Small bathroom never made a person happy. If you are familiar with the Curse of Small Bathroom, you might already wonder whether you can make it larger – or, at lease, make it look larger. We’ve gathered quite a few advices that would let you alleviate the issue. Some of them are quite inexpensive and you can start repairs pretty much immediately, while some of them are quite expensive and you should consider them only if you’re already going to renovate the entire house. Anyway, let’s begin expanding your bathroom!
Let’s begin with some basic elements, such as fixtures. Modern bathrooms use standard 60×32″ fixtures. If your fixtures are larger than default size, consider swapping them for smaller ones. You could also consider going for lower-walled bathtub. Although it won’t magically increase the size of your bathroom, it will at least make it look larger than it really is. Illusion of free space visually works as good as real bathroom expansion.
Now let’s take a look at the cost of an entire operation. Replacing the bathtub just for a small, nominal space increase is not going to be a rational decision. There’s a cheaper option – just swap your shower door for a clear one. Without complex designs the bathroom won’t look cramped and overstuffed.
This advice is especially useful for older houses. If you have older, but still functionable toilet, consider swapping it for a newer one. New toilets are especially designed to take less space. Another pleasant bonus is that newer toilets use less water. You’ll save around ~$90 each year thanks to this.
Swapping your traditional sink for pedestal or wall-mounted one will enlarge the visual bathroom space and make it look bigger. Plus, going for suspended cabinets as a replacement for standard vanity will further increase the spaciousness of your batheroom.
If you really need a vanity instead of suspended cabinets, you might think about replacing it with a smaller version. Standard vanities come in a sies of 24x18x21″. Others can be as small as 18×13″. Just be sure that your sink lies flush with the counter, as it will visually increase the room space. Plus, swap your faucet for a single-control one! It will take a little bit less space than two-handled ones.
Proper lighting is very important for small rooms. Small rooms should incorporate as much natural light as they possibly can. And there’s no better source of natural light than skylight. It will give you as much as five times normal light than a window. In addition, it is also a perfect way to save on electricity.
You must eliminate any dark corners closing the space. And there’s no better way of doing it than to illuminate it. How to do it? Install some shelves on the walls near the ceiling, then fit some light underneath them. This will give you two obvious benefits: better illumination and more storage space. The next step is to paint the ceiling using light, glossy paint. The surface will reflect any light, amplifying it and visually extending the room. Beware though, as high-gloss finish will reflect and magnify any, even the smallest flaw in the surface. Perfection is the key here.
Another option to further add more light to the room is to place light fixtures near the mirrors. It will let the light to be reflected, and the more reflective surfaces you’ll place in the bathroom, the more space it will seem to have.
You could also add some mirrors, as they add more depth to the room. You just have to put a mirror across from a window to let it create an illusion of one more window in your bathroom. If you can’t do it regardless of the reasons, install two mirrors across each other. It is a very old trick that works extremely well, especially if you place a source of light between these two mirrors.
It’s time for some bad news if you love multi-colored designs. As much as you want to see multiple colors in your bathroom, you’ll have to ditch the idea. Monochromatic designs will make the room look larger. Any light, cool color should do the trick.
You should go for minimalist designs when decorating any small room. Any complex wallpaper patterns will make the room look very small, stuffed and cluttered. You have to avoid it, so go for small and subtle patterns. And better stay away from any constrasts, as they tend to break up the space.
Another option to visually increase the spaciousness of the room is to make it look taller. To do this, you will have to make the room dray your eyes upwards. The best way to achieve this effect is to use vertical patterns; you can do it with a correct kind of wallpaper or with some vertical stripes. Try extending the wall tile to the ceiling or surrounding the top of the walls with patterned tiles. Any borders along them will help you raise your head and look up. By the way, crown moldings on the top of the walls and around the edges of the ceilings will fool your eyes so that they will see more height in the space.
Let’s go for one more trick that will make a rectangular room look more spacey (you don’t have a circular bathroom, do you?). Take the shorter end walls and paint them with a slightly lighter shade than the longer walls. You’ll need one cup of white paint per gallon of color to get just the right hue. A little more white, and you’ll have an ideal color of your ceiling.
Saving the Space
Throw away the bathmats if you can. If you don’t, select the light-colored ones and prefer the mats that would fit your floor. Contrasting colors will make the floor look broken, thus visually shrinking the room. You’ll have to make everything blend and look as one solid thing.
And the final thing. The main rule of decorating something is to get rid of as much clutter as possible. This is especially important with smaller rooms, as any visual clutter will make an already small room look tiny. You can leave some visible space on the floor and reduce clutter by switching to recessed or floating cabinets – and while it’s not always possible to outright transform a small, cramped bathroom into spacious places, it will at least create illusion of it. How much to spend depends only on you. The choice is yours.