27 Creative Ways to Decorate a Small Bathroom

In our dreams, our bathrooms are basically in-home spas. In reality? They’re cramped areas shared with too many people! Though we know many people lucky enough to have pretty spacious bathrooms, for the vast majority of us, they’re the smallest rooms in the house. That doesn’t mean they can’t be fabulous, though! While a larger bathroom is a dream for “someday,” a well-decorated one is a project for TODAY. Here are 27 of our favorite ideas to make a small bathroom feel more spacious, more enjoyable, and much prettier.

  1. Dark Paint + Wainscotting

  2. Add some high contrast to your bathroom by pairing a dark, dramatic wall color with soft white wainscoting. The contrast adds drama and personality, and the softness of the wainscoting keeps the color from overwhelming and shrinking the small space.


  3. Accent Color

  4. Another way to get that popping high contrast look? With an accent color! Even something as small and simple as a hand towel, floor mat or even soap can do it, making it a perfect idea for small spaces where you can’t really fit art or big fixtures.


  5. Chair Rail Shelving

  6. Yes, a chair rail in the bathroom! Once you put up that wainscoting, add a chair rail to double as a thin, stylish shelf perfect for flowers, pretty lotions, or even art.


  7. Colorful Wainscotting

  8. That wainscoting doesn’t have to be white or boring! Add some personality by painting it a favorite color pulled from contrasting wallpaper or canvas . . .


  9. Rustic Wainscotting

  10. . . . making it out of rustic, reclaimed wood panels . . .


  11. Tall Wainscotting

  12. . . . or drawing the eye upward with taller-than-usual paneling that will make the bathroom seem higher and larger than it really is.


  13. Optical Illusions

  14. Remember what we were saying about high contrast? Embrace it to create optical illusions that make bathrooms appear larger than they are, like with this checkerboard flooring.


  15. Horizontal Stripe Walls

  16. Another simple way to make your bathroom look bigger? Paint the walls in subtly-contrasting horizontal stripes!


  17. All White

  18. Prefer simplicity and calm to drama? Go classic by going all white. Not only is a neutral simultaneously soothing and bright, the unbroken whiteness will trick the eye into thinking the room is much bigger than it really is. Plus, it’ll reflect more light!


  19. More Mirrors

  20. Another classic way to make a room feel bigger and reflect more light? Mirrors, of course! Make it more visually interesting by hanging multiple ones, rather than the standard – and boring – large one.


  21. Light Colors

  22. Think white is too boring, or have kids who make having a white bathroom too dangerous? Apply the same principle with light colors to give your bathroom a spacious feel. Make sure, too, that you apply it to everything in the bathroom you can: rugs, accessories, even the light fixtures.


  23. Mason Jar Storage

  24. Yes, we recommend mason jars for basically everything, but can you blame us? They’re an idea with function and beauty, giving you uniform décor with flair while also giving you all the practical use you really need in a bathroom. This particular project doesn’t even require you to give up counter-space; instead, you can add some flair on the wall!


  25. Open Shelving

  26. In the same way as mason jars, your other bathroom storage can be a chance for style if you use open shelves! Whether staggered or in straight lines, they add a sense of space, and even toilet paper looks nice arranged on it.


  27. Floating Vanity

  28. When your bathroom is small, you want to leave space wherever you can, both for your eye and for your comfort. Like floating shelves, a floating vanity gives you that space and the storage you need. In fact . . .


  29. Custom Vanity

  30. . . . the vanity is probably the number one way to add some flair to your bathroom. It’s usually the biggest piece of furniture in your bathroom, after all! So try a custom one that combines open space and closed storage, like this family did . . .


  31. Creative Vanity

  32. . . . or repurpose an entirely different piece of furniture entirely, be it a nightstand, end table or even a dresser like this!


  33. Sink Skirt

  34. Even if you don’t have a vanity, you can decorate the space under the sink. Use fabric! A sink skirt is a great way to add color to a pedestal sink or cover up unsightly pipes and storage.


  35. Under-Vanity Towel Bar

  36. Did you embrace the space beneath your vanity? Consider taking it one step further and hanging the towel bar there! You can either hang a curtain there – hiding storage space and adding an accent color or splash of interesting patterns – or use it to hang hand towels, opening up space on your walls in the process!


  37. Funky Paintings and Off-Beat Art

  38. So what to do with that extra wall space once you don’t need that extra towel bar there? Hang some art! We don’t know why more people don’t embrace decorating their bathroom walls like they do in other rooms of their homes. A bathroom is the perfect place for that off-beat, funky painting that doesn’t match the décor of other rooms . . .


  39. Photo Gallery

  40. . . . or those goofy, funny family photographs. A small bathroom makes a great one-of-a-kind family photo gallery.


  41. Glass Shower Door

  42. Other than the vanity, what’s the largest thing in any bathroom? The shower or tub, of course! Rather than let it remain a big, bland hulk, streamline it and use it to give the illusion of space with a shining glass door . . .


  43. Doorless Shower

  44. . . .or take out the door entirely!


  45. Fabulous Shower Curtain

  46. It’s maybe the easiest way to add some personality to your bathroom without adding clutter: hang a fabulous shower curtain! Try thinking about the curtain the same way you would curtains in any other room of the house – Kylie M. Interiors suggests thinking of them as “bathroom drapes” – and really choose ones that add to the look. Something else to consider: using TWO to frame the shower and make the bathroom feel balanced.


  47. Stylish Storage

  48. You have to keep a lot of stuff in bathrooms, which means, of course, that you have to have storage. That doesn’t mean you have to give up style, though! Use curtains, super-tall shelving, and other organization tips to add some creativity with purpose.


  49. Color Drawer Surprise

  50. A really saturated color could overwhelm you in a small space, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with neutrals. Paint or apply adhesive paper to the insides of the vanity or medicine cabinet for a pop of your favorite color that’ll add some fun to your organization.


  51. Decluttered Countertops

  52. An organized bathroom is a beautiful bathroom! Even if you can’t do anything else, clearing away that jumble of toiletries and makeup and leaving a clear countertop behind will instantly give a tiny room a boost. In their place, place out your prettiest bottles of lotion, or even some fresh flowers.


  53. Clear Floors

  54. Another visual cue that makes a bathroom appear bigger and lovelier? Clear floors. Go for smaller trash bins and baskets, forego floor mats or rugs, and instead make the flooring as beautiful as possible.

Gorgeous! Instead of a cramped cell, our small bathroom is going to feel like a relaxing oasis once we put these ideas into play. How will YOU transform your les toilettes? Have you ever dramatically redecorated your bathroom? Grab more inspiration from these guides at HGTV and This Old House, and tell us your plans! Then be sure to check out these classic TipHero guides for even more bathroom-related ideas: