hanging plants in bathroom with subway metro tiles and dark grout with a cork floor

About Our Small Bathroom

June 12, 2016Susan

Apparently one of the most common search terms on Pinterest is, “small bathroom ideas”.

It seems I’m not alone in this quandary, a small bathroom is typical of homes in the UK.

The bathroom in our property hasn’t been updated for many years and is a rather tricky layout which includes a large and low window on one wall. Currently where the shower/bath sits.

This video shows the bathroom as it is now. I’m a bit embarrassed to share this but here goes! I fail to mention in the video about how the shower water falls onto the window and windowsill- hence the cheapo modified shower curtain. The tiling around the window is also extraordinarily bad! I could go on but I’ll let you watch the video instead.

The storage we have isn’t design to maximise the space, and the whole thing is dated. Our bathroom has so many nooks and crannies it is really difficult to keep it clean too. It’s for this reason I’ve my heart set on a wall hung toilet (I know how to dream!! Seriously though- I’d be thrilled.).

So I’ve been looking online and on Pinterest and in proper magazines for some interiors inspo for the bathroom and I’ve got to say so many of the bathroom websites are incredibly uninspiring!

So many of them seem to be selling the same thing, whilst offering next to no advice about the design. I suppose these types of retailers are best if you are just looking to replace your bathroom suite, but I’m not finding them helpful in our current complete layout redesign situation.

But never fear- you’ll be pleased to know that I have managed to find find some help and inspiration out there in the small bathroom department. Two places to be specific.

  • Ikea- surprise surprise!
  • Villeroy & Boch

So you probably aren’t surprised by Ikea. I love the organisational aspect of their designs, the way the products can be customised, and the way they consider real family life and small spaces.

yellow grout in colourful ikea bathroom

Image via Ikea USA

Villeroy & Boch were a name I’d heard of but never looked at closely at until we stayed in Whitby and the apartment had this brand in there. V & B have brilliant bathroom design software within their website. It has really helped with figuring out the layout options of our small bathroom, now we have no boiler in the way. I’ve used software like this before but it has always crashed mid design, this one doesn’t and it gives a view from above, a 3-D view and even an artists render view.

hanging plants in bathroom with subway metro tiles and dark grout with a cork floor

Photograph: Chris Tubbs

I’m feeling much more inspired now and I’ll go through my plans for the bathroom in more detail in a future post. This bathroom above is kind of what I’m going for though- just to give you a hint! Click through for the full home feature in the Guardian

In the meantime you can follow my Bathroom Pinterest board if you fancy.

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Comments (21)

  • Stacey Sheppard

    June 12, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    The problem I find when searching for small bathroom inspiration is that so many of the search results return American bathrooms. Whilst Americans may consider them to be small bathrooms they are often positively enormous compared to what we have to work with here in the UK. Good luck with your project. I’ll be following closely having just completed (almost) my own small bathroom renovation.

    1. Susie

      June 13, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Stacey that is SO TRUE!! I’ve been watching your progress and frustrations, looking forward to seeing the finished room xx

  • Sarah

    June 13, 2016 at 9:33 am

    I feel you on this one! Ours is very small, but also very narrow so it was a nightmare to try and decide what layout to go for. IKEA have some fab options for small bathrooms – love the built in storage in their sinks.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with your bathroom. Hopefully revealing mine on the blog soon too, eek!

    Sarah | Sequin This

    1. Susie

      June 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Oh these old houses eh! Will look forward to reading it Sarah!

  • Molly

    June 13, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Having lived with a teeny bathroom in a previous property I feel your pain! But the transformation can be done (as Stacey on The Design Sheppard) has recently shown. Are you able to get rid of the cupboard now the boiler is not there? Best of luck, your inspirational pics are … inspirational

    1. Susie

      June 13, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Yes!! I’ve been following that makeover- the cupboard is going asap! The whole thing needs ripping out tbf

  • Keeley

    June 13, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I am in the process of renovating my tiny bathroom but it is definitely smaller than yours and the weirdest shape in the world! I gave up and got someone in, I hope he can maximise the space somehow!

    1. Susie

      June 13, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Oh really Keeley! Who have you got in?? Would be very interested in a second (and professional opinion)

  • Liz

    June 13, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    How amazing is that yellow grouting?!

    1. Susie

      June 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Tell me about it!! So cheerful!

  • Asma

    June 13, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I find bathroom design so stressful. It’s so misleading when you walk into showrooms and they have these giant bathtubs set in acres of space, when realistically most people don’t have that kind of room! My main bug bear is our door opens in a weird way and there’s a window above the sink. So we’re struggling for storage space.

    1. Susie

      June 13, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Oh you are so right!! I’m thinking about getting our door rehung he opposite way actually- could you do that? Worth measuring up and trying the online design software- I found it really helped

    2. Stacey Sheppard

      June 13, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      That was exactly my problem Asma. A great big window above the sink leaving no storage room whatsoever. The solution? Put shelving above the window if you have space up there. I’ve done that and it’s amazing how much you can store up there without impacting on the room. I’ll be revealing my bathroom on my blog soon so come see if any of my ideas could help.

      1. Susie

        June 14, 2016 at 4:34 pm

        Looking forward to it Stacey!

  • deardesigners

    June 13, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    I feel your pain Susie. I’d definitely look into getting rid of that cupboard if you can, you’d be surprised at how much a few inches can help. Use a big mirror above the sink – it will visually help the room look bigger and a toilet off the floor will have the same effect. I like you inspiration photo’s, especially the ikea one. Good luck x

    1. Susie

      June 13, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Yes to all your suggestions!! Wheels of my mind are fully in motion!

  • Rachel

    June 14, 2016 at 12:14 am

    It’s kind of good to know that small bathroom’s are a common dilemma at least, although it’s a pain if you’ve got one. I’m loving the look of that yellow grouting, amazing how it looks with white tiles – probably quite a budget-friendly thing to do, as white tiles are often the cheapest. Good luck with your bathroom, I look forward to hearing more about your plans.

    1. Susie

      June 14, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks lovely!! I’m a bit worried about the logistics of the project but I’m sure it’ll work out

  • Chrissie

    June 14, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I like the idea of having plants in the bathroom and that coloured grouting is wild!

  • Sarah

    June 16, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Loving the inspiration photos – the metro/Victorian tile look is very fresh. In our last house we had splash panels in – so easy to clean & mould free – but top tip from my cousin B&B owner to prevent any mould on your tiles : nominate an old towel and physically dry out the bath/shower after the last person to prevent it going black. I have an ensuite shower room, downstairs WC and a main bathroom with original roll top bath to do out in a Victorian house – possibly with Victorian plumbing – wish me luck.

    Love that yellow grout look forward to seeing the end result.

    1. Susie

      June 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Sarah- that’s a great tip thanks… Best of luck with yours!

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