Small Shower Ideas Functional & Stylish Shower Designs

Having a small shower can be a challenge when it comes to design. But with some clever ideas and space-saving solutions, you can create a shower that is both highly functional and ultra-stylish. In this blog post, we’ll explore a variety of small shower ideas that maximize functionality while oozing style. From utilizing glass doors and installing a rain showerhead to choosing floor and wall materials that open up the space, you’ll find plenty of tips and tricks for designing the small shower of your dreams.

Choose Glass Shower Doors

One of the best ways to visually open up a small shower space is to install frameless glass shower doors. Glass has a light and airy quality compared to bulky shower curtains or metal-framed doors. Opting for frameless doors gives a seamless look, providing an unobstructed view that makes the shower feel more spacious.

Frameless glass doors are available in clear, frosted, or patterned glass. Clear glass maintains visibility and an open feel. Frosted or patterned glass adds some privacy while still allowing light to penetrate. For a little extra style, etched glass doors with decorative patterns or designs can turn your shower into a work of art.

When selecting glass shower doors for a small space, choose lightweight frames with thin rails and hinges. This minimizes visual clutter. Look for doors that can fold back out of the way or slide open smoothly on discrete runners to maximize every inch when getting in and out of the shower.

Glass is also a practical choice—it’s water-resistant and easy to keep clean with anti-limescale treatments. Investing in frameless glass doors is one of the most effective ways to make a small shower feel more luxe.

Install a Rain Showerhead

A rain showerhead can provide an ultra-luxurious spa-like experience while saving space in a small shower. Traditional showerheads stick out from the wall, consuming precious real estate. Meanwhile, rain showerheads are slim, flat, and mount flush to the ceiling. This makes them ideal for small showers with limited overhead space.

A rain showerhead works by distributing water evenly over a wider surface area. The experience simulates standing in gentle summer rain. Opt for a larger diameter rain showerhead, around 10 inches, to maximize coverage without needing multiple showerheads.

Overhead rain showerheads come in round and square shapes. Square rain showerheads can fit more neatly into a corner. For a contemporary vibe, choose a rain showerhead with a polished chrome finish. Or select an oil-rubbed bronze rain showerhead for a more traditional look.

Install a rain showerhead on its own or pair it with a handheld showerhead on a slide bar. This allows you to switch between overhead and direct water flow. The handheld option is great for rinsing hair or cleaning the shower walls.

Install Shelving for Storage

One downside of a small shower is minimal storage space for shampoo, soap, and other bath essentials. Luckily, it’s easy to carve out customized storage nooks with installed shelving units.

Corner shelves are perfect for tucking into unused areas. Try glass corner shelves to maintain an airier aesthetic. Floating shelves mounted to the wall also provide space for shower necessities without taking up precious floor area.

Get creative with built-in niches and recessed shelving. Tile in shelves directly into the shower walls. Or have shelving constructed into the framing prior to tile installation for a seamless look.

For a built-in dispenser, install a niche with integrated soap, shampoo, and conditioner holders. This keeps bottles neatly contained while making them easily accessible.

Don’t forget about vertical storage above eye-level. Install shelving high on the shower walls to stow larger items that don’t need to be accessed as frequently.

Select Space-Expanding Materials

The materials you choose for shower floors, walls, and niches can make a small space feel expansive or overly cramped. Use these tips when selecting finishes:

  • Floor tile: Choose light, reflective tiles for the shower floor. This makes the bottom portion feel bright and open rather than dark and confining. Mosaics, small tiles, and grid or penny-round patterns also make floors appear larger.
  • Wall tile: Go for rectangular wall tiles rather than squares to elongate the space. Installing tiles vertically creates an illusion of height. Neutral tones keep the shower feeling light.
  • Niche tile: Use the same wall tiles inside niches and shelves. Matching the tile maintains harmony while eliminating visual boundaries.
  • Glass: Incorporate glass into shelves, niches, or tile accents. Glass bricks in walls or floor inserts add lovely light.
  • Metallics: Warm metallics like brass, copper, and bronze open up a small shower. Metallic finishes and hardware give a glam touch.

Employ Creative Layout Solutions

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your shower layout. Moving beyond a basic square or rectangular design can help maximize functionality. Here are some creative small shower layouts to consider:

Corner Shower

Tucking your shower into a corner allows two walls to act as the boundaries. This creates a nice spacious feel. Include a rounded glass door or entryway to soften the corner. Build in shelves and niches throughout for storage.

Curbless Shower

Eliminating the curb and transition between the floor and shower base gives you more usable floor space. The open entryway makes the shower feel connected to the room. Ensure proper drainage so water doesn’t end up all over the bathroom floor.

Neo-Angle Shower

A neo-angle shower has a cut-off corner that adds angles and dimension. The slanted wall creates more space inside. Include glass doors across the front for an airy, modern aesthetic.

Half Walls

Incorporate a half wall or divider on one side of the shower. This provides privacy while opening up the rest of the space. The interior wall can house recessed shelving.

Optimize the Shower Head Location

Strategically placing the shower head can make all the difference in a small shower. Avoid mounting it directly over the entryway. This makes it difficult to access without an unwanted blast of water in the face.

Instead, position the shower head along a side or back wall. Place it toward an interior corner if using a neo-angle design. The shower head location depends on factors like the entry point and your height. But in general, installing it along a wall gives you more usable interior space.

Make sure to position the shower head low enough for your height and preferred water angle. This may require lowering it several inches from a standard height. Positioning it thoughtfully from the outset beats contorting to avoid the water spray.

