47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (2024)

Room Design

Bathroom Design

Small Bathrooms

By

Kaitlyn McInnis

47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (1)

Kaitlyn McInnis

Kaitlyn McInnis is a lifestyle expert and writer specializing in global interior design trends and styles which she is able to experience first-hand through her extensive travels. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Forbes, Homes & Gardens, and Real Homes. Kaitlyn also worked for AskMen.com, where she managed an international team of writers and experts.

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Updated on 02/22/23

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47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (2)

We spoke to home decorators, designers, architects, and remodeling professionals to get their best advice on how to renovate and decorate a small bathroom. Small bathrooms can be tough to design. On the one hand, because they are compact, you can save money because you are using fewer materials in the space. On the other hand, small bathrooms can be tinier than you'd prefer and often lack adequate storage—and no one likes being cramped. That's why it helps to have professional advice. Whether you’re updating your en suite bathroom, a downstairs powder room, or the bathroom you share with the entire household, here’s how to make a small bathroom work.

Meet the Expert

  • Anaïs Chaumien is the New York City-based interior designer behind Design by Anaïs.
  • Darla DeMorrow is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of HeartWork Organizing.
  • Stefania Filizola is a design expert at Fixr, a resource for remodeling project costs.
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    Make Space for a Larger Vanity

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    According to Pamela Durkin, Interior Designer and Design Coach at Durkin Designs, LLC, a larger vanity might actually be the way to go—even if it seems counterintuitive. “Get the largest vanity you can get,” she says. “It will give you a lot more counter space and make everything look a bit bigger.”

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    Focus on One Pattern

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    While it can be tempting to go all-out with patterns in a smaller bathroom as a way to create a statement on a small scale, Durkin suggests taking a step back and really being strategic. “Put a pattern on the floor, for example," she says, "but keep the walls neutral by adding texture either in a molding detail or wallpaper."

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  • 03 of 47

    Consider a Fixed Shower Panel

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    Instead of a sliding or swinging glass door on the shower, consider a fixed panel. Durkin suggests moving the shower handle to the open end so you can turn on your shower without getting wet. “There are now 2-in-1 shower heads so you don't have to have both a shower head and handheld,” she says.

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    Keep It Clean

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    According to Anaïs Chaumien, the New York City-based interior designer behind Design by Anaïs, anyone working with a small bathroom should keep the space as tidy as possible. “Storage boxes and baskets are your best friends if you can't add furniture," she says. "Otherwise, feel free to add floating shelves, they will help you store everything and are super easy to decorate. Choose neutral colors for the boxes and baskets so as not to overwhelm the space.”

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    Let There Be Light

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    Natural light will immediately make space appear bigger. “If you don't have a window, you'll have to add as much artificial light as you can,” Chaumien says. “Maybe change the light fixtures for a brighter/bigger one if you can, or add another light source.”

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    Be Strategic With Mirrors

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    Mirrors are also super helpful when it comes to emphasizing the light of the room—Chaumien suggests placing a large mirror in front of a window or positioning it to reflect a light fixture to double the amount of light. A series of smaller mirrors will multiply the effect, she says.

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    Don’t Overlook Accessories

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    Even if you need to declutter, you don't want your bathroom to look too bare. “To add decoration without cluttering the area, play with functional decoration (i.e., elements you would have to use in your bathroom anyway),” says Chaumien. She suggests starting with mirrors for light; little rattan baskets for storage; a beautiful shower curtain; or even an aesthetically pleasing bath mat.

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    Go for Light and Airy Colors

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    According to Chaumien, unless you'd like to make a statement in the room (and she wouldn't advise it if you want the space to feel bigger), go for light and neutral colors. “Neutral doesn't necessarily mean white,” she says. “Play with shades of gray, nudes, whites, light blue, pale gray, blush… Any neutral tone will immediately make space appear bigger than if you used darker colors.”

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    Focus on Details

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    If you want to make a decorative statement, choose smaller details. “You can be playful with the bathroom vanity or the towel holder if the rest of the space is neutral,” Chaumien says. “Don't be afraid to use wallpaper—but again, nothing too bold. Adding a lovely light blue pattern on one wall (one wall only, please) will add depth to the space.”

