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My top tips for designing a small windowless shower room you will love

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Finished...just a few plants needed.

This week, I am excited to take you on a journey through the transformation of our en-suite bathroom. It was the first room to be renovated in our home after we moved in during February 2020. The actual building work started in April 2021. By this time, our need for a functional shower had become almost desperate. Picture this: a tiny bath, barely accommodating the needs of our family of four during our morning routines, and a feeble shower that barely qualified as a trickle. The space was in dire need of a makeover. The dated pink tiles and sanitaryware were a far cry from my husband's taste!

Before photo - very 80s! I like pink, but...

Designing a small, windowless shower room presented its own set of challenges. Yet, with the right techniques and a dash of creativity, we managed to transform this compact space into a stylish, practical, and distinctive oasis. In this blog post, I will share with you my insights and top tips for designing a small, windowless shower room that you'll absolutely love.

1. Consider Your Target Audience

Before beginning the design process, it's essential to think about who will be using the space. In our case, it was just my husband and me, and we aimed for a hotel chic atmosphere. Your preferences might differ, and you could be leaning towards a bold and bright family bathroom. Define the mood you want to create before making any design decisions. Look on Pinterest and in magazines, and put together a mood board of the spaces you love and that resonate with you. You will begin to see a common theme emerging.

Create a mood board to help visualise the different elements

2. Creative Lighting

Effective lighting is crucial in a small, windowless shower room. Consider a layered lighting approach, including downlights for general illumination, task lighting for activities like shaving or makeup application, and wall lights to add warmth. Properly placed lighting can make the space feel more inviting and visually expand it.

3. Use Mirrors to Reflect Light

Mirrors are a small space's best friend, especially when there are no windows. Place a large mirror above the sink or vanity to reflect light and give the illusion of a bigger, brighter room. We chose a Roper Rhodes Illuminated Round Mirror with de-mister.

4. Choose a Wall-Hung Vanity and Toilet

When designing for a small space it is best to keep as much off the floor as possible. To create an illusion of more floor space, go for wall-hung fixtures. Wall-mounted vanities and toilets not only look sleek but also make cleaning a breeze. They open up the floor area and give your shower room an airy feel. We went for a grey-toned vanity to match the overall hotel chic aesthetic.

5. Add a Wow Factor with Tiles

To introduce personality to your shower room, opt for eye-catching tiles. I always like to have something in the room that makes you go 'Wow'. I chose contemporary patterned tiles with an Art Deco flair from Original Style. These were a bit more expensive, so we used them on just one accent wall, strategically placed to make a strong visual impact. Be selective about where you add patterns and colours to avoid overwhelming the room - perhaps on an accent wall in the shower, on the floor or as an eye-catching splashback. To reflect more light around the room, you could also opt for glossy tiles.

Create a statement with a contrasting splashback

Create an accent wall with patterned tiles

6. Tile Extensively

Due to the humidity in a windowless shower room, it's wise to tile as much of the room as possible. This will not only protect your walls but also create a more cohesive and visually appealing space.

7. Utilise Vertical Space

Effective storage is essential in a small shower room. Opt for compact, wall-mounted cabinets, open shelves and hooks. Utilise every inch of available space to keep your essentials organised, so the room remains clutter-free.

8. Create a Shower Niche

When we renovated our shower room, I asked the builder to incorporate a niche. There's nothing more annoying (or terrifying in the middle of the night) than those shelves with suction pads that are forever falling off the walls. Maximise the shower area with a built-in niche for shampoos, soaps, and other bath products. This removes the need for external storage and adds a stylish touch to your shower room.

Easy access to shower controls and useful shower niche

9. Sliding/Fixed Shower Screen

Traditional shower doors can make a small shower room feel cramped. Opt for a sliding or fixed shower screen, which saves space and provides a modern, sleek look. Transparent glass keeps the room feeling open while still providing privacy. We just about had room for a fixed shower screen, which is the ideal choice. Low-profile shower trays are a great option to avoid any tripping hazards and maintain a sleek appearance.

10. Ensure Excellent Extraction

Windowless shower rooms are prone to condensation, so a reliable ventilation system is crucial. Invest in a high-quality extractor fan to keep the air fresh and prevent moisture-related issues.

11. Bring in Faux Plants

Faux plants can soften the space and provide a spa-like atmosphere. They add a touch of nature without the need for natural light. Ikea do some fabulous faux plants at a reasonable price.

12. Include Convenient Amenities

Incorporate small, practical elements like a wall-mounted electric toothbrush charger next to the sink and a heated towel rail within easy reach of the shower. These minor details can greatly enhance your daily shower routine.

13. Easy Access to Shower Controls

Really important, is to ensure that the shower controls are within easy reach from outside the shower. This saves you from being blasted with freezing cold water when you turn it on - convenience and comfort are essential in a functional design.

14. Add Personal Touches

Lastly, don't forget to add personal touches to make your shower room unique. Incorporate decorative elements like artwork, plants, or colourful accents that reflect your style and personality. These touches can turn your small windowless shower room into a space you truly love.


Designing a stylish and practical small windowless shower room is all about maximizing space, light, and functionality. By following these tips, you can transform your shower room into a welcoming sanctuary that suits your needs and tastes. Remember that with some creativity and the right design choices, even the smallest of spaces can shine.

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