Design Guide: Small Bathrooms

Our advice on how to create a stylish and practical bathroom without compromising space
Articles by Build It magazine
by Build It
7th August 2013

Not every home will have the room to accommodate a huge bathroom, but by combining good design with space-saving ideas you’ll still be able to create an indulgent and practical environment. So reduced space doesn’t have to limit creativity.

Practicalities for saving space

With room size being your primary concern, you need to be realistic about what you can fit in and what essential items you really require.

For example, do you want a bath and a separate shower or would a tub and shower mixer work? What fitted furniture do you need?

Minimalist Kiri shower pole
Methven’s Kiri shower pole is a slim and sophisticated solution if your bathroom is tight on space
Sink by Laufen bathrooms
This compact wall-mounted sink from the Laufen Pro Liberty collection is the epitome of modern minimalism

If you’re renovating, ignore the location of the existing suite, but mark the location of waste outlets, pipework, doors, windows and radiators as these can be costly to rearrange.Next, get a piece of graph paper and start mapping out the best layout for everything that you want to include.

You need to consider circulation space, too. Always leave enough space around each item for access. For example, a shower screen door that swings out will need room to open, and you’ll want to ensure enough leg area in front of the toilet for when you’re seated on it.

How to create the illusion of space

Creating an open ambience helps to achieve a feeling of spaciousness. Select clear shower curtains or, if your budget allows, swap an enclosed shower for a walk-in option with a frameless glass screen.

Wall-hung furniture, toilets and sinks work wonders, too, as they open up the floor space making the room feel larger than it actually is.

For the illusion of more depth and height, install dark flooring and team it with shades of white, cream or beige in walls and ceilings – your eyes will automatically be drawn upwards.

Products and furniture for small bathrooms

Storage is a must in small spaces.

“By installing fitted furniture you will reduce the build-up of clutter. It can also be used to hide unsightly pipework,” says Richard Fitzmaurice from Ellis Furniture.

It’s important to remember that standard sized products will dwarf small rooms.

The current standard bath size in the UK measures 1,700mm in length and 700mm wide, but you can find versions on the market that are a lot smaller, such as the 1550 Betacase Impressions left-handed bath from Better Bathrooms.

Look out for petite showers and tapware, too. Methven’s Kiri shower pole is extra slim and doesn’t compromise on style.

Main image: Britton Compact Suite from The Pure Bathroom Collection; compact zones can still feel spacious and serene

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