Bijou bathrooms – working wonders with a small space

Having a bijou bathroom may create a few challenges, but there are always design-led solutions that will result in a perfectly practical and on-trend space.

Create the illusion of space by freeing up the floor area with a wall-hung toilet and sink. Floating products leave the area below clear, forming much-needed storage space as well as giving the feeling of an airier washroom.

It can often be difficult to fit a bath and a shower into a small washroom, so a wet room floor can be the perfect solution. Without the need for a dedicated shower tray area, the room feels larger; and bath fans can still enjoy a compact tub with a shower over it if it’s an essential you can’t live without.

Decor-wise, light, bright schemes are always a winner, but don’t be afraid to be bold and mix patterns, materials and monochrome themes for super-stylish bathrooms that offer a surprisingly spacious feel.

We’ve teamed up with VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab) to bring you five top tips on making the most of a bijou bathroom…

Walk-in wet room

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If you’re short on space, a wet room – a shower room with an open, fully-tiled shower area – is a fantastic option. As the entire room is waterproofed, it offers great protection for the whole area. Not installing a bath creates extra space, while the absence of a shower tray produces the illusion of a larger room.

Many wet rooms don’t feature a shower screen, but you may want to install a small one if the bathroom is particularly compact to prevent spray. Not only are wet rooms practical, they also make a super-stylish contemporary addition to any home. Try mixing a modern grey wall panel with a bold colour, like deep green, for a chic finish. A sleek wall-hung vanity unit also gives a bigger feel to a smaller space.

Shop now: Mode Hale grey-stone matte wall hung vanity unit and basin, £359, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab);Multipanel Linda Barker Ferro Grafite Hydrolock shower wall panel, £159, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab).

Off the wall

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There’s a number of innovative design choices you can make to create the illusion of space in a bijou bathroom. Always opt for wall-hung sanitaryware, which is less bulky, leaving more wall space on show. A contemporary wall-hung vanity unit can still offer excellent shelving solutions as well as a handy double basin set-up often associated with more grandiose bathrooms. Finally, a clever floor-to-ceiling radiator provides warmth without taking up much needed space, while maintaining a modern, sleek aesthetic.

Shop now: Mode Heath freestanding bath 1700 x 806, £566.10, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab); Mode Ellis short projection wall hung toilet with soft close toilet seat, £167.20, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab); Mode Tate countertop basin 555mm, £94.99, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab).

Trim your tub

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There’s nothing quite as relaxing, restoring and revitalising as sinking into a hot bath after a long day. Small bathroom? No problem. You can still create an indulgent spa-like sanctuary – complete with your very own tub. Baths come in varying sizes, and you can always install a smaller tub that also comes with a shower screen to save on space, like this 1400mm-long model.

That’s right, just because you have a shower over the bath doesn’t mean you have to opt for a shower curtain. Keep things contemporary with a built-in shower screen and choose a contemporary grey shower panel for an ultra-chic finish.

Shop now: Orchard square edge straight shower bath with 6mm shower screen, £209, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab);Multipanel Linda Barker Soapstone Stellar unlipped shower wall panel 2400 x 1200, £219, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab).

Monochrome magic

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It’s black and white: a monochrome scheme can elevate a small bathroom to a sumptuous space that feels – and looks – larger than it is. A statement patterned floor creates a fabulous focal point, while a dark wall adds style and a white tiled shower area defines the space in an on-trend way. Pair a monochrome decor scheme with a space-saving wall-hung vanity unit and toilet for the ultimate feel-bigger bathroom.

Shop now: Mode Orion chestnut wall hung countertop basin shelf, £84.99, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab); Mode Tate countertop basin 555mm, £94.99, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab); Mode 8mm walk in shower enclosure pack with return panel and walk in tray, £399, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab).

Material world

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Mixing materials is an excellent way to inject interest into a small bathroom. While a space-saving wall-hung vanity unit is already ideal, rustic wood drawers will also add texture and warmth to the room, while a high-gloss surround brings the modern vibe. Breathe life into a compact area by bringing the outside in with a handful of house plants, and pair with a white, bright decor scheme for a light-filled contemporary space.

Shop now: Mode Burton white & rustic oak wall hung vanity unit and basin 600mm, £199, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab); Orchard L shaped right handed shower bath with 6mm shower screen, £199.20, VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab).

If you need help with planning and fitting your bathroom,VictoriaPlum.com (opens in new tab)now offer a fully certified and accredited bathroom design and installation service. Visit the website (opens in new tab)to make an enquiry, and for more information and design-led bathroom inspiration.

Ruth Doherty

Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.