Alternatives for a Small Bathroom

Lead Image for Alternatives for a Small Bathroom

There are often times when it is just about impossible to remodel a bathroom and make it larger in the process. Although there are solutions, it often involves major cost to the home owner. Such things as moving a load bearing wall or having to deal with an older, possibly faulty plumbing system takes a huge bite out of the budget. Because remodeling a bathroom is the most expensive projects to undertake, you often need to make do with what you have.

Bathrooms, especially in older homes, often did not use visual cues and plans to make it look larger than it actually is. They were often looked upon as utilitarian, and the focus was on "making it cuter." Designs and uses of the bathroom today have changed. People want a room that is relaxing and enjoyable. This article will explain ways to make a small bathroom look larger than it actually is.

The Illusion of Space

Many small bathrooms are carpeted. While it is nice when you get out of the shower or are in bare feet, it does little to make a room look larger. Color schemes today can be used to make a bathroom look larger than it actually is. Soft, pale colors on floor and walls make a room appear larger than it is. The same goes for bathroom fixtures.

The key is to use soft, pale colors, then add decorative touches in strong, bold colors to give the appearance of space. Consider painting a large stencil on the largest wall. Doing so creates the illusion of space, especially when it is reflected in a mirror. Consider adding a picture in the bathroom that is a scene of an outdoor garden or beach. It gives the illusion of looking out a window and seeing open space. Bold colors in towels help a great deal.

Use a black vanity with a white sink. Accessories in the bath should also be strong in color. Avoid rich, dark woods and flooring.

The Use of Glass

Glass can be used to create the illusion of space. Remove the frosted shower doors and shower curtains. Opt for new, seamless glass doors for the shower. You will be amazed at how much larger a room will seem. Take advantage of the old trick of putting mirrors on opposite walls so that they reflect each other, giving the illusion of space. Although many people use their vanity cabinets for storage, consider finding an alternative for storage of cleaning supplies. Add a new glass pedestal sinks.

The Use of Natural Light

Light gives the illusion of space. If structurally possible, consider putting a larger window in the bathroom. Older baths almost always have a very small window. Opening this space gives the illusion of space. If possible, add a skylight to provide more natural light.

The Use of Artificial Light

Lighting always helps make a room look larger. If you add recessed lighting, you can point this light at specific areas, such as the vanity. Fluorescent lights in a bathroom tend to make a ceiling look lower than it really is, although it provides good lighting. Excessive focused lighting can quickly heat up small space.

The Use of Embellishments

Designers warn against anything in a small bathroom that sticks out and causes a "stop place" for the eye. Hanging racks, wall shelves, and other such non-essential items in a bath can go unless they serve a specific need. Another designer trick is to use crown molding in the bath. If crown molding is just too much for you, consider painting a lattice around the wall at ceiling level. Ensure that it is scaled for the size of the room.

A small bathroom does not have to be a depressing space. Using simple designer tricks that don't require a huge cash outlay goes a long way in making your bathroom look larger than it actually is. Just use your creative powers and imagination and you will have a bathroom that looks large, even if it isn't.