Small Bathroom Decorating Ideas

by Giorgina Devereaux





With the right small bathroom decorating ideas, you can create an illusion.

If your only goal is to give the impression that the space is larger, then this can easily be achieved. 

However, if you would like to make your bathroom appear spacious as well as elegant, there are many different ways to accomplish this by harmoniously combining various elements and accessories. 

 

You might be wondering how decorating a small bathroom can be accomplished without spending an enormous amount of money. 

Incredibly enough, decorating a small bathroom does not require extensive remodeling. 

small-bathroom-decorating-ideas-map-wallpaperIt can be as simple as applying a fresh coat of paint, adding a small cabinet, and updating the light fixtures. 
 

These small changes will perk things up and make a big difference in the overall appearance of your bathroom.

 

The first step in decorating a small bathroom is to find a theme that appeals to you. 

After a theme is decided on, the rest of the process for small bathroom decorating ideas involves incorporating the right color, lighting, flooring, and other bathroom accessories.

This will completely transform your small bathroom into one that feels luxurious, relaxing, open and airy, and beautiful. 

Striking that perfect balance is not difficult and with the ideas to follow, you will be well on your way to creating a soothing and lavish retreat. 

 

Bathroom Themes

 

The following bathroom themes of small bathroom decorating ideas are available:

 

 

Perception is Everything

 

You wouldn’t believe how the right combination of wall color, wallpaper, lighting, mirrors, and rugs/type of flooring can have a profound effect on your perception of room size.  By opting for colors that open up the space and by properly positioning lighting and mirrors, it can give a small bathroom a bright and open feel. 

 

The following is important to consider when decorating a small bathroom:

 

  • Color

  • Wallpaper

  • Lighting

  • Mirrors

  • Rugs/Flooring Ideas

 

Color:  It is amazing how color can instantly open up a small bathroom and give it the feeling that it is larger. 
 

small-bathroom-decorating-ideas-maitland-smith-coromandel-vanity-with-sink

Light colored walls are reflective, which makes a space appear more open while brightening the room. 

If you prefer darker colors, bear in mind that darker colors absorb light and make the room appear smaller and boxed in. 

Therefore, with a small bathroom, consider sticking with cool colors, such as soft shades of blues and greens, which not only give the illusion of more space, but the feeling of serenity. 
 

If you have crown moldings or are considering installing them, keep in mind that they are a fabulous way to draw attention toward the ceiling.  

Consider painting the trim in a lighter color because a dark color will define the ceiling line sharply.  To give the appearance that the wall is taller, try painting the trim the same color as the wall or one or two shades darker than the wall. 


To give the illusion of a raised ceiling, you can paint the molding around the edge of the ceiling.

Another small bathroom decorating idea is to use a combination of a lighter color and white and do a faux paint consisting of clouds, a moon, and stars.  With low ceilings, you may want to consider painting the walls with vertical stripes to give the impression that the room is taller.
 

Wallpaper:  If you prefer to hang wallpaper, you may want to use wallpaper that has a white or light background.  Wallpaper with a white or light background gives the impression of more open space. You can select wallpaper that has white, yellow, or neutral colors and that feature motifs, such as fleur de lis or a damask design.
 

Lighting:  Allowing light in is an important element in decorating small bathrooms to make the space appear larger and more open. 

Take advantage of any windows you may have and allow light in by pulling the window treatments back.

If your space lacks natural light, you can incorporate artificial lighting features, such as pendant lights, track lighting, or recessed lighting. 

You can also install wall sconces on each side of a mirror, which will add warmth and beauty to the bathroom. 
 

The right amount of lighting will effectively illuminate the bathroom regardless of the time of day giving the space the same bright feeling during all hours. 

 

For detailed information on bathroom lighting, please visit our article titled, “Bathroom Lighting.”

 

Mirrors:  One of the best small bathroom decorating ideas to make a space appear larger when decorating a small bathroom is to incorporate mirrors.  Wall mirrors serve multiple purposes for home decor and are excellent for widening and heightening space.  
 

In addition to adding dimension, mirrors intensify light and emit a certain kind of radiance that complements home interiors while helping to mask wall defects.  

Since a mirror reflects light, it gives the impression that the room is brighter while serving as a decorative element because of, for instance, its lovely ornate frame. 
 

