If you think your tiny bathroom is too small to make a splash, think again. Whether it’s a small desk space in a new build or a walk-in bath original to your 1920s Craftsman-style cottage, there’s a whole world of possibilities for small bathrooms—and probably with less investment than a larger one. space may require.
Lindsay Speace of Lindsay Speace Interior Design in Raleigh, North Carolina is a pro when it comes to preserving the charm of small, original baths found in older homes while giving them a dose of fresh style and color. We asked her to spill her secrets to bring a little bath into the present with flair. Here are her favorite small bathroom trends that feel so right right now.
1. Add bathroom wallpaper
You might think that wrapping a small bathroom in color and pattern will make the walls feel closed in, but the right wallpaper can be transformative in the best way. “I love incorporating wallpaper into small baths, especially powder baths, whenever possible,” says Speace. “It’s the perfect opportunity to inject personality, but the stakes don’t feel quite as high as if you committed to dressing your living room.” If there is a patterned wallpaper that you love but have been hesitant to use in other areas of your home, it may be the perfect option for your bathroom.
Choosing complementary paint colors and finishes will go a long way in creating the small bathroom of your dreams, so make sure you have all your elements together before you break out the nail rollers. And if you love the look of wallpaper but can’t quite make it work within your budget, Speace recommends opting for a wall stencil instead. “Etsy is a great resource for design-oriented opportunities,” she says.
2. Use Shades of Blue
Space is a big fan of going blue in bathrooms that lack square footage. “If I’m suggesting a paint color for a small bath, I’ve often specified a shade of light blue. Farrow & Ball Light Blue and Benjamin Moore’s Glass Slipper are two favorites,” she says.
Not only are shades of blue calming, but they also tend to work with existing elements. “Bathrooms often have pieces with cooler undertones (chrome fixtures, porcelain sinks, toilets, etc.) and light blue complements those undertones and feels spa-like even in a small space.”
Once you’ve chosen your shade, pay special attention to the finish. Choose a paint type that is suitable for areas with high humidity, so you don’t risk peeling paint.
3. Use mobile bathroom storage
One of the biggest complaints about a small bathroom is storage – or the lack of it. If you have no built-in storage space, try making your storage space mobile. “In my own small bathroom, which doesn’t have a dedicated linen closet, I’ve used a large wicker basket to store folded towels,” says Speace.
Being able to rearrange your storage elements, whether it’s spaces in drawers, floating shelves next to the sink or even – following Speace’s suggestion – baskets to hold towels, toilet paper or even laundry, making these space-saving movable or adjustable, will keep them working for you as your needs change. Because even a new skin care routine can put a small bathroom’s storage situation back on its heels.
4. Creative tile installations
If you’re not a fan of wallpaper but still want to play up your personality in your small bathroom, try tiles. “Til is also an opportunity to get creative,” says Speace. “Use a penny tile in a bold color, or try a playful strip of subway tile.” And you don’t have to stop at the shower or the bathtub. Depending on the style of your bath, you may find that tiling the walls halfway up adds a bit of vintage charm and scores points for wipe-ability when your weekly bathroom cleaning comes around.
Although Speace is happy to add color in small bathrooms, there are a few fixtures where she thinks it’s best to keep things basic. “I wouldn’t say this is a trend, but I would keep toilets and sinks classic white unless you’re working with existing vintage pieces,” she says.