ABM Studio: The Tiny Bathroom (Complete!)

Crazy before:after makeover for an itty bitty bathroom!Today I'm so excited to share our first completed room in our new space. It's not a coincidence that it's the smallest room in the house! When we first bought this house, we were kinda scratching our heads over what to do with this tiny bathroom. It's located under a stairway and comparable in size to an airplane bathroom. I will say, though, we had SO much fun working on this space. It was a shocker how much it turned around. 

For this post we're teaming up with Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day to share our before & after bathroom makeover. Needless to say, this was a pretty easy fit for us. It's pretty much the only hand soap we ever have in the house. You can see those pretty little bottles making guest appearances in both my kitchen and the studio kitchen.

So you want to see our finished space? 

But first, a walk down memory lane. Here's the bathroom before

Tiny bathroom BEFORETiny bathroom BEFORETiny bathroom BEFORETiny bathroom BEFORENeedless to say, it wasn't love at first sight. 

The before room had fake plastic tile, a seashell border, a water damaged ceiling and an unsecured linoleum floor. The pipe (hidden here with some fake ivy leaves) was something we planned to paint and live with but found out with our contractor that it was just as easy to relocate inside the wall (yay!). 

We kept the world's tiniest sink because 1) it's sorta cute, and 2) we couldn't find another sink that small. It's definitely ONLY for washing hands and nothing else, but that's cool. 

We ended up having to rebuild a lot of this room because the water damage was much worse than our inspector had even caught. When the floors were going back in (yepβ€”they were missing for about a week!), our contractor, Mike, had the idea to switch up the placement of the toilet. I'm so glad he did because I think that choice, along with moving the pipe, optimized this little space as much as possible. 

Yellow barn doorHere's the view from inside the kitchen. We replaced a regular door that swung out into the kitchen (and dining room to the right) with a sliding barn door. It was a functional decision because there really was no space for a swinging door, but I also love the design solution that this door offered. It's such a fun pop of color in both the kitchen and bathroom. 

White penny tileWe chose white penny tile with white grout for the walls and black hexagon tile with gray grout for the floor. We debated on continuing the wood from the kitchen into this bathroom but in the end chose tile because it's just more "bathroom-y." I love the contrast. 

Crazy before:after makeover for an itty bitty bathroom! Crazy before:after makeover for an itty bitty bathroom!  Recently we gave the room a few finishing touches with a subtle hand-printed design on the wall and some easy no-sew curtains. The mirror is from West Elm (on sale now). 

We wanted to keep it fresh, airy, and simple. 

Crazy before:after makeover for an itty bitty bathroom!      Crazy before:after makeover for an itty bitty bathroom!      Crazy before:after makeover for an itty bitty bathroom!      Crazy before:after makeover for an itty bitty bathroom!      Details are so important. In smaller spaces they can make or break a design. We found these pretty modern planters from Light + Ladder on Etsy. It's funny that such a simple little decoration could be the inspiration behind the entire room, but they most definitely were. 

As for colors, we kept it neutral and bright with splashes of sunny yellow and deep turquoise. I've used these colors in so many rooms for so long that I think I've actually tricked myself into believing they are neutrals too! 

Crazy before:after makeover for an itty bitty bathroom!    Thanks for taking a peek at our bathroom project! I'm sure we will make small changes along the way, but it feels great to call it complete. Cheers to our first completed room! (umm, yes, I'm cheers-ing a bathroomβ€”is that gross? Nah. It's totally normal.)

This project was a great kickstart for us. We're nearly finished with the kitchen, dining room, and office in the studio as well. Stay tuned for more room tours (and video tours!) coming your way soon. xo! Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos Edited with Piper from The Signature Collection.

  • Oh my, I can’t believe how much this tiny room have changed, and how incredibly cool it looks (seems like I’m excited for your tiny bathroom as well :P). I love love the tiles; both the penny tiles and the hexagon ones look great! I also like that you kept the sink and lamp πŸ™‚ Congratulations on your first finished room!

    xo
    Camilla
    http://kapteinmoe.blogspot.no/

  • I’m obsessed and didn’t even THINK to do a barn door for a tiny bathroom! Do you mind sharing where you found the door?

    Many thanks,
    Kensley
    The Shaded Acorn

  • Nicely done. When we bought our house the realtor had in sports and I think the bank did to. We are poor and figured that was good enough. That and my husband’s family has the belief that his uncle has the ability to do these random tasks and he gave the okay too. We’ll they were all wrong. After 3 years we have officially declared our house a money pit. The biggest problem we had though is flying squirrels living in the ‘attic’. Which is one thing the inspection gave us the thumbs up on, critter free. We soon realized that was false. After years of trying to get rid of them we finally did last fall. It’s obvious they have lived there for a very long time and our attic is destroyed. Pay your own inspector people! We may of saved ourselves a lot of grief.

