Fabulous Downstairs Toilet Ideas

Often inspected by guests and an essential part of a family home, the downstairs toilet may not be the biggest room, but it’s definitely one that will see a lot of visitors. But how do you make the most of this tiny space and add impact and a “wow” factor at the same time? We’ve put together some downstairs toilet ideas that will help you to make the most of this small yet often used room.

How do you make the most of your cloakroom?

No matter how small your cloakroom is, these top tips will help you make the most of the space.

  • Enhance your space with mirror magic.
  • Use space saving fittings such as combination and corner units.
  • Add impact with colour and wallpaper.
  • Stay tidy and organised with vanity units, and wall cabinets.
  • Stamp your own style on your downstairs toilet.

Mirrors enhance a sense of space in this cloakroom

Work magic with mirrors

When it comes to small bathrooms, mirrors are an interior designer’s best friend. A well-placed mirror can help to solve almost any interior design dilemma and enhance a sense of space by bouncing the light around.

Fitting a large mirror at the end of a cloakroom provides the illusion that the room goes on and on. For something more decorative and to create an eye-catching feature you could choose a large ornate mirror.

How to use mirrors in small spaces

One interior design trick is to fit a floor length mirror behind a piece of furniture in a tight space. A mirror that’s the same width as the furniture can make the piece appear purposeful and prominent rather than shoved in. A floor length mirror draws the eye up and makes the room feel lighter and brighter.

If you don’t have the budget for a large mirror, opt for smaller mirrors with the same colour frame and group them together on the wall in the same place. This will make the space look organised and less cluttered.

Milano toilet and basin combination unit

The Milano toilet and basin combination unit is a great way to get more into a small space.

Space saving fittings

There’s a lot of choice when it comes to fittings that are suitable for downstairs toilets and cloakrooms. The combination toilet and basin units by Milano are just perfect for tiny spaces. They cleverly combine a basin and toilet into one unit, which not only saves loads of space but looks super stylish too. All the plumbing and pipework is hidden from view to ensure a neat and tidy finish.

Small corner sinks and cloakroom sinks work really well, as do wall mounted toilets – these make the most of the available space and help the room feel bigger.

Compact or slimline vanity sink units are specifically designed for small spaces. A wall mounted vanity unit is ideal as it maximises floor space and makes cleaning easier, plus you’ll have somewhere to store toiletries or cleaning products.

Make the most of a small space with our cloakroom suites

2-in-1 combination units by Milano, space saving designer furnishings, compact all-in-1 units and more at BigBathroomShop.

This gold fish wallpaper add impact and a touch of class to this downstairs toilet

Add impact with wallpaper

graham and brown seaside wallpaper
derwent wallpaper

Light colours will enhance a sense of space, but bold patterned wallpaper actually works well as it adds impact and drama. Wallpaper adds a sense of fun, so don’t shy away from pattern or bold colour in your downstairs toilet, and as you don’t need many rolls of wallpaper it means you can afford to splash out on something that’s luxurious or more opulent.

You could even have family photos transformed into photo collage wallpaper for a truly personalised scheme.

Wallpaper is a good choice in a room that has a sloping ceiling, as it’s less fiddly to fit against the slope compared to tiles.

Rikki Fothergill – Big Bathroom Shop styling expert

So, be brave and choose something that’s going to wow!

cloakroom vanity suite

cloakroom vanity unit provides essential storage space

Essential storage

The key to making your small downstairs toilet feel more spacious is with clever storage. The downstairs loo is usually the place where coats and shoes get dumped, so it’s important to incorporate storage for these items. Coat and shoe racks are an ideal solution, but try to keep these items to a minimum and only keep out what you use regularly.

Try and make the most of the wall space and add shelving and a cupboard so you have somewhere to keep toiletries and toilet roll hidden away.

