A bathroom is a necessary fixture in any home, but not all bathrooms are created equal. If you’re living in an older home, chances are your bathroom(s) is smaller than in a newer home. The average size of a bathroom in a home built before 1980 is about 40 feet or less! That’s not a lot of room—especially if the bathroom is shared by multiple family members or is the only one in the house. When a complete bathroom renovation isn’t possible, here are five big ideas for making a small bathroom feel larger.
1. Create a seamless look
Achieve a more seamless look by eliminating what design experts call “visual barriers” that block the line of sight when entering the bathroom. Visual barriers can be a shower curtain, a bulky bathtub fixture, or too many colors in one space. Here are a few tips for achieving a seamless look:
- Nix the shower curtain and install a seamless glass shower door.
- Go for a curbless shower entry where the bathroom tile is carried all the way into the shower.
- Carry one color throughout the space (even on the baseboards!) to create continuity.
- Design experts recommend cool paint colors that reflect light and can make a space seem bigger—which is exactly what you’re trying to do!
2. Mirror, Mirror on the wall …
When hung properly, mirrors give the illusion of a larger space. Go for an oversized mirror above the vanity that reflects the larger portion of the bathroom. Or take this trick from interior design experts: hang two mirrors opposite of one another which will give the illusion of a never ending bathroom.
3. Maximize storage space
Storage space can be hard to come by in a small bathroom, but it is extremely necessary if multiple people are sharing it. Clutter has a tendency to make a space look smaller, so get creative in carving out space to stash bathroom necessities. Since there’s not a lot of floor space, take advantage of the walls. A space-saving wall cabinet can hold extra towels or toiletries without taking up valuable floor space. Add open shelving and store necessities in pretty clear jars or in matching baskets. Install a towel bar to the side of the vanity to hang extra hand towels or to the wall for displaying guest towels.
4. Pick the right sink
A sink is a bathroom necessity, but some styles may work better in a smaller space. Pedestal sinks, like this sleek contemporary one, are great choices because they don’t take up a lot of floor space, and they don’t have bulky cabinets or drawers. Vessel sinks, bowl-shaped basins that sit above the counter, add drama and create a focal point in the bathroom.
5. Add luxurious touches
Believe it or not, there are actually advantages to having a small bathroom. You can afford to splurge on nicer floor tile, backsplash tile, countertop material, and paint because you don’t need as much of it. These luxurious touches and accents create a rich space and go a long way to make a bathroom feel larger than it actually is.