Beautifully functional: Small family bathroom design
Updated: Jul 16
Our only bathroom in our house is on the small size and has the door in a place that doesn’t allow for maximizing the space. It’s a rectangle 2m x 2.5m with the door on the short end and a large window at the other shot end. Usually with a smaller bathroom the door is in the middle of the longer side allowing items to go at either side and vanity straight in front. With ours you need space to walk through the room so you can put items on one side and only something low at can go at the end.
We have slowly been renovating our house and the bathroom was finally next on the list, we didn’t have a bath which we really wanted for our kids, it had no storage and it was just generally old and gross!
I had been planning this space for about a year, trying to solve the layout issue. How I could add a bath and still keep the shower plus also add storage. I really wanted to avoid a bath shower combo as I find them too slippery to shower in. The idea of getting in and out of it every day stresses me out! We also don’t have any kind of linen cupboard in our house, we only have storage in the bedrooms, and the bathroom was the only place that it could go.
I looked at moving the door but the only other place it could go would have it sitting right in the middle of our dining room and facing the kitchen - nope! I looked at extending the bathroom into the dining room but there wasn’t enough space I could take to make a real difference and would be too expensive. The only other wall backed onto a wardrobe in our kid’s room. This is a generous room and didn’t need such a huge wall to wall wardrobe at the expense of not having a family bath.
So I ended up cutting into the bedroom wardrobe as it was just deep enough to have the vanity and a linen cupboard next to it inset into the wall so they werent taking up space into the bathroom. Where I placed the bath at the back, I kept the wall where it originally was which allowed for a section of wardrobe to remain in the bedroom. I put the bath across the back so that I could have a full length bath, to last the kids growing and for us adults to use too. I went with a back to wall bath to save on depth as I need to squeeze a lot into this space. The toilet and shower stayed on the same side just moved up to allow space for the bath. Originally the toilet had an unusually large amount of space either side of it and the shower was relitivily long for how little the room is. We had to shorten the shower and bump the toilet over. I also changed the swing door into an external barn door to save more space too.
I had a very clear vision of what style I wanted the bathroom to be. Our house is a mix of Beach, Hampton’s and Heritage styles. So I choose some classic looks like detailed cornices to match the rest of the house, white colonial bar windows, VJ panelled vanity, and herringbone pattern feature tiles.
I went with a white on white pallet to remain neutral, keep it bright and will hopefully age well, I also wanted the freedom to add colours through towels, plants and floor mats that won’t clash with anything and I can change with the trends over the years. I decided on the brushed brass tap wear as I loved this soft feminine look against all white. I added touches of marble to mix in some different textures of white and add warmth, this was done through a marble vanity top and draw pulls, as well as marble trays to hold bath items on my window shelf.
I wanted the look of a freestanding bath but didn’t have the space for one so I went with a back to wall bath and I am so happy with it. I don’t have the dusty, weird space behind it, the shelf is actually really useful, it fits us all easily and it looks great. The bath has just enough space at each end to have towels on one side and robe hooks on the other, where I also store small crates of bath toys hidden on the floor.
Also with the bath we chose a tap here that swings to the side and it’s the best feature with kids as you move it out of the way when they jump in and stops them hitting their heads into it!
The toilet is in a small space between the bath and shower so I wanted an in wall system to look clean and also modern. I chose a matte white button panel that blends in so nicely with the matte white wall tiles.
Moving to the tiles, we went with a basic large rectangle matte white tile on most walls, then a cracked glass white subway tile laid in herringbone on the back wall behind the bath and also into the inset behind the vanity. The floors I went with a neutral grey that wasn’t too light or too dark so that it doesn’t show every bit of dirt. It’s also a satin finish so that doesn’t show scuffs or foot prints. I am so happy with my floor tile it always looks so clean and neat.
For the vanity we chose the VJ paneling to match the style we were after and the 3 big draws were really important to me they are so much better for storage than cupboards in bathrooms. We went for an above counter simple white basin and wall fixed tapware.
I really wanted a beautiful arch mirror as I love the look of them but I also wanted the functionality and storage of a shaving cabinet (just not the look of them!) So after a lot of research I found this arch shaving cabinet that I set into the wall - I loveee it!!
Next to the vanity I got my much wanted linen cupboard! This was a custom build to take up all the left over available space with a simple shaker style door and big shelves inside.
Lastly the shower, while I would have loved a open, door less shower I didnt have the space for it - didn’t want water going all over the toilet!!! So I went for a simple frameless glass with black hardware as crome would stick out too much. We got a big beautiful twin shower head in the same brushed brass which I love, the over head is great for showering and the handle is great for cleaning the bathroom and our dog! We also made a generous sized niche to fit our shower items as I didn’t want any glass shelves.
Oh and we put in a barn door which has saved so much room in our bathroom, and I love the look of it. We went white with an arrow bracing and black hardware which we have throughout our house.
Strangely enough we didn’t set out to get a lot of the items from the same brand but it just turned out that it‘s what worked for our space and what we liked most! If you like any items in my bathroom, here are the details:
Bath: Caroma - Urbane back to wall bath
Toilet: Caroma - in wall system
Tapware, rails and hooks: Caroma - Urbane II in brushed brass
Vanity: Marquis - Chateau with Caeserstone top
Basin: Maquis - Palma
Pull handles: Lo&Co - Dot marble handle Carrara
Floor tiles: Portland
Feature tiles: Tavella - crackle subway tile
Mirrored cabinet: Reece - Kado Nueu Arch mirror shaving cabinet
Linen cupboard: CGB carpentry
Bathroom build: CGB carpentry
Window: CGB carpentry
Barn Door: Ideal barn doors
Bathrooms are never cheap! But to be honest it has been so worth it and the level of finish we got from our builder is perfection. I couldn’t be happier and so glad we did it. It’s now a space that is a pleasure to be in.
Hope you enjoyed seeing my bathroom reno and got some inspiration ! AK xx