Small Ensuite Ideas: 15 Clever Yet Compact Bathroom Schemes

small ensuite ideas with a vanity in front of a window
(Image credit: Day True)

Using clever small ensuite ideas is key to ensuring what is likely to be one of the most compact rooms in the house is easy to use. 

Ensuite bathrooms offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of a busy home, especially when your family bathroom is in high demand. However, when it comes to ensuites, there are different considerations to a traditional bathroom and, sometimes, making the most of a compact bathroom design requires some creative thinking

If you've got a space with the potential to be cramped and awkward to use, try out some of these brilliantly clever small ensuite ideas to make the most of your tiny bathroom. 

1. Design a Relaxing Small Ensuite with Ideas that Suit your Style

small ensuite ideas

(Image credit: Fiona Murray)

First-things first, when designing a small en suite always remember that it will be your space to unwind after a long day and perk up in the morning. Away from the hustle and bustle of the family bathroom, this is a chance to really express your style — be that in a statement tile, luxurious freestanding sink or if you've got space a relaxing bath. 

Starting with this 'hero' piece should make subsequent decisions easier, dictating colour matches, furniture choices or layout options from the off. 

2. Decide on a Layout to Make the Most of Great Small Ensuite Ideas

small ensuite layout ideas

(Image credit: Stone and Ceramic Warehouse)

The shape of the room and plumbing points will be essential in deciding the layout of a small en suite and using these aspects to your advantage will make all the difference. 

Narrow ensuites, like the one pictured above, work best with all sanitarywear positioned against the same wall in a galley style, while square shaped small bathrooms could offer the chance to build-in storage or section off a space for a shower enclosure. 

3. Opt for Space-saving Storage and Sanitaryware to Maximise Space 

small ensuite ideas grey

(Image credit: Imperial Bathrooms)

Small ensuites are not a new thing so the market is brimming with compact loos, sinks and storage. Be sure to measure your room before purchasing any sanitaryware to ensure a good fit. 

(MORE: Bathroom Storage Ideas)

4. Make Some Room in Very Small Ensuites

very small ensuite ideas

(Image credit: Industville)

While ensuites always need to be practical, the nature of extremely small spaces might mean some elements might have to be sacrificed to ensure there's room to actually use it. 

Shower rooms without a bath are most common for small ensuites, but if your home has multiple bathrooms elsewhere, perhaps consider if you will utilise the space better without a loo. A good design doesn't have to include everything for it to work for your lifestyle and small space. 

5. Create the Illusion of More Space

small attic ensuite ideas

(Image credit: Industville)

Freestanding sanitaryware is a great option for those who don't want to feel too cramped. Allowing the entire floorspace to remain visible is a great trick for a spacious appearance while delicate shelving units can display soaps and plants. 

6. Turn a Small Ensuite into a Wetroom

small ensuite ideas with shower

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

When looking at wetroom ideas, you'll notice many designs are divided with a simple shower screen either with a shower tray or a tiled wetroom floor. This is because traditional shower enclosures take up a lot of room and make the room quite visually busy and awkward, making a wetroom a natural choice.  

The homeowners of this small wetroom also opted to outsource a bath from their ensuite into the bedroom for a hotel-inspired spa-like finish. 

small ensuite ideas 2020

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

7. Look at Innovative Ideas for a Small Ensuites with a Bath

small ensuite ideas with bath

(Image credit: Albion Bath Company)

Ensuites normally don't have room for a bath, much less small ones, but there are some great new designs that are made specifically to fit into a compact space, such as Albion Bath Company's deep Tubby Torre bath shown here. 

8. Choose Built-in to Maximise Storage when Looking at Small Ensuite Ideas

small ensuite ideas

(Image credit: Rebecca Hughes Interiors)

Built-in units can cleverly hide away essential-but-bulky bits and bobs seamlessly while carving out alcoves for showers enclosures, toilets and sinks. 

9. Make a Feature of a Small Space

small ensuite storage ideas

(Image credit: Darren Chung)

Modern bathrooms are all about a sense of sanctuary and luxury, so consider turning simple fixtures into features, such as installing interesting storage solutions, impactful towel rails or light fittings, as in this bathroom renovation.

10.  a Cosy Atmosphere with a Dark Colour in a Small Ensuite

small ensuite ideas with bath

(Image credit: Albion Bath Company)

While we tend to think of small bathrooms needing white tiles and walls to create the illusion of being bright and open, sometimes the opposite can be more effective. 

As we have seen in recent years in snugs and bedrooms, painting a small room a deep, bold colour can give the impression of elegance and sophistication — perfect for a spot of peace and quiet while having a bath! 

11. Try This Idea to Hide Your Ensuite Bathroom Door

a concealed door ensuite idea within fitted wardrobes

(Image credit: Barbara Genda)

There’s something novel (and a little bit magical) about a concealed door, and this idea for hiding your ensuite behind a wardrobe door will be sure to impress. 

From a practical perspective, it can also help to simplify the visuals of your room, where you might otherwise have a door among some built-in furniture, also allowing you to make the most of the space available in terms of storage. 

(MORE: Built-in Storage Ideas)

12. Use Pocket Doors to Save Space in a Small Ensuite

an ensuite bathroom with a pocket door

(Image credit: Matt Clayton)

Where space is in short supply, planning a pocket door into your build for an ensuite bathroom is a clever idea. These doors retract back into a wall cavity, meaning you don’t need to worry about clearance of opening and closing the door. 

It also means you can keep it open when not in use, creating a better connection between bedroom and ensuite, and even borrowing light from one another. 

13. Put the Bath in the Bedroom

a bath in a bedroom

(Image credit: BC Designs)

The bath in a bedroom trend takes its inspiration from luxury hotels, and is based on the idea that taking a bath is usually more of a luxury than a convenience and one that can be enjoyed in a more spacious room at a time when privacy is no issue. However, if you've only got a small ensuite that won't fit a bath, it might be the perfect solution for your space. 

While re-routing plumbing into a bedroom is easy enough, especially if there’s an existing ensuite nearby, you will need to pay attention to the materials used in the room around the bath - especially bathroom flooring - to ensure that splashes from the bath don’t cause damage.

14. Use a Small Ensuite Bathroom Cleverly With This Simple Idea 

an ensuite bathroom with a vanity in front of a window

(Image credit: Day True)

When creating an ensuite from an existing space without moving external windows, you’ll need to be clever to make best use of the space. While a window can be easily incorporated into a shower, we love this idea of placing a basin in front of it. 

Where you’d usually expect to have a mirror over a basin, this clever design by design studio Day True uses a separate, side-mounted mirror to the same effect, offering the best of both worlds to this bathroom space.  

15. Brighten the Space with a Roof Light or Sun Tunnel

an ensuite bathroom with a sun tunnel

(Image credit: Velux)

A small, windowless ensuite bathroom is less than ideal, so where making use of an existing window isn’t workable, consider a rooflight or sun tunnel as part of your project. This can help give you the maximum wall space to work with for your bathroom fixtures too. 

Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.