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Small Bathroom Design Advice

Victorians, Slipper Tubs, Layouts


Emme Levine

As a homeowner and interior designer living in San Francisco, I dealt with many small bathrooms. Especially since many homes are older and Victorian in style, bathrooms were often an after-thought.

Victorian bathrooms: emphasize the traditional classic style with pedestal sinks, claw-foot slipper tubs, black and white mosaic tile in a pattern. If you have a small space with a tall ceiling, play that up by painting the ceiling a light blue with some small clouds to draw attention up.

Bathroom Layouts

Depends on the space - I've even designed powder rooms to tuck in under a stair - but, if you have a typical rectangle space, have the tub/shower area on the far wall. This allows you to make maximum use of the space. Try to have a window on this wall.

- Have the sink as you come in and the toilet between.

- Don't use a pedestal - use a small vanity in nice wood to maximize storage and minimize clutter.

Other Small Bathroom Tricks

- Use a strategically placed mirror, or collection of old mirrors, to increase the sense of space.

- A strategically place mural that features a vanishing point can fool the eye (and brain) into thinking the space is actually bigger.

- Use light colors throughout to emphasize airiness and openness.

- Instead of towel racks, I've designed custom murals with hooks integrated into the picture - like a tree painted on a wall with hooks installed over the branches. It's like when you go camping and hang the towels on tree branches to dry.

- Don't clutter up the space - keep it minimal.

- Use a brightly patterned shower curtain and matching/coordinating towels for a color splash and eye appeal.

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Emme Levine

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