Art from AmericasMart adds the final flair to this cozy bathroom, matching the turquoise and blue from the bright master bedroom, also designed by Steve McKenzie as part of a Dwell with Dignity home design.
For funky, chunky bathroom knobs, head to arts and craft supply stores. If you’re redoing a small space and just looking for a couple of knobs, you can find an affordable selection there, says Jennifer Foster with Eanes Foster Design. For her daughter’s bathroom, she found lightweight painted resin knobs that matched the Benjamin Moore Coastal Paradise paint on the walls. The wave series of paintings -- originals by Foster and her daughter -- were a way for mother and daughter to bond while decorating with cheap canvases.
Here’s a designer trick for oversized artwork, when you can’t afford an original painting for the entire wall. Buy two of the same pieces of abstract art (these floral pieces were discounted at a home goods store), and then hang one upside down, says Jennifer Foster with Eanes Foster Design. It looks like a diptych and takes up a large amount of wall space for maximum effect, she says.
Paint the ceiling for a cohesive designer look. For this small bathroom, Atlanta designer Michele Gratch used Benjamin Moore’s Habanero Pepper, which matches the reddish tones in the chinoiserie wallpaper. Also, she had the seagrass rug custom cut, which is not a budget buster, and added a border with a yard of fabric that coordinated with the wallpaper.
This high-end powder room, designed by Lori Carroll with Lori Carroll and Associates, won first place from the National Kitchen + Bath Association this year. To snag a bit of this style, use hooks or towel grabbers, which can be purchased at Walmart for less than $5, to display hand towels.
For a budget bathroom update, Patti Wagner and her husband replaced the damaged green floor tiles with inexpensive hexagon-shaped white tiles in their Minneapolis home. “The white floor really makes the room look bigger,” says Wagner, a senior product designer for Target. They also maximized the small space by keeping the existing pedestal sink and large medicine cabinet. Towel hooks also are great for small bathrooms, because they don't take up much space and you can place them anywhere, she says.
Think outside the box with vanities in small spaces. Jo Torrijos, an Atlanta DIYer and stylist, created a makeup vanity area in her spa blue bathroom with a shelf that’s deep enough to hold the essentials. She used a small slab of inexpensive Silestone for the shelf.
Use mirrors strategically to make a small space look bigger and to amplify decor you love. Got a new shower curtain that is completely your style? Mirrors nearby can help spread the pattern throughout your small bathroom, so you get more visual impact with your decor. This bathroom was done as part of a Dwell with Dignity install to help families who are struggling with homelessness and poverty.
Keep it simple. By using a modest color palette with just a pop of color from the red chair, this bathroom demonstrates simple elegance in a small area. If possible, avoid buying window treatments to create an illusion of more space. “A minimalist look eases the budget,” says Stephanie Andrews of Atlanta-based Balance Design.
If there is no room on the walls near the sink for a hand towel ring or hook, take it to the countertop. Designer Jennifer Foster filled a red tray with a small towel stand for a boy’s bathroom. Decorative hand towels also are an easy way to make a bathroom look more polished, and designers often opt for ones with simple patterns such as stripes.
Don’t ignore small spaces! A shelf is the perfect solution to storage scarcity in smaller bathrooms. Place one over the tub for towels, candles or shower gel or near the toilet for spare toilet paper and hand towels. Designer Karina Bryant of K_Souki Design Studio has a set of shelves wired for music or a TV hookup for bath time relaxation in her home, built by Imery Group.
A small countertop in a guest bathroom is an opportunity to use remnant pieces, achieving high style with huge savings. Austin Lineberry, owner of New River Building Co., did just that to save money per square foot on this granite counter. The gorgeous gray tile complements the counter and looks more expensive than it was, because it was stock glass tile from a home improvement store.
For no cost, something as easy as a strategic placement can offer a beautiful reflection and color in a small bathroom, says Atlanta interior designer Alice Cramer. In this Atlanta powder room, she placed the mirror in just the right spot to reflect a piece of art for an eye-catching result that added depth and interest.
Make your storage do double duty as decor. While the vanity cabinet in this 2016 National Kitchen + Bath Association Competition winning powder room is custom made, a standard vanity without doors on either side can add decorative storage to any small bathroom, says designer Stephanie A. Bruntz of Studio B Design. Bruntz says the diagonal slats in her custom cabinet are one of the more expensive elements, so adding a horizontal shelf or no shelf at all would be much cheaper. She adds that a stylish pendant can also create a designer look without breaking the bank. You can buy frosted mini glass pendants at Home Depot for under $20, while regular sizes range from $80-$100.