Designer Tips for a Luxurious Small Bathroom Remodel
Interior designer Claire Jefford is renovating her 1960s bungalow in Ontario, refreshing each room to feel more functional and modern. Her bathroom posed a common set of challenges: small square footage and the need for a total gut renovation. The space hadn’t been updated in the nearly 20 years Jefford lived in the home with her family. Boasting lilac tiles and a lilac tub, the space was a snapshot into the late 1960s color trend – and seriously dated. The room didn’t have floorplan flexibility, so Jefford kept the same layout while making each piece more functional and stylish, and without shying away from color or luxurious upgrades in the process.
Looking for ways to upgrade your small bathroom? Consider following Jefford’s lead with these tips for maximizing a small space.
Color and Pattern
Traditional small bathroom design wisdom advises aiming for light, neutral colors and few patterns to make the space feel bigger. As a result, white and gray are common colors for small bathrooms. For Jefford, however, she knew she wanted a burst of creativity to come through in the design, which she found in the multicolored pattern and black wall paper. The pattern is whimsical and organic, with flowers, leaves and even a purple jumping pig. To balance the energy from the wall paper design, she utilized those basic neutrals everywhere else, bringing in strong black, white and classic chrome finishes to complete the look. And while Jefford acknowledges the specific print may not be everyone’s preference, it shows how fun color and pattern can work very well in a small space.
Photo credit: Stephani Buchman
Jefford brought in a custom cabinet maker to build beautiful black cabinetry that perfectly fits the small space and complements the black background of the wallpaper. Strong, clean lines and a bright white countertop provide an airy contrast to the moody matte black and black and chrome drawer pulls. While the previous vanity jutted out to make room for the round sink, Jefford’s new design is rectangular and black, providing a beautiful aesthetic cohesion between the sink and cabinets. The widespread sink faucet was replaced with a sleek wall-mount in classic chrome, further saving countertop space. The center drawer is built to curve around the plumbing fixtures within the vanity. In the wall storage cabinet, the cabinet maker again fitted the structure around plumbing, giving the family ample space for storage while concealing the pipes.
Smart Storage Solutions
One of the obvious challenges to a small bathroom is the lack of storage space. Not only does it make the bathroom more difficult to use from a practical standpoint, but it can also lead to visually unappealing clutter and mess. While custom cabinets are great for getting the exact shape and color, they also give an opportunity to evaluate what kind of storage is necessary. For example, many vanities include a center cabinet, which allows room for the under-sink plumbing. However, for Jefford’s family, drawers made more sense on the vanity, so each member could have their own toiletry storage space. Consider the ways you use your bathroom each day to figure out the best storage solutions for you and go custom when necessary.
Steam Shower Sanctuary
A luxurious, relaxing bathroom doesn’t necessarily have to be a large one, and Jefford’s proves it. By installing the MrSteam steam shower system with Linear SteamHead and foldable teak seat, she and her family members can enjoy the many health and wellness benefits of a steam shower, such as stress reduction and improved sleep, wrapped up in the same sleek space as the shower and bath. Since the steam shower enclosure requires a door and glass to the ceiling, Jefford says they had one more reason to replace the curtain with a glass shower wall and door, amplifying the overall sleek, modern look of the bathroom renovation.
Jefford’s original bathroom had old school hardware and faucet controls, which were not only unattractive, but, in the case of the shower, also harboring mold. She replaced the old-fashioned tub filler with a modern new one and raised the location of the tub and shower controls for easier use and cleaning. She added a rain shower, and a sliding hand shower. The chrome finish MrSteam iTempo steam shower control fits seamlessly into the look, and now Jefford’s shower sanctuary offers four options for a truly luxurious bathing experience.