Designing a small bathroom can be a challenge, but with some planning and clever layout techniques, you can create an efficient and stylish space. This guide will provide tips for maximizing a 100-square-foot bathroom, from layout ideas to storage solutions.

Assess Your Needs

Before starting the design process, take time to consider how you want to use the space. Make a list of must-haves like a shower, tub, toilet, and sink. Also note desired features like storage, a mirror, lighting, ventilation, and accessories. This will help inform the layout.

Consider who will use the bathroom and how often. Will it be a powder room or a more heavily used family bath? Understanding usage can help determine the best layout to accommodate different needs.

Choose the Right Layout

With a 100-square-foot bathroom, layout is key to creating a functional space. Here are some common layout options to consider:

Single Wall

This simple layout puts fixtures along one wall. It works best in a narrow rectangular room.

  • Pros: Efficient use of space, easy to clean
  • Cons: Limited storage, tight access between fixtures


Fixtures follow two adjacent walls in an L shape. This adds some space between fixtures.

  • Pros: Privacy, room for storage, accessible
  • Cons: Wasted space in corners


In this linear layout, fixtures run along two facing walls. It works well in long, narrow baths.

  • Pros: Efficient, flexible, easy access
  • Cons: Traffic flow can be tight

Corner Shower

The shower fits diagonally into a corner, opening up floor space.

  • Pros: Space-efficient, allows room for furniture
  • Cons: Tight squeeze in corner shower

Once you choose a layout, mark it on a floor plan to visualize traffic flow and access. Tweak as needed to optimize usefulness and comfort.

Select Space-Saving Fixtures

To maximize room in a small bath, choose compact yet functional fixtures. Here are some options:


  • Round bowl toilets take up less space than elongated bowls.
  • Wall-mounted models save space and easy cleaning.
  • Shorter toilets like 13-15” high fit under windows.


  • Vessel sinks don’t require counter space.
  • Pedestal sinks are narrow and stand alone.
  • Corner sinks optimize triangular spaces.
  • Wall-mount or floating sinks are space savers.


  • Corner showers utilize wasted space.
  • Neo-angle showers can fit into tight corners.
  • Frameless glass doors provide an open look.
  • Curbless showers offer roll-in access.


  • Short tubs (48-60”) work for small baths.
  • Corner tubs efficiently fill a triangle corner.
  • Slipper tubs have one short, space-saving end.

Measure the bathroom and research options to find pieces that will fit. Look for multipurpose pieces like a vanity with built-in storage.

Maximize Vertical Space

In a compact bath, utilize all available vertical space through floor to ceiling storage and mounting fixtures higher on walls. Consider these vertical storage ideas:

  • Tall narrow cabinets for linens, toiletries, first aid.
  • Floating shelves over the toilet for decor, candles, baskets.
  • Medicine cabinets with mirrors for storage and light.
  • Wall-mounted bathroom organizers and roll-out shelves.
  • High mounted rods for hanging towels or robes.

Place often-used items at reasonable heights. Store lesser-used items up high or down low.

Choose Multi-Functional Furniture

Look for vanities, cabinets, and shelving that perform double duty in small bathrooms.

  • Vanities with drawers, cabinets, and open shelving provide abundant storage.
  • Wall-mounted cabinets over the toilet add space for towels and toiletries.
  • Shelving unit under a window can hold towels, decor, and plants.
  • Slim rolling cart holds extra towels and cleans up easily.
  • Mirrors that double as medicine cabinets gain storage space.

Optimize every piece of furniture with baskets, trays, and organizational compartments.

Use Space-Saving Materials

Strategic material selection can also maximize space in small bathrooms:

  • Glass shower doors maintain an open look.
  • Wall-mounted faucets and fixtures keep counters clear.
  • A pedestal sink is less bulky than a vanity.
  • Mirrored walls visually expand the space.
  • Glossy subway tile reflects light to create spaciousness.
  • Radiant heated floors warm without bulky radiators.
  • Floating wood or laminate flooring avoids floor trim.

Gain Storage Solutions

One major challenge in a petite bath is finding a place for all those toiletries, towels, and cleaning essentials. Get creative with storage to keep necessities accessible but out of sight.

Hidden Storage

Tuck storage into unexpected spots:

  • Recessed cubbies into the wall for rolled towels.
  • Narrow niche behind the door for grooming tools.
  • Mirror storage cabinets for medicine, cosmetics.
  • Base of pedestal sink for cleaning supplies.
  • Space under a window bench for extra toilet paper.

Multipurpose Furniture

Use furniture that pulls double duty:

  • Vanity with drawers and cabinets for toiletries.
  • Wall cabinets over toilet with baskets for rolls and spray.
  • Towel ladder that adds shelving or hooks.
  • Slim hutch for folded washcloths and hand towels.


Keep a cluttered look at bay with caddies and racks:

  • Hanging shower caddy for shampoo, soap, razors.
  • Under-sink organizer for cleaning supplies.
  • Over-toilet shelf with baskets for spare items.
  • Drawer organizers for makeup, medicines, tools.
  • Towel bar with built-in shelf for creams, soaps.

Choose Multi-functional Fixtures and Furnishings

Since space is at a premium, look for fixtures and furnishings in your 100-square foot bathroom that can serve multiple purposes. Here are some ideas:

  • Vanity cabinet – Choose a vanity with drawers and cabinets for concealed storage. Open shelving can hold rolled towels and toiletries on display.
  • Medicine cabinet – Mount a mirrored medicine cabinet to gain storage and add lighting.
  • Towel ladder – A slim ladder style towel rack can hold rolled towels on rungs and provide a shelf up top for decorative items.
  • Storage ottoman – Use a small storage ottoman in place of a bulky vanity. It provides a spot to sit when getting dressed.
  • Floating shelves – Wall mounted shelves over the toilet or above the bath can hold toiletries, candles, and small decor.
  • Sink skirts – Skirts under a pedestal or wall-mounted sink can hide cleaning supplies or a small trash can.
  • Shower niches – Built-in shower niches provide space for shampoo, soap, and razors so they don’t clutter up ledges.
  • Robe hook – Install a hook on the back of the door for hanging robes and towels.

