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Design Magic to Make a Small Bathroom Big

by Clare Kaufman

Repair-Home Columnist

Size isn't just about square-footage. Design plays an important role in how big a space feels. Here are some optical illusions that can transform your small bathroom into a spacious oasis, without knocking down the walls. What's more, these simple renovation designs are within reach for most do-it-yourselfers.

Some key home renovation designs can add an illusion of height or depth in a small bathroom.

Make Your Small Bathroom Taller...

  • Vertical lines draw the eye upward, making the walls seem taller. You can paint a vertical stripe or choose a vertical wallpaper pattern. If you're tiling, consider extending the tiles to the ceiling.
  • Ceiling edging design can have the same effect. You can add interest to the upper reaches of your small bathroom by lining the 'crown' of the ceiling with a painted border, crown molding, or patterned tile.

Make Your Small Bathroom Deeper...

  • Mirrors, the magician's secret, can also lend an illusion of depth to your home renovation design. One large mirror can (appear to) extend the width and length of a small bathroom.
  • Clear shower curtains or a glass door bring the shower space back into the room. To remove all visual barriers, try a fully frameless shower door.

Make Your Small Bathroom Brighter...

  • A light color scheme throughout the bathroom renovation design, from floor to décor, can bring a bathroom out of the shadows. Pastels, neutrals, or whites work well.
  • Lights installed around the perimeter of the room expand the space. One home renovation designer achieves a spacious look by placing shelves near the ceiling and fitting lights underneath them.
  • A skylight or window can bring in the sunlight and open up the room.

Make Your Small Bathroom More Spacious...

  • Storage can clear up space-stealing clutter. The most space-savvy solutions are recessed cabinets; floating cabinets that leave floor space exposed are an acceptable second.
  • Pedestal or wall-mounted sinks also increase visible floor space and eliminate the bulky vanity.
  • Toilets can be relegated to an alcove to open up more space.
  • Bathtubs are space stealers, but may be too luxurious to omit. Choose a deep yet small model.

Most small bathrooms are not as small as they seem. These smart home renovation designs can bring out your small bathroom's inner 'master bath.'



"Making the Most of a Small Bathroom," Moms Network, Home and Garden

Small Bathroom Design Tips, HomeSite

About the Author

Clare Kaufman works as a writer and editor for an online media company. She has completed a graduate degree in English.