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A small bathroom can be a major dilemma, especially for families or for anyone who regularly accommodates guests. But making more space in a small bathroom can be like fitting a puzzle together; it takes an eye for design, a little savvy and being open to some outside help.

From bath designers and solution-seeking parents, here are seven ideas for getting maximum use out of small bathroom space:

  • Redirect the door. A door swinging into a small bathroom makes things seem even tighter. Reposition the door to swing outward or, if that’s not feasible, try a sliding pocket door.
  • Make the most of under-sink storage. If there is no vanity under the sink, install one. If there is one, chances are it’s a wasteful cavern. Invest in portable, under-sink organizers, available at most hardware or big-box stores, that provide tiered storage bins you can tuck into the vanity to hold bath toys, grooming supplies, cleaning supplies and more.
  • Install a countertop extension. Expanding the vanity countertop with a banjo-style extension that goes over the toilet provides extra space for guest towels, aerosol containers, tissue boxes, cosmetics and more. If that’s not feasible, try hanging a couple of basket shelves on the wall next to the sink.
  • Capitalize on shelving. Moving the towel bar to behind the door leaves more room on the wall next to the shower for a storage cabinet or shelving. Maximize storage by rolling small towels to fit into small cabinet cubbies.
  • Keep paper goods in plain sight. Stack toilet paper rolls on an attractive vertical stand tucked in a corner next to the toilet.  
  • Use accessories to your advantage. As space allows, use attractive baskets, bowls, designer hooks and boxes to store a wide variety of bath items.
  • Trick the eye. A large, well-placed mirror reflects light and adds depth. Give it double duty by positioning it over the sink so that two people can use it at the same time.