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Top 27 space-saving ideas for small ensuite bathrooms

Do you have a small bathroom and struggle to find space for everything, or are you hoping for a neater, less cluttered space? How do you make the most of a small en-suite?

Did you know? - The average person will spend 416 days in the bathroom in their lifetime, so it’s definitely worth making your bathroom comfortable and practical.

If you want your bathroom to look lighter and brighter while keeping it practical and stylish, here are some ideas that will help. We’ve got tips on how to save and utilise space well, and make even the smallest of bathrooms appear bigger than they are.

  1. Above the door shelf

Adding shelving above your bathroom door is a great way to utilise what might otherwise be wasted, unused space.

With just a simple shelf, you can easily store towels and linen or use it for toiletries and other items that you don’t need to access as often. It will also be useful for storing little odds and ends that you may prefer to keep out of sight.

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  1. Mirrored cabinets

Using a mirror or medicine cabinet with storage will save space in your en-suite, as it is an easy way to hide lots of items that would be cluttering up the room. It is a perfect way to store make-up and everyday toiletries and products that you want to access regularly.

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A great place for a mirror with hidden shelves is often above the sink. The mirror will also help reflect light around the room.

  1. Floating shelves

Floating shelves are easy to attach and can be installed almost anywhere in your bathroom, meaning you can make use of open wall space, and use as much or as little space as is required.

Hang them above the sink, the toilet, the bath or the window… They can be as big as you need them to be, to hold anything from toothbrushes to towels.

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  1. Tension Rods

Another clever way to save space in the bathroom is with tension rods. Add one to the inside of a cupboard and you can hang things such as spray bottles off it.

This way you’ll have more storage space at the bottom of the cupboard, and it makes it easy to see all of your sprays.

You could also hang a rod near the wall in the shower, to hang toiletries and loofahs.

  1. Corner unit

Corners can often be underused and awkward in bathrooms, so using them efficiently can be a great way to save space. One way to do this is with a corner unit or sink.

They are designed especially for corners and can provide added storage, and you can get corner shower caddies too.

  1. Bathroom butler towel rail

If you don’t have the space for a wall-mounted towel rail, or aren’t able to fit things to the walls, a bathroom butler could be a great alternative.

It can hold multiple towels at once, and you can angle them to the space that you do have, and fold them away as required.

  1. Rule of 3

They say 3 is a magic number, and that’s the case in design too. Having lots of small objects around your bathroom will make it look cluttered and cramped, but if you cluster objects in a range of different sizes together, and work to the power of three, it will feel much cleaner and more spacious.

Use trays to keep items looking neat and within reach.

  1. Mirrors

An easy way to make any bathroom appear bigger and brighter is by adding a mirror.

Bigger is often better, and a floor to ceiling mirror could add even more brightness to the room while making the ceiling look higher.

They will reflect natural and artificial light as well as colour around the room, and create an illusion of depth. Chrome or stainless steel items can also help with this.

Did you know? - The UK has some of the smallest new-build homes in Europe, so it’s no wonder our bathrooms are often on the smaller side.

  1. Good quality lighting

Good quality lighting is important in every room, but it is especially vital in bathrooms and small spaces.

To really maximise the space, you want to light up every corner, and make the whole room as bright as possible.

Spotlights in the ceiling work great, and you could also add strip lighting around the mirror, to save even more space and add a decorative touch.

Good lighting

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  1. Vertical features

In a small bathroom, it is important to use vertical space well. You want to make the ceiling look higher, and you can do this with tall medicine cabinets and shelving, slimline radiators, vertical wall tiles and long mirrors.

They will reduce visual clutter and draw the eye up, making the bathroom look less boxy, while taking up minimal floor space, and thus providing more room for storage.

Make use of the vertical space above the toilet and sink too.

vertical features

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  1. Bathroom door

The bathroom door itself can take up a lot of room, and make utilising a small space more difficult.

If you are able to, why not consider installing a sliding door, or flipping the door and its hinges, so it swings outwards rather than into the bathroom.

Similarly, you can save space with a sliding shower door or a curtain rather than a swinging door that can get in the way.

  1. Storage ladder

A storage ladder can be used in so many ways in a bathroom. They can provide ample storage without protruding much into the room, as they tend to be shallow.

Storage ladders come in all sizes, and you can remove rungs or shelves, meaning you can place them almost anywhere, including above the toilet and in narrow alcoves.

