11 genius ways to make your tiny bathroom feel bigger
No more feeling claustrophobic on the toilet!
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I freely admit I’m a maximalist when it comes to home decor. My room is a mish-mash of colorful prints, books, knick-knacks, tarot cards, wall hangings, and plants, and that’s exactly how I like it.
However, this mentality means that space is hard to come by, especially in a tiny apartment. Keeping communal spaces clutter-free yet stylish is a huge hurdle we’ve all had to cross at some point, and in the case of my apartment, the bathroom was an immediate point of conflict—or at least some side-eye between roommates. The point stands: Keeping a small bathroom free of junk and still looking cute is a hard task.
It is possible, though, I promise. The following items and ideas will not only allow you to inject some style into your small bathroom, but also keep things clean and functional.
1. Buy a new showerhead—right now
This has been a game-changer in every apartment I’ve ever lived in. There’s nothing gloomier than poor water pressure, especially if your bathroom is already old and dreary. Replacing the showerhead with a shiny new number will deliver better water pressure and upgrade your bathroom in a big way, and it can go a long way toward making a small bathroom seem more luxurious.
This particular showerhead is my favorite. It has 24 different functions and easy-to-change settings, and it offers an extremely luxe shower experience at a low price. You can also check out our post on the best showerheads if you need more options.
2. Invest in shelving to manage clutter
I didn't love the idea of over-the-toilet shelving until we got it in my apartment, and now I’m a convert. The bathroom feels much more functional and personalized, as the shelving lets us to display storage baskets and tiny plants without losing any space.
This shelving unit is perfect for your over-the-toilet needs, and its neutral design will work nicely with any other accents you already have. It's easy to assemble and stands free from the wall, so you won't run into any issues if you have lease restrictions. Reviewers love how sturdy the shelf is and how much storage space it offers in an otherwise unused area.
3. Get some baskets for those new shelves
Don’t stop at the shelving—organize! Investing in storage baskets will increase the storage space in your bathroom, and it will also allow you to stay organized, preventing future clutter.
As a maximalist, I love the look of "stuff" in a room, so these wire storage baskets were the move. They come in three metallic shades and two sizes, and all the choices are understated enough to work well with anything else you have going on in your bathroom. They also have the added bonus of being lightweight, making them easy to move around and reorganize if needed.
4. Update your bathroom rug
Bathroom decor can go a long way toward livening up a space and making it feel larger. If your floor is darker, a pale gray or blue rug can help open up the space and tie the room together. If the floor is light, darker shades can create a focal point for the rest of the room.
This bath mat was our favorite during testing. It's available in 20 colors and ultra-absorbent, and overall, it's a high-functioning piece that will stand the test of time. It also comes in three sizes, so you can meet the exact specifications of your small space.
5. Invest in new lighting
The Phantom of the Opera proved that everything is clearer with a little illumination, and the same is true in small bathrooms. Lighting matters, especially if multiple people are trying to get ready in there at once.
These under-the-cabinet lights from Lumens will not only add a touch of luxury to your space, but they’ll also open up the room, giving you a bit more clarity when you’re rushing to do your makeup before work. This lighting option is just small enough to sit beneath your vanity, mirror, or cabinet, and reviewers liked the easy installation and streamlined look of this product.
6. Switch out your mirror for a more modern style
We’ve all grudgingly accepted an apartment mirror with cracked edges and weird dimensions at some point in our lives, but you don’t have to live like that any longer. A larger mirror will create the illusion of increased space in your bathroom and is ultimately a functional addition, as well.
This mirror from Wayfair is contemporary and chic, and it comes with reinforced hooks for easy installation. There are two finishes available—gold and black—and reviewers love that there are multiple size options, too.
7. Organize the space under the sink
I live with two guys and one other woman, so creating separate, individual space in the bathroom is important not only for our sanity but also to avoid losing your hairbrush to the abyss of cleaning supplies and deodorant. Under-the-sink storage bins have been incredibly helpful for creating personal space in our small bathroom, and they've ultimately kept the room cleaner, as well.
These two-tier storage baskets sit on top of one another, and they're available in a variety of colors. The baskets can be removed from the racks, making for easy cleaning and reorganizing. In our bathroom, we stacked two similar models under the sink with plenty of room leftover.
8. Hang a shower caddy
Am I the only one who can't get near the bathtub without knocking something over? You can avoid the problem of cluttered bath products on the edges of the tub by investing in a shower caddy.
This stainless steel caddy hangs over your showerhead or can be mounted to the wall. It boasts two wide shelves, as well as several hooks and a smaller shelf for bar soap. Plus, you can prevent it from swinging using the suction cups at the back. Just like that, you have a storage solution that everyone in the apartment can agree on—assuming all parties can agree on which shelf they want.
9. De-steam the room with a powerful exhaust fan
Small bathrooms fill with steam quickly, and no one likes standing in a hot cloud upon exiting the shower, especially in the warmer months. This exhaust fan will efficiently remove steam from your small bathroom, making the space more functional since your roommates won’t have to wait for the fog to clear to get ready for work. Reviewers enjoy how quiet this fan is, and many say it was easy to install in their homes.
10. Hang towels behind the door
Hiding your bulky towels behind the door will help give the illusion of space in your bathroom, while helping the linens dry out. This over-the-door towel rack has staggered hooks to allow for even more storage space, and it comes in both chrome and bronze to match your existing fixtures. The rack also comes in two sizes, so make sure to measure your door before purchasing.
11. Throw out your old shower liner
If your shower liner is old, discolored, and maybe even a little moldy, chances are you avoid touching it at all costs. If this sounds like your life, it's time for a new liner. This inexpensive shower liner will keep your space free of mold and mildew, allowing you to wash off without shrinking back against the wall in horror every time you turn around.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.