Like it or not, we spend quite a bit of time in the bathroom each day. Between doing your “personal paperwork” and completing your morning and evening routines, the time you spend in that space could add up to a couple of hours each day. That’s a lot of time!
What’s more is that standard bathrooms tend to be just large enough to accommodate the essentials: a vanity, a toilet, and a shower or tub. Seldom is there room for much more than that, which can make such a frequently used space seem claustrophobically small.
It doesn’t matter if your style is traditional or ultra-modern, if your house is new or built way back in the day, or if you have a large or small budget. If you’re feeling cramped in your bathroom, it’s time to make some adjustments. And fortunately, there’s a lot of flexibility here to make your bathroom feel bigger without cramping your style or your bank account.
Simplify Your Palette
The first thing you can do to make your bathroom seem bigger is to simplify the color scheme. Unless you’re a hard-core, vintage-loving, pink tile/pink toilet/pink vanity/pink bathtub kind of person, you probably want to opt for a standard white finish for your fixtures. This can make your bathroom seem significantly larger. If you go with a white-on-white color motif throughout your bathroom, your fixtures will blend into the background, which creates the illusion of space.
If you’re not a white-on-white kind of person, go for cool, serene, tone-on-tone colors to help brighten up your space. Stay away from any dark colors, which can make the room feel like it’s closing in. Opt for light browns, greys, and blues instead. The fixtures will be more obvious against colored walls and cabinetry, but the cohesion across the color palette can help make your bathroom feel more spacious.
Pare It Down
Another way to make your bathroom seem roomier is to get rid of clutter. Makeup bottles, straighteners, face wash, hair gel, electric razors– the list of common countertop clutter goes on and on, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Go through your bathroom and get rid of everything that you don’t use.
Next, visit your favorite general, hardware, or antique store and look for attractive and practical baskets or containers to organize the things that you do use on a regular basis. Be ruthless as you sift through your stuff as this will help you keep things clean and organized in the future.
If you have a little bit of money to spare on a bathroom renovation, think about exchanging your vanity for a pedestal. Pedestals not only take up less space, but they don’t seem to collect clutter the way traditional vanities do. To make up for the storage, install some open shelving with nice containers or baskets to hide the items that you use regularly.
Add a Splash of Color
If you are still balking at the idea of a white-on-white bathroom, there are some options. Though an all-color bathroom can shrink your space, adding a splash of color here and there can actually help you make the bathroom seem bigger than it is. Consider the following options.
- A case of stripes: A stripe of color along a long wall can help you elongate the room. Whether done in tile in the shower or with paint along one wall, a single stripe can break up the white while making things seem more spacious.
- Accessorize: You don’t want to overdo it in this regard, but adding a few colorful accessories close to the floor can add some interest while making the most of your small space. Be extra cautious that these items don’t turn into a tripping hazard during those late night walks to the toilet.
- Go bright: I know that I said to simplify the color scheme earlier, but adding some brightly colored accessories can help make your bathroom seem a little bigger if you don’t overdo it. Bright hand towels, soap dispensers, and toothbrush holders are all excellent ways to add a pop of color.
- Be artsy: If your bathroom is small, chances are pretty good that you don’t have a lot of extra wall space, but if you do, think about adding some artwork. Tasteful artwork can break up the monotony of monochromatic walls while adding depth and interest to the room.
Create an Illusion
Creating the illusion of space is a big money and time saver when it comes to your bathroom. Luckily, there are several different ways that you can change things up in your bathroom to make it seem larger without undergoing an extensive renovation.
One way to create the illusion of space is to use large mirrors. These mirrors reflect the light which can make the space seem brighter and, therefore, bigger. They also make it look like the space is going back further than it actually is, which makes everything feel more spacious.
Your choice in lighting can also influence how large or small your bathroom appears. Canned lighting will banish the dark corners of your bathroom and make things seem roomier. If you don’t have the funds to install new lights, look into small, tabletop lights to help brighten things up.
Rethink Your Tub
Your shower or tub probably takes up a large portion of your bathroom, so you should focus on maximizing that space. If you don’t ever soak in the tub, consider getting rid of it altogether and opt for a shower-only bathroom. A barrier-free shower is a great way to increase your bathroom space and is usually achieved with a pony wall and a drain on the floor. This style of shower will make the bathroom feel like it is much deeper than it was with a standard tub and shower curtain. If that kind of renovation isn’t within reach, you could also consider installing clear glass shower walls or a clear shower curtain that can be moved completely out of the way to create the illusion of depth.