Thirty or 40 years ago, most houses, even big ones, had a single, modest-size bathroom with small toilet design pictures for the whole family. Probably you’ve read somewhere that baths back then averaged around 5 by 10 feet, smaller than a lot of area rugs. You perhaps know for a fact that your moms and their siblings grew up sharing one that was barely larger than the coat closet in their ample suburban home. In that era the loo was mostly just functional, in contrast with today’s trend toward the bathroom as a spa experience.
If you have a tiny bath, we’d love to see how you’ve maximized the space. These small toilet design pictures below will show you the way.
Thanks to a console sink with space for storage underneath and abundant natural light bouncing off the mirror, this snug urban bath feels as though it has plenty of breathing room. A recessed shelf below the mirror, lined with the same tile as the floor, boosts storage.
Old-fashioned claw-foot tubs are a great option for small baths. They tend to take up less floor area than traditional built-in tubs and create the illusion of more square footage, because the floor is visible beneath them. A medicine cabinet helps corral toiletries.
This narrow bath, a converted storage closet, proves that high style sometimes comes in small packages. The designers tucked the toilet and shower at opposite ends and kept the fixtures shallow. Graceful sconces and subway tile walls draw the eye upward; a mirror with a Greek key pattern on the frame expands the room visually. A shower door (even a frameless glass style) or curtain would have chopped up the slim space, so an open shower makes sense here. Wall-mounted hooks and racks provide space for linens and help to solve the storage problem.
At roughly 5 by 7 feet, this New York City bath has almost zero elbow room. Yet it doesn’t feel cramped, thanks to a few visual tricks: long, lean lines and a short shower curtain that doesn’t swallow floor space. A recessed niche keeps the sink out of the way.
Large scale can work in wee spaces, as this bath demonstrates. Instead of installing a shower only, the homeowner took a more confident tack: squeezing in a freestanding tub that enhances the room’s cottage overtones. The tall, narrow window elongates the wall visually and makes the ceiling appear higher.
The opposite end of the space features a compact pedestal sink and mirror-mounted sconces that free up wall area. A serene white-on-white palette helps the room to feel more expansive.
A strip of Moroccan tiles helps to define the sink and mirror and gives the impression that the bath is roomier than it really is. The wall-mounted sink is a smart choice not only because of its pared-down scale, but also because it doesn’t obscure the beautiful tile motif.
Floating vanities and teeny bathrooms were made for each other. Although it can be tricky to pull off this many materials in a tight space (dark wood, marble, two kinds of tile), strategic placement makes it work here. The tile on the shower floor blends unobtrusively with the marble, deep gray-blue walls appear to recede, and the espresso-brown vanity cabinet anchors the whole scheme. Note too how the transparent shower curtain doesn’t stop the eye, even when it’s drawn.
Here’s the thing: Many of us still live with one of these small toilet design pictures. Some, such as those who espouse the tiny house movement, even build them on purpose. Making them work requires an extra helping of ingenuity, and the owners of the eight baths pictured here all took different, yet equally, approaches. These aren’t powder rooms, either; they’re all complete with a sink, toilet, shower and/or tub.