Help with a tiny bathroom

House was built in the 50's, I have since taken out the stool that is in the picture. There is one small shelf below the mirror. There is a window which you can see a little of. The old tub surround at some point needs to be replaced. I have a tiny bit of mold around the edges of tub. I simply can't gut the bathroom at this point, how can create some storage and clean up the old cast iron tub. The floor is an awful vinyl in gray behind the bathroom door is a blank wall which is the closet in my bedroom if that makes sense. I would appreciate any ideas thanks!
q adding storage and revamping a small bathroom, bathroom ideas, home improvement, small bathroom ideas, storage ideas
  25 answers
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Dec 19, 2014
    @Michelle not sure what you want to accomplish for this redo, perhaps mention what some of your goals are in the end. If you want more storage, here is a post that may interest you - You may want to make your colours blend more with each other - I wouldn't choose a dark colour for the walls but perhaps one that ones that blend your floor and sink and toilet, then get towels, window and shower curtains that blend as well. You could also add some wall decor that is reflective of light. I have found some unique at Home Sense - on sale! If metal you can always recolour the metal with paint. Consider even decorating behind the door - as the door eventually closes LOL When I do these types of projects over time I usually stick to sale items and it can take me a couple of years to achieve the look I am happy with. Eventually consider replacing the floor with tile. If replacing the tub surround I would consider just a tub and then tile to the ceiling on the walls and glass doors - easy to keep clean with scrubbing bubbles. Do let us know what you do in the end - update with photos as you go along - I love those posts. Thanks for asking.

  • Pamela Golden Pamela Golden on Dec 19, 2014
    I would take out the sink the shape takes up space. Purchase floor tile without a pattern. Purchase a bathroom vanity that has 3 drawers and one cabinet. That would take care of the extra storage and space. When I start a project such as this my first stop is Habitat For Humanity. Such a wonderful place to find supplies for remodeling.

    • Michelle Michelle on Dec 20, 2014
      e @Pamela Golden I have been making regular Saturday trips to the place in hops to find some treasures for the bathroom, no luck as of yet, thanks!

  • Marilyn Carver Marilyn Carver on Dec 20, 2014
    Beadboard on the walls will lighten it up. Also, use rings for the towel hangers to avoid more clutter look, Just a thought.

  • Michelle Michelle on Dec 20, 2014
    looking for added storage a shelf or cabinet, thanks! Yes I was thinking bead board. A new tub surround with shower doors.

  • Franne Franne on Dec 20, 2014
    You might add hooks to the back of the door to hold your towels rather than what you now have. That would clear up some of the clutter. I agree with Pamela Golden - get a new vanity. You might be able to find one with drawers and a cabinet but I've found that they usually run bigger. I have a small bathroom from the 1950's as well. We went with a vanity that was not as deep and had a basin that 'hangs over' it by a few inches. Gave me some storage AND freed up some space! We also put a "topper" cabinet above the toilet that has doors and 3 shelves. Good luck!

    • Michelle Michelle on Dec 20, 2014
      @Franne thanks the previous owners had a cabinet above the toilet but it came out to far and didn't look right with the window next to it, I will look for a smaller vanity

  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Dec 20, 2014
    Can't tell what is above the toilet. But I have cabinets above both of mine. In one house I just put up shelves. You could add shelves all the way around the bathroom and put something decorative up there to draw the eye up not down.Why not paint it a bright color like yellow, aqua or pink. Something really bright to make a pop. I had a lime green one one time that was tiny worked great. Maybe put baskets around sink or even some plants of some kind. The room need color.You can fix the tub go to this site and learn how. Johnnie He is my go to man and BH&G is a great website too. maybe post more photos to help us out too would help from differnet angles.

