Many of us perceive the bathroom as an inner sanctuary that we occupy several times a day. Maybe except for closet, our bathroom is the smallest room in your household, that sees a lot of action during the day and evening.
It is also a treasured space that keeps us groomed, clean and fresh. For it being the tiniest room in the household, unfortunately adding extra square footage is not always possible. Here are several design principles and techniques showing how to maximize the space, making the bathroom more spacious. Those tips are relatively easy to accomplish and show how to get the best use of the designated space.
Neutral tones will create a spa-like atmosphere
Soothing colors are attractive design option for a small bath. From powder-white to alabaster, soft hues can instantly make your bathroom feel larger and spacious. Depending on the tone you choose and how much natural light illuminates the space, this eye-fooling trick will do a great job. Pale colors on the walls and floor give the illusion of space. Bear in mind that relying on one color does not mean you cannot use hues of one color. A fantastic design principle says to vary the shades of one color in one room. That way you are to make a visually appealing interior, with different shades of one color. Avoid the use of bold, intense colors as they make ‘a closing in’ impression.
- Designers recommend saving exciting and bright tones for accessories and decor items. A good example is towels in dark, vibrant colors as they would stand out against light walls and floor.
Do not spread the fixtures out
To make the best use of tiny space, try to figure out how to place the toilet and sink on the same wall. Putting fixtures on a single wall will open up space even more by freeing extra square footage. Another great option is to use a corner and a wall to locate the toilet and sink. Keeping the fixtures compact will make space will feel airier and ascetic.
- Designers tip is to replace old-style fixtures with smaller ones. Trust me; you can find sinks, toilets, bathtubs and shower cabins in all available sizes. Swapping for more stylish, not as big as previous ones, provides extra space to maneuver in the tiny bathroom.
Bathrooms need excellent light
It is a functional room designated for such grooming activities as shaving, applying makeup and fixing our hair. When space is limited to such tasks only, it feels smaller than it is. Adding adjustable lighting will create a multifunctional space, where you love spending time and pampering yourself. Installing a dimmer switch transforms a once dull room into a spa-like retreat. Now you can relax in the bathroom, taking a long bath or a shower and the room has a new appeal.
- Designers advice is to try recessed lighting to avoid claustrophobic feeling. Hanging lights optically bring the ceiling down, and make the room shorter. Recessed lighting is unobtrusive and can be adjusted to any task area. Another advantage of this fixture is that it can be placed in a desirable place to accomplish bathroom tasks.
Install decorative shelves to save valuable storage area
Make sure to choose shelves painted the same color as the walls to make space bigger optically. A great option is to have recessed shelves built into one of the walls not to leave gaps between the beams. Decorative storage shelves can house all your lotions, scrubs, bath salts and other beauty cosmetics. You can add extra wicker basket with colorful cotton trims for storing toilet paper or cleaners.
- Designers recommend settling extra storage cubby holes in the vertical space above the doorway. Typically this space is unused, leaving lots of valuable storage unattended. For those of you who have higher ceilings, it is great advice to free up floor storage area for better maneuvering.
Throw out the shower curtain
By getting rid of the shower curtain and replacing it with a glass enclosure, you will open up the shower space. Curtains tend to separate the room visually, closing in the space. Clean glass doors of the shower or a bathtub still create a subtle divider, without overpowering the room with old-fashion style. For added privacy, or if your master bath is also a guest bathroom, install a frosted glass door. It will make the shower/bath look even larger, add private zone, and will not interfere with the illusion of extra space.
- Designers tip is to position two large mirrors on opposite walls. They reflect each other, creating a visually bigger room. To add to that, a beautiful mirror in a decorative frame can be a great decor item to the once austere space. Embellish the frame with a gorgeous pattern and observe how the reflection bounces off the cream walls and tiles.
Create more horizontal space with a pedestal or wall-mounted sink
Updating your bathroom with modern fixtures is a worthy investment. Opting for a wall-mounted toilet or a wall-mounted sink will make the floor appear more spacious. When space it tight, you can always invest in premium materials. Granite or marble countertops will give an outstanding appeal to the room, and brushed chrome or copper fixtures will convert your old bathroom into a luxurious retreat. If you consider reselling your house in the future, updating your bathroom will considerably increase the value of your home.
