design created by the inset window and shelf. The additional storage space they bring is an extra bonus.
Splash of Seafoam
This bathroom eliminates a curtain rod to add height and the illusion of more space. The spa shower system easily takes your experience from ordinary to high class. Adding a gentle pop of blue brightens the bathroom without ruining the sleek design.
Show Off Your Storage
This design gives those fancy label toiletries a chance to shine with shelves above the toilet for open storage. The bronze accents break up the white design, while the penny tiles in the bathtub make the space feel taller.
These metallic mosaic tiles make the entire bathroom shine, adding brightness despite the lack of natural lighting. By simply painting the tiles around the tub a bold color like black, you can give your bathroom more drama and depth. The cabinets along the mirror add storage while maintaining the sleek design.
This design provides only open storage, so it is best if you are a naturally neat and uncluttered individual. Its elegant design is accented by the simplicity of the tiling and grey wall color. The lighting and sink add modern touches without diminishing the warmth of the space.
This bright design opens the small space with intricate blue mosaics and gold accents. The use of glass shower doors and floor-to-ceiling tiles in the tub also make the space appear larger. The white tiles break up the boldness of the blue to keep the room feeling calm and classy.
Scallops and Sinks
This tight space is made to feel larger with the space-saving under-mount sink and glass shower doors. You can easily use scalloped ceramic tiles like these to add a fun accent to an otherwise plain bathroom for a simple renovation.
Simple and Sleek
Another example of minimalist storage, but this option covers the plumbing under the sink with cabinets. The contrast of the dark flooring to the all-white fixtures adds to the beauty of the space. I enjoy the luxurious feel of the extra deep tub.
Black and White
This classic color combination has the perfect balance of bold and light. This design uses gold to add a classy accent. Pay attention to the lighting in your room – it will tell you which color to use most and which one for your accent.
This design uses the classic trick of replacing your straight curtain rod with a curved one. The curve with a light-colored curtain gives the illusion of more space to the entire bathroom. You can include neutral tone textured ceramic tiles along the tub to add a subtle element of fun.
This kid-friendly design provides ample storage with the columned drawers under the sink and inset shelf in the shower. The black and white floor tiles plus the honeycomb tiles around the tub bring a playful feel to the room. Limiting the amount of color prevents it from feeling too busy.
Using wood accents with a black and white design is a unique twist on the classic duo. Try to avoid using more than one or two wood elements if you want to keep your design modern – it can quickly turn rustic!
Balancing Dark and Light
This design uses the glass shower door to allow more light to pass through the bathroom, making it appear larger and brighter. The additional brightness allows you to design with richer tones, like this warm brown counter and cabinet.
Think Outside the Box
This bathroom is anything but ordinary. The marble wall tiles and open tub make me feel like a greek god should be lounging in the tub. With the amount of storage under the sink and built into the walls, it’s the type of small bathroom that will make you feel like you are one.
Make the Most of Your Space
Another example of a different style of bathroom. The shape and layout of this one are odd, but allow for excellent storage and a luxurious tub. If you have an awkwardly shaped bathroom, consider how you can use its corners and cubbies to your advantage.
This classic design uses the length of the galley bathroom to amplify its size. By extending the floor tiles up the tub, the entire bathroom seems longer. The shower tiles add some texture that breaks up the smooth flow of the design.
Subway Tile with Natural Light
The natural lighting in this bathroom allows you to accent that dark grout contrast as much as you’d like. This helps the black floor tiles and dark wood counters create depth. The minimal decorations of this design also add to the modern feel of the subway tiles.
Subway Tile without Natural Light
Unless you want to feel like your bathroom is actually in a subway station, it is important to focus on the white tiles when your bathroom lacks natural light. With minimal black accents, white lighting, and a bright floor, this bathroom avoids feeling cramped and grimy.
Wraparound Tile Accents
The blue tile accent around this bathroom brings color into the space that makes it look classy with a touch of retro. The alternating heights keep it modern while helping the space seem larger. A main focal point, like the mint sink, can tie the dramatic tiles into the rest of the design.
These chevron floor tiles are easy to replicate and instantly increase the appeal of a room. The large tiles chosen for this bathroom make it seem like a bigger space and are a subtle focal point for the simple design.
Stand Alone Tub
A stand-alone tub like this can transform your normal bathroom into a personal spa retreat. Investing in accents like the 3-D wall art and a classy bamboo bathtub caddy will help take your bath to the next level, turning self-care into an experience worth taking the time for.
Everything in this room reflects light, making it appear much larger than it is. Using glass tiles such as those in the shower and on the backsplash adds subtle design variety that doesn’t attract too much attention.
The alternating tile pattern in this bathroom adds an accent that opens the space. This design uses grey and navy to contrast with the black and white subway tiles, which is a unique twist.
Stripes and Circles
Using a striped curtain to contrast the circular penny tiles in your small bathroom is a fun design accent that doesn’t require bold colors. The gold fixtures keep the bathroom from feeling too childish.
2Flat Panel Cabinets
You can use flat panel cabinets to save space while adding storage. In a unique layout like this, it is essential to use your space as efficiently as possible. The floating vanity also adds a modern touch to the tight space.
Big and Bold in Small Spaces
This geometric tile background brings bold excitement into this small bathroom. The inset storage with shelf and cabinet options provide variety that breaks up the busy pattern. This design is modern and fun, making the bathroom functional and appealing.
These busy little tiles can dress any tub up. By covering the front of the tub, it looks more custom built. These accent tiles also are a stylish option if you are only doing surface renovations and want to hide less-than-appealing plumbing.
This bathroom maintains its modern design through the sharp counters and varying geometric patterns, but it remains cozy and comfortable. The alternating square and rectangle subway tiles are a unique detail, while the black honeycomb floor tiles keep the bathroom looking sleek.
Final Thoughts and Some Small Bathroom Design Tips
When designing your bathroom, you need to consider more than what your ideal bathroom looks like. Think about the shape and layout of your actual bathroom. Which style of design will work best with it? Do you have the space or structures to include the elements that are important to you?
Next, think about your lighting. If you do not have natural lighting, you will want to include lighter colors and only use bold darks for minimal accents. If you have natural lighting, you can consider using this lighting as part of your design. Every part of your space can be incorporated into creating the most efficient and beautiful small bathroom.
Also take time to think about what fixture you want as your focal point. The bathtub can easily pop using a small tile accent or bold painting. The sink or plumbing can be a more subtle accent with metallics or black modern designs.
A small bathroom doesn’t have to feel like a cramped closet. It can be an extension of your home, another space to show your personal design flair. Using the elements of your bathroom that are already present, you can turn it into a sleek, modern, and functional space.
While small bathrooms with tubs can be a challenge, they also present a fun design opportunity. Inspiration can be found in even the tightest of spaces – and I’d love to see your bathroom transformations, too!
Get more Small Bathroom Inspiration:
- 28 Small Bathroom Ideas with a Shower Only (2021 Edition)
- 50+ Small Bathroom Decor Ideas (2021 Edition)
- How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger with Tile
- What Colors Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger?
- Where can I Put My Toilet Paper Holder in a Small Bathroom?
- Where to Put Towels in a Small Bathroom