  • Peggy Rickard Peggy Rickard on Dec 20, 2014
    Finally, a bathroom just like mine. I took down the large towel rack. Added hooks to the back of door for damp towels only. We keep our linens in a hall closed. We used beadboard for half of the walls and added a beautiful moulding across the top of the beadboard. Painted the rest of the walls parisian taupe ( Behr). Added a european vanity and put a small towel ring next to the the sink on the left. Was making built in shelves above the commode but the pluming forced us to make a smaller shelves( decorative) to the right of the mirror. Bought an oval medicine cabinet (Kohler)to replace the old metal cabinet. But, first, we took everything out (except the tub) and put ceramic tile down( neutral), Have a nice window and using white curtains and, of course white trim and crown molding. Replaced the tub with a new model and added a shower and used a shower surround from HD. I purchased a beautiful green shower curtain from Target with different greens, beige and gold and linens to match. Looks great

    • Michelle Michelle on Dec 20, 2014
      @Peggy Rickard thanks sounds beautiful, I know folks have mentioned round rings for towels for some reason I don't like them but the racks on the back of the door sounds good

  • Peggy Rickard Peggy Rickard on Dec 20, 2014
    Changed all faucets to brushed nickel by Moen. This was done over several weeks and on a budget.

  • Jim L Jim L on Dec 20, 2014
    The "bead-board" idea is excellent. However, install it so that the "boards" are horizontal rather than vertical. The makes the room seem larger rather than taller. Please, so not use those horrible rings for your towels! Invest in some really nice brushed nickel ones and spread out your damp towels. The blue color is nice and the white bead-board will look great with it. Find a machine made rug (i.e. inexpensive) rug for the bath. That will bring in some other colors. I would not add glass doors for the shower. There are a "booger" to keep clean! (Personal experience there!) Use a "clear" plastic shower curtain that you can recycle when it gets to "yucky". Good luck and have fun!

  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Dec 21, 2014
    I had a house like that, my solution was to move the bathroom and convert the old one into a pantry/closet. Ended up replumbing the whole house. Turned out really well, and was able to get rid of a lot of problems with the plumbing. The room that I moved it to, had been a porch that someone had enclosed, and had 2 large windows at the back of the house.

    • Michelle Michelle on Dec 21, 2014
      @Adrianne C my house is 735 sq feet, no basement, nice idea but neither the room or space. thanks! for the suggest.

  • Tammy Tammy on Dec 21, 2014
    If there is space above the door coming into the room id put up a shelf and either use baskets for storage or just roll up your towels and such to store and to be out of the way

    • Lynn Lynn on Jan 03, 2015
      @Tammy I have a small bathroom and I would never have thought to put a shelf above the door - that is a terrific idea!

  • Michelle Michelle on Dec 21, 2014
    Thanks everyone! Great input and ideas. Here is what I have decided, today I removed the towel bar you see on the wall. I could not find a towel racks that I like so I had a brilliant idea, I used white curtain rods place 4 on the back of the door evenly spaced. For towels and the bath rugs. I found a sink that is much smaller from signature hardware, cute pedestal sink. I figured the wall surround for around the tub will cost about 400 -500, is it best to go with fiberglass or acrylic?? Instead of bead board I am going to wall paper the wall behind the door. I figure with the window replace, sink , faucets, tub surround and new ceiling fan, about 800 that does include the fee for the general contractor. I can paint the trim and walls. This is a work in progress so will post pictures once done.

  • Michelle Michelle on Dec 21, 2014
    here's the sink and faucets I am getting in a few weeks

  • Peggy Rickard Peggy Rickard on Dec 21, 2014
    I use only one towel ring with a hand towel next to the sink.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 21, 2014
    Would tile be cheaper for your tub surround? Love your new pedestal - best for making small areas appear less cramped even if there is no storage. At some point, you could add a medicine cabinet for storage. Cast iron tubs can be painted as can the floor. However, it is a small space, and it might be cheaper to lay a new piece of linoleum/vinyl. Sometimes the stores have deep discounts on small pieces. Good idea about getting the towels on the back of the door. When you get around to renovating, the door could be turned into a pocket door - great space saver. Then the towel bar (really like it) could go on the closet wall with some art work above. I'd do a simple treatment on the window - mini slats are inexpensive. I'd also tie back the shower curtain so it doesn't close in the room. Have a teensy 1/2 bath on my main floor. Bought a glass shelf for above the toilet.