Keep a tidy and organised cloakroom with cabinets and storage units, mirrored cabinets, designer cupboards, and drawer units.

colourful cloakroom suite with red and black
Contemporary cloakroom suite by Martine Paquin Design and Consulting

A splash of colour to a monochrome room adds interest and personality

Add a splash of colour

A splash of colour can accent your cloakroom or downstairs toilet for that final touch. Colour adds mood, light, and personality. It can balance your room or add contrast, and if ill considered, can ruin the whole look.

Consider complementary colours to find a suitable accent colour and throw down a rug, paint a section to make it anti-slip too, or add a picture with that colour.
To find a complementary colour:

  • Look for your main theme colour on this colour wheel.
  • Find the colour on the exact opposite side of the wheel.
  • Use that complementary colour to make your room ‘pop’.
The colour wheel

Get even more bathroom ideas right here


Add style and warmth with a heated towel rail, or create a luxury feel underfoot with electric underfloor heating.

heated towel rail

Heat your downstairs toilet

As well as thinking about the style of your downstairs toilet, you’ll also need to ensure it feels warm and inviting during the cold winter months. As there’s limited space in a cloakroom it’s important that the initial design incorporates a source of heating to avoid it being left as an afterthought. A cloakroom suite is usually fairly compact, so you may find that a heated towel rail will provide you with sufficient heat, but it’s a good idea to check this before you buy.

Available in modern and traditional styles, as well as an array of sizes, heated towel rails provide a stylish and practical way to keep your towel warm and dry, and enhance the design of your downstairs loo.

You may also want to consider electric underfloor heating, which is ideal for small areas. Using electric underfloor heating as the main source of heating makes the layout of the room easier to plan as you don’t have to think about where to fit a radiator, plus it also keeps wall space free for storage.

Create an inviting space and keep towels toasty warm with a heated towel rail. Discover heated towel rails in a range of styles, sizes and finishes to enhance any interior at BigBathroomShop.

bicycle themed wallpaper

Show your personality with themed wallpapers like this bicycle wallpaper by Scion

Stamp your own style

It can be all too easy to end up with a space that looks neutral and lacks zero personality, but your downstairs toilet is actually a great room where you can stamp your own style and really bring it to life. You could hang up some pictures or unusual art work, an eye-catching mirror and add some decorative accessories that reflect your personality and own sense of style. Give your guests something to talk about when they visit.

If you love the coast and all things nautical, then why not make use of a porthole mirror, coastal colours and natural textures, shells in pretty glass jars and even a driftwood beach sign. You’ll soon evoke some fantastic memories of  holidays spent by the sea! Be sure to check out our nautical bathroom ideas for more inspiration.

Other ideas include creating a vintage look with floral wallpaper and quirky accessories, or you can take inspiration from the style of your home.

Another idea for your downstairs toilet is to create a look that reflects your favourite sport or hobby. Take cycling for example, in my downstairs toilet at home we’ve created a feature wall with bicycle wallpaper by Scion and put up a bicycle coat rack from Home Sense. These simple but effective ideas add personality to the space.

Things to consider

Here’s just a few things to consider when creating a cloakroom or downstairs toilet.

  • Existing plumbing and available space will be the main factors in determining whether you can fit a downstairs toilet under the stairs. A downstairs toilet can only be fitted if you have the space.
  • You will need at least 80cm x 140cm of space to fit a toilet and hand basin.
  • Don’t forget about the space needed to allow for the door opening – an outward opening door is the best solution. Alternatively, why not consider a sliding door?
  • The floor will have to be lifted to run hot and cold supply pipework to the toilet and basin.
  • Waste water from the toilet and basin needs to run downhill in a fairly straight line to the closest soil stack – normally on the outside of your house.
  • Good lighting is essential in a small space, especially if there’s no window. Recessed spotlights are ideal as they give a neat finish and brighten the room up.

We hope these downstairs toilet ideas inspire you. Tell us – how would you decorate your downstairs toilet? We would love to hear your ideas!

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