  • Did it cost much/take long to shift the toilet? We have a similar space and I’d love to move our toilet ever so slightly just as you did. Looks great by the way! Can’t wait to see the rest of the house.

  • I love how much you did with such a small space! The “before”…yikes! Cheers to you guys for being able to see how much potential it had, it would’ve scared me away for sure. I LOVE how bright and airy you’ve made it! And that bright yellow door…*swoooon*

    xoxo Mandy
    http://mandyleighblog.com

  • Is there storage? I also have a tiny bathroom and I’m struggling with where to put all my stuff in a tasteful way.

  • I am always so impressed with your amazing transformations and this is no exception! Who new such an, um…depressing space could turn out so adorable and airy feeling? You guys did! You always have a fabulous vision and never disappoint! I love the materials and colors….Great job! Keep ’em coming!

  • ABM team, this is INCREDIBLE! What a seriously fresh makeover! You guys are so inventive – the room doesn’t look anywhere near as tiny as you describe it. That door and the shifting of the pipe and toilet are all genius. We have a similar airplane sized bathroom that I’d love to give a fresh look. Any chance you’d mind sharing your budget for these overhauls?

  • I’m loving the finished look of this bathroom! I especially love the tile, and the yellow door. Although, I started thinking, is the barn door soundproof enough for a bathroom? People need their privacy in such a place (lol). It’s so interesting to see how different standards are in different regions. For example, this would be considered a normal sized bathroom in Estonia. Most of the bathrooms built in the Soviet era were this small or even smaller. For instance, my toilet fits only the toilet seat and nothing else. We do have a separate bathroom for the shower and sink, but I mean, that’s what we call tiny. Funny, huh!

  • So. Much. Better.
    Well done! My bathroom opens with a slide door as well, unfortunately it’s all white and boring, I love this one a lot.
    The plants are so nice and the fresh flowers are too cute.

  • I’m never that impressed with bathroom renos, but I truly love this. The colour choices, the muted wall design, the details. All of it. It’s perfect.

  • I love the idea of sliding barn doors in a house. They’re just so fun and it’s a great way to give color to a small room without overwhelming it.

  • This is so, so lovely! And it totally gives me hope (+ ideas!) for the tiny bathroom in the house we are planning to inherit after we marry. Awesome job!

  • It didn’t really cost us anything additional since we were already in the process of changing out the tile on the walls and floor. If we hadn’t been doing that at the same time then there certainly would have been additional cost, as part of the wall and flooring would need to be re-done. If you have a contractor (or handy-man) you work with I’d seek out a quote. You might be surprised. I usually am.

    -Emma

  • Sometimes larger houses here in our part of the midwest (USA) have a small room that only fits the toilet set, while the rest of the bathroom (sink, shower, etc.) is in the outer portion of the bathroom. It does offer some additional privacy, so I can see the appeal. This bathroom was an addition to the house, as was the kitchen, so I believe the owners who chose to add it probably just had to work with whatever space they could (under the stairs) and this is how it turned out. We like it, so I’m glad they added it. πŸ™‚

    -Emma

  • Just wondering if you can fill me on where you got the track for the sliding door? We are building one with a vintage door in out master bedroom, but the only tracks for them to slide on that we can find are bulky! Any insight is great thanks!!

  • Looks so good! Amazing transformation! That pipe going into the wall makes a huge difference! We are renting and I cannot WAIT to get back into my own house and make it alllll mine πŸ™‚

  • Nice job! The color scheme is really great and the walls are to die for.. I *thought* I remembered seeing that floor with a big tile heart in it. Am I imagining that or is it in a different room, because it seemed like a really great idea!

    -Kelcey
    hellokelcey.blogspot.com

  • I’d like to know more about your ceiling light. I have one very similar in our bathroom, it’s the original one from when the house was built in the 1950s. I hated it when we first moved in but never got round to changing it. Eight years later and I love it, so please I didn’t get rid. Goes to show you how much your tastes can change. The whole bathroom looks fantastic y the way.

  • The tile is such a dream!
    I love that it’s charming yet modern.. you guys always do an amazing job in renos!

  • Oh my goodness! That is so so cute and colorful! You guys did an amazing job of transforming it! πŸ™‚

  • Beautifully updated! And not the tiniest sink…I used to work for Carnival Cruise Lines and you could shave a leg, brush a tooth, and do your business all in one TINY cramped space. I love those planters! Thinking I might need to add some to our Hawaiian hale;)

  • So lovely. Seeing your finished product is making me super anxious and excited to get started gutting my own disaster of a bathroom. (with a poorly installed fiberglass shower stall. Eek!) this was just the inspiration I need to get started with a plan of action.

