Welcome to today's discussion on transforming your small bathroom into a space that is bigger, brighter, more functional, stylish, and absolutely fabulous.
If you have a tiny bathroom in need of a major makeover, this is the perfect guide for you.
I've discovered some incredible design tips and tricks that have been successfully implemented in small bathrooms, and I can't wait to share them with you.
From optimizing sink and vanity choices to exploring the power of color, tile, mirrors, and clever storage solutions, we'll cover it all.
Get ready to turn your powder bathroom, half baths, tub shower combos, and even windowless bathrooms into beautifully designed spaces that will leave you in awe.
So, let's dive right in and explore the best ways to maximize your small bathroom's potential and make it the envy of your home.
1. Sinks and Vanitie
The first step is to understand the scale of the size of the space.
Toilets need a minimum of 36 in (90 cm) total clearance.
Your bathroom toilets need a minimum of 36-inch clearance which means when you're seated on the toilet you will need 18 inches of clearance on the left and 18 inches of clearance on the right.
Once you have that space allotted then you can play around with the footprint of the bathroom and specify the right vanity for a powder room or tub shower combo for a small full bath.
Opt for leggy fixtures like pedestal sinks or vanities with legs, so they lift off of the floor and allow for more visibility into the small space.
Whatever space you have leftover should be applied to the vanity sink.
No more, no less.
Opt for pedestal sinks and vanities with legs, so they lift off the floor and allow for more visibility.
Floating vanities are also an option to make the small bathroom look larger.
Floating vanity cabinets instantly lift a small space.
So what size should my sink be?
There is no minimum measurement for a sink.
This is your home your need you figure out the way you want it to function.
If all you have room for is a tiny vessel sink or a wall-mounted sink then go for it.
A functional powder room only needs two things: a sink and a toilet. everything else is a bonus.
Once you understand the minimum allowances you have in the bathroom for fixed needs like the toilet and the sink you can then start playing around with finishes colors and patterns to make the small bathroom feel bigger.
Curved vanities are a great solution for a tight space that needs a door swing. For a long and narrow bathroom, source a long and narrow sink.
2. Wall-Mounted faucets
While we're on the topic of fixtures, always choose a wall-mounted faucet to free up countertop space.
There's a domino effect when you choose a wall-mounted faucet.
You can source a smaller sink that uses less countertop material and the countertop can be more shallow in depth.
You've shaved off a good three or four inches from the countertop with a wall-mounted faucet.
This look is stylishly modern and has bonus points for being super easy to clean since gravity will help water drip down and not collect on the countertop like a deck-mounted faucet would.
If you specify a deck-mounted faucet, choose a faucet with a single lever versus two separate handles to free up even more countertop space.
You may also source a single-hole faucet with handles attached.
3. How to Use Color: Light vs. Dark
Let's talk about how to use color in your small bathroom to make it look larger.
The goal here is to keep it very low contrast.
Keep the color palette light, bright, and airy or deep dark, and moody.
Light walls, light fixtures, and light finishes add brightness to the space.
Low-contrast finishes brighten the entire space, making it feel larger.
If you love color opt for a lighter tone like sky blue versus a darker royal blue.
Breezy lightweight window treatments add to the feeling of airy open space.
On the flip side, dark walls add depth and create the illusion of a larger space.
Dark colors are perfect for windowless bathrooms when it's already very dark in the space.
Dark walls add depth and create the illusion of a larger space.
High gloss paint reflects light and helps to bounce it around on all of the surfaces.
Remember that dark and moody doesn't have to be all black it can be just as dramatic with pattern wallpaper, rich woods, and low lighting.
I love this look for a small moody powder room.
If you choose dark walls remember the importance of a fabulous light fixture.
4. Shower Doors
Let's talk about shower doors and the right ones to specify for your small bathroom.
My preference is frameless glass doors you could have a fixed panel on one side with a frameless glass door on the other or you can simply have a fixed panel and remove the door completely.
This allows you to have full access to the shower.
Without shower doors, a pronounced sloped drain is essential.
Remember that no doors require a sloped drain maybe 1 8 to 1 4 inches more than the recommended slope.
If you have a tub shower combo, get rid of those builder-grade sliding doors.
Not only does this add bulk to the room, but it's also not that functional.
You can only access one side at a time think sliding closet doors and the extra metal frame to hold it all in place adds visual weight to the room when you want it to feel light, bright, and airy.
Framed shower doors feel heavy in a small bathroom.