When displayed in a bathroom, wall mirrors attract attention and add drama because the reflection creates the illusion of bigger space and enhances the surrounding decorative elements. 


If you are unsure as to whether you should select a vertical mirror, bear in mind that this works well with homes that have low ceiling heights while horizontal mirrors help emphasize the horizontal space of a room.


Consider hanging a larger sized mirror over the bathroom sink to welcome more light and give the feeling that the space is larger.  The mirror will also pick up the color and pattern of the bathroom creating a dramatic effect.  You may choose from mirrors that are lit, framed, or frameless.  Other mirror features include one that has an extension bracket, one that pivots, and you can even select the bracket style of your choice.

 

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Rugs/Flooring Ideas:  Rugs are a great small bathroom decorating idea to help define the space while giving the room a cozy and inviting feel. 

The beauty about rugs is that they are easy to maintain, are available in so many styles, colors, and designs, and can be rearranged as desired.  

If you are interested in transforming your bathroom quickly and economically, you may wish to consider using a small bathroom rug.  


To give your bathroom the appearance that it is larger, consider a light colored rug that is a little more spacious in size.


If you prefer to install flooring, you may want to run linear flooring, such as ceramic tile in a diagonal pattern.  Again, this creates the longest straight line in the room and the eye will focus on that.  To unify the space and make it feel larger, use the same flooring material in adjoining spaces. 

 

Also, choose ceramic tile in a light color that is large, even in small bathrooms.  This will help provide the illusion of larger space.
 

Decorative Accessories for the Bathroom

 

Decorative accessories for the bathroom wall include the following:

 

  • Art

  • Decorative Hardware

  • Switch Plates

  • Wall Fireplace

 

Art

 

There are different kinds of art that you may wish to consider incorporating into your small bathroom decorating ideas, which range from:

 

  • Framed Canvas Replicas

  • Custom Wall Quotes

  • Wall Plaques

  • Wall Accents

  • Wall Murals 

 

Custom Wall Quotes:  You may also wish to consider including vinyl lettering that consists of a funny or inspirational quote.  Since the bathroom is a place where we relax, it is nice to have something that inspires us or makes us laugh. 

You can have a custom quote made in the font style, size, and color of your choosing.  This is just another way to make your bathroom unique.

 

small-bathroom-decorating-ideas-be-happy-with-what-you-have-while-quote

Some quotes include the following:

 

  • Happiness is a hot bath.

  • Good clean fun.

  • The best seat in the house!

  • When all else fails, take a bath.

  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Bubbles bubbles everywhere.

  • Become who you are.

  • Cherish your dreams.

  • Imagination rules the world.

  • A dream is a wish the heart makes.

  • Dreams are whispers from your soul.

  • Hope is a waking dream.

  • The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

  • What we do in life, echoes in eternity…

  • And live every day as if it were your last.

 

small-bathroom-decorating-ideas-powder-room-plaque

Wall Plaques:  Another idea is to hang a door plaque that says, for instance, “Salle de Bain” (means “bathroom” in French). 

This is a great way to add French flair while identifying the bathroom for guests. 

The plaque is also available with the words, “Powder Room” on it. 

This elegant appointment is crafted of detailed resin with a warm golden luster and has a scrolling border and dimensional design.

 

Wall Accents:  You can also hang wall accents above the door on the inside of the bathroom that consist of a pair of cherubs or a floral design

 

Another fabulous small bathroom decorating idea is to hang a framed trompe l'oeil of, for instance, a picture of a window that peeks out into a magical garden or a beautiful horizon. This will give a sense of a larger space. 

 

Wall Murals:  You may even take your sanctuary a step further by painting a mural consisting of tall grasses around the bath tub to give the appearance of a pond.  A wall mural adds interest to a bathroom and gives you a chance to put your own creative touches.


Decorative Hardware

 

Decorative hardware adds a lot of beauty and elegance to a bathroom.  It can really dress up a bare wall and bring the bathroom to life.

 

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Decorative hardware includes the following:

 

  • Glass Shelf

  • Toilet Paper Holder

  • Towel Bar (single and double towel bar)

  • Towel Hooks  

  • Towel Ring

 

The hardware is available in the following finishes:

 

  • Satin Nickel

  • Polished Nickel

  • Polished Chrome

  • Oil-rubbed Bronze

 

Switch Plates

 

A switch plate is a fantastic way to make an impressive impact on the overall decor of the bathroom.  There are many to choose from and you can also match the switch plate with the outlet cover for a unified look.