  • Looks amazing!!! Did you consider building some sort of pedestal or cabinet under the sink to conceal the plumbing? I think the room looks perfect and totally finished except that *one* thing.

  • I love this bathroom so much! I was starting to look for black hex tiles for our tiny bathroom and was wondering where you sourced yours? Great job, it really is fantastic πŸ™‚

  • All of your reveals are making me want to buy a house to renovate. I was curious what all you could do to such a tiny room like this bathroom, but that is a gorgeous transformation! I really love the hanging plants and the yellow door.

  • I love this little bathroom — so simple and cute!

    Do you guys plan to do anything to cover up those pipes under the sink, or do you like the industrial-type and maybe airy feel that they bring? Just wondering.

  • Adorable! I love the crisp white with the pops of color, it’s amazing. I’ve been trying to redecorate out powder room as well, and I’m having the craziest difficult time choosing colors to go with the purple walls! I really wish we have a beautiful white theme like this now.

  • Such a beautiful project. I love the pop of color the door brings to the bathroom.

  • It’s really amazing how you transformed that teeny tiny space! It turned out beautiful and I love the bright and functional door solution and the penny tile!

  • this bathroom looks incredible! you guys have amazing vision, and I love how you see the potential in older rooms. will you do a post on the sliding barn door? I’d love to learn more about that!

    http://heyprettything.com

  • Ii love the change!! as a interior designer and architect I feel so inspire with this project of yours!! so simple but amazing!!
    Congratulations for all your success and I can not see my day without visit your blog!!

    http://top4addictions.com/

    All my best for you
    cheers from Vietnam!!

    Milee

  • Hey im a french reader and i’m absolutely in love with your taste in deco and lifestyle.
    ItΒ΄s always a pleasure to read your articles because everything is lovely here and itΒ΄s inspiring me a lot for my future flat!
    Wish you the best!
    Lili from France

  • I love this space, the bright yellow door beautiful! That tiny sink very contemporary 60’s looking, although what happened to the stainless steel legs?

    Great idea to move the pipe we also had that problem in one of our bathrooms upstairs but the pipe couldn’t be moved outside because it also went through the kitchen into the floor…so we removed a wall between the bathroom and a bedroom, then built a new wall..giving us added space in the bathroom but also disguising the pipe! All in all a great job guys!

  • I love the constellation design on the walls! You surely have succeeded in making this tiny bathroom light and airy!

  • Wow – when I scrolled down to that pic of the yellow barn door, my jaw just dropped! Absolutely off-the-charts awesome! Such a happy exclamation mark of colour. And I love the stamped wall pattern as well – fantastic job!

  • So cute! I love the sliding barn door idea for our small bathroom, would you be willing to share any details on where you found it and how easy/difficult installation was? Thanks!

  • I love your tile choices! They are modern, but also fit the time period of the house so well!

  • Well done!
    I absolutely love the door choice…. Smart use of space and so unique!!

  • The bathroom looks amazing! I LOVE that sliding barn door. Such pretty details, too. You guys are welcome to help makeover my home anytime πŸ˜‰

  • YES! YES! YES! I’m so happy you did a “tiny bathroom” makeover. I’m having a dilemma in my new house (well, new to me πŸ˜‰ )as well. I really want to go with penny tile on the walls or subway tiles but was worried about a black floor in such a small space. Don’t want it to look dingy. Now that I saw what you did in the finished space I’m inspired to take the plunge!

  • Wow! Turned out really good! The room almost looks a bit bigger now πŸ™‚ Also like the idea with the yellow door πŸ˜‰

  • I have the same sink in my bathroom, but my bathroom is definitely 1/4 the size of yours so when you refer to it as tiny it makes me chuckle.

  • Hi ABM team!, I want to ask you, where do you get those little baskets? The one with the towels. Thank you! β™₯

  • Elsie, where did you guys source the floor tiles from? I’m getting ready to re-do a bathroom that’s a similar size and I love your floor choice! Was it expensive?

    It’s just the happiest little room, wonderfully done!

  • [email protected]

    Looks great! Quick question – what types are plants are those? Looks like they won’t be getting any direct sunlight, and since my apartment bathroom doesn’t have windows, I’m always on the look out for plants that don’t require much light.
    Thanks! πŸ™‚ Great job ladies (and gents now I suppose!)!

  • Love the color choices! Please share with me the paint color on the bathroom wall. Thank you.