You can mix the sliders completely and add a tension rod with a shower curtain that you can pull all the way to one side instead.
The shower curtain offers a burst of color into your space.
5. Large-scale patterned Wallcovering
Another trick to making small bathrooms look larger is by sourcing large-scale patterned wallpaper or murals.
The larger the pattern the larger the space will actually feel.
The larger the pattern the larger the space will appear.
Get creative with an overscale mural for a WOW effect.
Smaller patterns can visually clutter a small space unless the pattern is tone-on-tone and doesn't have much contrast then the small pattern can have the illusion of a solid color.
If you fall in love with the busier pattern consider adding wayne scott to the bottom half of the walls.
Paint it bright white and layer it with the chosen wallpaper up top.
You will raise the visual weight of the room and still provide the visual impact you crave from wallpaper.
6. Tile Tricks: Walls and Flooring
It's a two-parter where I'll be talking about floor tile and wall tile.
A trick to make your small bathroom appear larger is to tile all of the walls from the floor to the ceiling.
Tiling all the walls gives small spaces a big wow factor.
If you're worried about wetness penetrating wallpaper, think about investing in wall-to-wall tile instead.
You can use any type of tile for the project, you can specify floor tile or tiny shower pan mosaics, don't relegate your search to just wall tile.
Another budget-conscious and renter-friendly option is to use peel-and-stick wall tile that looks like full mosaic sheets instead.
Peel-and-stick wall tiles can only be used on non-wet areas outside tubs/showers.
Moving on to tile on the floors if you want your small bathroom to appear larger, extend the floor tile right into the shower.
Extending floor tile into the shower pan creates a seamless look.
The fewer materials specified, the larger the bathroom will feel.
Since there are no flooring transitions, this will draw the eye into the whole space and make the whole room feel larger.
The same rule applies to extending floor tile to the shower.
Make sure your shower pan is sloped with proper drainage that runs away from the opening of the shower stall if you go for this look.
If you don't have a shower but a tub instead, run the floor tile up on the tub face for a seamless look.
Use the same floor tile and run it up the tub face to visually extend the length of the room.
7. Mirror the entire Wall
Another tip to make your small bathroom appear larger is to mirror the entire length of a wall.
The reflection will help visually expand space and double the impact of color or pattern in the space.
If you don't have a window, the mirror acts like a window furthering the effect that light has in the room.
Make sure you specify the largest mirror that fits the wall or custom-cut a mirror to install.
I love the look of stone or tile on the bottom half of the bathroom and a full mirror on the upper half of one wall.
Remember not to mirror all of the walls, the hall of mirror's effect is dizzying you lose the impact not to mention that it's bad feng shui with all of that energy bouncing back and forth.
8. storage Hacks
Ledges and Cabinets
Use a ledge or a deck to create more space.
A narrow ledge along the entire length of the bathroom is the perfect spot to place a mirror, toiletries, candles, and bathroom essentials.
With one simple move, you just doubled your surface storage space.
This tip is borrowed from my years designing hotel suites.
Long ledges look sleek and modern granted they're only used for daily essentials and not all of your Costco toiletries are back stocked.
A long ledge can multiply surface space in a small bathroom.
Extend the ledge into the shower to create a long linear line.
If you have bottles and tubes scattered all over the countertops, it's guaranteed to distract you and clutter the space.
Use closed storage such as a linen closet or a vanity with drawers and doors to keep things neatly tucked away.
Closed cabinets conceal all the clutter.
One of the few times I support a matchy-matchy look is in the bathroom.
These small bathroom ideas are really about making the most of what you got.
I want to show you that bold design elements can make the hugest impact in the tiniest of rooms.
The lack of square footage plus no windows, plus builder-grade blah fixtures can make a small bathroom one of the more challenging spaces to design, because there's not a whole lot to it, but that's exactly why you should rise to the challenge, and let this itty bitty bathroom become the showpiece of the entire home.
When you get it right the whole room can seem brighter, more spacious, and more inspiring and it might just be the catalyst to help you get your entire home on an elevated wavelength.
Remember to always start by measuring your space, understand the clearances involved in the function that you need for the room and plan accordingly.
In conclusion, transforming a small bathroom into a spacious, functional, and stylish space is indeed possible with the right design tips and tricks.
By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can maximize the potential of your small bathroom and make it the envy of your home.
Firstly, optimizing sink and vanity choices is crucial. Consider leggy fixtures like pedestal sinks or vanities with legs to create a sense of openness and visibility. Floating vanities are also a great option for making the bathroom appear larger. Remember to allocate the appropriate space for the toilet and sink, and then explore finishes, colors, and patterns to enhance the overall design.
