Space-saving ideas for smaller bathrooms | by Antonia Solari
Whether it’s because they are second bathrooms created by repurposing or dividing up an existing room or simply because the spaces in modern apartments are always a little tight, there’s no denying the fact that the bathrooms in today’s homes tend to be on the small side. So much so in fact that companies are now offering space-saving versions of their sanitary fixtures and bathroom furnishings that ensure the maximum functionality, design and style in even the tiniest of bathrooms.
Just like their larger counterparts, products developed specifically for smaller bathrooms also come in a wide range of colours and finishes – whether matt or smooth – while adopting innovative technological solutions.
Examples include easy-to-clean rimless WCs equipped with specially designed flush systems and hinges that facilitate the opening and closing of shower cubicle doors and toilet seats. Or taps that come in special small-size versions with internal geometries designed to save crucial millimetres, coordinated with compact yet fully functional handbasins. The furniture units themselves focus on small thicknesses and interlocking volumes. By using cutting-edge materials for the structures and countertops and designing the geometries in such a way as to incorporate the maximum possible number of functions, producers have come up with solutions that pack drawers, washbasins, mirrors and lighting into a space of just 50 cm.
Once the most suitable space-saving solutions have been chosen – which in the majority of cases means the mini versions of each collection – the final result will depend on decisions dictated purely by interior design criteria. Glossy paint or tiles are preferable for the walls as they reflect light and make for a bright, vibrant and harmonious ambience, while wall hung solutions help to create a sense of airiness. Pale colours generate an illusion of large open spaces. In general, it is always best to focus on simplicity. The golden rule here is to avoid excessive decoration and to keep the number of elements present in the bathroom to a minimum: simplicity is key to a harmonious and welcoming living space.
Architect Marco Olivo offers the following advice: “While there’s no single recipe for designing a small bathroom successfully, there are a few tricks we can all use to get the most out of a small space. These include choosing space-saving solutions such as smaller sanitary fixtures and shallow shelving and vanity units, and making full use of vertical space. Arranging the elements intelligently not only makes the bathroom more functional but also makes it look bigger. Another useful tip is to transform apparent defects such as niches and irregular walls into features such as storage containers or focal points. In this case a touch of creativity certainly helps.”
01. The Forty3 collection from Ceramica Globo consists of washbasins, WCs and bidets along with the furnishing units, which are likewise designed in a reduced-size version suitable for small bathrooms. The series comes in 14 colours as well as classic white. The wall-hung flush-mounted WC measures 36×43 cm.
02. Connect Space from Ideal Standard is a series developed with intelligent use of space in mind and includes small-size versions specially designed for tight spaces. In this case the sanitary fixtures are up to 6 cm smaller than the standard sizes and are available in free-standing or wall-hung versions.
03. Mini Link from Ceramica Flaminia is the wall-hung version of the Link series. It is smaller in size and has a steel base (polished or satin-finished) that enables it to be mounted as a countertop solution with the waste outlet either on the ground or on the wall. It comes in five colours and a glossy or matt ceramic surface.
04. The Acanto series from Geberit stands out for its technology and design. Despite their small size, the bidets and WCs (wall-hung and free-standing) are brimming with innovative features. The WCs are rimless and equipped with quick-release hinges to allow the seat to be removed quickly for ease of cleaning. The rimless wall-hung WC measures 35x51x41 cm.
05. Form from Ideagroup, a collection of floor-standing or wall-hung cabinets, comes in 41 matt lacquered, 41 gloss lacquered, 41 soft touch lacquered and two polymeric wood finishes. The wall-hung vanity unit has a depth of 28 cm and a width of 45 or 60 cm.
06. As part of its space-saving solutions, Arbi Arredobagno presents the Materia Vip 03 composition. It measures 85.6×50.5 cm and consists of a washstand base with green velvet lacquered Comodoro frame combined with a glossy white lacquered front and a Fenix vanity top with Seed 45 ceramic countertop washbasin. The Light mirror with LED On spotlight provides the finishing touch.
07. The Agile collection from Simas includes a small size 40×20 cm wall-hung handbasin. It has a minimalist design and is available in glossy black and white and 11 other colours with matt finishes. The wastes are also made of matching coloured ceramic.
08. The Nanotech line designed by Phicubo Design for Rubinetterie Treemme features a waterfall spout with front outlet, a solution that has allowed the size of the mixer tap to be reduced to a minimum. It is available for washbasins, bidets, bathtubs and showers.
09. The TimeAster tap collection from Rubinetterie Stella is inspired by the world of watchmaking and includes dial-shaped handles. Available in two sizes (52 mm and 65 mm in diameter) to adapt to the size of the sanitary fixtures.
10. Gallery 3000 from Duka is a collection of shower enclosures available in a variety of sizes and designed to guarantee ergonomics and functionality. The double-acting hinges allow for simple and adjustable inward/outward opening; the handles ensure a safe and ergonomic grip even with wet hands; the anti-flood profiles are more durable than ever.
11. The corner shower enclosure in the Quattro range from Box Docce 2B is available in a black version. The simplicity of styling and compact dimensions make this model suitable for even the smallest bathrooms.
Other collections of Italian sanitaryware can be seen in the Products Gallery.