Design Dilemma: Small Bathroom, Big Ideas
What do you do with a bathroom that measures only about 16 square feet? Obviously, you won’t beÂ installing double sinks!
But actually, there are a number of other things you can do to give a small bathroom the appearance of more space, and to make it more functional as well. A few visual tricks can make a bathroom feel more spacious while a few storage solutions can make your bathroom appear larger and function better.
1. Install good light. Nothing opens up a room faster than good lighting. In the case of a small bathroom, recessed lights may be the best bet, as they can illuminate a space without taking up precious wall or ceiling space.
2. Invest in an extra narrow sink and vanity, or consider a pedestal sink. There’s no reason to feel stuck by the standard vanity size. Today, vanities are available in narrower sizes that provide a decent sink while not eating into precious floor space. IKEA offers one sink that fits the bill, but similar sinks can be found elsewhere. Another option that will open up floor space is a pedestal sink without all the bulk of a traditional cabinet vanity.
3. Make use of mirrors, the larger the better. Yes, you may think that mirrors went out with the 80s, but nothing beats opening up a bathroom like installing a large mirror. A mirror could mean one single large mirror over the sink, or it could be a series of mirrors in different frames for a different look.
4.Â Look for built-in storage opportunities. One of the best ways to streamline a space and keep the eye moving about is to hide away toiletries and cosmetics. A sleek cabinet system, or better yet, building niches in your bathroom, is a great way to provide storage that doesn’t intrude visually on the space. So when working with an extra small bathroom, look for closed cabinet storage systems before you consider open shelves.
5. Choose pale colors for the walls, muted tones for accessories like shower curtains and towels. Bright colors can be fun, but they will tend to contract your space. So if you’re trying to make your space appear larger, opt for lighter, more muted colors and choose bath accessories that will tend to blend with wall colors rather than contrast.
6. Reveal as much of the space as you can . A bathroom will appear larger if you can see clear through to the shower or tub. So one visual trick you can use is choosing a clear glass shower door rather than a frosted glass. Similarly, a clear shower curtain may make your space seem larger than an opaque and patterned curtain.
7. Consider crown moulding. Rooms with high ceilings often appear larger than those with low ceilings, even if the square footage is the same. You can try making the ceiling of your bathroom appear higher by adding crown moulding to draw eyes upward. If you don’t want to use moulding, you might also consider shelves or a vertical wall ornament.
8. Look into wall-mounted toilets. One way to gain a little bit more floor space as well as the visual feeling of airyness is to investigate wall-mounted fixtures — not only wall mounted sinks and countertops, but also wall-mounted toilets.
9. Don’t forget the corners. A number of bathroom fixture manufacturers make pieces meant especially to slip into corners. Corner-mounted sinks and toilets can sometimes add more space to tight quarters.
Top right: Delineo, Bottom right: Smallplus, Bottom left: Moments by Artefakt.