6 Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas to Master a Nautical Look
Featuring plenty of shiplap and the perfect white paint!
Outfitting a small bathroom can be tricky. Along with finding ways to incorporate functional furnishings and decor items into a pint-sized space, you also have the added task of keeping things streamlined and stylish.
Victoria Ford, the DIY extraordinaire behind the Prepford Wife knows all about the struggles of upgrading a petite space. Inside her family’s Cape Cod saltbox-style home, she transformed a small guest bathroom with outdated fixtures into a colorful, coastal-inspired kids’ bathroom without sacrificing an inch of style. We asked her for advice on how to turn an awkward guest bathroom into a sophisticated yet kid-friendly space. See her best small bathroom remodel ideas ahead.
1. Get rid of big, impractical furnishings.
If your bathroom is jam-packed with bulky, old-school fixtures—think: a retro sink, vanity, or wall mirror—Victoria says they’ve got to go. “Our primary objectives were to open up and brighten this dated space,” she explains. “Much of the floor's real estate was taken up by a large vanity, so we needed to clear that out to visually lighten the space.”
2. Consider striped flooring.
Your bathroom floors are brimming with design opportunity, it just takes the right tile. When considering small bathroom remodel ideas, this is an easy way to infuse personality without taking up valuable space. “We knew we wanted to bring an element of fun into the space and I've never met a stripe I didn't like so once I saw these Capri Blue-colored ceramic tiles, it felt like the obvious choice,” she explains. “The stripe leading up to the sink from the tub, elongates the room and draws your attention to the sink.”
3. Pick a crisp white paint palette.
Nothing lightens and brightens a cramped space like a crisp coat of white paint, which is why Victoria selected Fresh Kicks for the kid’s bathroom. “I love the way this bright white instantly makes the space feel fresh, open and light,” she explains. “The best thing about Fresh Kicks is that it pairs well with any colors, so I started with it and picked other colors around it.”
4. For an easy small bathroom remodel idea, update a vintage sink.
Never underestimate the impact of a revamped vintage sink in a nautical-style bathroom. “This sink, was the ultimate Craigslist find,” Victoria says. “I like that the floating style sink allows you to store things under it which will be particularly handy for stools for kiddos and a laundry basket.” She gave the dated sink a quick facelift by painting it soft, sea-inspired blue-green that still supplies the look of an antique patina.
5. Choose sink and shower fixtures with the same finish.
To create consistency in a small bathroom, Victoria suggests choosing sink and shower fixtures with the same finish. “I realized that the material under the chrome finish of the sink was solid brass and sent all of the sink fixtures off to a brass plater,” she says. “The plater stripped them of the chrome finish and sealed them with wax and not lacquer so the brass would patina over time.” To ensure all the fixtures in the bathroom were cohesive, she installed a new showerhead to complete the look.
6. Be strategic about decor.
Once you’ve forged a nautical backdrop for your bathroom with striped floors, vintage fixtures, and a crisp white paint palette, Victoria says you can infuse more coastal charm into the space with decor items. “We wanted the room to feel coastal polished, but not too polished that it was precious,” she explains. “By incorporating accessories such as monogrammed towels, solid wood stools, and a vintage first aid kit we found on Facebook Marketplace, we were able to create a space that felt elevated but super casual at the same time.”