    30 Beautiful Bathroom Wallpaper Ideas

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    Use Natural Accents

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    According to Chaumien, the more natural you go, the better. Natural materials such as stone, wood, linen, and wicker will add visual interest without overwhelming the room. “Too shiny, complicated, or cheap materials will draw too much attention, especially in such a small space where your eye will be drawn directly to them,” she says. And whenever possible or feasible, add plants to make the space feel vibrant and alive.

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    Declutter Beauty Products

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    “Declutter first and always,” says Darla DeMorrow, a certified professional organizer and owner of HeartWork Organizing. “Pick your favorite products, just enough, and stick with them. If a beauty product isn’t cutting it, gift it to a friend or toss it ASAP.” According to DeMorrow, the less stuff you have, the more space you can enjoy. This is true in the shower stall, bathtub, and medicine cabinet.

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    Edit Cleaning Supplies

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    Keep essential cleaning supplies right inside your bathroom for a quick and easy refresh. “A good all-purpose cleaner, your favorite essential oil, and a broom and dustpan—hidden in the closet or behind the door—are all you need to keep things fresh,” DeMorrow says.

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    Get Rid of Excess Towels

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    Demorrow suggests keeping only two sets of towels per person unless there are particular circ*mstances when you might need more. “There’s no reason for more if you own a working washing machine. No matter how you stack, stash, fold, or hang them, caring for more linens than you need just takes up room and energy,” she says.

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    Simplify Your Linen Color Scheme

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    Demorrow suggests curating your towels to suit your color scheme when possible—or even better, buy all-white towels, which can be bleached and rotated out as needed.

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    Update Your Lighting

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (17)

    According to Demorrow, refreshing your lighting can be one of the easiest ways to add visual interest without taking up any space at all. “A single fixture in the bathroom can provide energy-efficient lighting, a fan feature, and a little glam,” she says.

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  • 16 of 47

    Avoid Pedestal Sinks

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (18)

    According to James Kalim, Founder and CEO at Only Silent, a company about quiet design, you should avoid pedestal sinks—even if you love the way they look. “Although pedestal sinks are beautiful, having them in your small bathroom is not essential,” Kalim says. “This creates wasted space that you can use for storage instead.”

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  • 17 of 47

    Hide Your Toiletries

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (19)

    Interior designer Tom Lawrence-Levy, of Natural Asthetik, says he prefers installing custom medicine cabinets that are built into the walls when designing a bathroom from scratch in order to maximize space. “This way the mirror is completely flush with the remainder of the wall," he says, "giving the room a much sleeker feel, and hiding any clutter.” Otherwise, organizing them in drawers with spacers will keep them organized and accessible.

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    Consider Oversized Mirrors

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    “Mirroring a wall can also create the idea that your small bathroom is larger than it actually is,” says decorator Ryan Jones at Land of Rugs. “While most people will add a mirror into their space above the vanity unit, adding mirrors to an entire wall will reflect light and pattern in a superb way, making your bathroom look bright and large.” According to Jones, this works really well when incorporated with lighter colors like whites and grays.

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    Consider Tile Size

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (21)

    According to Stefania Filizola, design expert at Fixr, ensuring you have the right sized tile for your space is key to making it feel bigger than it is. “Grout lines will create a grid, using small or medium tiles will require a lot of grouting, making the bathroom feel smaller,” she explains. “Choosing big tiles that will fit in your space without the need for so many grout lines will help to expand the space.”

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    Use the Same Tile on Walls and Floor

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    “I suggest using the same tile color and pattern for the walls and the floor,” Filizola says. “This way your eyes won’t see the separation, making the walls appear to be further away and the space bigger.”

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    Create Storage Niches

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (23)

    Filizola also suggests cutting storage niches into your walls—it’s not only an aesthetic choice, but it will also improve functionality. “Instead of having cabinets or shelves protruding out of the wall and reducing the usable space, you create storage inwards so there’s nothing in your way,” she says.

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    Go for Polished Finishes

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (24)

    A room lacking in natural light can look and feel closed in, but Filizola suggests adding additional sources of artificial light to compensate, especially in atypical ways. “You can use reflective surfaces like glossy tiles and polished or brass faucets to expand the light reach around the room,” she says.

