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Making a Small Bathroom Big

by Sonja Albrecht
Repair-Home Columnist

Small square footage shouldn't get in the way of your big bathroom vision. You can make the most of a small space through optical illusions and efficient design. Here are ten strategies for achieving a spacious bathroom--without knocking down a wall.

Top 10 Tricks for Making Your Bathroom Feel Bigger

Before you concoct an elaborate home remodel plan, try some of the following simple, space-expanding design techniques. A bathroom design and remodel specialist can also help you troubleshoot your current layout.

  1. Fiat Lux. Lighting can 'open up' a tight space. Interior design expert Coral Nafie suggests recessed lighting, which produces a subtle effect and doesn't take up counter or wall space.
  2. Less Vanity. The standard vanity cabinet sink may be practical, but it consumes precious floorspace. Trade the bulky sink-cabinet for a wall-mounted or pedestal sink.
  3. Mirrors. Mirrors instantly double the space in the mind's eye. Either install a large mirror over the sink, or create an artful arrangement of smaller mirrors.
  4. Soft Pastels. Use pastels and neutrals to create a spacious feel. "Pale, soft color schemes create the illusion of more space," explains Nafie. Vivid colors are best reserved for accessories and towels.
  5. Avoid Protruding Objects. Wall shelves, hanging racks... any object that sticks out disrupts the bathroom space.
  6. Get Clutter-Free. For some, this step will seem more drastic than a full bathroom remodeling plan. Small decorative objects must go if you're going to make the most of your small bathroom. Also, keep towels and rugs to a minimum.
  7. Storage Solutions. On a related note, don't let beauty and hygiene products loiter on countertops. Ideally, store them outside the room in a linen closet.
  8. Revealing Shower. Swap a frosted glass door for a clear one, or install a shower curtain that can be kept open when not in use.
  9. Add A Window. A real window would be ideal, but you can also hang a framed picture that resembles a window or displays an outdoor scene.
  10. Raise the Roof. To create the illusion of a raised ceiling, install crown molding.


Before you embark on an elaborate home remodel project, give this ten-step plan a try. If you find you still need elbow room, consult a home remodel specialist for a more expansive solution.

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About the Author
Sonja Albrecht works as a writer and editor for an online media company. She has also taught college writing and completed a Ph.D. in English.