Home: Bathroom Renovation Ideas: Small Bathroom Makeovers

Small Bathroom Makeovers

wall mounted faucet in satin nickel, glass sink with metallic finish in reds, oranges and golds, mustard color walls, satin nickel mirror and torch wall sconces, dark brown wood vanity

Many of us have small bathrooms in need of a makeover whether they be a powder room, guest bath room, or a water closet tucked under the stairs as in some older homes.

We're going to show you small bathroom decorating ideas for every budget to brighten, and visually open your space.

Wall mounted faucets can help by saving precious floor space in a small bathroom.

Here's an example of a wall mounted faucet with a metallic finish glass sink. The mustard colored walls, dark wood vanity, rich metallic of the sink, along with the pop of red in the hand towel, keeps this room feeling warm.

DIY Vanity With High End Style

Zen look bathroom vanity with river rocks under glass top, and vessel sink above

Here's one of my favorite small bathroom makeovers with a peaceful Zen quality. Buy or make a table that fits your space and retrofit it to be a vanity. In this photo, they used river rocks and put glass on top.

Note: In order to have the right size hole cut in a glass or stone top for the sink drain to fit through, bring them the sink to make a template from.

Again, we see space saving, wall mounted faucets and textured walls. You could achieve the same look with Venetian plaster or a faux suede wall paper. This room feels balanced with wood, metal, stone, and the soft textures of the walls and towels.

Ideas For Small Bathroom Decorating

another example of how Venetian plaster can make a great impression in a small bathroom

Here's another example of how Venetian plaster walls can be used in small bathroom makeovers, so small in fact that it was hard to take these photos!

Since finding a cabinet to fit the second alcove (right of the sink) proved a chore, I copied an idea from a neighbor of mine and ordered 3/8" glass shelves at $40. each. The shelves were then mounted on 1" x 1" wood trim that I stained prior to installation.

Glass shelves are great for decorating small bathrooms since they allow light from above to shine through and creates a more open feeling.

Using plaster techniques to decorate a small bathroom like the faux marble look above, lends movement and drama to the room.

Plaster is a lot of work, especially with as many curved surfaces as you see here, but the effects are worth it. Another option would be to pick one wall to accent and end your plaster on inside corners. Then, use faux paint finishes on the remaining walls in a similar color palette.

The original, one piece pedestal sink that was put in by the builder was too small and cheap looking for the alcove, so it was replaced with this Kohler Archer ™Petite Vanity, Black Forest with matching sink top.

Beware Of Hidden Costs During Small Bathroom Makeovers

The Price Pfister Sedona 8" wide spread faucet I thought was saving me money did not fit the Kohler sinks drain properly, (pictured above) so my plumber had to modify it with a large bronze pop up drain stopper. It did look a lot better, and in the end cost about the same as if I had purchased a Kohler faucet, except for the hassle factor.

Another thing I totally missed when picking out all of the items above is what to do about the exposed chrome waste pipe with bronze faucets. You probably want them to match, right? Depending on the size, bronze waste pipes could be $100. - $200., so allow for that in your budget. You could paint them bronze, like I did with my braided steel supply lines, go with chrome fixtures which cost less, or pick a different a vanity.

Creative Ways Of Decorating A Small Bathroom
before photo of small bathroom makeover

These photos were given to me by one of my readers named Barbara, who decided to tackle small bathroom makeovers with the help of her husband.

After they removed the old sink, vanity and toilet, this small bathroom looks like an empty box.

As you will see in the photo below, they achieved a total transformation using Venetian plaster techniques and a wall mural. How incredibly creative!

after small bathroom makeover photo showing green venetian plaster and a garden wall mural facing you as you walk in.  a white tile floor was added, new sink, vanity, and toilet.

Murals create an optical illusion that works beautifully for small bathroom makeovers. See how your eyes are drawn into the imaginary garden making the room feel twice the size?

One valuable tip Barbara shared was that they applied the Venetian plaster a bit too thick on the first coat and it cracked. Had they used thin coats of plaster it would have dried faster, not cracked, and saved them from a lot of sanding.

Remember to seal your plaster, especially around sinks and door jambs to prevent discoloration.

Lights For Small Bathroom Makeovers

Hampton Bay makes beautiful recessed trim kits. We used two of their 4" Deco models with speckled amber glass in the alcoves and put them on a dimmer switch. For the larger can light above we used their Chateau Deville trim kit with aged champagne glass. The effect is subtle and warm.

Another great way to open up a room is to use the same flooring material (or tile in this case) as in the adjoining hallway which will create a nice flow without any breaks at the doorway. Also, by setting tiles on the diagonal, a small bathroom will feel a lot bigger.

If you're replacing very old toilets, you may be eligible for water saving tax credits depending on the area you live in, so check with your local water agency. Also, consider installing the taller versions since they are easier on the knees and for elderly persons to use.

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