Small bathroom design and decorating ideas & trends 2022

Owners of spacious bathrooms can fully enjoy the freedom to realize their own design ideas: they have enough space at their disposal to adequately implement various projects. However, not everyone is so lucky, and many still have bathrooms limited in size to one degree or another.

In some cases, many do not see this as a particular problem: after all, this room has a functional purpose primarily, and no one is going to hold dinner parties or roller-skate there. However, you must agree that a bright and perfectly organized room, in which there was a place for all the necessary things, looks much more attractive and allows you to get a lot of pleasure from water procedures. 

But what’s the solution for the owners of a small bathroom? They have to give up the design till they buy a new house or apartment with a larger room? Of course not – and we are ready to tell you how to make a cramped and not too cozy room more attractive from a practical and aesthetic point of view.

Indeed, the variety of materials, techniques, and technologies in 2022 allows the designers to develop a considerable number of solutions to remodel small and even very small bathrooms. Even if you are not happy with the space you have at your disposal, you can easily make it beautiful and cozy. All you need for this is to show imagination and a little patience, and if imagination does not cope, then consult with a professional designer. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at what to do in 2022 with a small bathroom and how to turn it into a small oasis in which it is enjoyable to take care of yourself.

Small bathroom remodel: helpful tips

In search of solutions for the decor and design of a small bathroom, you will surely find many fascinating ideas, the variety of which runs the risk of confusing you. However, one should start with more mundane things – namely, assessing the possibilities of a room and selecting techniques that will present it in the most favorable light. Therefore, let’s find out what designers advise in such cases:

  • Be sure to try zoning the space. Even in a small bathroom, you can clearly delineate certain areas – for example, a toilet, a sink, a bathtub, or a heated towel rail. As practice shows, such a technique visually expands the boundaries of the bathroom, and it seems more multifaceted and effective.
  • Consider alternative plumbing layouts. This, for example, can be done with water taps. They are usually installed behind the sink, which requires it to be pushed forward and take up even more valuable space. Try positioning them on the side or directly on the wall – in combination with a narrow, albeit longer, sink, they make an ergonomic solution.
  • Use smooth lines. Oval and round shapes leave a little more free space, which in another situation can be occupied by a corner, which is actually of little use. A small oval bathtub will help maintain the feeling of relative spaciousness – and corner round shelves will create the same impression instead of the usual rectangular ones mounted in the expanded plane of the wall.
  • Use more mirrored and transparent surfaces. The glass panels of the shower cubicle or the transparent curtain in the bathroom, in combination with glass shelves and a frameless illuminated mirror, effectively reflect light and create a feeling of free space. You can also use mirrors on opposite walls in the bathtub area – this is a very, very powerful technique.
  • Simplicity and order are the shortest paths to the ideal. Use drawings and patterns on surfaces as little as possible. Do not throw towels around and remove them from the dryer to the cabinet in time. Hang a wall-mounted tall pencil cabinet in the far corner instead of forcing the sink, tub, and washing machine with tubes and bottles. At first glance, it might seem like too much of a hassle – however, elegant and free space is often a great incentive to maintain a flawless look in the bathroom.
  • Prefer vertical to horizontal. Indeed it’s no secret for you that the area of the premises is measured in the horizontal plane. And to keep it free, let’s use the horizontal plane to a minimum, throwing all our attention to the walls. Of course, absolutely everything cannot be piled up there; however, wall-mounted sinks and “floating” modular furniture will save a very substantial amount of space.
  • Use multifunctional furniture. If there is a cabinet, then it is better with a mirrored door to not occupy the wall. If a stool, then both a stand for a laundry basket and a shelf for towels. If a sink cabinet, then at the same time a dressing table. Be more ergonomic than ever and breathe much easier in the bathroom.
  • Decorativeness in practicality. Do not overdo it with beautiful trinkets in a small bathroom – in such an area, you have completely different tasks. Try to find fixtures of unusual design, exclusive hardware, or original lighting fixtures – and use straightforward decor to a minimum.
  • Keep in mind warm floors. They not only provide comfort but also help you get rid of space-consuming heating appliances. Of course, if you need a heated towel rail, you can easily use even a tiny model: in rooms with warm floors, everything dries quickly enough.
  • The lighter, the better. Try to add more white or, in extreme cases, beige to the bathroom palette. Of course, no one will deny you the opportunity to use dark tones if you want to – however, light spots and accents will add space and airiness.
  • Niches are your everything. If there is not much space in the bathroom, it is unnecessary to break the walls entirely. Competently and neatly equipped niches will conquer their functionality and allow you to harmoniously and beautifully arrange all the essential little things without sacrificing much-needed inches of space.
  • Move deeper. A recessed bathtub is a pretty bold decision. Still, if you dare to take it, you will definitely appreciate many advantages, including ergonomics, safety, and a very extraordinary look of your bathroom. However, make sure that the design and communications of your home allow for such a project! In apartments in multi-story buildings, this is usually difficult to implement, but anything is possible if you live in your own house.