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    Minimize Furniture

    Filizola suggests reducing the number of cabinets and furniture in your bathroom and keeping essential storage pieces off the floor by using floating cabinets or wall-hung linen towers. “With a more exposed floor, more light will reflect from it, making the whole space appear bigger,” she says.

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    Maximize Vertical Space

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (26)

    As far as storage goes, thinking vertical will help you save a lot of space—and avoid visual clutter. “The space above the sink and toilet are prime areas,” interior designer Joe Cangelosi, of Joe Cangelosi Design LLC, says. “Always get a good medicine cabinet that is as tall as possible—it will fool the eye into thinking that the ceiling is higher, and can offer more storage than a smaller cabinet.” Cangelosi also suggests placing a shelving unit or cabinet over the toilet for extra storage.

    The 11 Best Floating Shelves for Every Wall of Your Home

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    Paint the Ceiling

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (27)

    “I like to paint bathroom ceilings using a semi-gloss paint to reflect the light," Cangelosi says. "I love using a dramatic silver color to add some visual interest, bring the eye up, and reflect light to make the room seem much bigger."

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  • 26 of 47

    Opt for Large Pieces of Art

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (28)

    Although it might seem counterintuitive, Tina Ramchandani, principal interior designer at Tina Ramchandani Creative, suggests hanging large pieces of art instead of smaller pieces, to help fill the space. “Smaller frames will draw attention to the fact that you're in a small space,” she says. “When looking at art—or mirrors—think about the frame. A slim frame will take up less visual space, whereas a thick frame may make the space feel smaller.”

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    Create More Space

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (29)

    "While it is not always an option, raising the ceilings in asmallbathroomcan give the illusion that the space is larger than it is," Savannah Phillips, interior designer for The Knobs Company, says. "If raising the ceiling isn't an option, another thing you can do to make asmallbathroomappear larger is to recess all of the mirrors and any closets that you can."

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    Add Color and Shine

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (30)

    This petite powder room from Cathie Hong Interiors has a textured pink wall treatment that adds color and interest. A black sink adds contrast, and gold-toned metals add shine.

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    Go Vintage

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (31)

    Brexton Cole Interiors added big personality to a small powder room by using a vintage decor scheme complete with a pedestal sink with a brass-toned base and built-in towel racks, brass light switch and electrical plug covers, an antique-style Louis-Philippe mirror, and swirly black-and-white marble-effect wallpaper.

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    Create Movement

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (32)

    In this small bathroom from Cathie Hong Interiors, illustrated black-and-white wallpaper with an abstract pattern that looks like a cloudy sky or a wavy sea adds movement that helps to create the illusion of a larger space.

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    Add a Playful Light Fixture

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (33)

    While wall-mounted sconce lighting is always a great idea in a small bathroom, if you have the space for it, consider hanging a playful pendant light from the ceiling instead. Louis Duncan-He Designs hung a sculptural light in this small bathroom, leaving space on the wall above the sink for a decorative mirror, and adding a leafy botanical wallpaper accent on the adjacent wall.

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  • 32 of 47

    Split It Up

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (34)

    Ursula Carmona of Home Made By Carmona maximized the wall space of this small powder room by splitting it into two, adding decorative molding and framed art on the lower half, and installing patterned wallpaper on top to create a layered and decorative feel that makes the modest space feel special. A modern pendant light suspended in the center of the ceiling draws the eye up and makes the space feel larger.

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    Add Mood Lighting

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (35)

    In a small powder room, why not make guests feel better about themselves by installing a decorative light fixture that will provide flattering ambient light, no filter required, like this softly lit dusky pink space from Louis Duncan-He Designs? A vase of pretty flowers will make guests feel pampered.

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    Pair Gray and Gold

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (36)

    This small cottage-style bathroom from Desiree Burns Interiors is decorated like a space three times its size, in shades of gray and white with gold-toned accents, from the Art Deco-style fan wallpaper to the painted gray ceiling to the brassy plumbing fixtures, door knobs, and matching tissue box.

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    Add Whimsy

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (37)

    Black-and-white wallpaper depicting a pond of endless ducks adds a note of lighthearted whimsy to this little Canadian cottage bathroom from Michelle Berwick Design.

