How can I make a small bathroom look stylish? These ideas will make even tiny spaces feel chic

Small bathrooms can feel uninspiring, but they don't have to be, as these stylish ideas go to prove

A small pamper room
(Image credit: Simon Upton)

Making a small bathroom look stylish is no easy feat. When you have a lot of space you really have a lot more design freedom to create a room that is in line with current interior trends. But if you're lacking the space, don't worry. There are still ways you can be clever about design, and plenty of touches you can make to create a room that is a perfect stylish spot to unwind in. 

The key? Don't skimp on things that feel luxurious. 'There are a lot of ways of making a small bathroom look stylish,' says Ophélie Doria of interior design studio, Space Factory, 'but first off you have to treat it like another room of the home and make it look comfortable no matter the size.' 

Read on for small bathroom ideas that are sure to make your space feel stylish.

1. Don't be afraid of going for a statement bath

A small statement bath

(Image credit: Le Whit)

Just because you have a small bathroom doesn't mean you can't enjoy the luxury look of the ever-stylish freestanding bath. As in demand as ever, freestanding baths are the ultimate definition of luxury. But for smaller bathrooms, there is no reason freestanding tub dream isn't within your grasp. 

For smaller bathrooms around 6.5 - 9.8 feet by 4.9 foot, a smaller bath of around 59 inches or less will work. A bath in a smaller ensuite is still achievable too. There are several models out there that are 51 inches to 55 inches, which is smaller than a standard shower, and can be the perfect solution. Look to a compact slipper bath - an asymmetrical freestanding bath raised at one end so the bather can be immersed. A short roll-top or back-to-the-wall design with at least 3.9 inches round each of the edges is also good for smaller bathrooms. Shower baths are also great space-saving designs, shaped to be wider at the shower end. They are generally P-shaped or L-shaped. 

2. Create bathroom niches

Small bathroom cubby holes

(Image credit: Space Factory)

If space is at a premium, think about how you can use your wall to your advantage to create handy bathroom niches where you can store essentials. You might want to tile them in a beautiful way too, as seen here from Space Factory (opens in new tab), which has used playful terrazzo to add a focal point. It's a small way to gain precious bathroom storage space and is a look that can be achieved in even the smallest of spaces.

3. Add a bathroom stool

A bath tray makes an aesthetic storage unit

(Image credit: Zac&Zac. Design: Jeffreys)

A stool is a simple addition that really ups a small bathroom's style. A handy extra place for storage of shampoos and conditioners, and working as a bath tray, it also adds elegance to the space and reinforces the idea that your bathroom is a place of luxury and pampering. ‘I always like to pair a freestanding bath with a smart bath tray, you can even prop your tablet on there for a bit of in-tub viewing,’ says interior designer Pandora Taylor (opens in new tab).

The surface area also adds a small space that you can decorate as you would with coffee table decor. A selection of your favorite magazines, a candle and a jar of bath salts make a stylish vignette.

Zuri stool from Anthropologie (opens in new tab)
Editor's pick

Zuri stool from Anthropologie (opens in new tab)

Made from aged teak wood, this minimalist bathroom stool makes a perfect perch for the bathroom, a great place to sit or a stylish side table for bathroom comforts. 

4. Go dark and moody

A small dark moody bathroom

(Image credit: Fabian Martinez. Design: direccion)

This small space designed by the architectural design studio, direccion (opens in new tab), had to account for very little lighting, using what little light comes through from the ceiling to reflect light and create the illusion of space. 

Instead of trying to make the space feel bigger, the design house embraced the lack of space by going for a dark bathroom, using sumptuous shades of brown to make the room cocooning and cozy, and effortlessly stylish. 

5. Use beautiful materials in small quantities

A marble sink

(Image credit: Madeleine Harper. Design Emily Lauren Interiors)

Don't underestimate the power of material to make a small space really pack a punch. Emily Lauren of Emily Lauren Interiors (opens in new tab) had the challenge of creating a tiny powder room tucked off in a private nook that was dramatic and luxurious. 'It's a small bathroom with no natural lighting,' Emily explains. 

'We decided to embrace the darkness and created a dramatic and moody atmosphere with lots of texture by using Portola's Roman Clay on the walls and designed a custom bathroom sink and mirror using calacatta viola marble.' The impact is stunning and much like a solid island would add drama to a kitchen, the [just needs finishing?]

6. Go bold with statement tiling

A tiled powder room

(Image credit: Romanek Design Studio, 1stDibs)

Sometimes, clever small bathroom tiling is a way to make a small space feel on trend. It gives real wow-factor, adds texture and doesn't shy away from the fact that this is a smaller room, in fact it embraces size. 

This California bathroom by Romanek Design Studio (opens in new tab) does just that with a stylish black-and-white look, with tiles taken across the ceiling in a monochromatic way. Golden accessories make it all the more glamorous and prove that space isn't an obstacle to style.

7. Remember wall lights

Smart wall lights in a terrazzo bathroom

(Image credit: Hanna Grankvist. Design: Studio Nato)

Lighting is important in the bathroom and can take all sorts of shapes and sizes, but when you are lacking the room for a dramatic ceiling light, look to your spare wall space for inspiration and use the walls for sconces or wall lights above a vanity unit. Extra bathroom wall lighting can provide that extra feeling and layer to a room, explains interior designer, Caz Myers (opens in new tab). 'A contemporary style of vanity mirror wall-lights add mood, are striking, and give the bathroom a vibrant and unique feel both during daytime and at night when the lights create a wonderful glow.' 

Here, Studio Nato (opens in new tab) achieved that feel with frosted bulb-style lights with glimmers of gold hanging above the mirror, giving the room a pampering feel.

Dioscuri wall light from Lumens (opens in new tab)
Get the look

Dioscuri wall light from Lumens (opens in new tab)

Get the look with these wall lights from Artemide. Featuring a simple yet organic globe shape, the shade of this wall light is made from hand-blown glass with a white frosted finish. 

8. Embrace statement grouting

Grout and tiling in a bathroom

(Image credit: Casey Dunn. Design: Elizabeth Baired)

When it comes to designing small bathrooms, you might be tempted to keep the color scheme light to try and create the illusion of space, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun and experiment with pops of color. 

We've noticed designers supersizing grout, or using contrasting colors of grout to tile to create a bit of interest in the bathroom. In this room designed by Elizabeth Baird (opens in new tab), red grout lines help lift his small room in a subtle but stylish way, creating interest in an unlikely way.

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.