When planning an update to an older bathroom, not every homeowner has a large budget or room to expand the space. If you have to work within the confines of what you have available in a small bathroom, you can still create a beautiful and deceptively large room by employing a few tricks. No matter what your budget is, there is a way that's right for you. Here are 6 visual and space-saving tricks for any tiny bathroom.
A Single Tone. If all you can do is give the bathroom a fresh coat of paint, go for a soft neutral color on all the walls and ceiling. If the floor is already composed of a soft neutral—such as ivory, cream, pale gray, or white—try to match the color tone with the walls and trim. This simple color palette reduces visual clutter and breaks, leading the room to appear larger.
Pedestals. While it may not work for a family or master bathroom, replacing bulky cabinets or vanities with a simple pedestal base sink opens up the floor area to seem larger. You can accomplish a similar trick by opting for a vanity or shelving that hangs on the wall—so-called "floating" furniture. The lack of legs and increased open floor space help reduce the furniture's footprint.
Glass Doors. If you have a little more to work with in the budget, consider replacing the shower doors with glass enclosures. Because you can see right through the door, it adds visual square footage to the entire room. And if you have a bathtub that's not conducive to a shower door? Opt for a simple, clear shower curtain to get the same end result.
Add Light. For those who have the option, adding some natural light to the bathroom can make it instantly feel lighter and more welcoming. The most preferable light source would be a window to the outdoors that can also provide a beautiful focal point to tie the room together. Alternatively, a skylight or sky tube adds a lot of light without impacting the structure of the room. If you can't afford to add a window, try increasing light sources, like hanging pendants, that add interest to the room.
Big Tiles. Tile can be an inexpensive and easy way to update a tired, older bathroom. But instead of using small tiles or subway tiles, choose a larger tile footprint. They have fewer grout lines and detail to break up the space visually and longer, cleaner horizontal lines.
Open Shelves. It might seem counter-intuitive, but replacing storage with open shelving also makes things look lighter. With open shelves, the eye can travel throughout the space and see from wall to wall. This reduces a key visual block—cabinet doors—that can make the entire space smaller. As a bonus, open shelving forces you to keep your supplies tidier and more organized.
Whether you can put into use only one of these suggestions or all six, the end result will be a bathroom that you'll love to use and be proud to share for years to come—for a fraction of the cost of a big remodel.