Small Bathroom? 6 Tips to Make the Space Look Bigger

Small Bathroom? 6 Tips to Make the Space Look Bigger featured image

March 03, 2016 / by Gregg Cantor / In Bathroom Remodeling

Your bathroom is a sanctuary - a place you can retreat to for a few quiet minutes after a long day. Or perhaps you and your children see the bathroom as a space for aquatic adventures, laughs, and bonding. Whatever the case, you expect your bathroom to be large enough to accommodate your needs.

So what happens when your bathroom is too small to enjoy? Sure, it’s unlike you’re spending tons of time in your bathroom compared to other rooms in your home, but it’s still a critical space (especially when it comes to resale value).

Whether you can afford a full-scale bathroom remodel or you only have the funds for a few cosmetic touch-ups, there are a few things you can do to make your bathroom look much bigger than it actually is. Below we share 6 of them.

1. Keep the Counter & Sink Free of Clutter

If you look around your home, do you see piles of clothing, toys, or other clutter? Does the space seem cramped and tight? When your possessions build up and clutter an area, the piles make the area look much smaller. This principle also applies to your bathroom area.

However, in a smaller bathroom, clutter can make the space seem incredibly packed and tiny in size. To give the illusion of larger space, keep the counters and open surfaces clear of clutter. Store items inside cabinets or in decorative storage baskets to make your bathroom look more organized.

image of empty weaved baskets

2. Recess Cabinets and Eliminate Bulky Shelves

If you do choose to store your bathroom items inside cabinets, make sure to avoid dark, bulky cabinets and shelves. The dark colors and bulky frames make your space seem smaller. Instead, install recessed cabinets. These structures rest inside your walls and provide you with ample storage space-all while keeping smooth lines across your bathroom walls.

You can also open up the space at the bottom of lower cabinets to expose the floor underneath. This method further opens up the space, making your bathroom look larger than it actually is. If you prefer, you can also use floating furniture to create a similar effect.

3. Blend Colors on the Walls, Ceiling, and Floor

The more uniform in color your bathroom appears, the easier it is for the eye to move around the space. As you blend the colors of your walls, floor, and ceiling, you create a smooth, unbroken line for the eye to travel across. This line creates the illusion of a larger space.

Paint your walls and ceilings the same color. For the floor, you can use accent rugs that complement the paint on the walls. For the walls in your shower, however, consider installing colored tile. The tile separates the shower from the rest of the space. But if you choose a tile that matches the color of your walls, you only enhance the optical illusion of a larger space.

Make sure if you use tile to run the material all the way up to the ceiling. This technique will draw the eye upward and enhance the space. Also make sure to use bigger tiles rather than smaller ones. Smaller tiles incorporate more grout lines into the structure, which in turn break up the overall look and unity of the wall. Using larger tiles creates a long line the eye needs to move naturally through the space.

image of wall painted gray and white

4. Install a Glass Shower Enclosure

Another way to enhance your bathroom space is to install a clear, glass enclosure around your shower. The glass further opens up the area, making it seem larger. If you can afford a more substantial remodel, replace your tub with a full-length shower.

5. Increase the Light

The more light a space has, the brighter and larger it appears. If you don’t have windows in your bathroom, add a small one to an exterior wall. You can also redo the lighting in the space if you’d like. Consider installing track lighting above the mirror or placing sconces across the walls.

If possible, add a few mirrors along the walls as well. Install a wall-to-wall mirror above the sink, and place a couple of accent mirrors throughout the rest of the bathroom. The light that flows into the space will reflect off the mirrors, making the area seem much larger.

image of small window with stone siding

6. Add Simple Window Treatments

Finally, use simple window treatments in your bathroom. Choose light-colored, short curtains. If you prefer to add a little variety with the curtains, select a fabric that has a small pattern on it. For the hardware, install something that matches the overall color scheme of the space. Remember to stick with lighter colors and materials since they reflect light more.

Ready to make your small bathroom look larger than life? Use the tips listed above for inspiration and remember to choose colors, patterns, and materials that suit your personal preferences. If you have any questions about how these (or any other) changes might affect the space as whole, get in touch with our team. We’re always happy to talk shop!

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