10 ways to make a small bathroom feel bigger
If you live in a flat, or an older house, you’re probably burdened with a small bathroom, as well as the view that you’re stuck with the space you’ve got. But there’s always a way to maximise a bathroom through clever design! Bathroom design expert George Holland from Victorian Plumbing has revealed his top 10 tips to make any small bathroom feel bigger.
1. Go back to basics
Break your bathroom down and ask yourself what you really need in there: a toilet, a shower or bath, and a basin. Anything on top is additional clutter, so be ruthless. Design note: instead of adding freestanding storage, think about how you could add it to existing features. Could you build around or beneath your basin?
2. Clear the floor
One of the key things is to remove any item that sits on the floor – such as a towel rack – and think about ways to mount it on the wall. Wall-hung fixtures are one of those clever small bathroom ideas you can use to suggest the space is bigger than it is. Design note: choose wall-hung furniture or sanitaryware that is also minimalist and simple in style to keep the space as calm and clear as possible.
3. Add patterned wallpaper
Wallpapering one wall in your small bathroom is a great way to add depth to the space. This is a good option if your bathroom is an awkward shape, as the pattern will draw the eye away from the room’s actual size. You want something attention-grabbing and dramatic to steal focus, so don’t be afraid to go bold! Though ensure you look for wallpapers that cope well with damp. Design note: go for large-scale damasks, dramatic florals or thick stripes in rich colours.
4. Consider your colour scheme
Nothing will highlight how pokey a bathroom is than a lack of natural light. And most apartment bathrooms, for example, don’t have windows. So, it helps to make your room as bright as possible! An easy and effective solution is a white colour scheme warmed up with natural wooden floors and strong black fixtures. Design note: if you find white a bit too boring, you can get similar effects with light, bright pastel colours.
5. Go big with tiles
When it comes to a small bathroom, the bigger the tiles are the better! Smaller tiles mean more grout lines, which will make the space feel tight and grid-like. Wider tiles will make a bathroom feel more spacious, especially if you choose light colours. Design note: if you do want to include smaller, mosaic-style tiles, limit them to an area that’s already small, such as the shower or an alcove.
A great example is this bathroom by Sophie of @meet_the_taylors. She has boosted the feeling of space with large-format marble-effect tiles. Steal Sophie’s style with similar tiles from The Yorkshire Tile Company and a fabulous freestanding bath from Victorian Plumbing. The vanity unit was made by Avie & Oak and painted in Farrow & Ball.
6. Wall lights add space
Lighting is often forgotten when it comes to bathroom design, and many people rely on the single bulb above them to do the job. But lighting is one of the easiest ways to make a room feel bigger. Add wall lights – there are plenty of great solutions for under £50, so invest in one that fits your space. Design note: light around the mirror will make a small bathroom feel brighter and bigger.
7. Get reflective
Mirrors really help exaggerate space, so simply hanging a large mirror in a small bathroom will make it feel far larger. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to add space. Shape the space you want with different kinds of frames. For example, frameless mirrors will feel luxurious while round ones will make a room feel softer. Combining a mirror with a dark or dramatic colour scheme will help too. Design note: if you can’t fit in one big mirror, put up lots of smaller ones for a similar effect.
8. Think vertically
Take advantage of otherwise unused space up the walls. Instead of wide and low towel racks or storage, look for taller, thinner versions. Invest in ladder shelves, or open shelves in general. This will add a relaxed feel to the space and the bathroom won’t feel so boxy. Design note: tall and sleek corner cabinets are ideal for saving room.
Sarah Fletcher of @s.l.f_home has squeezed essential storage into her bathroom by slotting in a narrow open shelving unit at the end of her freestanding bath from Victorian Plumbing. It’s a perfect spot for spare towels, plants and baskets for bits and bobs. A tall heated towel radiator takes advantage of height in the room.
9. Add a compact vanity
If you have pedestal basin, it could be worth swapping it for a basin with vanity unit underneath. Compact storage vanity units are available – as narrow as under 50cm – so shop around until you find one that fits. And hiding your products out of sight in drawers will declutter the bathroom. Design note: if you can’t have a wall-hung option, choose a vanity with legs, as keeping the floor clear also helps give the illusion of space.
10. Opt for a frameless shower
Replacing a traditional, bulky shower cubicle with a frameless one is a great way to make space. Not only will a frameless shower physically take up less room, but the glass screen and lack of tray will reduce visual clutter, making the room feel open. Plus, frameless showers look fantastic and will give your bathroom the feel of a luxurious hotel. Design note: a walk-in shower accompanied by a huge mirror over the basin will do wonders for making the room feel bigger.
Featured image: Sophie of @meet_the_taylors has boosted the feeling of space in her small bathroom with large-format marble-effect tiles.
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