Small Bath With Major Splash

Impressive ideas for the bathroom―from dramatic sinks to a frosty green color scheme.
Sara Anderson

When every square inch counts, great design is crucial. In a bath, you want to hang the lights just right, get the storage up to snuff, and make strong style statements with sinks and countertops. Homeowners Terry Council and Josh Baker's bath in Tampa, Florida, may not be the biggest room in the house, but it's full of neat ideas from floor to ceiling. File some away for the day you tackle your own bath redo.

Design a Dramatic Vanity
The bath used to have a bigger vanity, "but it jutted out in front of the doorway and was a real hip-hitter," says designer Chip Vogel. The solution? Shrink the vanity top to 16 inches deep instead of the traditional 24, and get white bowl sinks that hang over the countertop's edge a tad. Then run the new backsplash (good-bye Formica!) up the wall about 1 foot, giving the green-black marble a chance to stand out behind the sinks even more. "This is a one-bath house, so two sinks were a must," says Josh. "We wanted the room to have a European hotel feel, and we did that with the bowl sinks, the magnifying mirrors, and the green tile and paint color."

Add Interest to Your Walls
Mirrors aren't all that can be mounted in a bath. Hanging a small shelf is an inexpensive idea, and it gives you more storage and display space. In the Baker's bath, a vintage black fan sits high in a corner.

Hike Up the Tile
If you've found a tile you love, make it work for all its worth. Don't just cover the lower half of the wall, take the tiles two-thirds of the way up all around the room.

Quick-Change Decorating Ideas

  • Pick a relaxing paint color--a pale blue or green--and continue it onto the ceiling. You don't have to choose two paint chips; Josh and Terry used a quarter of the tint of their wall color on the ceiling. (Any paint store can reduce the pigment of a specific paint to mix a custom color.)
  • Try ceramic knobs instead of metal ones. They come in a variety of colors. Josh and Terry used black-and-white checkered knobs to pop against white cabinetry.

"Small Bath With Major Splash" is from the February 2006 issue of Southern Living.