When it comes to designing a small bathroom, decor style is just as important as functionality and storage. While a tiny bathroom will work well with just about any aesthetic that strikes your fancy — from industrial to boho to farmhouse — the clean lines of modern design work particularly well in a tight space.
"Nine times out of 10, the goal when designing a small bathroom is to make it look and feel bigger," says interior designer Lindsey Machado of Designed with Grace and Joy. "There are, of course, certain things we as designers can't control, like layout restrictions and what can go where in the bathroom, but there are almost always ways to give the illusion of space."
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By incorporating modern features that cater to a small footprint in your powder room — like utilizing natural light, opting for monochromatic tones, or decorating with a floating vanity — you can create a space that makes a big impact, even without the sprawling square footage. Machado likes to lean toward floating shelves, light colors, and maximum storage when designing a small modern bathroom. Find all those and more bathroom remodel and makeover ideas for your own tiny space ahead.
20 Small Modern Bathroom Ideas
1. Draw the eyes up with a statement ceiling.
High ceilings can make even the tiniest rooms feel spacious. To recreate this small space design idea, contrast white walls with a wooden tongue-and-groove ceiling to add rustic flair in an otherwise modern bathroom. You could also simply paint the ceiling a bold color for an artistic touch.
2. Add a woven basket for concealed storage.
Finding opportunities for concealed storage is one of the biggest headaches when it comes to small bathroom design. Rather than installing bulky built-ins or cabinetry, opt to bring in an oversize lidded woven basket that you can use to store extra toilet paper and towels without taking up too much precious floor space.
3. Make the entire space a wet room.
If you're lacking real estate but still want a luxurious shower setup, look no further than this small modern bathroom design idea. By turning the entire space into a wet room with hexagon-shaped floor tile, you create the feeling of an expansive personal spa without sacrificing an ounce of functionality. In this bathroom, the potted plant adds a bit of a wall between the shower and the sink.
4. Enjoy the convenience of a double vanity without the bulky cabinet.
Anyone who's watched a single episode of House Hunters on HGTV can attest to the popularity of double vanities. Unfortunately, this coveted feature can be tricky to incorporate in a small bathroom. Follow the lead of this modern setup, and opt for a large trough sink instead of a bulky vanity cabinet. Pair with two wall-mounted gooseneck faucets and a set of frameless mirrors, and voilà!
5. Run the wall tile from the floor to the ceiling.
Subway tile is a classic choice across all design styles, but you can make a modern statement in a small bathroom by capitalizing on vertical space and installing the wall tile from the floor to the ceiling. "Always, I repeat, always, take your shower tile up to the ceiling!" Machado says. "It draws your eyes up and instantly makes your ceilings look taller, thus making the room feel bigger."
6. Make a statement with colorful, geometric tile.
Take a note from blogger Kate Spiers and turn your tiny bathroom into a modern oasis with bold, geometric tiles. While the wall and floor patterns are different, the monochromatic color scheme keeps the room feeling effortlessly spacious and chock-full of luxury. You could do this with any color that suits your decor, but lighter shades will keep the small space from feeling even smaller.
7. Keep it neutral.
If neutrals are more your speed, look no further than The Everygirl co-founder Danielle Moss's small modern bathroom. The gray marble tile wainscoting and chevron floors complement the black and white artwork, bringing in varied textures and patterns while maintaining a light and airy finish. Try this in earth tones for a warmer feel.
8. Add floating shelves.
The floating shelves seen in this bathroom belonging to Hannah of Thistle Harvest double as storage and modern wall art. To recreate the look, create dimension by bringing in objects with varying heights and shapes, such as potted plants, leaning artwork, toiletries, and storage containers. Watch just how much you're putting on the shelving units, though, as too much can feel cluttered in a small space.
9. Create contrast with a black accent wall.
A black and white bathroom is effortlessly classic, but a black accent wall — like the one in this setup belonging to Allisa Jacobs — exudes a strikingly modern sensibility. Use matte black hardware to create cohesion with the rest of the space, and complete the look with matching hand towels and modern accessories. The matte paint also adds a modern touch.
10. Bring in patterns.
While it might not be instinctual to bring pattern into a confined space, this small modern bathroom by Maggie Miller will certainly have you reconsidering. Vertical stripes naturally highlight the height of the room, while a restrained color palette keeps the overall vibe sleek. Subtle patterns like this one won't feel too overwhelming in a small bathroom.
11. Add interest with color blocking.
Blogger Ajai Guyot upgraded her small modern bathroom with a green accent wall that perfectly contrasts with the rest of the open and airy space. To bring this look into your own home, allow the verdant green wainscoting to take center stage by opting for a clean, white vanity cabinet and simple brass hardware. Don't feel boxed in by green, though — pick whatever bold color suits your home.
12. Consider a floating vanity.
Opting for a floating vanity in place of a traditional one is a great solution for a small modern bathroom because it allows extra floor space. Not only does this make the room appear more spacious, but it also leaves room for small storage items, like woven baskets and bins. A larger floating vanity, like in this bathroom, allows for countertop space and floor space all at the same time.
13. Choose a statement-making tub.
When you're limited on space, each piece counts. Here, a matte black bathtub takes center stage. If you have the room, a freestanding tub is guaranteed to elevate your small bathroom. It's so dramatic that a few simple accents, like a round mirror and a potted plant, are all you need to complete the look.
14. Add a removable bench in the shower.
A small accent like a wooden bench can instantly make your small bathroom feel more luxurious. Picture those spacious spa showers you covet and channel that energy. You might not have the same square footage, but with a few thoughtful touches, you can still create your own mini oasis.
15. Stash your toilet paper under the sink.
If your small bathroom is lacking in options for storage, you may have to get creative with your space. While nestled beside the exposed plumbing beneath a console sink may seem like a strange place for toilet paper, the matte black holder here fits the design seamlessly. Consider this proof that what's functional can also be aesthetically pleasing.
16. Tuck everything into its place.
Think of your small bathroom like a Tetris game. Each piece needs to fit exactly into its place so that you can use every last bit efficiently. In this bathroom, the vanity fits perfectly beside the glass shower stall with just a narrow path leading to the door and toilet. But because everything is tailored to fit, it looks perfect.
17. Use multifunctional fixtures.
Just as you can tuck your toilet paper under the sink or add storage baskets beneath the vanity, you can also invest in pieces that serve multiple purposes, like this sink setup. Because of its minimalist design, it doesn't take up too much space in the room, but the pipework and metal fixtures allow for a tidy place to hang a hand towel.
18. Choose a large mirror to reflect more light.
You can't go wrong with using the age-old trick of adding mirrors to open up a space. In this bathroom by Eden LA Interiors, a large mirror reflects light back into the room and makes it feel larger. "Don't go puny on the mirror above your sink," Machado says. "A smaller mirror will reflect less of the room and light in general, so make the space look larger by installing an appropriately sized mirror."
19. Add a patterned accent wall.
If a solid or color-blocked accent wall isn't your thing, try a bold, modern pattern. In this bathroom by RailiCA Design, the black and white repeating pattern serves as a focal point, giving the space a playful energy. "Wallpaper, a bold tile, or other focal point on an accent wall will draw the eye and distract from any size limitations," Machado says. "Plus, it can add color, texture, and pattern that use to tie in with the overall design."
20. Keep it all white.
Keep your design simple by choosing an all-white color scheme. Monochromatic rooms feel ultra modern — plus, if you use a cool white shade everywhere, you're literally brightening the room. This can be especially powerful in a small space. Whatever natural light the room receives will reflect against the white walls, marble, and porcelain, making it feel airy and sunkissed.