When looking through the photos on Houzz and Pinterest, you might get a little discouraged if you have a bathroom that’s on the smaller side. Social media and design magazines are filled with expansive bathrooms that might make you feel like your small bathroom will never live up to that. We’re here to tell you that that’s not the case. A petit bathroom has just as much potential to feel luxurious and wow its visitors as their more massive siblings. With the perfect combination of design finesse to make them appear bigger and a little fun styling, your small bathroom might just become your new favorite room in the house!
Keep Things Light and Airy
One of the most critical design aspects of keeping a smaller space feeling its biggest is using color and light. While it can be a cool effect to use dark and dramatic elements in a smaller bathroom, these choices tend to make the space feel even smaller than it already is. Instead, it’s better to choose light-colored wall paint, shiny and reflective finishes on faucets and showers, and try to select accents that bring more light to a space rather than absorb it.
Skylights if You Can
Speaking of light, if it’s possible, we encourage you to consider adding a skylight. These are excellent ways to bring in natural light without worrying about losing wall space. Skylights are perfect for the shower to bring more light to an area that can sometimes feel darker than the rest of the bathroom. You also don’t have to worry about using privacy glass in a skylight like you would a wall window. So use that skylight and get a better view while washing your hair!
Mirror, Mirror On the Wall
We all know designers add mirrors to elevators to make the tiny space feel less claustrophobic, and we can use this same technique in a petite bathroom. You could go full mirror wall or use just one big mirror over the sink. Either way, the mirror will reflect light around the room, making it feel brighter, and the illusion of more space won’t make bathroom guests feel like their suffocating.
Another option is using a few mirrors to create a collage look. Like how many homeowners use family photos to fill a wall, you can use fun mirror shapes and sizes to create an art piece that also serves a purpose.
Lastly, we suggest mirrors that have backlights. Not only will these provide a reflecting element, but they also reduce the need for lighting and leave more open space in the bathroom.
Floor to Ceiling Tile
While it might be fun to mix and match tile with painted or wallpapered walls in a small bathroom, we have found it’s best to choose a wall option and use it throughout the whole bathroom. This makes the space feel much bigger. Since it’s a bathroom, we, of course, think tiling the entire bathroom is the best option. This protects the walls from water, condensation, and moisture that inevitably happens in bathrooms. Try sticking with a lighter-colored tile, and smaller tiles tend to look best. Luckily there is no short supply of tile options, and you could spend a whole day in a showroom and still need more time to choose. So have fun with it!
A swinging door needs a specific amount of space around it to smoothly swing open and shut. When you’re working with a small bathroom, this can take up precious space that you can’t spare. Instead, try a pocket door! This will take up no bathroom floor space and leave you with more room for storage or just open space for moving around.
Built-in Shower Storage
Small bathrooms often come with small showers, and you’ll want to optimize every inch of that shower. While those hanging shower caddies are great for apartments, they tend not to look that great and hold onto moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. For optimal shower storage, we suggest build-in shower niches. These are little cutouts in the shower wall where you can store your soaps and razors and anything else you might need. They don’t stick out into the shower and take up room, and you can even add a unique tile pattern inside to add more flare to your shower design.
Ensure Everything Has a Place
Clutter makes every room feel smaller, and a bathroom is a notorious place for clutter. We have shampoo bottles, body wash, washcloths, face wash, oils, lotions, perfumes, makeup, hairdryers, and the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, these items often get left on the counter or a shelf, making a space feel cluttered and cramped. So instead, when remodeling your bathroom, design areas for everything to have a place. Ensure there is plenty of storage for all your spa day essentials and design easy access to those everyday items such as toothbrushes.
Don’t despair at the size of your bathroom; even the smallest of bathrooms can feel like a palace with the right design choices. However, if you’re worried about picking the correct elements to make your small bathroom feel bigger, you might want to consider a Design-Build firm like McDermott Remodeling. We have an in-house designer who can lead you through the process and ensure your petite bathroom feels like a luxurious sanctuary.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.