Half Bathroom Ideas

6 min read

Let’s be honest: unless you’re giving every visitor in your home a full-blown house tour to show off your decorating prowess (no shame!), the spaces they see most often is probably the smallest—the half bathroom. But what this space lacks in square footage it more than makes up for in style. In fact, because it’s so small, it’s the perfect arena for experimenting with colors, prints and styles you might normally hesitate to roll out in a larger room. Got a penchant for over-the-top wallpaper patterns? Dying to test out one of those on-trend navy blue hues? Just hankering to embrace your inner style chameleon and go maximalist in an otherwise minimalist home? Go for it—the half bath is your wild wild west.

These personality-packed powder rooms show that one should never underestimate the impact of a half bathroom, no matter how tiny it may be. We’re finding inspiration in some of the most minuscule under-the-staircase nooks and tucked-away crannies, proving that the element of surprise may be the best design element of all—imagine guests’ delight when they pop off to the loo to find a glamorous riot of jewel tones, graphic tiles, and gorgeous light fixtures.

Here are our favorite half baths that do a lot with a little space—but be warned, you’re going to want to undertake a weekend remodel after seeing these showstoppers.

Keep Your Colors Light and Bright

Emily Gilbert Photography

A wood floor and vanity give this city bathroom a warm and serene feeling. A soft mint-green hue reflects natural light from the window. The space surrounding the freestanding tub makes the room feel more open, as does the lightweight curtain fabric, which allows maximum light to enter.

Opt for a Glass Shower Door

Emily Gilbert

If you’re starting your small bathroom design from scratch, consider scrapping the curtain entirely. “I also recommend glass shower doors in a small bath, as it will help to open up the space,” Wolf says.

Or Remove Your Shower Door Completely

KristianSeptimiusKrogh

The slightly more adventurous might even consider no shower door at all (a good drain is wise in that case).

Backlight the Mirror

Anton Minin

“This can be a chic and modern way to amplify light,” James says, “if you do not have room for sconces or simply want a more minimalistic look.”

Take On Tile

Photo: Matt Harrington/Courtesy of McGrath II

Tile is a durable way to add impact and can be used from floor to ceiling. “For smaller bathroom walls, we like to specify ceramic tiles that are small,” says Suzanne McGrath of the design firm McGrath II. The designer is a fan of using one-by-four and two-by-six floor tiles—which are also less expensive—on bathroom walls.

Ventilation

DianaRui / Getty Images

A high-velocity fan is necessary for the half-bath because this room tends to be situated near living areas. Building code states that, as long as you have a 3-square-feet window to the outside, you do not need a fan. That window only needs to be half-openable. Even if your half-bath meets these code requirements, you should install a quality, high-velocity fan in your half-bathroom.

Use larger tiles

stocknroll / Getty Images

Large tiles in small bathrooms actually make them seem larger.

Toilet Position

chuckcollier / Getty Images

Some feng shui experts say that positioning the toilet so that it is facing the doorway is a bad idea. Feng shui or not, this tends to be solid design advice.

Avoid Large Sink Vanities

Brett Taylor / Getty Images

Pedestal sinks are one great way to maximize space in a small room. Cabinet-style sink bases not only take up floor space but feel ponderous. You really don’t need to store anything in the half-bath, anyway—store cleansers in another bathroom or in a laundry room cabinet.

Keep Decor Simple

eurobanks / Getty Images

Over-adorning your half-bath only leads to clutter. Aside from the toilet and pedestal sink, keep other items to a minimum.

Contemporary Cool

Eddy Homes

Cambria quartz, cool vessel sink & lighting make up this contemporary powder room.

Rock Crystal

Alene Workman Interior Design, Inc.

Is it just me or does this rock-crystal backlit mirror give the effect like it is on fire?   So many unbelievable design features in this space from the white modern wainscoting with stainless steel accents to the white marble mosaic feature wall to the unique vanity and rectangle vessel sink.  WOW!

Do The Wave

Jacobs & Co. Inc.

Wonderful contemporary half bath.  Love the wavy sandstone wall tile, custom vanity, glass vessel sink & classic mirror.

Rich Traditional

Elsie Interiors

Rich black detailed vanity, elegant lighting & fixtures, and exquisitely detailed wallpaper make this a world-class half bath.

Beach Style 2

Hagstrom Builder

The wood gives a yacht feel to this beach style half bath.   Striking blue vessel sink & rope towel bar are clever touches.

Worldly Wallpaper

Laurey W Gleen

Inspire your guests’ next vacation by covering the walls of your half bathroom with map-inspired wallpaper.

