top of page



Many of us have one or more small bathrooms in our home, but so often articles about small bathroom décor feature spaces that most Americans would consider quite roomy! Not so here. Read on for practical ideas at a variety of price points that will help you optimize the space available to you in a truly small bathroom that includes a shower stall or a tub/shower combination.

1. Improve the Space for Free by


We’ll start with an improvement idea that you can carry out in your small bathroom at little to no cost. What’s worse than a tiny bathroom? A tiny cluttered bathroom. Even if you did nothing but declutter your small bathroom, you would significantly improve its look and user-friendliness. However, this is easier said than done. After all, there’s a reason that it got cluttered in the first place, and often small bathrooms are found in small to medium sized homes with modest amounts of storage space. Use these pro hacks to make decluttering feasible:


  • Are everyone’s toiletries spread across the vanity counter and throughout the shower stall? Give each family member a caddy in which to place these items and bring them into and out of the bathroom as needed. These can be purchased cheaply, or you can make use of containers you already have.

  • Turn wasted space into storage space. You can hang a basket from the ceiling, put shelves above the toilet, add a bin under a wall mounted sink, and install little shower shelves that are attached with suction cups. Also consider wall-mounted robe hooks which can be used for towel storage. (If you are having shower glass put in, include a sleeve-over or through-glass robe hook on the enclosure.)

  • Finally, most of us can downsize the number of items housed in any room if we really want to. Does the bathroom clutter include items you “might use someday”? Broken items? Nearly empty bottles? Dated or superfluous décor pieces? Go through everything with fresh eyes and place your belongings in one of three piles: keep, donate, discard.


2. ...and Staging It


Once you’ve trimmed down the sheer quantity of items stashed in your little bathroom, it’s possible to stage the space. As mentioned, you may wish to add additional storage options first. Then put the items from your “keep” pile back in the bathroom, but do so very intentionally.


  • Wherever possible, cluster items in odd-numbered groups. Solitary pieces or vignettes of 3 or 5 items are more pleasing to the eye than 2, 4, or 6 pieces grouped together.

  • Include one or two items that are more decorative than necessary, but choose these carefully. Make them count. A living plant, a unique vintage item, or something collected from nature can work well.

  • If your budget allows, upgrade some of your necessities. Examples include artisanal bath soap instead of a mass-produced product, a sea sponge rather than a nylon pouf, all natural hand soap in a glass decanter in place of a commercially labeled dispenser, Turkish tassel towels to replace terry cloth towels, and so on.

  • Place items with an eye to arranging various colors and textures in an aesthetically pleasing way.

3. Transform Your Small Bathroom
    Shower with Clear Glass

The above ideas can be carried out with zero or minimal expenditure, but if you’re ready for a more substantial renovation, there’s a way to dramatically change how your compact bathroom looks and feels. If the shower is currently hidden from the rest of the space with a curtain or obscure glass, order a clear glass door, screen, or enclosure. Moving to a transparent barrier means that the square footage in the shower area becomes visible throughout the room and vice versa. Thus, whether you are in the shower or elsewhere in the small bathroom, the space will look and feel larger than it did before. There are four main options for a glass shower:


  • Single Door: A tiny shower stall is often already enclosed on three sides. In this case, all you’ll need is one clear glass door panel and the accompanying hardware.

  • Shower Screen: A shower screen is also a single piece of glass. It can be hinged or stationary and is installed on a shower stall or tub/shower combo. It blocks off part of the bathing area while leaving an open entry. Shower screens should be used in conjunction with appropriate water-proofing and drainage, as they do not keep water inside the shower as well as other options. However, if used wisely, a clear shower screen can make a tiny bathroom feel much more open and roomy.

  • Glass Enclosure: If your shower area needs more than a single door or if you prefer to fully enclose the tub area, you’ll want a shower enclosure. Popular options include in-line door and panel, French doors, bypass doors, and frameless rolling doors.

  • Corner Shower: When doing a full renovation, you can also opt for a corner shower in some tiny bathrooms. These are 90-degree or neo-angle and make use of two existing walls. Neo-angle corner showers in particular are space-friendly.


If you do make the move to clear glass, be sure to utilize the tips in sections #1 and #2 to declutter and style the interior of your shower since it will always be visible.


4. Give Your Small Bathroom a Theme


Sometimes small bathrooms are mediocre because they get zero TLC – the homeowner or renter has given up on the space because it is so cramped. Give the space a theme, and you’ll think “charming,” “jewel box,” or “fun” every time you enter it. Here are a few possibilities:


  • A blue and white palette paired with a few beachy pieces gives your bathroom a coastal vibe. Not to mention, this palette can help the space feel breezy and airy instead of claustrophobic.

  • For a jewel box effect, paint the walls a rich color, choose a glitzy hardware finish such as brass, and include a luxurious statement piece like a chandelier above the sink.

  • A small bathroom can also be fun and quirky if you give it a theme based on your own favorite hobby. Do you crochet? Make your own bath mat, hand towels, and wall-hanging to take the bathroom from blah to one-of-a-kind. Do you collect something? Intersperse some of your favorite pieces with the bathroom necessities and choose wall art that depicts whatever you collect.

  • If you live in an older home with an un-renovated bathroom, you can also embrace this by decorating the space according to the era in which it was built for a historic feel. Best of all, many of the items needed for this approach may be available for a low cost at thrift stores and flea markets.

5. Make the Most of Mirrors and Lights

All bathrooms include mirrors and lights, but you can put these essentials to work making your little bathroom look and feel larger. When it comes to mirrors, consider one or more of the following:


  • Have a custom mirror fabricated to completely fill the space above the sink and reach up to the ceiling. A large wall mirror can make a room feel twice as deep as it really is.

  • Installing a second mirror opposite the vanity mirror can maximize lighting and create the impression of endlessness as the two mirrors reflect each other.

  • Even in a small bathroom, you may be able to create a gallery wall of many different mirrors. These will reflect light, create a sense of space, and function as a focal point.


Lighting goes hand in hand with mirrors and is effective for improving a small bathroom.


  • Add a table lamp to the vanity counter to supplement the overhead lighting.

  • Place stick-on LED lights along the toe-kick to keep the room illuminated at night.

  • Station lights where they will be reflected by the vanity mirror – wall sconces, hanging lights, etc.

  • Back-light the vanity or make-up mirror.


However you choose to use privacy or clear glass, the team at ABC Glass & Mirror is ready to assist with your glass shower project from design through professional installation. Call us at (703)257-7150 to schedule your free in-home consultation with a glass shower estimator.

bottom of page