I love flipping through the pages of design magazines. They’re full of beautiful, perfectly designed bathrooms. The question is who actually lives in a home with those kinds of bathrooms?

The images show big bathrooms loaded with features, like two sinks, steam shower, whirlpool tub, and spa-style massage table. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never lived in a home that could support a bathroom large enough to hold all those wonderful elements … even if I wanted to knock down a few walls.

Most of us live in homes equipped with awkward spaces. My home was built in 1952. I seriously have to wonder some times what the builders were thinking when they made the upstairs hallway huge, while an average-sized person can barely squeeze into the bathroom!

So, for those of us with strangely-designed bathrooms, I thought I’d offer a collection of unique layouts. Whether or not you’re in the mood to renovate, the fact that there are different ways of conceptualizing awkward spaces will make you feel better about your bathroom.

Go for color

You already have a small or strangely-shaped bathroom. Why not go all out and paint it in a unique color? Forget all you’ve heard about the value of neutrality. Instead, let your personality shine through.

Photo: housebeautiful.com

Photo: housebeautiful.com

Re-think the tub/shower combo

If your space is large enough, you can probably get away with installing a separate bathtub and shower. If not, the common way of dealing with both of those fixtures is to smush them together into one bathtub-shower unit. In some cases, homeowners opt to remove the bathtub entirely in favor of the more useful shower. What if you could change the layout in such a way that you could have both bathtub and shower in a small space?

Photo: ovnis.co

Photo: ovnis.co

The opposite rules

Whether or not you have a small bathroom, have you thought about turning the typical layout on its head? If they had to choose, most people would keep the shower and lose the bathtub. But, why not go the other way? Go overboard with the bathtub design while including the shower, too!

Photo: cheapweddingideas.com

Photo: cheapweddingideas.com

Which layout is your favorite?




We all take water for granted, especially in the bathroom. With its toilet, sink, bathtub and shower, the bathroom is the one room in our homes where the most water is used. Every time we run the tap or flush the toilet, it’s not just water going down the drain. It’s money. So, how do we help the environment and our bank accounts stay happy and healthy? The key is to save water in as many different ways as possible.

Here are just a few water-saving tips:

The Shower

  • Switch to a steam shower. A steam shower conserves water by simply using less of it. Steam leaves you feeling clean and refreshed. When you need water to wash your hair, you can easily switch from the steam function to the water function.
  • You can also place a bucket underneath the spray. It will catch the water before it goes down the drain. Once you’re done your shower, you can use that water to water plants, flush the toilet, or for cleaning around your home.
  • Consider switching the showerhead to a low-flow style.
  • Take shorter showers. If you want to relax, install a steam shower. You’ll just need 10 minutes to feel refreshed and relaxed.

The Sink

  • Turn off the flow of water while you’re brushing your teeth.
  • Low-flow faucets will restrict the amount of water that goes down the drain.

The Toilet

  • Low-flow toilets restrict the amount of water that’s used to fill the bowl. Consider that every time you flush the toilet, up to 7 gallons of water is sent down the drain!
  • Place a plastic bottle filled with water in the toilet tank. It will trick the mechanism into thinking that the tank is full of water. You’ll flush less water down the drain because there’s less water going into the tank.
  • Don’t use the toilet as a pseudo garbage can. Tissues and other types of bathroom waste shouldn’t be flushed.

Do you have any tips of your own to add? Let us know how you save water in your own home.



Regardless of whether or not your bathroom is large or small, layout is always key. Sometimes, we can convince ourselves that the best bathrooms are those that exist in large spaces. Sure, roominess is always good. But, even very small spaces can house great bathrooms. It’s all in how each piece is placed.

Keep it private

Both large and small bathrooms can support a wall between the toilet and the rest of the bathroom. Better yet, a steam shower unit and toilet can be placed beside each other and then be closed off by a wall and door. The sink and vanity can sit on the other side of that wall and door.

The moveable vanity

Ok, not really moveable. What I’m getting at is the idea that you don’t necessarily have to put a vanity in the bathroom. Figure out how you use the bathroom. Does one person need the sink while the other person applies make-up? If only one person requires the bathroom, then consider placing the vanity outside the bathroom door or even in a bedroom.

To bathe or not

Do you really need that bathtub? If you just love your steam shower, then consider having the tub removed. That’s extra space that can serve as storage or a place for a vanity.

The L-shape

The best bathroom layout is probably the L-shape. This shape requires that all the wet areas – the shower, tub, and sink – line up against two adjacent walls. This layout ensures that all plumbing is grouped conveniently in one general area.

What layout works best for you?