- Designers recommend adding vertical and horizontal striped floors for extra dimension. You can also create a visual distraction by applying striped wallpaper to one wall, or to the ceiling, to stand out against muted neutral tones on other walls. Accenting single wall with a striped pattern makes the bathroom look taller than it is.
To expand a small room, add to the ceiling
Crown molding will lend ‘a high’ feeling to a bathroom, as will a chair rail and wainscoting. The modern materials perform well in a moist bathroom environment. Well-chosen architectural features do not shrink or swell from humidity or changes in temperatures. If you are a lucky owner of a tray or vaulted ceiling, try adding lighting fixture to the ceiling as well. That will add volume and depth to the bathroom, highlight gorgeous ceiling ornaments. A beautiful chandelier will draw the eye up, as will the architectural additions.
- Designers advice for the low ceiling is painting it a soft pastel color, creating a ‘taller’ space. Choose a complimentary hue to the neutral palette you used for the walls. Chiffon, cream or pearl will expand the room, and bring the walls optically higher.
Consider installing a bigger window to let in the sun
Windows in the bathrooms are important features that considerably give the illusion of extra space. So if you can, install a bigger window to give the eye a chance to admire a view outside the small room. Above all, windows allow natural light in, changing the visual appeal dramatically. I also recommend investing in window treatments that can be partially opened, such as regular or tubular skylights.
- Another great option to consider is adding cornices or valances. Not only you are embellishing your window with decorative elements, but also adding visual height to the room. The designer tip is to coordinate colors of the decorations with the chosen palette for the bathroom. Soft pink or pastel peach will add an airier feeling to space, and visual interest to the windows.
Minimalist is your style in the bathroom
Small rooms can easily lead to unwanted clutter, so make sure to have as few beauty products on display as possible. Functionality is the key for a small bathroom. Try adding only both design and functional elements to the room. Dual-purpose items utilize valuable space that could be used for maneuvering in the bathroom. Avoid positioning knick-knacks that only have a decor purpose. For example, a glass apothecary jar can store cotton balls and swabs. Grooming or personal products should be stored, rather than displayed, in stackable baskets underneath or above cabinetry.
- Maximize the space in the bathroom by moving small items, like scale or laundry hamper to the adjacent hallway closet or another room. The goal is to make more space, therefore, house these elements in a different location. Purchase a small enough trashcan that will fit next to the toilet or underneath the washer/dryer machine.
Opt for a door that swings outward
If your current door swings inside your bathroom, it is high time for a change. When the door opens in, it makes the space even tighter. Consider investing in a sliding pocket door or flipping the hinges of current doors, so it opens out. A pocket door that slides into the wall does not even need a door swing and they ‘hide’ inside the wall. What is more, they make a visually pleasing appeal as they disappear into the adjacent wall.
Always choose light wood or medium wood cabinets
A light colored wood reflects more light off the surface, creating a visually appealing and bright space. Dark wood cabinetry closes the room in, optically tightening the area. Blonde or bleached wood will complement light palette of colors on the walls, and modern fixtures.
Cabinets can double act as storage and decorative elements. Opting for open storage shelves allows wicker baskets or towels to be put up front, without taking an additional room in a closet. Be aware of the clutter though and try adding not too many items on the open shelving.
Add a splash of color for a sophisticated feeling
You can show the personality of the homeowner by adding pops of color to single items. Hand towels in bold, vibrant colors, as amethyst pink or emerald green, will stand out against pale walls. Put on display designer soap dishes or small decor items for a stylish touch. Choose a bath mat or a rug in bold, geometric pattern, showcasing your real style.
From recessed lighting to modern fixtures, there are plenty of ways to make a tiny bathroom more spacious and functional. The design possibilities are endless; the cozy, charming feeling of your spa-like room can make an even better impression than a huge bathroom. With these 12 tips, the small bathroom will not be a challenge anymore. Try them out today and see if you love and embrace your small space again?