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10 Genius Decorating Ideas For Small Bathrooms Coastal Living

10 Genius Decorating Ideas For Small Bathrooms Coastal Living 10 Genius Decorating Ideas For Small Bathrooms Coastal Living

Never underestimate the power of multipurpose seating in a small space. In this eye-catching kids’ bath, an upholstered stool serves as not only an equally-bright counterpart to the trough sink (painted in Daisy by Sherwin-Williams), but also as the perfect perch for folded towels at the ready.

There’s more to black-and-white bathrooms than floor tile, so when it comes to the classic look, think outside the box. A jet-black glossy vanity surrounded by walls of funky black-and-white paper are sure to take your small space from blah to beautiful.

Your tiny space doesn’t have to skimp on style, and these beautiful baths and powder rooms prove it.

Stepping into this glass-enclosed shower is like wading into the glittering Caribbean Sea, thanks to walls wrapped in glazed subway tile (from Waterworks) that glisten with varying water-like shades of turquoise and blue. The subway tiles keep the bath feeling classic while the punchy shade adds an element of surprise. 

If a white, beadboard-clad bath feels more classic to you, consider incorporating accents of blue elsewhere in the room, like on the ceiling. A pale blue ceiling shines a spotlight on interesting rooflines or trim (plus, it can evoke the feeling of being outdoors). Translate the color elsewhere in countertops or cabinets in a similar shade.

Paper your bathroom walls in a vivid pattern rooted in white, such as this Fan Tan wallpaper by Meg Braff. Leave the rest of the room white on white to let the pattern shine, and you’ve got a small space with big personality.

Though pedestal sinks can lend an airy feel to a small master bath, they don’t provide much in the form of storage. That’s where small wire baskets come in: They blend with the open-air design of the space, while also serving as the perfect landing spot for towels or other necessities.

The color blue is known as a mood booster and a calm inducer. So what better shade to decorate the room where you start and end your day?

8 of 10 Photo: Kim Cornelison; Styling: Jennifer Berno DeCleene; Design: Chenault James; Architecture: Dan Gorman.

No cabinets, no problem. Roll up your towels in mismatched baskets for a charming effect that also scores big on practicality. Make it even more casual by opting for a monochromatic group of towels in different shades of the same color. Our suggestion is, of course, blue—a tried-and-true winner in any coastal abode.

If you want to put a fun (and safe!) spin on a tiny guest bath, encase the entire room—including the floors—in a bright turquoise penny tile (this one’s by Ann Sacks). Not only will it make the space feel bigger, it will also provide more grip to the floor, which is perfect for bathrooms that are high-traffic for kids. Tour our 2015 Cinnamon Shore Showhouse for much more design inspiration.

9 of 10 Photo: Amy Neunsinger; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty and Rachael Burrow; Design: Mark D. Sikes; Architecture: Alec R. Tesa.

4 of 10 Photo: David A. Land; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty and Rachael Burrow; Design: Meg Braff

If you’re lucky enough to have an alfresco bath (or if glass walls or surrounding Bahama shutters simply make it feel that way), bring the blue down to the floor for an unexpected pop of color. Painted floors are great, as are shimmering blue tiles (these are Cayman Blue Silk tiles by Lunada Bay), which will make you feel like you’re walking on water.

Undersized baths often lack in storage what they do in space, but these clever tips prove even the most petite powder rooms can have plenty of places to stash the essentials.

Though on-trend open shelving can create a sense of airiness in a small space, it doesn’t always make sense, as some things are best left out of view, particularly in the loo. What does make sense is to leave towels within easy reach, so having drawers with one open shelf is a happy medium—form and functionality at its best.

Even trim isn’t off limits to the boldest of blues! Choose a high-impact hue like this watery turquoise (Pool Blue by Benjamin Moore) and wallpaper that picks up the shade throughout for the perfect pairing. According to designer Anne Maxwell Foster, painting your trim a standout color is “like putting a picture frame around your view.”

Houses of yesterday were built with big charm and small baths, the latter of which can often put homeowners who aren’t willing to renovate in a storage bind. With this built-in cabinet and retro wall sink leaving little surface space, a traditional table tucked mostly out of view does just the trick.

9 of 10 Photo: Tria Giovan; Styling: Rachael Burrow and Liz Strong

Instead of washing your bath in white and incorporating pops of blue, try it in reverse. White accents, such as the shower seat, trim and towels in this bath, tend to pop even more against the sky blue background. We especially love the gorgeous hue and subtle sparkle of this Waterworks periwinkle blue glass subway tile.

3 of 10 Photo: David A. Land; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty and Rachael Burrow; Design: Meg Braff

There’s plenty of blue inspiration to find along any coast. If your favorite hue happens to be something that’s a little too bold or bright for your interior tastes, take the shades a notch or two down and bring in accents of your beloved hue. The powder room of our 2010 Seabrook, Washington Idea House was inspired by fishing floats that wash up along the rugged shores, so designer Tim Clarke chose a handmade wallpaper inspired by the colors of the floats.

