Cloakroom Design: The BEST Small Downstairs Toilet Ideas

Are you looking for small downstairs toilet ideas? You may wonder if there are any rules and guidelines that are best to follow in order to make this small room look and feel its best?

If you’re looking for inspiration and downstairs toilet ideas you’re in the right place.

I’ve pulled together some of the BEST small cloakroom decor ideas I’ve seen and put then all in one place. 

Decorating your downstairs loo can be tricky as it’s such a small space but our advice is to embrace the small area and embrace its unique size.

So it’s not the biggest or most on show of the rooms in your home, but it’s probably the most visited!

The downstairs loo is a vital part of any family home and one that guests often inspect more than others. Let’s face it, how often have we heard of celebrities storing their Oscars and awards in their small downstairs cloakroom?

But how do we get the best out of such a small space when we’re decorating it?

How do we give it impact without making it feel smaller than it already is?

You may ask yourself, what are the best small cloakroom ideas and wonder if there are any good ideas for decorating a small downstairs toilet.

The answer is, yes, of course, and I’ve put together some of my ideas and suggestions that will hopefully help you decorate your small downstairs toilet and make it a room to remember.

How to Decorate a Small Downstairs Toilet:

Image: Drench

Before you even get as far as designing your downstairs bathroom you might be asking yourself if you need permission to install a downstairs toilet.

The answer is usually no. But it’s worth checking if you need permission from your council for any kind of small cloakroom.

Furthermore, if you’re doing a renovation, you may be wondering where to put a downstairs toilet.
The obvious answer has to be in your under stairs cupboard. If you have one.

If not, then try to build one in where you have the plumbing, or in an unobtrusive spot that won’t impact the design of the other rooms. Always consider the cost to installing drainage when you think about the location of your downstairs wc.

So, onto the decor. For this tiny room, you’re not going to make it feel bigger, well not hugely anyway. So why not embrace this small room and make it fun and quirky. Give it some wow factor. Allow your downstairs loo ideas to really flow!

Now let’s consider some of the main aspects you’ll need with regards to the practical and functional aspect of a cloakroom.

Downstairs Toilet Ideas – Storage:

small downstairs toilet with pink floor cabinet and white walls

Image: Rose and Grey

With all small rooms, the key to making it feel bigger is clever storage.

A downstairs toilet is often a place for dumping coats and shoes too, if you don’t have a boot room or utility, and so it’s important to ensure good storage for these items. Think coat racks, shoe racks and storage plus hooks plus baskets for hats and gloves.

Boxes for shoes, or a dedicated shoe store works well.

To be honest, it’s best to keep these items to a minimum if you can, or at least give them a good tidy every couple of days. If you’re storing cleaning equipment, make sure it’s a locked cupboard away from small children.

 Make the most of the walls and add shelving and wall cupboards to hide away toiletries and loo rolls. The footfall in a room like this might be higher than an upstairs bathroom so keep a good stock of toilet rolls and replenish them often.

All bathroom storage ideas are worth exploring to make sure you create a small bathroom that suits your family, visitors and guests.

Don’t forget a good vanity unity for your sink allows for extra storage – perhaps spare kids’ toothbrushes for those extra times they need it.
If your children are little, spare clothes for toilet accidents come in handy and save you running up the stairs all the time, as do nappies and baby changing accessories.

Store all of these in your downstairs bathroom and life will be much easier day to day.

If you’re lucky enough to have a large downstairs cloakroom area, then think of how else you can utilise the space.

We like the idea of storage for your pet paraphernalia. Or maybe laundry items could be kept out of the way here if you don’t have a dedicated utility area.

Downstairs Toilet Ideas – Colour and Decor:

small downstairs toilet with dark walls and leafy green wallpaper

Image: The Curious Department

If you’re struggling for design ideas and don’t have the funds for an interior designer, do search Pinterest for bathroom ideas and inspiration.

Of course it’s true that a light colour will enhance the small space, but don’t be afraid of adding drama and impact when you decorate a small downstairs toilet.

We are big fans of bringing dark, bold colours into a small cloakroom. Downstairs toilets definitely need decor impact so they’re not the boring, drab spaces we often feel they are. So go bold. Be daring. Try something you’ve never done before. After all, if you don’t like it, it won’t take much effort to change it later.

Big bold print works well in a small space, just don’t make it too fussy.

Bringing wallpaper into the room will definitely add a sense of fun and give guests something to talk about. Don’t shy away from using pattern or strong colour in a small room.

Why not use left over wallpaper from another room if you don’t want to buy anything specific?

Using Tiles in your Tiny Downstairs Loo:

Image: Original Style

Bathroom tiles are a great option for keeping the room clean and practical and the bring in colour and interest to a small room too.

They are also a great way to bounce light around the room, and add an often needed splash of colour.

My advice is to try and limit their use though. Adding tiles on every wall can give the room a very clinical feel

If you’re looking for some bathroom tile ideas I love these pink metro tiles above.