 

Wall Fireplace

 

A wall mounted fireplace is a unique small bathroom decorating idea to bring romance and stylish warmth into your bathroom. 

These compact fireplaces can be mounted as easily as a picture with no complex installation necessary and are vent-less, plug-less, with no wires.

 

This fireplace is designed for use in conjunction with gel fuel cans that hide in recessed holders. 

It emits a perfect fiery glow across the bathroom with no smoke and no sparks.  The gel fuel creates the effect of an authentic fire by making noises that snap and crackle. 

Each gel fuel can lasts up to 3 hours on a single burn and puts off up to 3,000 BTU.  If you do not want to use gel, you have the option of using candles, which the recessed holders can accommodate. 

 

A fireplace will enliven your bathroom and turn a once bare wall into a beacon of warmth and style. 

 

Decorative Accessories for the Vanity

 

Decorative accessories for the vanity include the following:

 

  • Decorative Box

  • Faux Plant

  • Soap Dish/Soap Dispenser

  • Tissue Box Holder

  • Toothbrush Holder

  • Tumbler

  • Vanity Mirror Tray

 

Decorative Box:  You may wish to include a decorative box on your vanity. 

Some possibilities include decorative boxes that have floral designs, interesting inlays, and gold/brown tones. 

This accentuates a vanity and can also serve as a place to stash small items.  These boxes come in a variety of colors, designs, and sizes (with two or three storage compartments), and are the perfect touch to a lonely vanity corner.

 

Faux Plant:  Nothing brings the outdoors inside better than a faux plant set inside a decorative urn.  Plants add softness and color to a room and they bring a sense of relaxation and beauty.  There are many faux plants to choose from and the best part about it is that it is maintenance free. 

 

small-bathroom-decorating-ideas-circles-chest-with-sinkMatching Bath Accessories:  Provide a unified look in your bathroom by displaying matching bath accessories.  There are an abundance of bath accessories to choose from ranging from colors, such as red, gold, chrome, ivory, black, brown, purple, and more. 

 

Matching bath accessories consist of the following:

 

  • Soap Dish/Soap Dispenser

  • Tissue Box Holder

  • Toothbrush Holder

  • Tumbler

  • Vanity Mirror Tray

  • Wastebasket

 

Soap Dish/Soap Dispenser:  A lovely way to display a bar of soap or to dispense liquid soap is by incorporating a decorative soap dish or soap dispenser.  There are many different styles to choose from to and it will make a decorative statement in your bathroom.

 

Tissue Box Holder:  Cover that unsightly box of tissue with a decorative tissue box holder.  It is amazing how little details such as these go a long way in making your bathroom more appealing.

 

Toothbrush Holder:  If you prefer to keep your toothbrush on top of the vanity but want to display it in a stylish manner, you may wish to place it inside a decorative toothbrush holder. 

 

Tumbler:  Coordinate the rest of your bathroom ensemble with a matching tumbler.  Not only is it functional, but it looks pretty on top of a bathroom vanity.

 

Vanity Mirror Tray:  A mirrored tray looks elegant displayed on top of a vanity.  The reflective surface gives the impression that the space is larger.  You can find mirrored vanity trays in a gold or chrome finish.  For a luxurious feel, place a couple of decorative perfume bottles on top or rose petals for a romantic effect. 

 

Decorative Accessories for the Shower

 

Decorative accessories for the shower include the following:

 

  • Shower Curtain

  • Shower Curtain Hooks

  • Shower Tension Rod

 

Shower Curtain:  Shower curtains are available in vast array of colors and designs. 

For a more sophisticated look consider a shower curtain that is made from fabric. 

To protect this type of shower curtain, add a liner. 

 

Shower Curtain Hooks:  Decorative shower curtain hooks look splendid in a bathroom.  You can choose from countless shower curtain hooks in different styles and finishes. 

 

Here are several shower curtain hooks to choose from:

 

  • Fleur de Lis

  • Floral Designs

  • Geometric Designs

  • Palm Trees

  • Sea Shells

  • Scrolls

  • Stars

 

Shower Tension Rod:  Shower tension rods are available with a decorative design on each side of the rod.  They are available in antique silver, antique gold, silver, and bronze finishes.  The rod typically expands from 42 to 72 inches. 