So, we figured out the fundamental principles and nuances that are true for all small bathrooms in principle. Now is the time to talk more specifically about design options and beautiful ideas for tiny bathrooms. Get ready – you will have a place to draw inspiration from!

Such a different geometry: a combination of two types of tiles

It is possible to use tiles from the same collection to decorate a bathroom, but it is not mandatory, as well as adhere to the exact shape of the elements. The trend of recent seasons has been the combination of subway and hexagonal tiles. For a small bathroom, such a design idea has many advantages: you will not worry about the monotony of the finish, and if both types of tiles are made in the same color scheme, you will create a fascinating and inspiring contrast.

We divide everything in half

Finishing with dark material from the bottom to the middle of the wall and light – from the middle and above seems outdated to you? We dare to correct you – not outdated, but sentimental! Indeed, the contrast of dark and light never goes out of fashion, and for a small bathroom, it is even helpful since it allows you to increase the space in breadth and upward visually.

In addition, in this case, you can afford to play with textures. For example, you can paint the upper part of the wall and tile the lower one or save the tiles for the upper part of the wall using shiplap along the bottom. The latter option looks pretty tempting to us: the protruding edge of the board can play the role of a mini-shelf on which you can place flat bottles or decorative trifles.

Minimalism as a way of thinking

We are sure that you yourself understand that you should not try to shove large and massive furniture into a small bathroom. This is quite logical, but you should use this idea to the maximum everywhere and in everything. Use a wall-mounted sink without a cabinet with a towel rack at the bottom and a stylized wooden shelf ladder instead of cabinets and shelves. Replace your heavy bathtub with a light and compact shower stall or just an open shower. Even individually, these solutions work great, but in combination – just what you need!

Wallpaper for an accent wall

Suppose you are not averse to adding brightness to the interior of a small bathroom. In that case, it is absolutely not necessary to invent something completely grandiose – just cover one of the walls with wallpaper. In combination with plain tiles or paint, this technique will make the interior more expressive and individual.

At the same time, we advise you to be careful with both the color and the pattern on the wallpaper. Designers categorically do not recommend using overly bright colors in such a compact and confined space, even if you decide to choose your favorite shade – sooner or later, it will only cause irritation and headaches. Also, refuse too large or too small patterns: the golden middle, in this case, will be especially relevant. And one more thing: make sure that the wallpaper you choose is highly moisture resistant; otherwise, disappointment is inevitable.

The tile that unites

The most oversized item in a room of this kind is, of course, your bathtub. There are often cases when, although it is compact, it still looks quite cumbersome. In this case, you can use a tricky trick: decorate the sides and box of the bathroom with the same tiles as the wall next to it. This will create a stunning fusion effect that will make the bathtub look smaller. Particularly successful in this respect are tiles and porcelain stoneware with imitation of stone – onyx, travertine, or marble. Thanks to the natural and hidden pattern, the seams between the tiles will be completely invisible, and this will certainly add magic to your interior.

This gorgeous monochrome

If in the interior of the bathroom you need to hit the bull’s-eye from the first try, you should try to dress it in tiles from the collection you like to the maximum. This way, you create a seamless space with a smooth transition between planes – especially if the tiles you are using are large and light. If you need more life and interior rhythm, you can easily make one accent wall – a slight contrast will never be excessive. However, try to keep everything else in shades close to the background color. Otherwise, the whole effect will simply fade.

Color is never superfluous

We have already written above how important it is to use light colors to design a small bathroom. However, this does not mean that you will hit the jackpot by creating a total look in white. Just as a large white bathroom will look like an operating room, a more compact white bathroom can look lifeless. That is why, choosing such a tone as a base, be sure to take care of at least small color accents. Otherwise, you will get bored over time.

Domino effect

The black and white range is just a godsend for small bathrooms. As you probably already guessed, white will be dominant in this case – although black as a background is often to the taste of fans of extravagance. Add black accessories here – a faucet, bottles, and vials made of dark glass, a mirror in a midnight-colored frame – and you will feel how light, spacious, and even weightless your bathroom has become, to which black accents give unconditional mystery, without overloading her. And do not be afraid of unnecessary graphics: any sharpness can be avoided by using accessories with smooth lines and outlines.

Mesmerizing gloss

We have already written above how important it is to acquire as many reflective surfaces as possible in a bathroom that cannot boast of an impressive area. And if mirrors and glass elements seem to be things quite obvious, then do not forget that you have another win-win option – glossy tiles. The play of artificial or daylight on the walls and floor will allow you to push the boundaries of a cramped room and feel yourself in it more freely and comfortably. True, this only works with light and colored tiles: dark ones run the risk of giving the opposite effect.

The glow of the dawn

Crazy about pastel colors? A small bathroom is the best use for your favorite palette. Move away from overly bright and already dull neutral colors and boldly move in the direction of your dreams – for example, pink. It’s incredible how luxurious a pre-dawn shade can look when combined with laconic soft lines and surprisingly elegant brass details and accessories. Such a project will make it possible to turn a small bathroom into a delightful pink cloud – and, as you know, it is never crowded and uncomfortable on the clouds.

Cool colors are cool

As you know, a coldish palette can visually increase the size of a room. If your bathroom has a window to the sunny side, or you just love shades that taste mojito in your mouth, and the beaches on warm islands awaken in your memory, then a small bathroom will help to bring your fantasies to life successfully. Use shades of mint, watercolor blue, pale turquoise, and tiffany for both accent walls and accessories. These colors look especially impressive on a coldish white background – although a pale gray can also turn out to be quite good.

Add naturalness

Eco-style bathrooms are a trend that can be easily implemented in any area, including the most modest one. All that is required of you is laconic and light furniture, a comfortable but straightforward shower area … as well as the open texture of natural wood. It can be a stool or a small compact cabinet, a shelf or a mirror frame, or even a couple of charming knick-knacks. The most important thing is not to hide this texture under the paint: it will perfectly fit into any design, add ease and create a feeling of freedom of movement. True, it is necessary to protect the wood from high humidity – however, we are sure that you have already guessed this.

The charm of the depth

When we talk about the design of a small bathroom, we will have to return to the theme of accent walls repeatedly – after all, we don’t have much room to maneuver. In this case, we are talking about a dark accent wall with a striking geometric pattern that matches the tone of the base shade. This technique creates the feeling that one wall has been pushed back, making the room seem somewhat more spacious. In addition, do not forget to add here plumbing fixtures made of metal in a contrasting shade, for example, brass or copper – this will add unobtrusive chic.

Creative shower area

If you carefully read our article, you probably remember our conversation about how clearly defined functional zones can change the interior of a small bathroom. You can’t go wrong if you decide to bet on the largest of them – the shower area. Choose a pallet in an unexpected dark color, order sashes framed in the color of the pallet, and you will be captivated by how your bathroom has been transformed. The crisp dark lines against a light or colored background will set a striking rhythm, and the room will surprise you with a modern and stylish look.

