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What's the Best Design for a Small Bathroom?

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by Oxford Explorer (subscribe)
I'm a Mum of two boys living in Oxfordshire, enjoying lots of fun activities and writing about them when I get a chance.
Published November 25th 2012

Your bathroom can be somewhere you can escape to wallow in warm water and cleanse the day away or play with your children as they enjoy splashing about.

A small bathroom can make this all a little bit harder but there are a few tips to follow to maximise the space you have without having to move house.

The most important starting point is to consider the layout. There's not usually lots of options for a small bathroom but make sure you think through them first before you start any work.

My small bathroom had very little usable floor space, especially when you lifted out a wriggly baby and tried to get them dry while on your hands and knees. We kept the bath where it was but managed to squeeze the sink and toilet along the small wall by choosing our sink wisely.

Bathroom Suite, Fixtures & Fittings
Keep it light (and in my opinion white) in a small bathroom. You don't need to buy the most expensive bathroom suite but make sure you measure the space well and check where everything will fit.

If you're going to splash some cash then choose attractive taps and shower heads. A glass shower screen will also make the room feel larger than a shower curtain pulled across which blocks the room in half. Remember you can go up as well as out, so choose a thin tall radiator that can heat the room and dry your towels if wall space is limited. Once you've decided what style complements your house and taste, try shopping around on the internet for good deals.

shower screen, bathroom, design
A clear shower screen makes the room feel more open than a curtain

Avoid Clutter
It's all very well advised to avoid clutter but you still need a range of things to hand in your bathroom so get clever on storage. Open storage or lots of nooks and crannies quickly starts to look messy in a small bathroom. Consider a unit that encases your sink and toilet with built in storage under the sink. That way you can tuck away spare toilet rolls and whatever else you have lurking in your bathroom without having it on show.

bathroom, storage, design, small bathroom
Built in storage to maximise the space

No need to be bland
A small bathroom doesn't need to be bland. I wanted to keep mine light but avoid the stark hospital feel of all white. I decided to choose large neutral tiles with a dark grey mosaic for extra detail. Some brightly coloured towels add a splash of colour and when I get bored of one colour scheme I can cheaply change to another. Alternatively use some accent tiles in a bright colour to add some interest.

radiator, towel rail, bathroom, design
Narrow but tall radiator

Magic of Mirrors
Mirrors are fantastic. While they might reflect your sleepy morning after face they're great for bouncing light around the bathroom. If you fill a wall or as large a space as you can then they can give the illusion of a much bigger space.

Mirror, Bathroom, space, design
This mirror fills the wall and creates the illusion of space
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