Every contractor, builder, installer, remodeler, or interior designer jumps at the chance to renovate large bathrooms. After all, when you have a space big enough to fit a walk-in shower, soaker tub, and private sauna room, you can go for broke.
Alas, not all bathroom projects include an unbelievable amount of square footage. In fact, plenty of jobs involve making tiny bathrooms into charming places to relax, get clean, dress, and primp — all with a side of pure pampering.
Don’t despair if you walk into your next client appointment and discover it’s to build or make over a small bathroom. There are several techniques to make the most of the footprint you’ve been given.
Light It Up
Nothing makes a room feel more cramped than darkness. On the flip side, a bright, well-lit area always seems bigger by comparison.
Create the illusion of a larger bathroom instantly by choosing light materials in shades such as eggshell, cream, and even optic white. Consider lightening all the possible surfaces, from the flooring to wall tile to the vanity. Not only will the bathroom seem cleaner and fresher, but it’ll also naturally appear bigger. If you or your clients are dying for a bit of color, simply augment your design with some selectively placed hues. For instance, choose tinted fixtures or turn brilliantly colored towels into focal pieces.
At the same time, bring as much natural and artificial light as you can into the bathroom. A skylight — though not always practical with all home styles and bathroom locations — can bring warmth to the entire space. The same holds true for a variety of lighting options, like recessed lights, lights mounted under cabinets, wall sconces, and more.
The addition of natural and artificial light alone can give you the perception of more room — and you have more tricks up your sleeve to add to the illusion.
When choosing everything from the sink to cabinets, remember: You’re dealing with a tight area. You cannot afford to throw large-scale furnishings or fixtures into the mix and expect the bathroom to seem appealingly roomy.
Even though it might seem counterintuitive to have small cabinets in a space that’s absolutely begging for storage, your end design will be better off. Besides, you may actually have the same amount of storage with three small cabinets as you would with a large one, and the smaller cabinets will likely fit better with the flow of the overall bathroom facelift.
While you’re at it, be sure to pay attention to the size of the sink and countertop. If it extends too far into the middle of the room, it could take up too much square footage; this wastes space and ruins the opportunity for a streamlined design. Consider wall-mounted sinks or pedestal sinks if a bigger unit just won’t work.
Go Up, Not Out
Vertical space is your best friend when you have only a bit of horizontal space. For example, you may be able to mount open shelving toward the ceiling, keeping items out of the way but still accessible. Play around with different types of cubbies and suitably sized cabinets to cleverly work your way up without bumping out into the center of the bathroom.
Another advantage to making better use of a whole wall from top to bottom is that it will draw the viewer’s eye upward. Again, this gives the illusion of a larger room.
Order Up A Bit Of Fun
With all these small bathroom design reminders, you might assume you can never add character to a tiny bath. Au contraire! Cozy bathrooms have just as much need for attitude, style, and charm as their expansive counterparts.
Just temper your flair for the extraordinary to one or two elements. A glass tile mosaic backsplash could be the feature that gets oohs and ahhs, or consider a luxury vinyl plank floor that mimics the look (but not the maintenance requirements) of rich hardwood.
Want more inspiration as you create a plan for the perfect small bathroom build? Your ProSource Wholesale showroom is ready to become your one-stop source for everything a trade pro could need to turn clients into repeat business.
Small Bathroom with Striking Vanity Cabinets | Photo by Aristokraft
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