Choosing wall-mounted faucets is another smart move as they free up countertop space and add a modern touch. Wall-mounted faucets also make cleaning easier compared to deck-mounted ones. Consider single-lever faucets or single-hole faucets with attached handles to further maximize countertop space.
When it comes to color, both light and dark palettes can work wonders in small bathrooms. Light colors, such as light walls, fixtures, and finishes, create brightness and make the space feel larger. On the other hand, dark walls add depth and create the illusion of a larger space, especially in windowless bathrooms. High gloss paint and clever lighting choices can further enhance the impact of colors.
Choosing the right shower doors is essential. Frameless glass doors or removing the doors entirely can add a sense of openness and accessibility to the shower area. Avoid bulky sliding doors and consider alternatives like tension rods with shower curtains to add a burst of color and create a lighter atmosphere.
To create the illusion of a larger space, opt for large-scale patterned wallpaper or murals. Larger patterns visually expand the room, while smaller patterns can be used effectively if they are tone-on-tone or combined with Wayne Scott to raise the visual weight of the room.
When it comes to tile, tiling all the walls from floor to ceiling can create a big impact in small spaces.
Consider using floor tiles that extend into the shower area, eliminating flooring transitions and creating a seamless look. For tubs, running the floor tile up the tub face visually extends the length of the room.
Mirroring the entire length of a wall is a clever trick to visually expand the bathroom.
The reflection helps create the illusion of more space and amplifies the impact of color or pattern. Remember to choose the largest mirror that fits the wall or consider custom-cut options.
Lastly, maximize storage space with ledges, decks, and closed cabinets.
A narrow ledge along the length of the bathroom can double as storage for toiletries and other essentials. Closed cabinets and vanities with drawers help keep clutter out of sight, contributing to a cleaner and more spacious feel.
In summary, transforming a small bathroom into a stunning and functional space requires careful consideration of scale, design choices, and storage solutions.
By implementing the tips and tricks discussed in this article, you can elevate your small bathroom into a showpiece that inspires and enhances the overall ambiance of your home.
Q: How can I optimize the sink and vanity choices in my small bathroom?
Consider leggy fixtures like pedestal sinks or vanities with legs to create a sense of openness and visibility.
Floating vanities can also make the bathroom appear larger.
Allocate the appropriate space for the toilet and sink, and then explore finishes, colors, and patterns to enhance the overall design.
Q: Should I choose wall-mounted faucets for my small bathroom?
Yes, wall-mounted faucets are a smart choice as they free up countertop space and add a modern touch.
They are easier to clean compared to deck-mounted faucets.
Consider single-lever faucets or single-hole faucets with attached handles to further maximize countertop space.
Q: How can I use color to make my small bathroom appear larger?
Light colors, such as light walls, fixtures, and finishes, create brightness and make the space feel larger.
Dark walls add depth and create the illusion of a larger space, especially in windowless bathrooms.
High gloss paint and clever lighting choices can enhance the impact of colors.
Q: What are some tips for choosing the right shower doors for a small bathroom?
Opt for frameless glass doors or consider removing the doors entirely to add a sense of openness and accessibility.
Avoid bulky sliding doors and consider alternatives like tension rods with shower curtains to create a lighter atmosphere.
Q: How can I make my small bathroom appear larger with wallpaper or murals?
Choose large-scale patterned wallpaper or murals, as larger patterns visually expand the room.
Smaller patterns can be used effectively if they are tone-on-tone or combined with Wayne Scott to raise the visual weight of the room.
Q: What are some tile tricks to make my small bathroom look larger?
Tiling all the walls from floor to ceiling can create a big impact in small spaces.
Consider using floor tiles that extend into the shower area to eliminate flooring transitions and create a seamless look.
For tubs, running the floor tile up the tub face visually extends the length of the room.
Q: How can I visually expand my small bathroom with mirrors?
Mirror the entire length of a wall to create the illusion of more space.
The reflection helps amplify the impact of color or pattern.
Choose the largest mirror that fits the wall or consider custom-cut options.
Q: What are some storage hacks for a small bathroom?
Use ledges or decks along the length of the bathroom to create additional surface storage space.
Consider closed cabinets, linen closets, or vanities with drawers to keep things neatly tucked away and reduce clutter.
Remember to measure your space, understand clearances, and plan accordingly to maximize your small bathroom's potential and create a spacious, functional, and stylish space.