  • MagnoliaMama MagnoliaMama on Dec 22, 2014
    If you need storage, consider replacing the pedestal sink with one in a vanity cabinet instead. They now make some that don't protrude as far into the room. As long as you leave 6 inches between the cabinet and the toilet, and the door still closes, it would work. And you could store toilet paper and towels inside, plus gain a surface. Run a narrow (4" to 5" deep) shelf across the full width of the room, supported by brackets just high enough to clear the faucets and toilet. Mirror the wall, use a large mirror, or preferably install a large mirrored cabinet, to double the amount of perceived space.

  • 861650 861650 on Dec 22, 2014
    My bathroom is similar to yours. One thing you can do, is add a small shelf right above your sink. I found a glass shelf that is perfect. It is about 16 inches in length and 5 inches wide. I measured and it is about 8 inches above the sink and the mirror is right above that. It may not sound like much but I wouldn't take nothing for it. Great for just decorating too. Last, you may want to put a towel rack at the back of your bathtub.

  • Michelle Michelle on Dec 22, 2014
    I did put a small glass shelf above the current sink we will see how that looks with the smaller sink. I think for storage a shelf or two above the toilet to hold like contact solution and soaps. I do have a linen closet and it is only me in the house. There fore I don't have a ton of towels but nice to have extras in the bathroom. Never thought about painting the outside of the tub possibly even contact paper might do the job too. I did put a curved shower rod up that made a difference. After the new bathtub surround I will tile above the top. Love all these ideas!!! Thank you all!!

    • 861650 861650 on Dec 23, 2014
      @Michelle: You have a great idea about shelves above the commode. You may want to consider something a little different. How about a small to medium size cabinet. I found one that has two shelves and the bottom part had doors that closed in the middle. It had been hand-made and found it at a flea market. Was a little too "country" for me. I painted it to match my decor and decoupaged the doors with a Chinese theme (very minimal). I also changed the "pulls" on the cabinet. Cost little money and I had so much fun creating this. I, too am single and live in a small guest house.

  • Michelle Michelle on Dec 27, 2014
    Thank you for all the input!

  • Lynn Lynn on Jan 03, 2015
    If you find out what tub surround is best (acrylic or fiberglass), please let me know, as I am going to do this for my bath tub area (it is so ugly). You are on the right path with your redo and I wish you good fortune and blessings.

    • See 2 previous
    • Lynn Lynn on Jan 04, 2015
      @Michelle Thanks Michelle - I will check these out. I used to live in Staunton, VA and of course I had to visit Roanoke - it is beautiful there!

  • Boyd Boyd on Jan 09, 2015
    There is space behind your door [where your closet is]. Cut into the wall and frame-out the height and width available, easiest between studs. Make your frame with 4"-6" x 1", add shelves desired. As this would be recessed into the wall the depth of the studs it would and a lot of storage possibilities. You could even go into the closet wall just a few inches to add depth. You would need to 'back it with something. The few inches lost in the bedroom closet would hardly be noticed.

  • Jennifer Lynn Jennifer Lynn on Aug 19, 2015
    Did you get your bathroom done? Would like to see some pictures if so

  • Cheryle Fuller Cheryle Fuller on Aug 22, 2015
    My brothers bath wall was made from 2 x 6 and he opened up behind and above the sink for storage. he built it out about 12" deep and I will make cabinet doors for this out of 3/4" plywood covered with mirror. You can buy the hinges online ( I am using 3 doors). if you can open up the wall at all next to the sink, you can add storage there. Ikea was selling a 14" wide, 8" deep cabinet with a mirror face you could put into the stud bay next to the sink. What I am suggesting is a variety of ways to use the stud bays for extra storage. You would have to move the towel bars under the window or the back of the door

  • Thepoetsmuse Thepoetsmuse on Jun 14, 2017
    Replace your door with either a pocket or barn door. That will help work the feeling of slave space when your inside the room.