Give your tiny washroom a modern makeover with these Scandi-inspired small bathroom ideas. I spoke to experts to find everything you need to know about this cool design trend.
While Scandinavian style looks great in any part of the home, this particular brand of effortless minimalism especially suits a bathroom, no matter its size. In fact, the smaller the space — the better, because embracing a no-clutter approach, clean lines, and neutral tones is the perfect way to open up the room.
Finding ways to improve a small bathroom can be tricky, especially on a budget, but these Instagram-approved homes should give you that spark of inspiration you’ve been looking for. There are tons of small bathroom ideas across the site on how to make your space work, so if the Scandi look isn’t for you, there’s plenty more where that came from.
8 Scandi-inspired small bathroom ideas to revamp your space
What is it about Scandinavian style? With nods to nature and an aesthetic eye, those Northern Europeans know what’s up. World over, everyone is obsessed with the Scandi look, and we’re no exception.
Lucky enough to be renovating a small bathroom? Try out these tips, from thrifting small-space furniture to giving the walls a fresh lick of paint. With smaller touches like rustic ceramic accessories or pastel hand towels, you can get the look for less, too.
1. Geometric patterns
Repeat patterns in geometric shapes, or prints with a bold, symmetrical vibe have been a huge part of the Scandi aesthetic since the 1950s when the world really started going wild for this now-iconic Northern European style.
Stick to a monochrome color palette for a more minimalist feel and pick out prints like this across accessories, shower curtains or even tiling. I love these self-adhesive floor tiles from Home Depot which can give a rented bathroom a totally new look on a budget.
2. Mid-century modern furniture
The mid-century modern aesthetic is what the Scandinavians are most known for and even now, vintage fans are desperate to get their hands on original furniture from this era made in the likes of Denmark or Sweden.
Thrift an original piece for your bathroom like a cabinet, side table, or even decorative stool (great for displaying your plants!), or nab a similar vibe from a big retailer. If you need some inspiration, there are plenty of thrifting tips on TikTok to get started.
While thrifting is more fun, if you’re struggling to find a mid-century modern piece for your bathroom, West Elms’ warm-toned wall cabinet is just perfect. We particularly like the nifty towel rail!
3. Green-toned color palette
Color is such an important part of the Scandi aesthetic and while it doesn’t all have to be neutrals and monochrome (saturated pastels are also very in, but more on that later), earthy tones are synonymous with this look.
Matilda Martin, Trend Specialist at home decor brand Lick, says: “Soft, natural shades work really well when creating a Scandinavian feel for your bathroom, and a lick of paint is the easiest and cheapest way to give the whole room a makeover. Lick’s Green 14 is a muted, calming shade with happy undertones of yellow which keeps things bright. Try this, especially in a small space, and you’ll be instantly relaxed.”
Matilda Martin is Trend Specialist at home decor brand, Lick, most known for their colorful range of wall paints. She's also the editor of the brand's online magazine, Lifting The Lid.
4. Ceramic touches
Creating a Scandi-inspired small bathroom is all about moving away from the glitz, glamour, and maximalism, and instead, leaning into a more down-to-earth, natural mood.
Ceramic bathroom accessories are such a gorgeous way to do this, from a toothbrush holder or decorative tray to a mini vase.
Opt for an unfinished glaze — a little bit of roughness around the edges is the character we’re looking for — and from an independent maker if you can, but retailers do great versions, too.
Price: from $49.90
This ceramic vase from Zara Home has a purposely unfinished texture which adds depth to its clean lines, perfect for holding an artistic branch or bunch of greenery.
5. Checkerboard textiles
No doubt, you’ll have seen the checkerboard trend all over social media for the last couple of years, and honey, it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.
This bold pattern works so well as an accent in a small space because it draws the eye and brings character but thanks to those clean-cut, hard lines, still feels Scandi-cool. You can even paint a checkerboard accent wall for a really bold pop of color.
Urban Outfitters has such a fun selection of bath mats and this checkerboard style comes in a soft oatmeal hue, as well as a bolder rust and pink combo, which still gives off a Scandi vibe.
6. Saturated pastels
While Nordic countries are known for loving a muted color palette, don’t forget that the likes of homeware brand HAY Design and fashion designers like Ganni show that pastel aesthetic decor, done in the right way, can be just as chic.
Look to ice cream shades of pink, lilac, and mint green in smaller accessories, like this cute soap dispenser from Urban Outfitters. Sticking to a more toned-down design doesn't mean you have to skip out on colorful small bathroom ideas altogether.
It wouldn’t be a Scandi product round-up without something from HAY Design. This brand is known for its colorful storage crates which can be stacked or used singularly, bringing a fun pop of pastel to your space.
7. Plants, plants, and more plants
If you take away just one tip from this article it’s this: plants, plants, and more plants! Greenery is a huge feature in Scandinavian design and by reducing bathroom clutter and adding some leafy friends to the space, you’ll easily nail the Scandi vibes.
Try hanging one higher up, perhaps next to the shower, another on a window ledge and if you’re really going for it, put up a wooden shelf and display a cluster of small bathroom plants there.
8. Pretty but practical open shelving
Jessica Sims-Wilson, interior designer and founder of House of Dawn interiors, says that Scandinavian design is often about the meeting of practicality and style.
“Everything needs to feel practical, but look good,” she says. “Stick with earthy colors and natural materials, and invest in a shelving unit that is paired back and simple, perfect for storing some of your bathroom products as well as a few plants."
Jessica Sims-Wilson is an interior designer with experience working for brands like Soho Home and Neptune, and now the founder of her own design studio, House of Dawn.
So, what is Scandinavian style anyway?
Scandinavian design is huge in the interiors world and is generally associated with Denmark and Sweden, which are countries known for their iconic designers.
However, Norway, Amsterdam, and even Germany share a similar aesthetic, which leans into clean lines, natural materials, and earthy hues. It’s all about bringing together practicality and style.
What’s the easiest way to give my bathroom a Scandi look?
De-clutter, remove any bright or overly patterned textiles or accessories, and add a few plants — the more the better!
Wanna know more about Scandinavian design? Try embracing this modern style in other areas of your home. These Scandi-inspired living room ideas will have your place looking cozy and chic in no time. And if you're bundling up this winter, you'll need to get to know everything about hygge and how to practice it at home.
Combined with these tips, we hope you can give your small bathroom a sleek, natural-focused makeover to create a calming haven in your space.