Although many people may dream about creating a spa-type oasis in their homes, not everyone is lucky enough to have a large bathroom, much less a large budget for a full-scale renovation. Small bathrooms are common, particularly in older homes, but they needn’t force homeowners to compromise on style when renovating.
Small bathrooms may be a half-bath on the main home level or even a full bath, depending on the home. By thinking creatively, homeowners can maximize their spaces and redo bathrooms in ways that bring out their best assets.
• When space is at a premium, it’s best to look for fixtures and items that fit with the scale of the bathroom. Although you may want a large vanity and cabinet in which to hide all of your toiletries, this simply may not be practical – taking up most of the bathroom real estate. Instead, look for elegant pedestal sinks that have a much smaller profile. They’ll also help you control the clutter in the bathroom because there won’t be anywhere to hide it.
• Use optical illusions to make the bathroom appear roomier. For example, lay tile diagonally to create the impression of space. A large mirror will reflect the room back and make it appear much larger than it really is.
• Select lighter hues in paint colors and accessories. Dark paints and fixtures could make the room feel cramped. Dark colors are generally used to make spaces feel cozier. In a small bathroom, it may make the space feel claustrophobic. Instead, think light and bright and the room will instantly feel airier.
• Minimize wall hangings and keep fixtures smaller. Filling the walls with knickknacks may contribute to clutter and make the space appear closed in. Use decorative items sparingly.
• If possible, store towels in a closet outside of the bathroom. This way you won’t have to devote space inside the bathroom to a closet, leaving more room for other things.
• While some people like the thought of a separate bath and shower, in smaller bathrooms this may not be possible. Instead, look for a combined shower and bath, or select a walk-in shower with a much smaller profile.
• Windows are often welcome in bathrooms because of the ventilation they provide, but they could be a hindrance in smaller bathrooms because they take up prime wall space. Cover a window in a shower stall to free up space. Just be sure to install a venting fan to reduce moisture in the bathroom.
• Maximize wall space if you need storage. Find cabinets that will fit beneath windows or be able to fit in thin areas between sinks and toilets. Over the toilet is a prime area for cabinetry.
• Consider a frameless shower. This is a partitioned area of the bathroom that’s set aside for the shower and is typically only cordoned off by a thin wall or piece of glass.
• Think about installing a skylight if you prefer natural light, but there is no room for a traditional window.
Thinking creatively can help turn a cramped bathroom into a space-saving and well-designed room homeowners desire.