 

Decorative Accessories for the Toilet

 

Decorative accessories for the toilet include the following:

 

  • Decorative Toilet Seat Cover

 

Decorative Toilet Seat Cover:  A decorative toilet seat cover allows you to add one more artistic element into your bathroom. 

They are available in different colors and designs. 

 

Miscellaneous Decorative Accessories for the Bathroom

 

Miscellaneous decorative accessories for the bathroom include the following:

 

  • Aromatherapy and Candles

  • Caddy

  • Door Tassel

  • Magazine Rack

  • Scale

  • Standing Towel Rack

  • Toilet Brush Holder

  • Toilet Paper Holder (storage compartment)

  • Towels

  • Wastebasket

  • Wicker Baskets

  • Window Treatments

 

small-bathroom-decorating-ideas-scented-candle

Aromatherapy and Candles:  Aromatherapy scents and candles help your body relax and create a soothing feel in the bathroom. 

You can burn several candles of the same scent or choose several scents that blend well to create your own custom scent.

 

For a bath that helps you relax, consider lavender, chamomile, vanilla, or lemon scents.  If you need something to prepare you for a long day, consider peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, or sage scents. 

 

Caddy:   A shower caddy is a great way to create more space in your shower while organizing your bathing essentials. 

 

Door Tassel:  Door tassels add a touch of elegance to a bathroom door.  You can choose from gold, red, turquoise, green, ivory, burgundy, and blue colors.

 

Magazine Rack:  A magazine rack makes a beautiful accessory to your bathroom.  It is available in satin nickel, polished chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, and antique brass finishes.

 

Scale:  An ornate scale makes a lovely small bathroom decorating idea.  There are different styles and colors to choose from and it comes with a digital display.

 

Standing Towel Rack:  Keep your towels warm and toasty with a standing towel rack that features an electric towel warmer.  This towel rack has two large heated flat panels that give superior heating performance.  It has a shiny brass finish with a power cord that fits into any standard electrical outlet. 

 

Toilet Brush Holder:  Toilet brush holders are available in stylish designs and finishes.  The holders feature a one piece lid with knob handles. 

 

small-bathroom-decorating-ideas-belmont-toilet-paper-storage

Toilet Paper Holder (storage):  A toilet paper holder is the perfect bathroom accessory and allows you to disguise additional rolls of toilet paper in a stylish way. 

For convenience, you can place this decorative toilet paper holder next to the toilet. 

 

Towels:  Decorative towels are the finishing touch to your bathroom. 

You can choose from an assortment of fingertip towels, hand towels, and bath towels. 

 

Wastebasket:  A decorative wastebasket can be purchased as part of a bath ensemble or you may opt for one that is sold separately.  There are many to choose from that are stylish and lovely.
 

Wicker or Wire Baskets:  Wicker or wire baskets are an attractive way to hold rolled towels and washcloths. 

They are also perfect for holding grooming supplies and makeup.  

Rolled towels in coordinating colors add a decorative touch to your bathroom and other bathroom necessities look more organized when stored in baskets rather than sprawled over the counters.
 

Window Treatments:  You can cover a bathroom window in light fabrics, such as sheer panels, which will definitely invite light whether open or closed.  Try to stick with lighter colors because dark colors give a sense that the room is smaller.  
 

Bathroom Furniture

 

Bathroom furniture includes the following:

 

  • Cabinet over the Toilet

  • Etagere

  • Storage Cabinet

 

With bathroom furniture, use it sparingly and decorate with smaller pieces. 

To add more interest to the bathroom, consider mixing and matching small pieces with larger pieces. 

 

Cabinet over the Toilet:  A cabinet over the toilet is a great space saver that offers convenient storage and a stylish look.  Some come with two double doors that reveal an adjustable shelf.  This gives you more versatility in storing toiletries and bathroom supplies.

 

Etagere:  This particular piece of furniture offers a clean, classic look that allows you to organize and beautify your bathroom.  It typically features three shelves for storage of your bath towels and other accessories. 

 

Storage Cabinet:  A fantastic way to embellish your bathroom decor and cut down on clutter is by incorporating an attractive wooden storage cabinet.  You can find some that are finished in a rich espresso, with two drawers, two lower cubbies, and one adjustable shelf on the right.  This will provide much needed storage in your small bathroom.





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