How to make a small bathroom feel bigger?

Westyle / 12.19.22

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The design of a small bathroom can be a challenge. How will you fit everything you need into such a tiny room, fixtures included? Your secret weapon is to enlist the help of a designer or an architect. This article provides you with expert pieces of advice on how to make the best of that 8×5 foot space dedicated to relaxation and your daily personal routine.

Define your needs

The first step is to ask yourself some questions about what the needs of the people using the bathroom are. What is on your must-have list? For instance, do you need a bathtub, or will a walk-in shower suffice? Who will primarily be using the space?

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Think about the overall feel you want for your space, including the lighting. A well-placed mirror can really expand the feel of a small space. Creating a wall covered with shiny and slightly reflective porcelain tiles is a surefire way to make a small bathroom or powder room appear much bigger.


Don’t discount built-ins

While you’re shopping, give some consideration to built-in furniture. Built-ins can be one of the best ways to maximize tiny spaces, so that your petite bathroom (or powder room) provides all the storage you need. Maximize every square inch from the ground up!

Try asking a woodworker to create a custom set of floating shelves between two closely-spaced walls. Or install a full-length mirror on one wall to make the room appear larger and brighter. You may also opt for a linen cabinet with a mirrored door to add storage while maintaining a sense of lightness.

Free up floor space

Remember that a room will appear larger when as many elements as possible are affixed to the walls rather than placed on the floor, like most traditional furniture. By freeing up floor space, wall-mounted furniture can be an ideal option for small bathrooms. “I always suggest to my clients with small bathrooms to use wall-mounted furniture and toilets.  This will help to create a larger visual feel to the space,” says Michael Hodge, Account Manager of the architecture and design division at AF New York.

A small vanity can make a big impact

“My most recommended WETSTYLE piece for a small bathroom is the M Metro series wall-mount vanities. These cabinets give the user a great amount of storage, top notch quality, and space saving design.  The bathroom will feel larger without losing precious hidden space.  The beautiful wood veneers help to give a natural warmth to the space without feeling like a heavy piece of furniture,” adds Michael Hodge.

Clutter-free zone

As a rule of thumb, choose a single piece of furniture for storage rather than having multiple pieces scattered around the room, which can create a cluttered look.

There are many options to maximize space in a small bathroom. Try using the space underneath the sink if a wall-mounted piece of furniture doesn’t work with your layout. A wall-mounted mirrored medicine cabinet offers easy access to medications, skincare and toiletries while maintaining a clean look.

Skip visual distractions 

Another trick is to avoid visual distractions, like knobs or prominent handles. Consider choosing sleek pieces with integrated hand pulls.

Lighten up

Harmonize your color palette by choosing pastel colors, neutral colors or different shades of white. “A light color palette in each element helps to give the sense of a larger space”, stresses Hodge, “and use a large format tile. It is important to have adequate lighting to keep the bathroom bright.” Make sure you know the placement of pot lighting before calling in the electrician. Don’t forget how effective sconces and candles can be for creating a warm, inviting glow.

Shower or tub? It’s your choice…

Do you love spending time in the tub, but dread how much space your current bathtub occupies? Do yourself a favor and replace your old bathtub or shower with a small freestanding tub. Your space will be instantly updated with a high-end feel and more breathing room.

But the truth is, any freestanding tub takes up too much space if you never use it at all! Hence the importance of really figuring out your needs before getting started.

To open up the space, you can also replace the bathtub with a simple shower base.



Photo Credit: Katie Monk House Interiors

Wetstyle products featured in the article