Compact & functional

With space becoming more confined in developments, designing rooms that still include all the right features is challenging. Joanne Dobbs from Lecico Bathrooms offers her advice when creating bathrooms for compact areas.

The reduction in floorspace in UK homes over the past 50 years presents a challenge to achieving attractive design in new housing bathrooms and refurbishments alike. As a result, a range of bathroom products and interior design ideas have evolved to meet the challenge. When designing a new bathroom with limited space, the following products and design ideas can be used to give the perception of a larger space and achieve a luxury feel. 


Increasingly, baths are being substituted entirely for showers. Installing a wet room style shower using a single glass panel is a great way to adopt a minimalistic design that opens the full floor space. Low profile shower trays offer a simpler and more cost-effective solution to achieve the wet room look without having the installation challenge of wet room drainage and waterproofing walls and floors.

If a bath is required, there are a range of baths available in shorter lengths. For example, a 1500 mm bath saves floor space and the use of a shower over the bath offers a combined solution so bathing and showering are possible. 


Choosing compact sanitaryware also helps to save floor space. Wall hung WCs installed with concealed cisterns are an increasingly popular design in modern, minimalist bathroom design. Wall hung WCs ‘float,’ leaving open floor space beneath the WC, which in turn makes the bathroom feel larger. The same can be achieved with washbasins using semi pedestals rather than floor standing full pedestal washbasins. 

Where floor space is really limited, corner WCs and corner washbasins can be used to minimise redundant floor space. If corner washbasins or WCs are not desirable, ‘short projection solutions’ also help to save space. 


Bottles and tubes scattered on countertops, windowsills and shelves are guaranteed to distract from even the most aesthetically pleasing bathroom design. Closed storage in the form of wall hung bathroom furniture with a washbasin sitting on the countertop gives the option to keep bathroom items tucked away. Selected well-designed items can then be displayed to accentuate the overall design. 

Wall mounted taps when used in combination with freestanding washbasins on furniture also deliver a modern and highly stylised solution which also clears countertops. 


Interior design techniques can also be deployed to make bathrooms seem brighter and more spacious. Minimalistic design, the optimum use of light and certain types of tiling all help to amplify light, brighten up the bathroom space and give an increased impression of depth. 

Using light and bright colours helps to reflect natural light and the avoidance of strong dark colours helps to make the bathroom seem more spacious. Using high-gloss paint also helps to reflect light and amplify space. 

Bathroom tiling using unbroken lines by installing the same tiles on your floor and shower walls gives bathroom spaces more depth. The effect is an unbroken surface that makes the entire room seem larger. For smaller bathroom walls, specifying ceramic tiles that are small also helps to maintain a spacious feel. 

Large backlight mirrors also have the effect of opening a room and increasing the feeling of depth, providing additional reflective light. The reflection of light and pattern offer the same benefits as a window does to bring light into a space.

Joanne Dobbs is specification sales manager at Lecico Bathrooms