A small space can be tricky to design, yet there are a lot of ways to optimise a small space without having to compromise on style. We have asked our designers Cecilia Gillot from our Clerkenwell showroom and Laura Northeast from our Oxshott showroom what to keep in mind when designing a small space.
How do you maximise space?
We all know the usual ways to make a room look more spacious (mirrors, horizontal/vertical elements to name a few). There are a few additional clever ways to trick our brains into this illusion; and one of them is to use variation to create depth. For instance, even the tiniest of cloakrooms could benefit from using some indirect lighting or from treating its walls differently (colour paint, wall paper, tiles)
How do you optimise storage space?
Nearly every modern bathroom will have their pipework boxed in, which offers the option of incorporating recesses to provide valuable extra storage and keep handy those every day items. They are particularly useful near the basin and inside the shower. I occasionally use them vertically when I can spare a bit of extra room at the end of a shower enclosure. If 20cm is all that is available, it is still enough to keep rolled up towels close by. Recesses are an addition to vanity units (nearly all basins offer an option) and mirror cabinets.
Even the tiniest of cloakrooms could benefit from using some indirect lighting.
Space saving fixtures, fittings and which type of tap to install with a compact basin?
Exploring the diagonal might be a solution for a small room, where one could pair a corner cistern-frame with a compact wall hung WC. A walk-in shower screen that has a hinged leaf will provide better protection from water splashing out as well as allowing for a comfortable entrance gap in a narrow shower room, as you can lengthen or shorten it as required. For a short projection basin, choose one with the tap hole on the side; and a deep bath will compensate for a short length as the extra depth will keep your body submerged (try our Kallista Perfect bath in our Clerkenwell showroom). In addition, if what you need is not available, provided that it is kept to a minimum standard you can order basins, shower trays and baths in bespoke sizes.
What to consider for fitting a shower bath vs. ditching the bath and having a shower instead
I couldn’t count the times I’ve had couples debating whether or not to sacrifice a bath for a spacious shower enclosure! I always introduce to them baths that are comfortable for both uses such as the Bette Ocean 800 wide with its wide and flat end. If the 800 width isn’t available I might suggest an enclosure with the shower head positioned in a way that the user has their back to the longer side of the enclosure, as they wouldn’t bang their elbows against the glass and wall. When a standard (1700mm) bath is being replaced with a shower there is usually good length to have just a walk in set up. If there is too much of a worry about water splashing out don’t be afraid to use a full length shower tray, there are plenty of options that look very contemporary and are available in any RAL colour, making it possible for it to seamlessly blend in with the flooring.
What can you do with the corner of the room?
Usually an area of the room which is disregarded, the corner of the room can be utalised to maximise the space you have. Corner concealed cisterns for WC’s mean you can still have a minimal wall mounted WC, the cistern will also provide a handy ledge for decoration purposes! Most showers fit into corners, we have Quadrant, Pentangles and square but with sliding corner doors so that they best work with the space. If the space can be used for a vanity then a corner vanity can be selected with a corner mirror cabinet above. You could build the wall across so you have a flat wall which opens the options up for vanity units and mirrors, use the boxed in wall space for hidden storage.