Not surprisingly, the average size of the home bathroom has almost doubled during the past few decades. Still, many of us live in homes with considerably smaller bathrooms; those that are 100 square feet or less. While they might be short on space, these smaller bathrooms need not lack style and character, or most importantly, the feel of a more spacious spa-like bath. The following tips can be used to "trick" the eye into seeing more space than is truly there.
Think Smaller Scale. If you want a small bath to appear larger, it's important not to overwhelm the space with oversized objects. Forgo an oversized vanity and opt instead for a pedestal sink. Keep your countertops clutter-free and opt for a single-handle faucet to promote a sleek and clean sink area.
Store Smart. Take advantage of above-the-toilet storage cabinets or wall-hung shelving to keep precious floor space clear. Also, accessories like a space-saving robe hook and nine-, 18-, or 24-inch towel bars keep items off the floor and against the wall, while helping to complete the look of your bath. To take your organization a step further, consider adding towel bar hooks, which easily snap on to most standard-size towel bars to keep items like clothing, jewelry, towels and travel bags within reach.
Create the Illusion of Space. It is possible to "add" space without tearing out a wall. A curved shower rod can provide up to seven-and-a-half extra inches of space in the shower. Imagine having the extra elbow room to move about in your shower, thanks to the unique curve of this decorative rod.
Think you'll need to actually raise your bathroom ceiling to create a roomier feel? It is possible to draw the eye up the wall and create the illusion of a taller bathroom by painting a lattice or molding design around the edge of the ceiling. Or, install crown molding. Just remember to make sure to match the crown molding color with the ceiling. Try white oak instead of dark wood or black finishes -- a contrasting crown molding color will break up the line of vision and make the space seem cramped and low to the floor.
Add Depth. One of the most cost effective and easiest ways to "optically enlarge" a small bathroom is through the use of paint color. But keep this tip in mind: too much color can create a bathroom that appears to be busy and overcrowded, while too little color can leave you with a sterile, cold-feeling bathroom. Pick light neutral hues to open up this small space. And to give the room a pop of color, consider adding brightly colored towels or decorative accents.
Mirrors are also a welcome addition to any small bathroom because of the light-enhancing and reflective qualities they provide to visually open up a space. Hang your mirror directly above the bathroom sink where it will reflect the light in the room and pick up the color and pattern of the walls.
Let There Be Light. Lighting has a profound effect on the perception of room size. If you don't have a bathroom window, halogen lighting is a good solution because it offers precise light, rather than the scattered light provided by fluorescent bulbs. If you have enough height in the room, consider installing soft-diffused lighting, or use several recessed lights. And, although it can be costly, a skylight is another option that can make a room appear significantly larger.
And remember; just because your bathroom may be small, doesn't mean that it has to be dull. Visually opening up a bathroom can make it a warm and inviting retreat that would rival any larger bathroom!
Looking to make a BIG impression with your limited bathroom space? Here's a quick shopping list to get you started.
Storage and accessories:
Storage cabinets: Water Closet Cabinet, Schrock Cabinetry
Shelving: Decorative Hotel Shelves, Moen
Method robe hook, Moen
Method towel bars, Moen
Towel bar hooks, Moen