Why not try hanging storage baskets off them, or using them as a towel rail.

  1. Magnetic strip

Sticking a magnetic strip to the wall of a piece of furniture is a genius space-saving hack.

You can hang small objects like hair clips and tweezers directly to it, which avoids clutter on your surfaces.

Or you could try attaching magnetic organisers, to store even more of your small bathroom items.

Magnetic strip

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  1. Drawer spacers

Organise your bathroom products in your drawers with spacers, or clear boxes, so you can see them easily, and find things much quicker.

It will hide everything away and prevent clutter on surfaces, helping keep your bathroom tidier and more spacious.

  1. Cabinet door storage

Use the inside of your cupboard door to store even more and save precious surface space.

You can add hooks, caddies or shelves to hide clutter from the rest of the bathroom, but keep your things within easy reach when you need them.

Did you know? - Having an en-suite bathroom can increase the value of your home by up to 5%.

  1. Dual function items

Why have multiple objects in your bathroom, when you could just have one?

If you can find and make use of bathroom items with dual functionality, such as a stool with storage, a mirror with shelves or simply some decorative storage, you could save yourself some valuable space.

  1. Spinning organisers

Spinning organisers, like a lazy susan, can help maximise space in the bathroom.

Everything is easy to see and reach, but it takes up much less room than having everything spread out or stacked up.

Why not try it for your make-up and accessories, or to store cleaning products inside your cupboard.

  1. Wall-mounted furniture

Mounting furniture such as cabinets, the sink or even the toilet on the wall can save space and give the illusion of a larger room.

The free floor space diverts eyes upwards, giving a more spacious feel to the room, and the wall space above the toilet could now be used for storage, or a basin. It makes things easier to clean too!

wall mounted

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  1. Shower-bath

Do you want a shower and a bath but don’t have the room? Or do you already have a bath but prefer showers?

It’s easy to combine both into one bath space without compromising on the functionality of either. Use a glass shower screen on your bath to let more light through, and avoid disrupting the space.

  1. Colours and materials

It’s important to think about the colours and materials you are using in a small bathroom.

Neutral colours, like whites, creams and pale greys are always good, and a bright white ceiling will reflect more light, giving the illusion of a higher ceiling. Or you can opt for a monochrome theme, for a simple, but stylish look.

Glossy tiles will act like mirrors, reflecting light and making the room appear brighter and cleaner.

Avoid lots of small tiles and heavily patterned wallpaper, as this can make the room look cluttered.

  1. Underfloor heating

Although a more costly measure, installing underfloor heating in your small bathroom can make a big difference.

As well as keeping the room warm it saves space taken up by bulky radiators and towel rails, leaving you more room for storage and movement.

  1. Skylight

If you are able to add a skylight to your bathroom, that will help bring in a lot of natural light, making the room appear bigger and brighter.

It also saves wall space, as it will be fitted into the ceiling instead, meaning you can use your walls for furniture or storage.

Another benefit of a skylight in a bathroom is that it provides more privacy than a normal window.

  1. Recessed shelving

A niche, or recessed shelving in your bathroom is an amazing way to add storage without taking up any extra room.

It creates an alcove in the wall, so it doesn't stick out or get in the way, and it is totally up to you how big or small you make it.

There are options for storage everywhere, and recessed shelving can create an interesting feature or design element, especially in a small bathroom with limited creative opportunities.

  1. Wet room

There are many potential benefits of making your bathroom into a wet room, and space-saving is definitely one of them.

It utilises walls and corners, without breaking up space in the room, so it can help make it appear bigger.

For an even more streamlined look, use a glass door to allow more light in, and use continuous tiling on the floor and walls.

  1. Over-door storage

The back of the door has lots of space that can be used for storage. You can get hooks that go over the door, so you can hang towels or more storage, or you could add a whole rack with pockets and shelves for plenty of small items.

Plus, if you have a shower, you can save floor and wall space with an over-door caddy.

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  1. Freestanding storage

If you’re short on space in your en-suite, why not consider using freestanding storage solutions.

They are much more flexible and can be moved around to suit the space. Match the colours with other bathroom features, or even paint them to match the walls.

They can be removed or repurposed easily if and when your needs change.

  1. Bath storage

Another creative idea is to use the space under a bath, or create some by raising the bath a few inches.

This will allow you to add in some drawers or a hidden storage area. Especially useful for bath toys, or other things you want to keep close by but out of sight.