Choose Space-Saving Materials

Using the right materials can help you maximize every inch in a small bathroom. Consider using these space-saving materials:

  • Glass shower doors – Frameless glass shower doors open up a small space and allow light to permeate.
  • Mirrored walls – Strategically placed mirrors reflect light and create the illusion of more space. Avoid making the space feel cramped.
  • Radiant floor heating – Heated floors provide warmth without bulky radiators or venting.
  • Pocket doors – Pocket doors slide into the wall to save space over traditional swing doors.
  • Pedestal sink – A pedestal sink provides an open look without vanity cabinet bulk.
  • Vessel sink – Vessel sinks sit on top of the counter, which can be narrower than a traditional vanity top.
  • Barn door – A sliding barn door maximizes floor space in a small bath.
  • Space-saving tile – Use rectangular tile vertically to make ceilings appear taller. Small tiles help floors look larger.

Create Clever Storage Solutions

Finding places for towels, toiletries, and other necessities is tricky in a tiny bath. Use these clever storage ideas:

Hidden Storage

  • Build out a recessed niche in the wall for rolled towels or toiletries.
  • Install cubbies into the wall behind the toilet for rolls and spray cleaner.
  • Use the space under a window bench or ledge for neatly folded extra towels.
  • Tuck a narrow drawer under the sink vanity for tools like tweezers and razors.

Multi-Tasking Furniture

  • Choose a sink vanity with built-in drawers and cabinets for ample storage.
  • Opt for a medicine cabinet with mirrors and shelving behind the door.
  • Use a ladder style towel rack that also provides a handy shelf.
  • Place a slim storage cabinet or shelving unit over the toilet area.

Concealed Organizers

  • Use caddies and organizer bins that tuck into cabinets and drawers to corral items.
  • Install sliding organizers under the sink to access cleaning supplies.
  • Attach a hanging shower caddy on the shower head pipe for easy access.
  • Add removable baskets to open vanity shelving for a tidy look.

Make Smart Lighting Choices

Proper lighting is essential in a small bathroom where natural light is often limited.

  • Windows – If possible, add a window or skylight to allow natural light to fill the space.
  • Overhead lighting – Install fixtures like recessed cans and track lighting overhead to brightly illuminate the room.
  • Task lighting – Use targeted task lighting like pendant lights over sinks and vanities where grooming tasks occur.
  • Ambient lighting – Include ambient lighting like wall sconces or undercabinet lights to provide a soft glow.
  • Dimmers – Use dimmers to adjust light levels for different tasks and activities.
  • Night light – Install a low-level night light to safely navigate nighttime trips without harsh overhead lights.
  • Mirrored medicine cabinets – Position mirrored medicine cabinets strategically to reflect and amplify lighting.

Accentuate with Color

Color choices can make all the difference in a petite bath. Here are some tips:

  • Stick with light, bright, neutral colors like white, off-white, light gray, or beige on the walls, ceilings, and floors to reflect light and create spaciousness.
  • Add pops of color with towels, shower curtains, and accessories. Focus on one color like blue, green, or yellow for a soothing accent.
  • If using a dark color, use it sparingly on one wall as an accent. Dark colors can make a small space feel closed in.
  • Use high-gloss tiles or paint to reflect light and make the room feel larger. Matte finishes absorb light and can feel cave-like.
  • Paint the ceiling bright white to make it visually recede. A dark ceiling will feel oppressive.
  • Horizontal stripes visually widen walls. Vertical stripes emphasize height. Keep stripes thin to avoid busyness.

Include Clever Touches

It’s the little things that can make a small bath feel special. Include personal touches like:

  • Floating corner shelves for plants and meaningful objects
  • Narrow vertical mirror placed strategically to widen the look
  • Painted wainscoting or chair rail molding to add interest
  • Frame around the mirror to create a focal point
  • Curtain over the window for texture and softness
  • Gallery wall with photos, art, or framed prints
  • Closed cabinet doors to conceal clutter
  • Hooks on the door for hanging robes and towels
  • Slim hutch for neatly folded washcloths and hand towels
  • Woven basket under the sink for organic storage

Make it Multifunctional

Embrace multi-use spaces and furniture to maximize function.

  • Use a corner shower with built-in shelving for shampoo and shower necessities
  • Add a slim storage cabinet above the toilet for extra towels and toilet paper
  • Choose a vanity with a cabinet to store appliances and a drawer for organization
  • Use the vanity counter space for folding laundry in a pinch
  • Opt for a medicine cabinet with mirrors and shelving behind the door
  • Install shelving above the toilet to hold decorative baskets
  • Use the windowsill for storage or a place to hold toiletries while in use
  • Include a mirror on the wall, in addition to the medicine cabinet mirror
  • Add a storage ottoman or bench by the vanity to hold blankets, towels, or a plant


While a 100-square-foot bathroom presents some challenges, it certainly can provide a comfortable, convenient, and beautiful space with proper planning. Focusing on a space-saving layout, compact fixtures, storage solutions, multi-functional features, and light enhancing elements are the keys to success. With clever and creative design choices, you can produce a small but mighty bathroom that makes the most of every inch.