Small Cloakroom Flooring:

Image: Hyperion Tiles

Downstairs Toilet Ideas: Bathroom Fittings:

I wrote a post recently on designing a small bathroom and really many of those suggestions fit here for your downstairs toilet.

There are lots of fittings out there that are suitable, small and compact and designed specifically for this room.

Image: Sanctuary Bathrooms 

Do some research and check out what’s available to find the best options for your room. Small, corner sinks work well, as do wall hung toilets.

Both make the most of the available space and can help make the room feel bigger if necessary.

Personality and Style:

Don’t forget to add your own stamp to the room.

It’s all too easy to create a very bland, neutral downstairs loo when we’re concerned about decorating such a small space but bringing your own personality to the decor will bring it to life.

Add pictures, mirrors, lighting, treasures and books for example.

Image: The Curious Department

Make a mini wall collage to give your guests something to look at when they visit. Just because it’s the smallest room in the house, doesn’t mean it has to be forgotten.

Decorating a small space doesn’t have to be difficult it just takes a little thought and creativity. It’s an opportunity to express your personality, to have some fun with decorating, to make the most of this little used space and create a fun yet functional space that brings joy to all who enter.

However big or small bathrooms are, they need to be functional and practical as well as beautiful, and when you have just a small cloakroom area to play with, you need all the downstairs toilet ideas you can gather.

Downstairs toilet ideas with Heating:

Image: The Radiator Company

Small rooms like your downstairs loo still need heating, but wall space is at a premium in a tiny room like this.

You can instead, think about underfloor heating, but if that’s not possible a small heated towel rail will keep the room warm as well as your towels.

You’ll find a small room like this won’t need too much heating and is relatively inexpensive to run.

Wallpaper for a Small Downstairs Toilet:

Image: North and Nether

Yes it’s true you can use wallpaper and it’s one of the modern cloakroom ideas that we really love!

The bolder you can be, the bigger the effect so be brave and really go for it. It’s the one room you can experiment with and create a big wow factor.

Decorating a downstairs toilet should be fun so don’t stress over it, just find pieces, colours and patterns that you like and play around with them.

Mirrors for a Downstairs Toilet

Image: Go Modern

Both practical and great for decor, adding a mirror to your tiny downstairs loo is a must.

Find one that can fit nicely above the sink and vanity unit, or opposite the window to help reflect the light.

Choose a style that fits well with your overall look – ornate for a boho design, simple and frameless for a minimal interior.

Small Cloakroom Lighting

Image: Original BTC

There probably won’t be much scope for creative lighting in your little loo but you will need something overhead.

Choose a simple fitting unless you have plenty of headroom. My advice then is to go for it, and thing about the wow factor element.

Just make sure you’re following safety guidelines of course in any bathroom.

These wall lights above do add some personality to this fun packed design so if you’re starting from scratch with a small bathroom renovation, consider having something similar installed. 

Plants and Greenery

Image: Walls and Floors

It’s quite likely that your small downstairs loo doesn’t have any windows, or if it does, they are very tiny.

Consider the natural light levels if you’re going to fill your small loo with real plants. If they’re too low, your plants won’t survive so you’ll need to buy into some faux plants instead.

There are some fantastic examples on the market now; faux plants can look incredibly lifelike and of course, don’t need so much looking after!

Some hanging plants can look really good in a small cloakroom where floor and shelf space is limited. Think about having a hanging fern or succulent in a pot from the ceiling, to draw the eye into the room when someone first enters.

Cloakroom Toilet Ideas: Towels

small pink guest towel hanging over a white sink in small downstairs toilet

Image: Initially London 

Even if your modern cloakroom ideas don’t run to much pattern and print on the walls, your towels can give you the chance to add a little colour.

Plain walls can be updated with colourful towels, which can be purchased easily now on the high street or from online retailers.

Buy several of the same sort in small hand towels and keep spares in your bathroom storage area. If you’ve got small children, you’ll be renewing them quite often and may want to continue your decor theme as much as possible.

Do you like our downstairs cloakroom decorating ideas? We hope we’ve given you plenty of inspiration and you can leave with lots of downstairs toilet ideas that you didn’t have before.

Plus we would love to see your small downstairs toilets and how they look! Tag me on social media @jenstanbrook and show me the finished result.

Jen x


Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Floating shelves create space in the narrow area by toilet (just remember there are lots of germs in this area). - DIY Craft's Home Decor
  2. Pingback: How to Decorate a Small Bathroom - Vanity and Storage Ideas
  3. Tilezone
    January 20, 2016 / 8:28 am

    Nice blog! good things to keep in mind while decorating small bathroom. Even stone types tiles and mirror tiles would compliment good in it.

  4. Pingback: #decor How to Decorate a Small Downstairs Toilet – Love Chic Living – Best Home Decorating Ideas

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