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  • 36 of 47

    Create a Focal Point

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (38)

    This small bathroom from Cathie Hong Interiors is visible at the end of a hallway, including a side glimpse of the toilet. But cheerful, colorful botanical wallpaper in shades of green, blue, and orange distract the eye and turns the small room into a feature instead.

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  • 37 of 47

    Layer It Up

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (39)

    On the inside of this small bathroom from Cathie Hong Interiors, a frameless mirror hangs over the sink, reflecting the wallpaper on the opposite wall and reflecting light. A wall-mounted sink with shiny gold-toned hardware and a fun globe light and brass sconce add some shine.

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    Skip the Shower Door

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (40)

    To create a primary en suite bathroom in a Canadian vacation cottage, Michelle Berwick Design reconverted a hall closet and two bedroom closets, leaving the shower doors off to create flow in the tight space.

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    Use a Dynamic Pattern

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (41)

    This guest bathroom from Cathie Hong Interiors has a randomized mustard tile accent pattern that causes the eye to move around and creates a dynamic feel that makes the modest space feel more expansive.

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  • 40 of 47

    Paint It Dark

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (42)

    While it's true that a light and bright paint color can make a small space feel larger, the opposite can also be true. Painting a smaller space in a darker color creates the illusion that the space is larger by tricking the eye into not knowing where walls begin or end. This small bathroom from Becca Interiors is painted in a deep warm gray that instantly adds dimension to the space. Thoughtful details like the vintage pedestal sink and painted wood half-shutters make it feel polished, and a large built-in mirror over the sink painted out in the same rich gray doubles views and reflects light.

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    Hang Dark Wallpaper

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (43)

    If you're a fan of wallpaper, don't be afraid to choose a pattern with a dark background, like this cottage bathroom from Kate Marker Interiors which features a whimsical illustrated woodland pattern in contrasting shades of white and green. A large window allows natural light to flood in, ensuring that the space doesn't feel too dark.

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    Skip the Double Sinks

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (44)

    Double sinks are a modern luxury that are sometimes confused as a must-have, but there's no reason why you should sacrifice counter space for an extra sink in a smaller space. In this San Francisco condo bathroom from Cathie Hong Interiors, a large vanity fills the space and provides additional storage while leaving open space that makes the small room feel less cramped and leaves room for spreading out when you're shaving, blow-drying your hair, or giving yourself an at-home spa manicure.

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    Be Bold

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (45)

    While you might feel inclined to brighten up a small windowless bathroom that you use on a daily basis, if you're looking to decorate a powder room for guests, why not take the opposite approach and embrace the darkness? Gray Space Interiors added personality and created a moment of drama in this small bathroom by painting the ceiling black, then adding bold technicolor wallpaper with a dark background that will turn your at-home rest stop into a miniature escape for your guests before returning to your neutral-toned living room.

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    Coordinate Your Accents

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (46)

    In this small bathroom from Cathie Hong Interiors, black accents are used on the plumbing fixtures, wall-mounted towel hooks, sink mirror, and floating shelving to create a graphic look that is cohesive, limiting visual clutter and looking effortlessly pulled together.

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    Accent With Patterned Floor Tile

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (47)

    This small bathroom from Desiree Burns Interiors has a calming palette of off-whites and taupe, gold-toned accents, and a patterned tile floor that creates a focal point.

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    Use Soothing Colors

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (48)

    This small bathroom from Cathie Hong Interiors has soothing sage green wall paint that gives it a zen feel. A large mirror hung over the sink reflects the opposite staircase just outside the room, making the modest space feel bigger and more dimensional.

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    Play With Scale

    47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (49)

    In this small bathroom from Cathie Hong Interiors, an oversized sconce hanging above the large oblong mirror is a playful play on proportions, making the counterintuitive case that using larger pieces in smaller spaces can make them feel a bit more confident and grand.

102 Best Bathroom Design Ideas You'll Want to Try

47 Small Bathroom Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger (2024)

FAQs

What makes a small bathroom appear larger? ›

Add a Mirror

A well-placed mirror can help to reflect light and visually enlarge a space. “A great way to make smaller bathrooms feel bigger is to swap out large, frameless mirrors for smaller, decorative mirrors with a minimal thin frame.

How can I increase storage in my small bathroom? ›

Getting enough storage in a small bathroom is all about making smart use of every inch. Some shelves under the sink, a large mirror cabinet, a cart or some new hooks and hangers are all quick fixes that easily can be made to help keep your things nice and tidy.