Z-Brace Yourself

CARMEN COLLINS

Fresh paint colors lighten up the half bathroom in this rustic barn that features Z-brace style lower cabinets.

Dressed Up Digs

David Stay

Add a feminine touch to your farmhouse half bath by hanging a ticking stripe fabric skirt below your vanity.

All-White Washroom

cody ulrich

There’s no question that your half bath is clean when the walls, sink, toilet, and tile are this bright white!

Pretty Powder Room

David A. Land

The ultimate recipe for a springy half bathroom? Floral wallpaper, a distressed turquoise chest, and a vintage brass mirror.

Jewelbox Bathroom

Instagram

The only thing cooler than statement tile? A semi-precious agate backsplash. Gold-toned hardware completes this utterly swoon-worthy look.

Dark and Dramatic

Instagram

Even the most basic standard-issue vanity looks glamorous when you give it a fresh coat of paint in a moody hue and swap out its hardware. Keep the walls bright white to amp up the impact of this high-contrast look.

Arch Rival

Instagram

Round mirrors might be having a major moment, but we think it’s high time the classic arch shape makes its comeback—especially when it creates such nice contrast against an ultra-angular geometric wallpaper design.

Unabashedly Bold

Instagram

Atomic-inspired orange wallpaper + a statement-making mid century light fixture = total powder room goals, if you ask us.

Marble Masterpiece

Instagram

This marble sink is a total showstopper, to be sure…but the longer we look at this gorgeous half bath, the more there is to admire. Architectural details on the wall help emphasize the on-trend paint hue (and perfectly frame out the brass hardware, too).

Try a Large-Scale Wall Covering

Photo: Simon Watson

You might think you need to go for a petite motif, but it’s actually better to go big. “Medium- and large-scale wallpapers and tile patterns can actually make a space feel larger,” James explains. Whether you choose big tiles or an even bigger pattern is up to you; she says they’ll both “give an illusionary scale in tight quarters.”

Go Neutral

sbossert / Getty Images

Maintain a majority of neutral-color surfaces (flooring, walls, etc.), but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bright accent wall. Dark colors are imposing and make your bathroom feel smaller.

Change What You Can

Andrea Rugg / Getty Images

Rearranging the floor layout is likely not an option. This is such a small space that you cannot move things around much, so you’ll be working with what you already have.

Just Add Sparkle

S. B. Long Interiors

The wallpaper has some sparkle, plus the sink has some sparkle — lovely powder room.

Sweet & Simple

Parkyn Design

Another great representation of a lovely, simple & classic half bath.

Whipple Blue

Elms Interior Design

Who says a vanity has to be white, gray or woodgrain?  This custom vanity was painted Benjamin Moore Whipple Blue! The cherries on top:  wallcovering by Abigail Edwards – Seascape in Summer & Alu Wall Sconces by Sonneman Lighting.

Maestro Mandala

TKP Architects

This Denver half bath features white oak counters & shelving with taupe stain plus the stunning Native Trails Maestro Mandala sink.

Rough Cut 2

Nar Design Group

Part 2 of this eclectic industrial powder room.   The floor and wall features Porcelanosa wood grain tile.  Remarkable!

Storage on the Side

aLEC hEMER

Add extra storage to your half bath with a vintage rolling cart that can house toiletries, towels, and more.

Blue Ribbon Bathroom

Dana

A navy paint finish on reclaimed wood walls and a vanity base creates a cozy half bathroom that’s more sultry than stuffy.

Warm Neutral Washroom

Christhoper

Off-white subway tiles, a beige storage cabinet, and cream-colored wall art soften up the space in this half bathroom.

Punchy Purple

James Merreel

For small space half bathrooms, add storage outside the room, like these bright purple cabinets that feature punch tin doors.

Extend Yourself

Instagram

While it might seem counterintuitive to extend a countertop in an already-cramped half bath, the added storage and sophisticated lines will more than make up for any lost space. This live edge-inspired woodgrain counter strikes a perfect balance between traditional and eclectic.

Hang Time

Instagram

Sure, we have a soft spot for sconces, but maybe it’s time to reintroduce hanging lights into the bathroom? This single-bulb fixture is by turns industrial and glam.

Less Is More

Instagram

Not quite ready to commit to a whole bathroom worth of bold tile? You can still get in on the action with a simple backsplash that packs a punch. Just four tiles create this unusual (and cost-effective!) focal point.

Double Trouble

Instagram

If you think double-mirrors only make sense at double-sink vanities, think again. As long as you have enough counter space to accommodate them, a mismatched set of mirrors can bring a fun element to a half bath.

Master Bathroom Ideas

zona baper
51 sec read

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