How to Design an Elegant and Functional Small Bathroom

Bathroom furnishing ideas, tips, and suggestions to best decorate a small bathroom using designer furniture and creating a luxurious bathroom environment.

Publication date: 31 Jan 2022
Topic: Inspirations

Creating an Elegant and Functional Bathroom Space

Today, the bathroom is increasingly a personal space where we spend a lot of time.

No longer just a utility room, it has become an essential and hyper-functional space: a true environment of relaxation and beauty that demands more attention.

To create a space with high design and functionality, it is necessary to rely on expert designers and a bathroom furniture company that offers solutions for modern, refined, and customised bathrooms, as well as a wide range of bathroom accessories.

It's important to go beyond the classic "bathroom cabinet with sink and mirror" solution, choosing handcrafted bathroom furniture made by specialised, innovative, and cutting-edge producers – naturally, made in Italy.

What Challenges Does a Small Bathroom Pose?

Every bathroom deserves great attention: whether it's a master bathroom, a utility bathroom, or a guest bathroom. To achieve an excellent result, it is important to make appropriate design choices.

This is even more crucial when our goal is to create a truly luxurious environment.

But what if the available space is very limited?

There’s no doubt that furnishing a small bathroom is a real design challenge.

A stimulating and complex challenge for any designer, requiring consideration of many different factors and making delicate decisions:

  • How to decorate the walls?
  • How to choose sanitary ware for a modern bathroom?
  • Which furniture to choose and which bathroom furniture producers to rely on?
  • How to find ideas for the bathroom style and colour, in harmony with the rest of the house?
  • Which mirror for a designer bathroom?
  • How important is lighting in a designer bathroom and how to create perfect lighting in the bathroom?
  • Is it better to include a bathtub or a shower?

In this article, we will answer these and other questions.

The Basics: Walls and Sanitary Ware

There’s no doubt that the first points to address are:

  • Wall decoration
  • Type and positioning of sanitary ware

Let's start from here to understand how to effectively design a small yet stylish bathroom.

Walls: Tiles, Resin, or Total-Look?

How should you treat the walls?

In a particularly small bathroom, choosing the right wall coverings is even more essential.

There are no absolute rules, but if you opt for tiles, it's better to minimise the grout lines by using medium to large formats – for example, 60x120mm or 80x160mm – or large slabs.

Alternatively, to reduce interruptions and grout lines, you can cover the walls with the latest generation of resins or even bathroom wallpapers, which should be used on a maximum of one or two walls to avoid overwhelming the space.

Or you can create a jewel among small luxury bathrooms by choosing total-look solutions that allow you to personalise both the walls and the furniture, such as those offered by the collaboration between Edoné and Fondovalle: a project born from the same philosophy, based on research, quality, environmental protection, and the tradition of made in Italy.

For example, the INFINITO 2.0 porcelain stoneware was paired with the refined Rea bathroom furniture collection by Edoné, generating perfect harmony between furniture and wall.

Sanitary Ware: Types and Positioning

In a small bathroom, correctly positioning the sanitary ware is even more essential.

It’s always better to avoid placing them so that they are the first thing seen when entering the bathroom: even if sometimes this is unavoidable due to structural characteristics, it's always better to reserve this position for sinks, furniture, and mirrors.

A standard toilet has an average depth of 60-65 cm, plus the dimensions of the flush tank: for this reason, it’s better to plan, when possible, an integrated flush tank in the wall to reduce the total bulk, which usually amounts to about 80 cm from the wall. Also, it’s better to provide at least 55 cm of space from the nearest obstacle and 20 cm from the side edge to the wall. This makes movement easier.

If the space is really tiny, it’s often inevitable to sacrifice the bidet.

Wall-Mounted or Floor-Mounted?

Undoubtedly, wall-mounted sanitary ware gives the environment a neater look, in addition to being significantly easier to clean and simplifying the removal of bacteria and dirt from the floor.

You can also choose modern and designer solutions like the Bombo or Cono lines by Edoné, always made of ceramic – a hygienic and functional material par excellence – which also offer the possibility of choosing custom covers in over 440 finishes: they are interchangeable thanks to the innovative patented attachment system and perfectly represent the flexibility and high level of customisation of all Edoné products and solutions.

Furniture: The Heart of Every Bathroom Design Project

Modular, Adaptable, and Customisable Furniture

First of all, when furnishing a small bathroom, it’s important to evaluate the available space for furniture: usually, it’s not possible to have more than one or two pieces, so it’s crucial to choose them carefully.

It’s important to evaluate their storage capacity, striving for order at all costs and finding the correct placement for every necessary item.

Whether you opt for wall-mounted or floor-mounted bathroom furniture, it’s better to lean towards solutions that optimise internal space as much as possible, using special organisers, internal drawers, and storage mirrors.

Sometimes, in a small bathroom, it’s not possible to include a complete furniture composition: in these cases, however, it’s always possible to choose shallow-depth sinks – like those from the Chrono 38/44 collection by Edoné – or even freestanding sinks.