1 of 10 Photo: Jessica Glynn; Styling: Liz Strong; Design: Celerie Kemble

A big pop of color does wonders in any room, but especially in a tiny neutral space. We love all hues reminiscent of the sea, including the Green Blue paint by Farrow & Ball on this standout vanity.

Often lacking in square footage, powder rooms can be packed with personality. Go glam with gilded accents such as brass sconces (these are from Visual Comfort) that sport Art Deco style and a statement mirror like this one from Jonathan Adler. 

10 of 10 Photo: David A. Land; styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty and Rachael Burrow

2 of 10 Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Matthew Gleason; Design: Barrie Benson

Though space may be limited in a guest bath, the ceiling is not off limits for a little whimsy when it comes to décor. Extend parts of your wallpaper onto the crown molding and overhead with custom-cut paper such as this bold palm pattern by Schumacher.

Even in a space with wow-factor wallpaper, the right fabric can add that extra dash of magic. And in a windowless bath, a custom vanity skirt is the answer. It hides the not-so-pretty bathroom essentials while leaving the rest of your powder room pretty as can be.

Totally transform an existing all-white bath by incorporating one unexpected but statement making addition, like a bright shower tile or patterned wallpaper. Choose a monochrome print (we’re partial to turquoise!) on a white background, and a large-scale pattern so there’s plenty of white space to maintain that easy, breezy feel.

6 of 10 Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Erin Swift; Design: Mitch Willey; Architecture: Andrew Kotchen.

Are you short on space but just have to have that full bath? Problem solved: Cover the entire room in penny tiles to create a bathroom that doubles as a shower. The sink-shower combo is especially fun for sandy kiddos.

7 of 10 Photo: Brian Vanden Brink; Styling: Jennifer Kain DeFoe; Design: Roger Schrenk and Chris Fultz. 

This bathroom proves that tiles aren’t just for the shower. Wrap them around the walls of the room to give a small bath some much-needed character. No window? No problem. Add a skylight to flood the space with natural light, making it feel instantly airy instead of airtight.

This playful bath sets the mood with cement shower tiles in a statement-making wave-like pattern (by Popham Design). A teal vanity (painted Pacific Palisades by Benjamin Moore) reflects the darkest shade in the tile and balances out the bold in the room.

Ask any designer what the secret to a great room is, and he or she will tell you that it’s all in the mix. This rings true in most any interior—yes, even in a powder room. Pairing a tall, round, white wicker table with a shorter, dark, straight-edged companion not only doubles the surface area for storage, but also makes the small space sing.

7 of 10 Photo: Tria Giovan, Stylists: Rachel Burrow and Liz Strong

5 of 10 Photo: Carmel Brantley; Design: Marc-Michaels Interior Design; Architecture: Affiniti Architects.

This happy Parsons-esque vanity painted in Tampico by Pratt & Lambert—a welcome dose of personality to a small bathroom—is grounded with an oversized woven basket that’s big on style and storage.   

2 of 10 Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty

4 of 10 Photo: Tria Giovan; Styling: CJ Sandgren; Design: Betsy Burnham and Max Humphrey.

Thinking outside the box can pay off when it comes to storage, especially in a small bathroom whose Carrara-marble walls are the star. This 1960s chrome dental cabinet beautifully blends in as a much-needed place to stash essentials as well as display glassware and flowers.

Plain eggshell paint can feel washed-out in tiny powder rooms; instead, take a risk with a bold, large-print wallpaper. It adds color and a whimsical feel, plus makes the space feel bigger overall. This one (by Abnormals Anonymous), printed with gilded puffer fish on a turquoise background, is sophisticated but playful with its undersea vibe.

1 of 10 Photographer: Annie Schlechter, Styling by: Matthew Gleason

7 of 10 Photo: Jean Allsopp and Tria Giovan; Styling: Rachael Burrow and Lynn Nesmith

Getting creative with tile is an easy way to add instant interest to any small bathroom. Go bold with pattern and color in the shower, and pair with clear-glass doors so that it becomes a permanent focal point of the little space.

Bold fabric coupled with graphic wallpaper is a no-fail way to turn any blank space into a decorated room, and tiny half baths are no exception. A custom vanity skirt in bright coral with a dreamy bamboo trellis wallpaper make this powder room perfectly beach chic.

10 of 10 Photo: David A. Land; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty and Rachael Burrow; Design: Meg Braff

8 of 10 Photo: Lisa Romerein; Stylist: Liz Strong; Design: Peter Dunham; Architecture: Tim Barber

A monochromatic color scheme gives any bathroom lacking in space a big dose of charm. Go green with contrasting patterns on the wallpaper and floor tiles to infuse a playful feel.

3 of 10 Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Jennifer Kain DeFoe; Design: Stephen Theroux

Some lucky homeowners have master baths with room for the big-ticket items, such as a dreamy soaking tub, but are still lacking in general storage. Enter custom built-in shelving, an easy way to capitalize on existing space. Pro tip: Make those shelves glass, and your bath will feel even larger.

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