How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

When you’re stuck with a small space for your bathroom, it can seem like you’ll be hemmed in by cramped conditions forever. However, there are a few simple fixes you can use to magically create more space in your bathroom that will make your daily routine feel much more refreshing. Check out our top 10 tips for making any small bathroom feel big:

1. Use Lots of White

As you choose materials and features to make the bathroom revolution you’ve dreamed of into a reality, make sure to incorporate lots of white into your new bathroom decor scheme. From your bathtub to your vanity, make sure to select features that make your bathroom look bigger by keeping things bright. For decades, design enthusiasts have understood the magical power that white has to make small spaces look twice their size, so make sure to take full advantage of this factor as you plan out your bathroom redesign.

How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

2. Accentuate with Light Tones

It’s understandable if you don’t want white to be the only color in the bathroom, so you can try expanding your bathroom’s color palette with light, pastel tones. Keep in mind that dark colors make a space feel smaller; while gray might seem like it would complement white perfectly, steer away from any shades that might make your space feel oppressive. Instead, try colors like light blue, pastel yellow, or lavender.

3. Install a Floating Vanity

There are a number of ways that you can replace your existing bulky vanity with a smaller option that will make your space feel bigger. For instance, you could install a pedestal sink where your original vanity once was, but pedestal sinks have a number of disadvantages including decreased storage space.

Instead, you might want to try a bite-sized vanity that still has spots to stow your stuff without getting in the way. To this end, a floating vanity might serve your purposes nicely. While floating vanities leave plenty of open space above your floor, they also provide ample countertop room, handy drawers, and even surprisingly spacious cabinets.

4. Choose Smaller Features 

In a small bathroom, less is more. Instead of dominating your entire bathroom with a big, luxurious vanity, replace it with a tiny vanity that will get the job done in style. The same goes for other bathroom features like toilets and towel racks; keep them small, simple, and out of the way. You may even want to dump your existing light fixture and try a bare bulb or a minimalist LED strip above your mirror.

5. Don’t Skimp on Your Mirror

While you should downsize most of the features in your bathroom if you want it to look bigger, your mirror is one exception. It’s no secret that a mirror can make any space look bigger, and nowhere is this principle more apparent than in your bathroom. You already use your bathroom mirror more than any other mirror in your home, so you might as well maximize its full potential by stretching it from wall to wall. You could even add a small mirror on the opposing wall to truly exploit the space-expanding effects of these features.

How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

6. Ditch the Curtain and Install a Glass Door

Shower curtains might look frilly and cute, but they get in the way and take up a lot of space. Even if you have a bathtub, it’s possible to get rid of your shower curtain in favor of a glass shower door. These types of shower doors are see-through, which makes your bathroom look bigger, and they’re also surprisingly easy to clean. If you want, you can even deploy a privacy glass shower door while still enjoying the enhanced lighting effects afforded by these light and airy features.

7. Deploy Plenty of Lighting

The brighter your bathroom looks, the bigger it will look. Even if you have all-white walls, your bathroom will look dismal if it only has a single light source. To keep things bright without impinging on your precious space, try installing recessed light fixtures in your bathroom ceiling.

8. Focus on Width in Tunnel-Shaped Bathrooms

If your bathroom is long and thin like a tunnel, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you accentuate this space’s length. Instead of choosing floor tiles that run the length of your bathroom, choose tile patterns that accentuate its width. While you’re at it, try installing a half-wall between your toilet and your tub that will make your bathroom look wider without any major renovations. You can also deploy a length of colored tile along the wall in your shower to make this part of your tiny bathroom look bigger.

9. Use Recessed Shelving

When you’re already dealing with a small bathroom, shelving can take up more room than you have to spare. Instead of jostling for room with your towel cabinet whenever you need to use the toilet, recess your cabinets into your walls to save space. You can accomplish this simple DIY project in a day or less; simply cut a hole in your wall that will fit your cabinet, remove the insulation, and screw the cabinet into place. You can also build a cabinet inside your wall from scratch.

10. Make Your Ceiling Look Taller

Even if it’s impossible to physically raise your ceiling, you can make your ceiling look higher with a few simple tips. For instance, you can deploy crown molding around the edges of your ceiling to make it look like there’s more vertical space in your bathroom; just make sure that your molding is the same color as your ceiling for the most noticeable effect. The same optical illusion can be achieved with a lattice, and you might even want to try painting clouds or stars on your ceiling to make it look like your bathroom opens up onto the sky.


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