Bathroom Design Tips – 10 Small Bathroom Ideas that Work…

Any bathroom layout can be challenging, but a small bathroom really puts creativity to the test. Even if your bathroom is short on space, it doesn’t mean you can’t think big! Read on to discover some bathroom ideas to help make that small space work for you…

Add Mirrors

This can work for any room, but in a small bathroom it really does the trick. By adding a mirror across an entire wall, you effectively create the illusion of a larger room. This is particularly effective above a vanity or along one side of a narrow bathroom. Mirrors are also great for reflecting light, so you can get more lighting from your light fixtures or windows.

Wall Mounted Toilets

If you have space in the walls of your small bathroom to build-in a toilet tank, you can save both floor space and legroom with a wall mounted toilet. Not only does this look more streamlined and open, but it’s easier to clean around and underneath. If a wall mount isn’t an option, consider adding shelving above the tank for additional storage or extending your vanity top to create a narrow ledge.

Lose The Tub

Tubs take up twice the amount of floor space than showers. If you can part with the tub in exchange for a shower, you’ll open up the space in a small bathroom significantly. Showers are great for adults, and if you add a hand shower, they are excellent for washing pets too. However, if you have young children who require bath time, you could consider a lower profile tub. The lower height makes getting in and out easier, and it will make your room feel a bit more open than with a traditional tub.

Frameless Glass Shower/Tub Shower Panels

What better way to update the look of your bath while giving the appearance of more space than to do away with the traditional shower curtain and replace it with a more modern, frameless glass panel. Shower curtains visually close off a room, and let’s be honest – shower curtains are a pain to clean. Swapping out a shower curtain with a frameless glass panel will open up your bathroom and allow more light into the shower or tub.

Glass panels are easy to install and are a quick update for small bathrooms. You can choose from fixed in place or hinged to swing. However, avoid sliding glass panels which require top and bottom tracks and are more difficult to clean and to keep clean.

Curb-Less Showers

Still not sure how to increase the visual space of a small bath? How about incorporating a favorite small bathroom design idea – the curb-less shower. By eliminating the curb around the shower, your flooring can continue right into the shower giving the room a seamless look. Bonus: The shower just became much easier to clean. This design works great with concrete, stone slab, and tile floors.

Small Sinks And Floating Vanities

As with wall mounted toilets, wall mounted sinks are an excellent way to save floor space and to make your small bathroom appear more open. Another plus is ease of cleaning/mopping. If storage is key, try a wall-mounted floating vanity. Look for narrow washbasin designs and for the newer thin-edge sinks. The ceramic is just as strong as it is with a traditional sink and you’ll get a larger washbasin in less space. This look gives an updated, modern vibe to any space.

Look Up – Add Cabinets And Open Shelving On The Walls

Storage is very often sacrificed in small bathrooms where floor space is limited. However, there is plenty of available real estate on the walls. Add shelving on the wall above the toilet or at the end of the tub. Using narrow open shelves will help to keep the look light. If you’re incorporating cabinets, select a design with glass fronts, or opt for recessed medicine cabinets with mirrored fronts above your sink. The options are endless.

Pocket Doors

We’ve already discussed how eliminating the tub will buy you some space. However, another space saving idea to consider is to switch from a traditional entry door to a pocket door. This will require that you open a wall to create the pocket for installation. However, you can gain up to 9 square feet of usable space that you did not have before. Not only will this give you more openness, but allow some flexibility when placing your fixtures. Another great option is to look for surface-mounted sliding door hardware to create a modern sliding door or barn door look.

Think “Light”

A well-known basic design fact is that dark walls make a room appear smaller. Lighter walls reflect more light, and make a room feel larger. When you’re talking about a small bathroom, you want to be strategic with color selection. Reserve dark colors for the floor only. Keep the
overall scheme of the bathroom light and airy. If you have wood floors, look for shower tiles that match the wood in color and tone helping to create the illusion of a continuous floor.

Add An Accent Wall

One of the best design ideas to help create interest in a small space is to add an accent wall. It’s a great way to add some color to a small bathroom without overwhelming the space. In a small bathroom, you want to focus the accent on the back wall. You can create the accent by adding color to the entire wall or just a band of color, by adding a pattern using paint or tile, and even by adding the same tile accent to the flooring. Keep the rest of the walls light and simple in color to not dilute the effect.

Don’t be put off by a small bathroom. With a few simple changes, that small bath space can become (or appear) roomier, brighter, and updated.

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W.Stephens Cabinetry and Design provides planning and design services for the entire home including kitchens, bathrooms, wet bars, butler pantries, libraries, home theaters, and closets. Our designers follow a project from conception to completion, assisting clients in not only space-planning and design but also guiding clients through each step of the project.

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