Small Bathroom? Our Best 7 Tips + Tricks for Design

Small bathrooms and powder rooms can present some interesting design challenges. You may find that you’re limited in your choices because things won’t fit. Or you may be limited simply because some designs make your small bathroom look even smaller.

These are our best 7 small bathroom ideas to help you make your bathroom look bigger and make a big impact too.

1. Choose Colors That Expand the Space

No color does a better job of making a space appear bigger than white. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use color in your small bathroom. Choose lighter shades like pale gray, soft blue, tan, or light green to widen a narrow bathroom.

Use bolder colors in combination with white, such as white on the bottom half the wall and color on the top half to expand the space without sacrificing your color palette. Color on the ceiling is an excellent way to add a splash of life without cutting down on visual space.

The only colors you really want to steer clear of are orange and yellow. They tend to have an enclosing effect that will make your space feel smaller.

2. Tweak the Small Space Bathroom Vanity

A colored or stained wood vanity in the small bathroom might seem like the thing to do since it is the foremost feature of the room, but consider this instead:

Select a white vanity and put it against a white wall to make that vanity visually disappear. It has the effect of pushing the space back rather than closing it in. This is a great option if you put some color on the walls. Keeping one wall all white will enlarge your space

3. Adjust Your Scale

In a small space, generally you want to keep the scale of everything else on the small side. Larger items, even if they physically fit, can overwhelm the space. A regular 12 x 12” ceramic tile in a small bathroom can actually make the room feel smaller. A big, bulky vanity can have the same effect. Choose mosaic tiles (6 inches or smaller) and streamlined vanities that don’t visually take up space in the small bathroom.

On the other hand, a large scale applied correctly can be beneficial too. A large patterned wallpaper on half the wall or a large tin ceiling tile creates interest that draws the eye and invites you to explore every inch of the space. The principle of using white helps here too. If you want to use a larger scale design, do it in white to combat the size and you’ll be amazed what you can get away with.

4. Use Lines and Seams to Your Advantage

Lines can make things look bigger or they can make things look smaller. It all depends on how you apply them. A floor tile set in a grid chops up your bathroom space visually and can make it feel a bit cramped. A large seamless tile that doesn’t break up the room with grout lines can enlarge the space. Lines that all go one way, such as with wood plank tile on the floor or board and batten on the wall can make the space look longer.

Opt for a vanity with flat front doors. They don’t have any ornamentation or boxy outline like a Shaker cabinet does. It makes for a seamless appearance that tricks your eye into seeing more space because there isn’t anything to interrupt the perception. Even lighter wood vanities with flat fronts can add this expanding feel to the room.

5. Direct Attention

Direct attention in your small bathroom to the features that make it feel larger and direct attention away from the bits that make it feel smaller. If your design tells visitors to the bathroom where to look, they won’t focus on the size of the room.

If you have high ceilings put something interesting on the ceiling like a bold color or decorative feature (pendant light, tin ceiling tile). Apply a textured wall paper on the upper half of the wall to draw attention upward. If you have a pitched ceiling consider it a design feature instead of something that limits your space—make it the focal point.

Hang paintings higher on the wall, install tall mirrors, hang sconces up the wall a bit more to draw the eye (and the room) upward. A really interesting floor color or pattern can turn attention to that as a design element instead of dwelling on the size of the space.

6. Let the Light In

Light always opens up a space. That’s one of the reasons white works so well in small bathrooms. Anything you can do to let more light in or reflect available light around the room helps it feel bigger. Lose curtains that limit light entry. Install large mirrors. Use light, bright colors in the space. Even the right light bulbs can make a difference.

If you can, try to add windows or skylights if you do a remodel. Opt for a glass shower instead of using shower curtains that can break the space up and absorb the light. Let the light in and get out of its way. That’s the best way to leverage light in making your small bathroom feel more expansive.

7. Get Creative with Storage

The bathroom is primarily a functional space. You’ll need stuff to be at the ready, however, the more stuff you have out, the more crowded your space will feel. Minimize clutter with the right storage. In a small room, there isn’t usually a place to hide away the necessities so you’ll need to get creative.

Niches in the shower or even in the bathroom walls are a wonder that give you some storage space that doesn’t actually take away from the space in the room. Don’t be afraid to hang baskets to store smaller items. You can even add some hooks to the walls to hang things that can’t find a home.

A medicine cabinet combines the power of a mirror with storage that helps you keep the space clear. Choose to go with a vanity that has drawers instead of cabinet doors. Drawers are often a better use of storage space. Install some floating shelves; their minimal design won’t visually impair the space but adds some storage.

Empowered with a few small bathroom ideas, you can transform it into a space that you and your guests will enjoy using. You might even want to visit it more often. Find the perfect vanity for your small bathroom right here at RTA Cabinets Store.

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