How to maximize space in a small bathroom — 7 pro tips that may surprise you

Learn how to maximize space in a small bathroom and you'll have breathing room for bubbles and beyond

Learning how to maximize space in a small bathroom like this one is useful. It's a white bathroom with mirrors, a dual sink, shower, toilet, and window
(Image credit: Custom Home Design By Nina Lichtenstein / Brian Madden / Crafted By Nick)

By finding out how to maximize space in a small bathroom, you'll have plenty of room for all your toiletries and trinkets without it looking cluttered.

We've spoken with design experts who regularly head into smaller homes and look for creative solutions to find out what they do. From light and airy materials to low profile lights, there are plenty of smart solutions.

We love finding small bathroom ideas which make the space shine as much as possible, which is why we're loving these expert tips and tricks.

How to maximize space in a small bathroom

When you're organizing your small bathroom, finding ways to make the most of the square footage you have is not only wonderfully useful, but vital to its function.

We've also sought out sparkling products to help you do this, where our experts have recommended anything.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.

1. Choose low-profile lighting

A white bathroom with black framed glass doors, a black matte bathtub and Venetian style black blinds, and a low-profile round gold ribbed ceiling light

(Image credit: Pooky)

If you’re searching for small bathroom lighting ideas, going for non-bulky ones will help open up your bathroom space.

“Low-profile light fixtures which mount flush or protrude slightly from the ceiling can keep the ceiling looking clear and open up the space,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York. He's a pro at making the most of different sized spaces.

“Good, prominently located illumination can make a small bathroom appear bigger and more welcoming,” he adds.

We’re loving these sleek Hepside Ceiling Lights on Amazon, which are also a stylish modern small bathroom idea.

2. Rearrange the layout

A white wall with three geometric gold shelves with plants on them

(Image credit: Custom Home Design By Nina Lichtenstein / Brian Madden / Crafted By Nick)

For those who own their home, don’t be afraid to get renovating if you think your space could work better for you than it already does.

“Rearranging the layout could include moving the shower location and moving the door to allow for more features, such as a double sink vanity,” says Nina Lichtenstein, principal home designer and founder of Nina's Home Design.

A picture of Nina Lichtenstein, a woman wearing a green jumpsuit
Nina Lichtenstein

For close to a decade, Nina has showcased her in-depth construction and design expertise. She has been celebrated for designing, renovating, and building elegant family homes with various room requirements.

For those who are renting and have walked in with bulky bathroom furniture, you can also take this out.

Nina adds you can remove closets to increase floor space and even use the empty wall space for small bathroom wall storage ideas.

3. Use over the toilet space

A white bathroom with a toilet with white cabinets and a mirror above it

(Image credit: Future)

Your toilet might not be the most glamorous space in the bathroom, but you can add style and functionality to the area by adding shelves around it.

Artem suggests, “Add open shelving or cabinets above the toilet or sink to create storage area for your toiletries and towels and not take up floor space.”

For renters who may not be able to hang shelves, we suggest doing this with units specifically made to go over the toilet (this iBune Over The Toilet Storage Cabinet is Amazon's Choice), as these are made to snugly fit this space.

4. Bring in smaller fixtures

A white bathroom with a mirror, gold wall sconces, wooden cabinet, and a sink

(Image credit: Custom Home Design By Nina Lichtenstein / Brian Madden / Crafted By Nick)

It can be so easy to get swept away by finding beautiful fixtures and trying to cram them into the space you have. Instead, it’s much better to accept what you have and work with it.

“One large bathroom remodel project we did involved choosing compact fixtures for a 5'x7' half bath,” says Eric Bramlett, realtor and owner of Bramlett Residential.

A picture of Eric Bramlett, a man in a blue jumper in front of a river with skyscrapers in the background
Eric Bramlett

Eric Bramlett is a realtor and owner of Bramlett Residential, a mid-sized real estate brokerage in Austin, TX. He has extensive experience in real estate development and brokerage management, including developing new and existing homes.

He adds, “We opted for a wall-hung vanity with an integrated basin, a tall narrow medicine cabinet, and a corner toilet.”

Eric says these selections alone freed up significant floor space, and the homeowner was thrilled to have plenty of functional small bathroom storage ideas in such a tight area.

5. Open up your shower door

A shower with a gold border, black and white tiles, a gold shower head, and a plant inside it

(Image credit: Custom Home Design By Nina Lichtenstein / Brian Madden / Crafted By Nick)

You can make your small bathroom look luxe by being mindful of the materials you pick, which can also maximize the space in your small bathroom.

Artem explains, “Transform cluttered shower doors with a slim glass insert to visually enhance the space.”

He continues, “You can get doors which fold to create more space when not being used.”

A glass wall will also leave your bathroom looking bright and airy, making it appear bigger than it is.

6. Place corner shelves in the shower

A marble corner of a shower with three corner shelves with plants, white toiletry bottles, and poufs on them

(Image credit: Custom Home Design By Nina Lichtenstein / Brian Madden / Crafted By Nick)

This is a useful tip for those who have every single lotion and potion going in their bathroom (we relate to this).

Nina explains “I like to bring corner shelves into the shower to maximize space in a small bathroom.”

You might want to DIY your corner shelves so you can save yourself some dollars and create ones you know will properly fit in the space.

If you’d rather grab shelves from the store, these Uifer Corner Shower Caddies on Amazon are easy to install and require no drilling.

7. Be intentional with decor

A green hanging plant in the corner of a bathroom with white and gray tiles

(Image credit: Custom Home Design By Nina Lichtenstein / Brian Madden / Crafted By Nick)

Picking thoughtful and intentional decor is a brilliant way of keeping your bathroom’s aesthetic fresh, while at the same time maximizing the space in it.

“I’m a big fan of keeping the decor simple and functional, choosing only the best indoor plants and the best candles,” says Nina.

One of our favorite candles at Real Homes is the Diptyque La Droguerie Candle, available on Nordstrom.

Nina adds, “I also like to add bamboo mats (we think this iDesign Bamboo Mat from Amazon is so Japandi) for a spa-like touch to the bathroom.”

If you edit down and find you’re left with items you don’t need anymore, you can always donate them to secondhand furniture stores such as Goodwill.

By being clever with materials, fittings, and decor, you can maximize space in a small bathroom easily.

You can also change the aesthetic to make your small bathroom appear bigger, too.

Nina finishes by saying, “For smaller bathrooms, I always recommend keeping the overall design simple, color-coordinated, and neutral.”

For sleek and simple washroom inspiration, these enviable minimalist bathroom ideas are seriously swoon-worthy.

Eve Smallman
Staff Writer

Hi there! I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses.