Renovating a small bathroom

Working on small spaces is always interesting because it challenges the designer to become creative, to think outside the box and to adapt ideas from grand proportions, all with the aim of appearing effortless. The key to a good design in a small space is to remove visual clutter and incorporate considered items with a minimal palette of materials and colours. This doesn’t mean your bathroom will be boring, it just means restraining the palette to achieve a better sense of space.

12th July 2020

Kathryn Trentini

12th July 2020

There are countless ways when working on a small space to alleviate the inherent restrictions. It’s a matter of choosing the right design ideas to incorporate based on what you want to achieve. Whilst the ideas listed here isn’t exhaustive, they’ll get you thinking creatively about the space you’re working in. 

Plan it well.
Don’t renovate a small bathroom or ensuite before you’ve done your space planning! Larger spaces can be a little more forgiving, however, make one wrong move in a small space and it’s a disaster akin to a volcano erupting! Pinterest and Google will give you plenty of ideas on planning for a small bathroom so researching some of the best uses for the shape of your room is going to give you a really good head start to the project. Use graph paper to draw out your space first and then baking paper over the top to draw out as many ideas as you want until you come to the right solution.

Natural light is your best friend.
To make a small space appear larger definitely look at how much natural light is available to the small bathroom. If you need to add a larger window, skylight or light well then do so because natural light is going to help the space feel lighter and larger.

Look to the ceiling.
If you can add volume to the room, even though the footprint remains the same, it will improve the sense of space in the small bathroom immediately. Yep, I’m talking about a pitched ceiling line here! Chat with your builder about the ceiling line following the roof line to add volume to the room.

Hang it from the wall.
A wall hung vanity and WC adds clearance underneath the fittings and gives the appearance of space as the eye travels over the room. Likewise, use a wall mixer tap and recess the shaving cabinet to pull back a tiny bit of space to the room.  Incorporate a shower niche into the wall cavity and a frameless shower screen as both will remove any visual clutter in the bathroom and give you the sense of space you’re after.

Think about the lines.
A favourite trick of mine when working in any bathroom is to work with the lines in the space so make sure all the grout lines marry up from floor to wall. To achieve this use 300 x 600 tiles on the walls and 300 x 300 on the floor. Blend the grout colour as closely as possible to the colour of the tiles for a textural element that reduces the pattern created allowing the room to open up and breathe.

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