Out of the box

Those who are keen on the idea of using transparent elements and planes in a small bathroom should definitely take a closer look at the shower area with frameless glass doors. It looks equally harmonious in a light monochromatic and in a dark room, as well as in combination with colored tiles with an exclusive print. Due to the absolute transparency and the absence of visible restrictions, the bathroom space in the most magical way seems endless, which is extremely difficult to achieve in the interior using conventional bathrooms or showers with a high base.

Trying a pocket door

Ordinary doors can “eat,” albeit mostly a tiny, but still part of the bathroom space. So, if they open inward (although this is rare but still happens), then comments are unnecessary. Still, you should not think that the traditional opening outward will become a panacea: cashing doorjamb, and sometimes the hinges themselves, also require a particular space on the wall surface. If in the struggle for a comfortable bathroom, every square inch is dear to you, then you have an excellent assistant – a pocket door.

Such a structure is a door leaf moving along guides and hiding in a specially prepared opening in the plane of the wall. In fact, such doors were trendy during the Victorian era, but they were undeservedly forgotten over time. Today they are experiencing a new round of popularity, and therefore you can safely use pocket doors for a small bathroom, thereby freeing up space for additional storage.

Let there be light

The more light in the bathroom, the larger it will seem – however, this is quite obvious. Therefore, use all the possibilities to install additional lighting sources. Of course, luxurious ceiling chandeliers and spectacular massive sconces are not our cases, but this does not diminish the options. Spots, ceiling lighting around the perimeter, illuminated mirrors, as well as graceful flat or vertically elongated thin wall lamps will not leave a single dark corner in your bathroom, which will make it look much more spacious.

More movement for more ergonomics

Not all the furnishings in the bathroom must be fixed as tightly as possible – sometimes, the mobility of individual items is the secret of true comfort in a small bathroom. As you might have already guessed, this idea is about light shelving, which you have probably seen more than once in modern interiors.

Depending on the style you choose for your bathroom, you can choose from a wide variety of shelving options – laconic metal or graceful wrought iron, wood, or cozy rattan shelves. Such a design will accommodate a considerable amount of towels and cosmetics. If necessary, it can be easily moved to any bathroom corner or even transferred to the hall or bedroom.

Variety of reflections

Even if your bathroom is very small, you should not think that you will have to limit yourself to only one mirror. If you follow trends in interior design, then you probably know that today mirrors are needed not only to look in them – but also to admire them.

That is why nothing prevents you from placing several mirrors on the wall at once – of the same or different sizes or shapes. Many reflections will visually expand the boundaries of a small bathroom and make it brighter by more efficiently reflecting artificial and daylight. And, of course, let’s not forget about the decorative component: such a decoration is worthy of any bathroom.

The noble base

One of the current trends in the small bathroom design is floorings that seem to have come from the past. Traditional parquet can be a striking example of such a coating. At first glance, all this seems paradoxical, but, according to the designers, it is thanks to them that the illusion of a spacious and warm room is created.

Laying natural hardwood flooring in a small bathroom is a really crazy idea, but there are some decent alternatives at your disposal. So, for example, many brands produce floor porcelain stoneware, which at first glance does not differ much from the noble material made of wood – but at the same time, it is much more practical.

Aesthetics in the necessary details

The desire to create beauty and coziness even in a small bathroom is quite natural. However, this does not mean that it is worth cluttering up such a valuable space with various kinds of trinkets that do not perform any function except decorative – you may well act a little more subtly.

Get stylish and cozy towel sets. Remove from the bathroom numerous bubbles and bottles of care cosmetics by pouring the required amount of soap, shampoo, lotion, and other products you need into beautiful containers from one collection. Order a new, trendy mirror frame or upgrade your rug. All these things are attractive to look at, and they are pleasant to use – which means that you no longer need anything extra.

Small bathroom: Conclusions + More photos

A small bathroom is not a reason for frustration at all. Correctly chosen decorative solutions and carefully thought-out finishes will allow you to see it in a new light – as a stylish corner where it is very comfortable to stay.

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