Fremont houses are not known for their large baths, especially If the house is on the older side. In fact, some baths are so small that they do not even adhere to current building codes when it comes to spacing around the toilet and size of shower. That was the case in this bathroom, where we had to create a curbless shower so it would be large enough to pass inspection. But just because a bathroom is small, does not mean it can’t be both beautiful and functional. These homeowners now have lots of storage, improved lighting, and easy-to-maintain surfaces, all presented in a fun and colorful package.

It started with the Mexican tile, which the clients loved and wanted to feature. I designed the “medallion” in the shower, and surrounded it with simple cream-colored porcelain to set it off. I brought the colorful tile over to the backsplash as well, to continue the theme on that end of the small bath. The bright blue countertop material (Cambria Quartz in the color Bala Blue) is also used for the bench seat in the shower. This energetic hue really pops against the cream color on the walls. The floor, ceiling and walls were kept the same light color to make the whole space look larger. And the clear glass shower doors also help to create a feeling of spaciousness.

The benefit of using custom cabinetry is that I can use every inch of space to its best advantage. I designed the vanity with a tilt tray underneath the sink (great for toothbrushes and toothpaste) and three drawers on the left. The drawers are graduated in size; the top is for smaller items like makeup, the middle is a couple of inches deeper, and the bottom is deeper still, for bulkier items like a hairdryer.

I was also able to give them additional storage on the wall above the sink. The wall cabinet on the left side has adjustable shelves inside, is deeper than a traditional medicine cabinet, and can hold a multitude of items. At the top is an open cubby that can be used for display.

Above the towel bar (across from the toilet), what looks like a framed art print is actually a recessed medicine cabinet, for even more storage.

In the shower, I included a recessed niche for shampoos and soap, and, of course the bench seat can be used for additional toiletries, or for sitting, should that need arise.

With a light in the shower, and decorative grab bars on the walls, the shower is safe as well as beautiful.

If you’re a member of the “small bath club,” don’t fret. Feel free to borrow some of these ideas to add precious storage and fun personality to your space.