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How To Make A Small Bathroom Seem Larger

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the bathroom is often the sanctuary. Unfortunately, this sanctuary is not always the roomy, spa-like space you'd like it to be. Especially in older homes, bathrooms may be just big enough to comfortably fit tub, toilet, and sink, but there are ways to maximizing the space you do have and make your bathroom look larger than it is. Whether you are completely renovating your bathroom or just need a few easy tips, consider the following:

1. Clutter:

Clutter is your number one enemy in small spaces. Shampoo bottles on shelves, items on the toilet tank, toothbrushes, cups, and toiletries on the sink and counter; all these things break up the space and make your bathroom seem smaller than it is. For items that must be stored in the bathroom, a wall cabinet with solid doors is a good option. Keep your toiletries in the medicine cabinet, out of sight.

2. Walls:

Light colors not only make a room seem brighter, but also create the illusion of space. If you are choosing tile, pick a light, neutral color, and match the grout as closely as possible. If you desire accent tiles or borders, choose tiles one shade darker or lighter than your main tile color. For example, white accents can be used with cream colored tile. If you prefer to wallpaper or paint your walls, choose light colors and subtle patterns. Texture can often be used to add visual interest without creating visual clutter.

3. Fixtures:

If you plan on replacing your tub, toilet, or sink, stick with white. Not only will white fixtures always be in style, but you then have the option of replacing just a sink or toilet without worrying if it will match your existing fixtures. Choose sleek, simple fixtures that take up little space. For toilets, compare the projection from the wall on different models; round bowls often take up less space than elongated bowls. When choosing a sink, consider pedestal sinks or wall-mounted sinks; the empty space underneath these fixtures will make it seem like you have more space. If storage is an issue, however, look for a sink where the bowl projects out over a thin cabinet; not only will this hide your plumbing, but will also give you a space for cleaning products, spare toilet paper, and a drawer for extra toiletries. Converting a tub to a smaller shower can create extra space for cabinetry or clothes hampers. Choose tubs and showers with glass doors; the clean lines will reduce visual clutter, and the glass will let light shine through.

4. Floor:

If you choose ceramic tile, opt for larger, light colored tiles, and use the same color grout. Textured tiles and electric heating coils installed under the tile may eliminate the need for bath mats, but if you prefer to have mats, choose ones that are close in color to the floor tiles.

5. Furniture and Accessories:

When choosing shelving or storage cabinets for your bathroom, opt for tall, thin pieces over short, wide ones. White or light colored pieces are best, and cabinets with doors will look sleeker than open shelving. When choosing accessories, such as toothbrush holders, towel bars, and wastebaskets, look for simply designed, classic pieces like chrome and white porcelain. Avoid chunky or ornate accessories. Keeping things streamlined will give your bath a spa-like feel. Choose light colored towels and a light colored, subtly patterned shower curtain, if you have one. Avoid poofy or frilly accents.

6. Lighting:

Lighting is a quick and easy way to give your bathroom a whole new look without extensive remodeling, and it can make a big impact on the way space is perceived. Choose simple, classic lighting fixtures, and make sure they light up the space well. In a small space, you won't have too much to light, but make sure your lights are not positioned in a way that they cast dark shadows in the corners or around furniture or fixtures. Instead of a single light above the medicine cabinet, try a light on either side. Stay away from fluorescent fixtures, and use the brightest bulb your fixture allows.

7. Doors and Windows:

Changing the door of your bathroom is a weekend project that can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your bath. A door with multiple glass panes can let light in from the hall, and provide a more open-feeling bathroom than a solid door. Choose a door with frosted panes, or use window privacy film to block the view.

For window coverings, less is more for a small space. Stick with blinds or shades if you only draw the curtains occasionally. If you live in an area where you constantly keep the curtains drawn (for example, your bathroom window overlooks a sidewalk or a neighbor's living room window, ) choose a frosted window or install privacy film.

8. Wall Decor:

Like everything else in your tiny bathroom, keep the wall decor simple. If you choose to display multiple prints/photos, frame them all in similar frames. If you are short on storage space, an extra medicine cabinet with a flush mounted print for a door can give you extra space. Mirrors are always a good choice for small spaces; not only do they reflect light, but they also reflect space, making a space feel larger. Choose a larger mirror with a simple frame, and make sure not to hang it in front of the toilet.

9. Medicine Cabinet:

Choose a medicine cabinet that mounts flush with the wall, rather than one that hangs off the wall. A tall, mirrored cabinet (or two mounted on top of one another) can give you extra storage space without cluttering up your wall with smaller shelves.

10. Ceiling:

Last but not least, paint your ceiling white. Dark or colored paint will make a ceiling seem lower than it is, whereas white will seem higher.

Using some (or all) of these tips, you should be able to give your small bath a breath of slightly larger fresh air. Simply following the first tip and removing the clutter will make a noticeable impact in how large your bath feels. Make a few changes, and your bath will be that much nicer to relax and unwind in!

By zoe mack -

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