Who says you can only wow with big spaces? Having a small space to work with can be a blessing; you’ll just learn to edit things out and live with what really makes you happy. Many of us are given small bathrooms but that shouldn’t stop you from making the best out of it; here I’m showing you how you can make yours impressive.
First and foremost, a room with a good layout instantly makes it functional and desirable. With that said (and rules and regulation aside), it isn’t entirely one size fits all though, meaning what works for me might not work for you. I will always allocate more space for the shower because if you’ve ever tried raising your elbow and then it hits against the wall. Ouch!
// LAYOUT //
There are two ways to do with the layout of your bathroom, you either go with the original layout given to you or you go against it. The latter involves but might not be limited to hacking, rerouting pipes. If you live in an apartment/condo, sometimes you can’t change the location of the WC due to the fact that it’s had to be connected to the main sewage pipe.
Not altering the original layout will save you money. Think about how much you really need a mirror above your sink. What will you do if you’re given this layout (image left)? You can choose to embrace the window and hang a mirror on the opposite wall, see how the mirror reflects natural light in this bathroom, that is equivalent to having two windows. And if you dare, why not have an open concept bathroom (image right)? If that glass is a solid wall, black tiles wouldn’t work, it will just feel claustrophobic.
// TILES AND COLORS //
When tackling a small bathroom, colors are important. You can choose to go light and bright with white or if you love dark colors, consider reflective tiles. Did I mention copper looks gorgeous with black? For small bathrooms, use one type/light color tiles throughout can visually expand your space, I normally do not recommend doing different tiles or colors (you’ll typically see bathrooms with different wall tiles for dry and wet areas). The above bathroom actually has the shower wall slightly receded which calls for a different tiles or pattern plus the floor needs smaller tiles on the slope to the drain. In conclusion, stick to two types/colors of tiles (in total) for small bathrooms.
// LIGHTING //
They say lighting is important in every room, and it cannot be more true. There are task lighting, ambiance lighting just to name two. For a small bathroom, dress up your lighting; you might wanna use brass/copper (a hot look right now!). A pendant lighting creates a more living space vibe in the bathroom. Good lighting in the bathroom provides a pleasurable experience (from going about your daily routine to setting the mood).
// STORAGE //
I am not a fan of medicine cabinets, unless it’s recessed into the wall, vintage or just has a really good design. If it’s the generic kind, I say forget it. You’re better off to impress with these shelves; I especially love niches and ledges (see above). If you like corner shelving like these, they should be built during the reno phase. The bold and sexy black grout just adds so much to these affordable square white tiles.
If possible, borrow space from another room to create hidden storage, anything that is not protruding out of your wall doesn’t visually take up space.
// FLOATING/LEGGY VANITY OR PEDESTAL SINKS //
When choosing your sink, go with floating vanity, vanity on legs or pedestal sinks. The thing with small bathrooms is, the more you don’t focus on storage, storage, storage, the more you and your guests can focus on the beautiful stuff. No one goes to your home, open your cabinet and admire the stuff inside. Having storage is important, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing that is important. Some homes has a storage room or closet next to the bathroom, use them for storing towels and dry stuff (cotton buds, etc.). Store only what is absolutely necessary for your everyday in your bathroom (which sometimes having a shelf or two is enough). If you must have storage below your sink, choose those on legs or float them above ground for the airy look.
// SEATING //
If you do no.5, add a stool like this (image left) for towels and what not. It’s not just a seat. And if you happen to have a small bathroom with adequate space in your shower, adding a built-in seating like this instantly makes it spa-like. Once again, the key is adding features that you see in bigger bathrooms takes away the attention from the fact that IT IS a small bathroom. And the more beautiful features one can focus on (without going crazy or busy), the less we think about “jeez, this is small”.
// ACCENTUATE LENGTH/DEPTH/HEIGHT //
Whenever possible, consider running your vanity across the entire length of the wall (as well as your mirror!). It gives the illusion of a deeper/wider space, plus extra counter space never hurts. If your bathroom has a niche, make use of it by making it functional, see how this bathroom (above) carved out storage just like that. Open storage where one can see everything makes a space visually more spacious.
It’s not just length, you can visually add height and depth to a space too. Ever wonder what these mirror in front of mirror design does? Well, it adds depth to an otherwise small, narrow space plus it reflects natural light from the window (above). See the classic black and white bathroom, adding wood accents helps warm up the space (because technically black and white are not colors).
Having a small bathroom is a blessing in disguise (for one, think about how much cleaning it takes for a big bathroom), if you would allow yourself to enjoy your bathroom, then it’s no longer painfully obvious that it’s small. The bottom line is to create beautiful features selectively in your bathroom so that the focus is no longer about what you don’t have, but what you have. And you don’t need to have a lot, to feel happy or be functional. Knowing what makes you happy is more important than having a lot of things but feeling lost.
Update your bathroom without a renovation, see 7 Steps Toward A Better Bathroom.
Be sure to check back the blog because I’m about to tackle my own home reno (new home coming in a few months) and I have two small bathrooms that I am more than determined to make them beautiful, functional and totally me (+husband). Click my Pinterest link below for all the above beautiful bathrooms and more (I actually pinned a bunch and some didn’t made it to this post but they’re equally great).
All words by me and images from Pinterest.