How to Make the Most Out of a Small Bathroom

Small bathrooms can be challenging spaces – mostly because of the lack of it! – but you can easily make them work for you. It all comes down to clever storage solutions and nifty styling tricks. We've taken a look at some of the best ideas on how to make the most out of a small bathroom and made a list of our top tips.

How to make the most out of a small bathroom

Everything’s a shelf

While having your shampoo bottles lined up around the bath doesn’t look very tidy, often there are hidden shelves in the bathroom that could neatly be used for storage – like the top of your loo. Most toilet designs come with a ready-made shelf just waiting to be used. This is a good spot to add a small basket or glass jar to fill with little bits and bobs such as cotton wool. Or, depending on where your flush is, perhaps you could use a rustic wooden crate to pop extra toilet paper in – very handy when you find yourself at the end of a roll. Take a look at ten bathroom shelf ideas to suit every home decor for more inspiration.

Add storage to your storage

Already have a bathroom cabinet? A useful hack to boost its storage capacity is to add hooks or magnetic strips to the inside of the doors. This way, you can easily attach small metal objects that can be tricky to find (like tweezers and hair grips). The hooks can be used to hang brushes or even slim tubs for things like toothbrushes and razors – just make sure you can still close the doors.

Floating shelves

These helpful little things work so well in a small bathroom because they can pretty much go anywhere you have space for them, like above the toilet or under a mirror. One of the most overlooked places for a shelf is above your door frame. It’s an empty bit of wall that’s just calling out for a floating shelf where you could keep rolled-up towels or a stylish seagrass basket with cleaning products – it’s also a great way to keep them hidden from little hands.

Industrial vibes

If you don’t want to overdo it on shelving, you might prefer to add in a wire rack. These are useful for bulkier things like towels while adding a stylish touch to your bathroom. Because they’re not solid shelves, they can help to make your space feel more open as well. Cage-like racks are super-handy in bath and shower areas for holding all the body washes and hair products because it won’t matter if (and when) they get wet.

How to make the most out of a small bathroom

Vertical space

A simple and effective way to pop storage options into a tight space is to take advantage of vertical space. Not enough room for shelves? Try a wooden ladder instead. These slim-line and oh-so-chic space-saving pieces are perfect for hanging towels on. Or, you could add hooks to the rungs for pots of make-up brushes or even a decorative indoor plant.

Basket shelves

When it comes to our toiletries, they can be quite personal, so you might not always want them displayed on bathroom shelves for guests to see. A clever way to get around this is to attach storage baskets to your walls instead. This keeps all your bits hidden away while still being easy to access when needed.

Organisation is key

An obvious bathroom storage idea is to use space that’s under the sink, especially if it sits in a cabinet. But these roomy shelves can get quite hectic with bottles inevitably getting pushed to the back and lost. A nifty space saving bathroom storage idea is to organise the shelves with bucket caddies to group similar products together. You can use tiered organisers to get the most of the vertical space, too.

How to make the most out of a small bathroom

Be creative

When it comes to bathroom storage, you don’t just have to use things that were designed for the job. Why not show off your creativity and repurpose some old furniture instead? You could turn a chest of drawers into bathroom drawers or use a display unit to showcase your expensive bubble baths and fancy perfumes and aftershaves. It’s a fab way to give second-hand furniture a new lease of life.


It’s no secret that a mirror makes a room feel bigger and brighter, but bathroom mirrors can often be quite small. If you have enough wall space, a large mirror is a simple way to instantly make your room feel like it has doubled in size. The back of the bathroom door is another great spot to hang a mirror (as long as it’s not too heavy). Or, mirrors placed opposite each other will reflect one another, bouncing light around and creating the illusion of infinite space – magic!

Clever décor

While it’s very tempting to have an all-white bathroom to create a light and airy feel, using different tones or materials can actually make it feel more spacious. You might want to try picking a paint colour for the wall where your toilet sits that’s a different tone from the tiles around your sink. This will help make them look like they’re further apart than they actually are, even if they’re right next to each other. Another nifty trick to make the bathroom feel larger is to tile or add panelling just halfway up the walls as it can make the ceiling feel higher. Want to recycle and reuse your existing clutter? Find out more about decorating your bathroom on a budget with upcycling.

From adding a basket or two to putting shelves in unexpected places, there are plenty of ways to make the most out of a small bathroom. To really give your home an overhaul, it’s well worth checking out all the Good Finds over on Gumtree, from barely-used bathroom taps to entire bathroom suites.