Additional storage capacity can then be entrusted to wall units, rotating columns, or column units positioned on free walls, thus utilising even the smallest spaces.

Edoné is perfectly capable of meeting these needs, thanks to a wide range of modular solutions customised by our expert craftsmen.

Thanks to these characteristics, it’s possible to meet the needs of clients and designers to create elegant and fully functional environments.

For a small utility bathroom, you can also opt for a shallow-depth washbasin.

Light Colours or Bold Contrasts?

Choosing an all-white look could result in an excessively cold and impersonal style, especially in particularly small spaces.

In this case, you can naturally always add splashes of colour through accessories like towel racks, shelves, or even the faucets.

It’s always a good idea to choose light-coloured furniture that creates a clean, tidy space and thus visually more spacious.

However, if you prefer dark-coloured furniture, it’s important to create chromatic contrasts with walls and accessories in light and uniform tones.

Edoné also has the right solution in these cases, considering that – as a designer bathroom furniture manufacturer – we offer a wide range of matte/gloss lacquered finishes and can create any colour on the RAL or NCS scales.

These characteristics well express the philosophy of Edoné design customisation.

The Power of Curved Furniture

One of the “secret weapons” for designing modern small bathrooms is the use of curved furniture.

They are perfect for lightening the overall look, offering particularly versatile design solutions, providing significant storage capacity, and allowing for optimal customisation even in the smallest spaces

Moreover, they give the possibility to design strategic depth changes, contributing to respecting the dimensions and minimum standards of design and liveability of the environment.

Excellent examples of such solutions are offered by the Giunone collection by Edoné: examples of modern and designer bathrooms, achievable only thanks to the craftsmanship of our company.

Light Games: Choosing Mirrors and Lighting in Small Bathroom Design

After dealing with furniture and coverings, it’s time to optically expand the space!

In this case, of course, mirrors and lighting play a primary role.

Indeed, well-placed lights and mirrors can help give spaciousness even to a small windowless bathroom.

Mirrors and Mirror Cabinets

There’s no getting around it: it’s better to use large mirrors and mirror cabinets.

A piece of furniture topped with a large mirror can literally double the optical width of a bathroom, especially in long and narrow bathrooms. Better if immediately visible upon entering the room.

Moreover, mirrors and mirror cabinets diffuse light and are even more useful in the case of natural light coming from a small window that normally wouldn’t be able to illuminate the environment.

Regular shapes help give a sense of order to the space, but – especially in the case of very light walls without particularly elaborate patterns – you can also choose an irregularly shaped designer bathroom mirror.

Lights and lighting

A small bathroom might also lack natural light sources, making it even more important to select the right artificial light sources.

To start, particular attention must be paid to adequately illuminating the mirror and sink area: this is where makeup is applied, and shaving is done, and consequently, where lighting takes on even greater importance.

Edoné also offers various solutions for designing the lighting of a fully functional designer bathroom:

Additionally, Edoné has created the Edoné Genius System©, a solution to free oneself from structural and construction constraints when inserting a light source that descends from above. This necessity is often particularly felt in bathrooms of very small dimensions.

The Edoné Genius System© allows the relocation of light points in an unusual way, thanks to an intelligent pulley system that frees you from any constraints and allows the light to descend from exactly the desired ceiling point, connecting directly behind the bathroom mirror.

Some of the lamps using the Edoné Genius System© are, for example, Balla and Hopper.

For more information: the evolution of light in the Edoné bathroom.

Shower or Bathtub?

In the case of a small bathroom, a shower enclosure almost always seems the most obvious solution. However, it’s necessary to evaluate the shapes and dimensions of the bathroom from time to time, as there are models of small yet very comfortable bathtubs.

If you choose this route, Edoné naturally offers a wide range of bathtubs that can be viewed here, to create a small, paradisiacal relaxation corner.

If you opt for a shower, it’s always better to choose shower trays and enclosures that harmonise with the environment, creating strategic chromatic contrasts with the bathroom furniture if needed.

Whenever possible, it’s certainly better to prefer walk-in showers with transparent walls, so as not to obstruct the eye’s view.

In this case, it’s also possible to enrich the environment with coloured and customisable shower trays like those from Edoné’s exclusive partner: Hidrobox.

Hidrobox is a cutting-edge company that shares the same values as Edoné and is therefore the perfect partner for creating unforgettable bathroom environments.

If You Are a Designer, You Can Also Access Our Customised Support

If you are an architect or interior designer and need a partner who understands your design needs and offers you customised solutions, contact us using the “Edoné for architects” section.

As experts in bathroom furniture production, we know very well that designing an exclusive bathroom requires:

  • Expert and passionate designers
  • A partner who creates refined bathroom furniture solutions, even turning designers' ideas and solutions into reality
  • Highly customisable, artisanal products Made in Italy

Visit our “Edoné for Architects” section:

  • Contact us to learn more about our products and solutions
  • Request the contacts of our agents and dealers for your area
  • Gain access to our online configurator

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