Add Stylish Seating

Seating in a shower isn’t just for accessibility purposes. A thoughtfully styled shower bench or niche can also be a boon for small shower designs. This provides a place to set supplies, rest while shaving legs, or sit to linger under the warm spray.

Freestanding shower benches range from sleek modern designs to attractive wood options. Or, build in a tiled bench for a seamless look. Use mosaic tiles or patterns to embellish the seat.

For more space-saving options, install a corner seat, niche, or recessed shelf at the right height to double as seating. Waterproof shower chairs that fold up when not in use are also great space-savers.

Seating gives you options to sit rather than stand in a cramped space. The right benches and niches can also complement your shower’s style.

Make It Multi-Functional

Embrace multi-functionality to make the most of every square inch. For instance, look for showerheads with built-in shelving or speakers. Or choose a combo showerhead system with different settings—you can install wall-mount body sprays for a spa experience in a tight footprint.

Handheld showerheads do double duty for drenching and cleaning. For easy storage, mount handheld showerheads on slide bars or brackets. Adjustable slide bars allow you to change the height as needed.

Turn niches and shelving into multi-tasking storage. Use waterproof bins and organizers to corral all those bottles while maximizing space. Suction-cup caddies provide spots to stash razors and loofahs.

With some clever solutions, you can indulge in luxurious features even in a small shower. The key is seeking out space-saving designs that let you make the most of a petite footprint.

Prioritize Natural Lighting

Few things open up a small shower like ample natural light. When designing your shower, look for ways to usher in light from adjoining spaces.

Strategically place windows and skylights to brighten up the shower interior. If your shower backs up to an exterior wall, incorporate a window above eye level for privacy along with light.

For interior showers, utilize transom windows above the door, glass block walls, or glass-paneled doors to borrow light from the bathroom. Cut into walls to add small windows into the shower area if possible.

The tile you choose can also help reflect and diffuse natural light. Go for glossy tiles rather than matte to open up a small space. Warm white tones prevent a cave-like feeling.

When natural light isn’t feasible, install recessed lighting around the shower and interior sconces or a waterproof light in the ceiling. This casts a bright, welcoming glow.

Include Lovely Decor Touches

A final tip for embellishing a small shower is to dress it up with lovely decorative accents. Add whimsical tile patterns, framed wall art, or fresh flowers for a spa-like vibe. Here are some pretty touches to try:

  • Floral arrangements or a succulent garden in wall niches
  • Woven baskets to hold bath supplies
  • Framed prints, photos, or artful wall mirrors
  • Decorative tile accents, borders, or mosaics
  • Vintage hardware like knobs, spouts, or hooks
  • Fun patterned vinyl stickers for the floor and walls
  • Curtains, valances, or drapes to soften tile

When it comes to decor, make the most of what you can fit. A tiny tile accent or art print can make a world of difference. Focus any ornamentation up high on walls or ceilings so the floor and entryway remain uncluttered.

By mixing stylish form and clever function, you can create a small shower that feels luxurious. Use glass doors, a rain showerhead, smart storage, space-expanding materials and layouts, multi-functional features, and beautiful decorative touches to design the fabulous shower of your dreams, even in a petite footprint. Don’t let size constraints discourage you from indulging in a shower you’ll adore. With strategic planning and chic design choices, small showers can feel grand.

Small Shower Ideas Functional & Stylish Shower Designs: FAQs

Still have questions about designing a stylish, functional small shower? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How small is too small for a shower?

Showers can be quite tiny and still highly usable. However, for standard functionality, aim for at least 32 inches wide by 36 inches deep. A more comfortable size is 36×36 inches or larger. Measure carefully during planning to ensure you can fit comfortably.

What type of shower door works best for small showers?

Frameless glass shower doors, either sliding or hinged, are ideal for small showers. Frameless doors take up very little visual space, allowing you to capitalize on every inch. Go for clear glass to maintain an airy vibe.

Should I get a rain showerhead for my small shower?

Yes—a rain showerhead is a great choice. Its slim, streamlined shape doesn’t take up much overhead space. Plus, the all-encompassing water flow feels indulgent in a tight space. Select a 10-inch diameter rain showerhead for ample coverage without multiple heads.

How can I add storage to my small shower?

Built-in shelving, corner shelves, recessed niches, and vertical storage space are all great for stashing necessities in a small shower. Maintain an open feel by choosing glass shelf materials. Also utilize multi-functional shelves that serve as soap dispensers or seating.

What kinds of tiles make a small shower seem bigger?

Choose reflective, light-colored tiles for the shower floor. Go for rectangular wall tiles installed vertically. Tiny mosaics, grid patterns, and glass accents also give the illusion of more space. Match niche tiles to wall tiles.

Where should the shower head go in a small shower?

Avoid placing the shower head directly over the entryway if possible. Instead, mount it along a side or back wall toward an interior corner. Position it low enough to easily direct water flow. Check the height during use before permanently setting it.

How do I make my small shower stylish?

Add seating, storage, spa-like showerheads, and glass doors for style and function. Use colorful tile patterns and accents, framed art, greenery, and other decor details. Bring in natural light through windows and skylights. Warm metallics and hardware also give a luxe look.


While small showers can pose design challenges, they also provide opportunities to get creative. Applying space-saving layouts and multipurpose features allows you to make the most of a tiny footprint. Choosing the right materials and finishes opens up and brightens the space. Decadent touches like rain showerheads, artful tile, and glass doors lend a spa-like ambiance. Use these tips and tricks to craft the functional, fabulous small shower of your dreams.