This tiny bathroom has the cleverest storage that makes it work a hundred times harder – including a genius vanity

Clever cabinets, concealed shelves and a bespoke vanity seat make this small space feel so much more luxurious

A small bathroom in Brazil with hidden storage
(Image credit: Felipe Hess Anquitetos)

Small bathrooms require innovation, and the best examples of them are super creative and truly think out-of-the-box. Looking at this project in Brazil, designed by Felipe Hess Arquitetos. I am convinced that even the tiniest of spaces can accommodate all kinds of functions. 

'This home is located in Rio de Janeiro, in the Leblon neighborhood,' says Felipe Hess, founder of Felipe Hess Arquitetos. 'The house has three members and the brief was to design a clean space that was beautiful but also extremely functional.'

For this small bathroom, the clients wanted to ample storage and also a dressing room. Felipe Hess converged these ideas along with fine craftsmanship and clever tricks to create a space that truly fits-it-all. Take a look.

The brief

A small bathroom in all wood, with concealed storage

(Image credit: Felipe Hess Anquitetos)

When planning this small bathroom storage, Felipe took the size of the space and all that was expected from the client into consideration. He wanted to accommodate it all, but in the most sleek and minimalist way possible. 

'For this small bathroom, the design ideas were sparked by a conversation with the client who wanted this space to be extremely comfortable and useable; plus a space where she could do her makeup,' says Felipe. 'With this, we had to be creative to understand how to bring in storage and even a chair, without compromising the daily flow of the space. All elements fell into place, resulting in this almost 'Tetris' type aesthetic. It's a clean space and with an unusual surprise hidden behind the cabinet doors.'

The design 

A small bathroom with wooden flooring and wooden cupboards

(Image credit: Felipe Hess Anquitetos)

To make this small bathroom layout, a simple, minimalist design was required to make use of every corner. 

'We had to take advantage of every corner and free space available in the bathroom, and create custom joinery for the space,' says Felipe. 'In doing that, we were able to have both, spaces for storage and free space for the bathroom to be used. In terms of materials, we used natural Tauari Wood, white wood marble, and natural wooden floor.'

A small bathroom with a pull-out chair

(Image credit: Felipe Hess Anquitetos)

So where does all the chaos go? Behind the wooden cabinets are shelves to store everyday items, toiletries, and medicines. 

'All mirrors hide a cabinet as well, with a lot of shelves,' says Felipe. 'We custom-designed the joinery and bathtub to fit all elements perfectly into the room's layout. We even designed the towel rack and painted it the same color as the tap and the hand towel hook.' 

'Also, we couldn´t have furniture disrupting the daily flow of the room, so we specially designed a chair and incorporated it into the design of the lower cabinet, creating the bench within the modulation of the doors,' he said. 'This way, a clean result was obtained.' 

All this careful planning makes this small bathroom look bigger and airier, plus a room that can be easily frequented. 

A small bathroom with wall sconces

(Image credit: Felipe Hess Anquitetos)

Finally, for the small bathroom lighting, the fixtures were chosen such that they would provide ample ambient and task lighting, while opening up the room visually.

'For the lighting, we chose warm lighting for everyday use and specific fixtures for when the client wanted to do her makeup,' says Felipe. 

More projects by Felipe Hess Arquitetos.

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Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast).  Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.