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Small Spaces, Big Design: How to Make the Most of Your Tiny Bathroom

by Guest Post on Jun 25, 2016

Bathrooms serve a very basic purpose, but that doesn't mean that they should be cramped and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, not all bathrooms are sized the same: While some are large and lavish, others can be quite small. The smaller a bathroom is, the easier it is for it to become cluttered, which significantly reduces useable space. There are ways, however, to create a feeling of spaciousness even in the tiniest of bathrooms. Changes can range from inexpensive adjustments to costly renovations.

Vanities

Traditional vanities take up a significant amount of space in a bathroom, including a large portion of one wall, with counter and cabinet space that runs to the floor. If you are renovating, there are several small bathroom vanity options. One option is to replace a traditional vanity by installing a pedestal sink. This will free up the wall, creating valuable floor space and a more open look. Another option is to switch to a floating or hanging vanity. A floating vanity provides useful counter space, but its cabinets do not reach the floor. This leaves an open and useful space below. When the budget doesn't allow for renovations, simply taking a minimalist approach to counter space can help. Keep vanities clear of excess clutter and toiletries, and stick strictly to the basics instead.

Light

The amount and quality of light in a space can make it appear more open or closed in. If possible, leave windows uncovered or select sheer curtains that allow natural light in. If you are renovating an upstairs bathroom, consider adding a skylight to allow bright natural light to bathe the room. Additional lights, particularly in the corners of the room, can get rid of shadows and help make the room seem larger. Hanging lights high up adds depth and makes the room appear bigger by drawing the eye upward. Recessed lights are another option, as they won't take up any physical space in the room.

Mirrors

Mirrors capture and distribute light. In a small bathroom, they create an optical illusion that can make a room seem longer, deeper, or wider, depending on their placement. Mirrors should face the widest angle in the room or an accent piece such as a picture. Setting mirrors opposite each other can also give the impression that the room is endlessly long or wide.

Shelving, Towel Racks, and Storage

When it comes to storage in a small bathroom, several things can be done to make the room appear less cluttered and larger. Hang shelves behind the toilet or on a wall, high enough so that they can be reached without hindering the flow of the room. Mount clear shelves or shelving that complements but does not distract from the bathroom's color scheme. Use baskets under floating vanities or on high shelving to store toilet paper, extra towels, or toiletries. Hang towels on hooks or on a rack that attaches to the back of the bathroom door and won't take up additional space. Magnetic strips adhered to the inside of a medicine cabinet can keep metal grooming accessories, such as nail clippers or tweezers, within reach but out of sight.

Showers

Remove frosted shower doors and replace them with clear glass doors. Frameless shower doors are a good option, as they provide an unrestricted view of the inside of the shower, which opens up the room and makes it appear larger. When renovating a small bathroom that has a bathtub, replace it with a walk-in shower or with a combination shower/tub that offers the best of both worlds.

Coloring

Painting a small bathroom can also give it the appearance of being larger than it is. Select white, pastel, or neutral colors, as they reflect light and make the space airier. If brighter or bolder colors are desired, use them minimally. One way to incorporate brighter or even darker colors is to add them as accent pieces, such as flowers, towels, or mirror frames. If adding color with wallpaper, avoid patterns that are too busy. Instead, consider a neutral-colored stripe pattern. Depending on the orientation of the stripes, it can visually expand the space vertically or horizontally

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