What color makes a small bathroom look bigger? ›

According to basic design principles, light colors such as white, crème, pastel blue, gray or yellow are all recommended colors to paint a small bathroom in order to visually expand a room, while dark colors such as a deep red, green or brown, will make a room feel smaller.

How do you make an illusion of space in a small bathroom? ›

Make use of mirrors

Making use of large mirrors in small bathrooms by positioning them adjacent or opposite windows and light sources will reflect an abundance of light around the room - helping you to achieve a bright, airy room with a luxurious finish.

Should toilet or sink be next to shower? ›

Clearance: At least 24" of space is needed in front of a shower or tub entry. Leave at least 15" of space between the shower and toilet or other obstacle.

What pattern makes a room look bigger? ›

Vertical stripes, ones that go up and down, will help to stretch a room and make it feel taller than it is.

What is the best color for a bathroom in 2024? ›

White-on-white bathrooms and kitchens have been on trend for years and are always timeless. However, for 2024, bold color makes its return. Rich jewel tones–deep emerald, rich topaz, dark sapphire, dusky ruby and velvety dark shades of plum–are being seen on bathroom walls, cabinetry and accessories.

How much does it cost to expand a small bathroom? ›

Small bathrooms are usually three-quarter baths containing a sink, toilet, and shower stall but no tub. They may be anywhere from 20 to 35 square feet and are typically just large enough for a small cabinet or closet. These can cost as little as $5,000 for a converted space or as much as $18,000 for a home addition.

Where should a mirror be placed in a small bathroom? ›

Always position a mirror above the sink

This goes for any bathroom of any size, you should always position a bathroom mirror above the sink. You may choose to add a second mirror (more on that to come) but something feels very off when you look up from the sink into a solid wall.

What color bathroom sells a house? ›

The Impact of Paint Colors on Potential Buyers

According to a survey by Zillow, homes with blue bathrooms sold for an average of $5,400 more than those with white bathrooms. Similarly, homes with light blue or periwinkle bedrooms sold for an average of $1,856 more than those with white bedrooms.

What color is most flattering in a bathroom? ›

Soothing neutrals in blue, green, and gray will help create a relaxing, spa-like vibe for your bathroom. Look for colors inspired by nature like soft sage, sky blue, and ash gray. If you prefer warmer colors, opt for a pale yellow, warm beige, or even a delicate blush color to give the space a welcoming glow.

How to make a bathroom zen? ›

Embrace Neutral Colors

Neutral tones can exude a sense of calm, which is ideal for a Zen-style bathroom. To keep a white or gray room from feeling stark, consider adding wood elements, like a bench or stool, or subtle decorative accents to bring a bit of natural warmth to the space.

How do I make my bathroom look Zen? ›

The neutral look is trendy right now. To turn your bathroom into a spa-like tranquil retreat, dress it in shades of brown, beige, and cream. Apply cream or beige paint to the walls, and use similar shades for floor and shower tiles. Choose a wood or stone vanity.

What makes bathroom look bigger small or big tiles? ›

Using larger floor tiles is a great way to trick the eye and make a room look bigger than it actually is. Larger tiles used throughout the bathroom look a lot less 'busy' than with smaller tiles, which therefore make the room appear larger; the lack of grout lines also makes the whole space appear more expansive.

What size floor tile makes a small bathroom look bigger? ›

Choose Large-Format Tiles

Large format tiles (tiles that are larger than 60cm x 60cm) will make your bathroom feel bigger than it really is. Firstly, there will be fewer grout lines, so your walls & floors will look more seamless & less cluttered & restrictive. Secondly, the scale will make your space feel larger.

Will a large mirror make a small bathroom look bigger? ›

Go big with your mirrors

The more light you can reflect, the bigger your bathroom will look. Instead of just hanging a small bathroom mirror above the sink, consider mirroring a whole wall, or at least a large portion of it.

What type of mirror makes a bathroom look bigger? ›

Make space for wall-to-wall mirrors

Decorating with mirrors is a must for making a small bathroom look bigger. 'We like to use full size mirrors that run from wall to wall, or from floor to ceiling,' says international interior designer Ina Rinderknecht of the bathroom above.

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