Ah, small bathrooms: the design doozy that plagues just about everyone at one point or another, particularly urban dwellers. It haunts us from apartment to apartment where we can only dream of the different sort of inconvenience where you step out of the shower and can’t reach the towels. You might be tempted to write this room off as you carefully balance your toothbrush on the 1 square-inch of counter space at your disposal, or whilst playing Tetris with your lotions and soaps in the impossibly shallow medicine cabinet, praying you won’t have an avalanche of bath products cascading into the toilet — again.

But wait, we have some news for you: it doesn’t have to be this way – really! Small spaces can be surprisingly squeezed for potential in subtle ways that have a big impact on how much space you appear to have. Once you’ve got storage down, you can even add a little decorative flair that was previously unthinkable! All of these tips + tricks will help you make your tiny bathroom feel luxurious, personalized, and functional.

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1. Utilize This Unsung Bathroom Storage Hero

Barcart to the rescue! The bathroom may not be the first place you think of when you think of these storage mavens, but we think they’re pretty perfect for any bathroom lacking functional cabinet storage. Plus, once it’s in the bathroom, no one will even notice (other than to take note of what a cool and stylish bathroom you have of course). Much like open shelving in a kitchen, everything is visible for easy access. Use the bottom for your folded towels or baskets, and the top for your favorite lotions, soaps, and makeup. Even better, it’s easy to move to clean underneath or for that last minute cocktail party you need to repurpose it for.

2. Stick To A Color Palette

When it comes to bathroom design planning, it’s time to ditch those old mismatching towels you got on clearance and that old shower curtain that you always kind of hated but weren’t motivated enough to replace. If you want to make the most of a small space that looks put together, stick to a color palette for towels, bath mats, and shower curtains. When it comes to choosing which color — take stock of your lighting situation. If you’re one of those enviable bathroom owners that has tons of natural light, you can get away with darker colors like gray or navy. If you’re like most of us and you have a pathetic keyhole sized window or none at all, opt for lighter colors like blush, yellow, or minimalist white.

3. Get Smart With Storage

We have three words for you: storage storage storage. It’s arguably the number one thing you need in a small bathroom in order not to feel like you’re starring on a reality TV hoarder show. The reality of bathrooms is there is a lot of stuff you need to fit in there, and small bathrooms tend to lack even the most basic storage needs. You might be grimacing at the thought of big ugly storage bins at this point, but don’t! Storage can be just as stylish as it is useful. Case in point:

4. Pick Hardworking Hardware

Hardware is an often overlooked part of any bathroom design project. But even if you’re a renter, there are some easy swaps you can make to your hardware that will make a world of difference. Swapping out that super ’80s chrome towel bar with modern antique brass or adding some thoughtfully arranged hooks on the wall will add style and extra storage. Now you can finally splurge on that silk robe you’ve been eyeing!

5. Add Some Greenery!

You probably know how obsessed with plants we are by now, so we’ll just say: your bathroom needs them — at least one. They not only add color and life to your space, but can actually benefit from the warm bathroom environment! Win-win. These wall and hanging planters are perfect for small bathrooms, in that they won’t waste valuable floor or counter real estate.

Pro tip: pick a dark and damp loving plant like a Staghorn fern or Pothos that will thrive in a bathroom!!

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