Most of us would like to wake up in the morning and brush our teeth in a ridiculously spacious bathroom. A bathroom like the ones we see in movies about the rich and fabulous. And we’re not just talking about having two sinks, a shower, and a tub. No, for the full experience, you need to include a decadent chaise simply for lying around in a bathroom as big as your current living room. Why not?
Well, if you’re like most of us, your budget simply does not allow you to turn such fantasies into reality. However, even though you can’t add square footage, there are some clever interior design tricks you can use to make your bathroom look and feel more spacious. With a bit of visual magic, you can turn your bathroom into a cozy retreat.
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Light Color Palette
A very simple way to make your bathroom look bigger and brighter is to incorporate lots of white. Here we mean white paint, white tiles, white vanity, etc. Since bathrooms usually have lots of white because of the fixtures, adding more white makes the space look seamless. Moreover, this non-color reflects light rather than absorbing it, making your bathroom look breezy.
To add character, you can mix white with metallic and wood touches that enhance the visual richness of the space.
If stark white doesn’t sound like something that would appeal to you, you can replace it with soft greys, warm beige, and powder blue as long as you retain the tone-on-tone palette effect. This will make your bathroom look more serene, just like a spa.
Since the ceiling usually looks slightly darker than the walls, we recommend you paint it a shade lighter. Cutting back on the number of color transitions in the bathroom will visually expand it.
The last thing you need in a small bathroom is clutter. No matter how organized you are, if you have a lot of products lying around, you’ll start to feel a bit claustrophobic. At the same time, cabinets take up a lot of room. So what can you do?
The first option is to install shelves. You can do this by yourself with mouldable rubber glue since this way you no longer have to drill holes into the wall. Having said that, you don’t want to overdo it with the shelves because they also take up space and our goal is to make your bathroom look airy and serene.
A great trick is to install some of the shelves into the walls and paint them the same color as the walls. This way, you get your much-needed storage, but the shelves integrate seamlessly and prevent your bathroom from looking cluttered.
Another thing you can do is to get creative about where you place your storage. For example, you can install a shelf for towels and supplies above the door. Since the shelf will be so high up, it can be quite deep without making your bathroom look smaller. You can also mount towel bars on the door, freeing up wall space.
Ditch the Shower Curtain for Glass Panel
If you have a small bathroom, your shower or tub probably takes up most of the space. It’s even worse when you get inside because the shower curtain closes off the space, making you feel claustrophobic.
This is why you should ditch the shower curtain and install a glass panel. It will remove the barrier created by the shower curtain, and since you’ll be able to see every square foot of the bathroom, it will look a lot bigger. And it will also feel less claustrophobic when you’re showering in the morning.
In case you’re not quite comfortable with this idea because you want more privacy, you can always use frosted glass which will still let enough light filter in so you don’t feel like you’re showering in a tiny closet.
Get a Big Mirror
It’s no secret that interior designers typically use mirrors to make a room look bigger and brighter, which is exactly what you want for your bathroom. A mirror visually doubles your space.
Ideally, you should splurge on a wall-to-wall custom mirror or a large mirror with a stylish frame. It might be a bit expensive, but the effect it creates is so dramatic that you don’t need to do much else to make your bathroom look amazing.
We mentioned the importance of good lighting in making a room look and feel bigger throughout this article. However, bathrooms often don’t get that much natural light, so you need to pay special attention to artificial lighting. And not just because it creates space. You obviously also need it to make yourself look presentable in the morning.
As with any room, if you want your lighting to look harmonious, you’ll need to layer multiple sources. The first layer of lighting you’ll want to focus on is task lighting. Many people use overhead vanity lights, but we would advise against it since it will cast shadows on your face making shaving and putting on makeup more of a guessing game. Instead, you’ll want to opt for vertical fixtures on either side of the mirror. To create the perfect balance, these vertical fixtures have to be no less than 24 inches long and 150 watts.
Ambient light serves to replace natural light and create a relaxed atmosphere. The most common form of ambient light used on bathrooms is overhead fixtures. Just remember that they should be softer than task lights. If you need stronger lights in a certain area, add task lights instead of increase the brightness of the ambient light. The task lights always have to be stronger than the ambient light, or you’ll get the shadows you were trying to avoid.
Lastly, accent lights are used to emphasize certain areas of the room and decorative elements. For example, you can install accent lights around the bathtub to give this area a more relaxing aura.
We already agreed that small bathrooms and clutter don’t go well together. At the same time, you need a vanity for storage. So how do you make it work? If you replace your regular vanity with a floating vanity, it will open up the floor space, making your bathroom look bigger.
You get that little bit of extra storage space, and you’ll also have room to plant your feet comfortably in front of the mirror.