Big ideas for small bathrooms

Just because your bathroom is small, it doesn’t mean you can’t dream big.


Ask someone about their dream bathroom, and most will describe something luxurious, indulgent and spacious. However, the reality for many is that their dream bathroom is the opposite. There is also the fact that 80% of new homes have a second bathroom installed. This means the compact bathroom is becoming a more common interior design challenge that its big brother (or sister).

If you’re planning a smaller bathroom then a separate tub and shower, ‘his and hers’ sinks, or perhaps even a decadent chaise just for lounging between soaks will not be an option. That doesn't mean you can't make your bathroom live up to its full potential by using visual trickery to create the illusion of more space.

Everything from a carefully chosen colour palette to clever space-saving fixtures can make your bathroom appear twice as large (well almost).

Carte Blanche

It’s no secret that dark colours create a darker, more intimate feel to any room. The opposite is true for lighter colours. Bright, neutral tones open up the space by bouncing light around the room and reducing shadows. Going for a white monochrome approach reduces visual clutter and creates the illusion of more space. There are so many shades of white to choose from you are spoilt for choice. We love the splendidly-named Rolling Fog Pale by the Little Greene Paint Co. or James White by Farrow & Ball.

Free up floor space

In a room with a small footprint every inch matters, it is possible to create a sense of more space by freeing up floor space. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should compromise by ‘binning your bidet’. We suggest opting for a wall-mounted toilet and mounting a Shaws Bathroom Belfast (a more compact version of its famous big sister), onto a floating shelf or vanity unit. This will keep the floor space clear to create an illusion of space. Wall-mounting your taps will also allow you to choose a more compact basin. Try pairing the Aysgill, a Shaws sink based on a Victorian washbowl with some Ingleton Perrin & Rowe taps for a period look.

The importance of good light

The best light is always natural light. If your window is small, a skylight can really lift the lid off a room and make it feel much more open. If your bathroom doesn’t have the luxury of a window, artificial light must come into play. Avoid large or low-hanging feature lighting that takes up lots of space. Choose smaller (or smarter), more discreet fittings, making sure to distribute them evenly to avoid hot-spots and dark corners. Installing blue-white bulbs creates a brighter, cooler feel, as opposed to warm-white lighting which lends itself to a more cosy space.

Mirror, mirror

One tried and tested way to maximise the size of any room is by adding a large mirror. A mirror appears to double the amount of space in a room. Covering one wall edge-to-edge in mirrored glass has almost the same visual impact as removing a wall.In small bathrooms, vanity lighting is often compromised - the vanity is usually illuminated by light cast from a ceiling fitting. This results in unwanted shadows and patchy lighting. Look for a slim, lighted mirror that provides an evenly dispersed halo of light that’s perfect for make-up and shaving.

Soak or shower

A shower is the default choice if you are trying to save space, and fitting a frameless glass screen will stop it eating into the room space. If you prefer to relax and unwind in a nice hot bath, then there are some remarkable freestanding baths that have a small footprint for compact bathrooms. The Kaldera 4 by Victoria & Albert is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort, with clean lines and luxurious style, and measures a compact 75x150cm. Whatever you decide to do with your small space, you don’t have to compromise on style and quality. You deserve a bathroom that offers a luxurious sanctuary, not a functional box.





Have you created a beautiful bathroom with a Shaws sink? Or are you planning to? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line, or share your creation with us on social media. 


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