When you’re remodeling a small bathroom, you don’t really have the luxury of a lot of the decor options you’d have in a bigger space. No ho-humming about whether to get the 66″ or 72″ soaking tub when all you have room for is a shower. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a stylish, functional bathroom even if it’s more the size of a water closet – you just have to be smart with your space. A funky, eye-catching but compact vanity can serve you two ways: by providing storage with a small footprint, and enough style in a small package to make your whole bathroom pop.
Decorating any small bathroom is a fight between needing sufficient storage and not wanting to end up with a space that looks crowded and cluttered. Curbing clutter isn’t just about keeping your counter clear, though: it starts on a design level. Lots of heavy woodwork, complicated curves or even a very prominently grained wood can all make a small space feel busy and draw attention to the size of your vanity, which is a very bad thing! The smaller the space, the more you want to err on the side of simple, sleek lines and unobtrusive design. Unbroken lines will help your eyes move easily, connecting the different parts of the room rather than interrupting them. I love the subtly staggered style of this Weston vanity, and the frosted glass paneling gives the impression of openness while giving you some completely private storage.
White space can be invaluable in a smaller bathroom as well. While something like this Manchester vanity offers a little less storage than a solid-base vanity (and fewer private places to hide your toiletries), the open middle and raised feet can help visually expand your space and make your bathroom seem much more open. Though, again, it might not be a smart swap for an extremely small bathroom (say, one where you couldn’t make up for the loss of storage elsewhere in the room), but for one that’s very visually crowded, swapping to a leggy, open vanity gives you that nice little bit of empty, uncluttered space that can help make a room seem less busy.
Light colored vanities like are great for a cottage or beach style bath, but for a more modern decor you probably want to opt for a darker espresso, chocolate, or even black finish. Especially if you have really light walls, a darker veneer can create a dramatic silhouette. I like something like this Black Frame vanity, which manages to fit a roomy and fully functional drawer underneath the sink, along with all that open space, with a simple, geometric shape that gives it an eye-catching modern feel.
That said, while cottage or farmhouse and minimalist modern are the most common aesthetics for a small bathroom, don’t feel like your space has to fall into one of those two categories. If you like a more traditional style, one good way to incorporate it into a smaller bathroom is by using stone. Natural stone vanity tops (or even integrated sinks, like the one on this Single Vanity from Silkroad Exclusive) add a rare and unique piece of opulence that can really help elevate the level of style and decadence in a small bathroom without visually crowding your space. Pairing it with matching Travertine accents throughout the rest of your bath can even help create a greater sense of space by aesthetically unifying the area.
Similarly, while simple vanities tend to make small spaces feel less cluttered, if you love really ornate vanities, you certainly shouldn’t feel like they’re off limits. In fact, there are plenty of beautifully designed, antique-inspired vanities that clock in under the 30 inch mark. James Martin Furniture in particular offers quite a few smaller, freestanding single-sink vanities like this Balmoral Vanity that visually echo their much larger antique style two-sink-and-then-some designs. Just be sure that – if you do opt for a heavier, more antique style – you make the most of the available storage space to keep the area clear, and opt for lighter colors throughout the bathroom to keep the space looking airy.
That said, one of the best options for a truly miniscule bathroom is to skip the traditional vanity entirely, and instead opt for a simple wall mounted version. This Potenza Vanity is quite simple, but in a teeny tiny bathroom, that’s a GOOD thing! Paired with the simple, decorative vessel sink, this baby is breathtaking, clean and sleek without being sterile, and with a cute little cubby shelf for that little extra bit of storage space. And because it attaches directly to your wall, it’ll not only visually create more open space, but it’ll actually give you a little extra leg room.
Finally, if the bathroom you’re decorating is one that doesn’t actually need any storage (i.e. your guest bath), consider going with something super modern like Quebec Pedestal Vanity. It’s got nothing in the way of storage, which makes it a poor choice for a bathroom you’re actually using on a daily basis, but the tapered base makes for a tiny footprint, and the pedestal style makes for a museum style show-stopper.
Just because you’re short on space doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style. While it may take a little creativity to come up with some good storage solutions, and a little extra pizazz to make a big impression with smaller pieces, with the right vanity it’s absolutely possible. Just remember: stick with simple lines, allow for ample white space, and for goodness’ sake, keep your counters clear!