A bathroom doesn’t have to be big to have great style and function. To us, a small space means a fun challenge when it comes to storage and design. So you can still live  out your retro or boho bathroom design dreams even if you have a small space. 

Below, 30 of our favorite small bathrooms from our house tours for inspiration.

1. Use built-ins for décor and storage

We love how this built-in exhibits a plant and perfume, but also offers toilet paper storage.

2. Add a shelf that’s stylish and provides storage

This small shelf totally adds to the boho vibe of this bathroom while also offering additional storage space.

3. Utilize the space above the toilet

In a small bathroom, it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t utilize the empty space above your toilet. This shelf looks great decorated with plants, but also creates a home for towels and toilet paper. 

This Cape Town bathroom is a study in getting creative with a small footprint. It makes room for a freestanding tub. Also of note is the art, interesting light fixture and paint color that make the compact space feel design-forward.

5. Add a towel rod above the toilet

If you’re short on space to hang your hand towel, why not install a towel rod in that unused space above the toilet? In this home there is even a small shelf above the towel rod too for an added décor opportunity. 

6. Utilize a ladder shelf

Ladder shelves are both a décor statement and storage opportunity. We love how this one’s colorful vibe matches the rest of the bathroom. 

7. Change out the hardware

In this petite bathroom, the black-and-brass found in the shower curtain are echoed throughout the space with matching knobs, hooks, and even outlet covers, tying everything together.

8. Try the shelf + towel rack + toilet tank-décor combo 

Don’t waste any potential storage or décor space in a tiny bathroom. This Chicago apartment has both a towel rod and a shelf with frames and foliage above the toilet, as well as décor on top of the toilet tank.

For more storage and décor space, install a shelf that runs the length of one wall, as seen in this Chicago condo

A small bathroom can sometimes feel claustrophobic, so breathe life into the space with live plants. Greenery that requires low light and humidity tends to thrive here.

Open wall space in a bathroom is prime real estate. Here, a series of small open shelves provide storage, while a long mirror provides function.

12. Display plant clippings

If your bathroom doesn’t get enough sunlight, but you love the look of plants, display clippings from your healthier house plants that can survive periods of time in water—like these monstera leaves.

Many of us consider the bathroom a 100% functional space, forgetting that we have to spend a lot of time in it. Give yourself a pretty painting or print to look at while you brush your teeth.

14. Decant functional items

Cotton balls and Q-Tips look prettier in decanters, plus putting them there clears up cabinet and drawer space.

Go as high as you want with a wall shelf. Utilize all available space when necessary, like this cleverly positioned shelf which doubles as a towel rod. Bonus: the toilet can be used as a step ladder for easy access.

17. Go for a wall-to-wall vanity

Many bathroom vanities are not custom built for the space they’re in, resulting in unused space on either side. If you happen to be redoing your vanity area, consider a wall-to-wall unit. This beauty houses aesthetically pleasing bathroom accessories and requires no doors.

18. Utilize unexpected spots

Take note of every empty space in your bathroom. You can take advantage of any bare walls by installing shelves.

19. Decorate with color blocking

Color blocking doesn’t have to mean bold and bright. This little loo got a face lift with some trés Parisian color blocking in a pastel and black that makes for a calm and classic bathroom experience.

Some spaces are so small, there’s no hiding it. Instead of using airy, bright colors to reflect light and make a space feel open, embrace your teensy toilet room with a moody color palette.

22. Use that space next to the toilet

This bathroom refuses to be defined by its size. Big, bold patterns create a huge impact in a small space. Just go for it!

Towels and jewelry lend themselves well to being hung. Whether you’re looking to display your goods or maximize space efficiency, hang them up on a variety of hooks.

25. Install a round mirror

Some mirrors are too big and bulky for a small space. The softness of a round mirror is a great alternative.

26. Try out a curved curtain rod

Curtain rods that curve outward take advantage of unused open space to give you a couple of extra inches of elbow room in your tiny shower.

27. Find the perfect temporary storage

There are so many options for small storage units. Measure your open spaces and search for the perfect fit to slide into them.

28. Corral items on top of your toilet

Gather toiletries and décor on top of your toilet. It’s basically extra counter space, and if you use a tray or decorative bowl/basket it creates a barrier between your things and the toilet.

Bright, neutral colors are great at reflecting light and making a space feel bigger than it is. Sticking with natural materials like stone and porcelain will also help to elevate your wee WC.

30. Wall-mount the faucet

Additional reporting by Carolin Lehmann

Jessica Isaac


Jess is an interior and architectural photographer based in Los Angeles. While she has the honor of peeking inside designer homes on a regular basis, she loves real homes designed by real people most of all.