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We all crave the luxury of space, especially in a bathroom. But, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice luxury for lack of square footage. Whether you have limited room for construction, you’re bound by historical home restrictions, or you just can’t justify the expense of a full-scale expansion, there are some simple ways to make your bathroom appear twice as large when renovating without knocking out a wall.
#1: Bathroom Tile Tips
If you’re looking for a wider, more spacious feel in your bathroom, one of the most impactful changes you can make is your choice of flooring. Tile is a classic choice for its durability and ability to repel water. Aside from color, which we’ll talk about shortly, size should be your primary consideration.
To make a small bathroom feel larger, use a large-format, 12×24 tile. The larger the tile, the fewer grout lines there are to break up the floor. This keeps the floor from feeling “busy” which our eyes often interpret as “cluttered” and “cramped”. Wide, unbroken expanses of tile let the eye drift and enlarge the visual space. Selecting a grout color that matches the tile rather than contrasting with it will help further the illusion.
On the other hand, you can also use very small tiles to create a larger visual space. We suggest a 1-inch tile in a hex pattern. The combination of the smaller tiles laid out in this pattern creates a two-fold optical illusion:
- First, when your eye scans the floor, your brain automatically tries to calculate how many tiles must have been required to fill the space. When that number registers as “too many to count,” your brain automatically sees the room as bigger.
- Second, the hexagon is nature’s most mathematically efficient shape. Our eyes are drawn to and soothed by order. The hexagon convinces the mind that this space is being used efficiently, which makes it feel bigger.
Whichever tile size you opt for, stay away from the traditional 6×6 and 8×8 tiles. They tend to make smaller rooms feel cramped.
As far as color goes, think light and bright to give your bathroom the most spacious, airy feel possible. We recommend whites, creams, pastels, and neutrals. You can always add a splash of color in the accents to draw the eye and break up the monochromatic look.
#2: Shower Suggestions
In a smaller bathroom, the shower can take up a large chunk of real estate. To keep it from visually cutting out a section of your bathroom, consider installing a glass door rather than a shower curtain. Shower curtains create a visual wall, while glass reflects light and allows you to see the back wall, expanding the space visually. The clearer the glass the better. Frosted glass can have the same effect as the shower curtain.
Now that you can see the shower wall, it’s important to use that space wisely. Extend shower tiles all the way to the ceiling if possible. This draws the eyes up and stretches the space. Again, avoid dark colors and busy patterns. Light and simple create the most visual space.
If glass doors are cost-prohibitive, you can make the most of your shower space by investing in an extra-long shower curtain and hanging it as close to the ceiling as possible. It’s the same trick we use for curtains in low-ceilinged rooms. The higher you hang them, the further the eye is drawn and the higher the ceiling seems to be.
#3: Bathroom Vanities & Storage
In a small bathroom, a full-sized vanity may not be the best option. Visually cutting off wall space and physically pushing into floor space with solid cabinetry can make a bathroom feel cramped and claustrophobic. A pedestal sink can go a long way toward opening up the room and making it feel more spacious. And as a bonus, pedestal sinks can be less expensive than installing a vanity.
If you’re worried about storage, a recessed medicine cabinet is a perfect way to stash countertop clutter without sacrificing precious real estate. And whether you go with a medicine cabinet or not, we suggest investing in the largest mirror possible over your sink. Mirrors reflect light and create the optical illusion of space.
Still unsure about giving up your bathroom storage? Invest in vertical storage solutions and creative niches. Open shelving over the toilet can create a lot of storage space without sacrificing a feeling of openness. We suggest floating shelves in the same light color as the walls or in a light-stained natural wood grain.
Custom corner storage solutions can also provide space for toothbrushes, artfully rolled towels, and a succulent or two.
Our Designers Can Help
Interested in seeing how a few simple changes could transform your bathroom? You can request a free design consultation with one of Von Tobel’s talented and experienced designers online. We’re happy to walk you through your options and help you design the luxurious bathroom of your dreams!