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How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger


A small bathroom has its advantages. A small space means less to clean and less to maintain. However, a small space—bathroom or otherwise—can also feel cramped. Believe it or not, the right decorating can fix that problem. You can decorate your small bathroom to make it feel more spacious. Here’s how to make your small bathroom look bigger.



Plenty of storage is essential in a small space. Before deciding on storage however, it may be a good idea to purge all non-essential items. Once you have cleared out the clutter then it is just a matter of finding a space for everything—and returning items where they go when you are done using them.

Shelving is important for creating space. You can place shelves over the toilet, under the sink or next to the shower, depending on the exact dimensions of your bathroom. Another possibility for shelving is a medicine cabinet. A medicine cabinet can fill many purposes. We will go into some of the other functions of a medicine cabinet shortly. Its shallow shelving, however, is great for smaller items like medications, deodorant and cosmetics.

Baskets are a popular choice. Baskets woven from wicker or grass can also be very attractive. You can set them on the back of the toilet, or on shelving. Baskets are great for smoothing out the décor of your small bathroom and give it a uniform feel by hiding clutter. You can hide toiletries, make-up, towels, etc.


One of the tricks to making a small space feel more spacious is to bring in more lights. Shadow makes a space feel smaller and womblike. Light will brighten up your space and make it feel more expansive. You could add sconces around your mirror or place lighting directly over it. You can also install overhead lighting. One of the great things about lighting is that you can mount it on the wall or ceiling so that it is not taking up floor space—a precious commodity in a small room.



Reflective surfaces are a great way to expand the feel of your room. Not only do they reflect space—creating the illusion of more space—but they also reflect light. As you may recall from the last section light helps make a space feel bigger. This is also where that medicine cabinet can do double duty. Not only can it add some storage space to your small bathroom design, it can also be a reflective surface. But don’t think you can’t have more than one mirror. If you have a medicine cabinet providing a mirror over the sink, why not also have a full length mirror on the back of the door or on one of the walls. Mirrors, like lighting can be mounted on the wall thus not taking up that all important floor space.



You should be able to guess from the section on lighting that dark colors should be avoided if you want to create a more spacious feel in your bathroom. Consider pastels or even pale neutral colors like sand or taupe. But there is nothing wrong with a sky blue or a pale green either.



Your fixtures are going to take up space, so choose them with care. You may opt for a vanity style sink with a cabinet underneath for storage. But if you find that you don’t require storage space under your sink, consider a pedestal sink. It has a sleek, clean look and takes up less space than a vanity style sink. If you do need under-the-sink storage space, go for a single rather than a double vanity.

Do you have a tub in your small bath? Could you get away with installing a shower, instead? A shower stall can take up significantly less space than a tub.

There are many ways to increase the space or even appearance of space in your small bathroom with some simple renovations. Using some of these tips may be just the thing for providing your small bathroom with a much more spacious feel.



BrightMeadow (author) from a room of one's own on April 06, 2013:

Thanks so much. I am always looking for ways to make my space more functional. Thanks for stopping by.

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on March 30, 2013:

Hi BrightMeadow,

This is a great "How to..." article. I like your idea of shelving and creating space and the suggestion of using lighter colors. Voted up and useful.

BrightMeadow (author) from a room of one's own on March 06, 2013:

The pictures you see here are research and daydreams. I am looking for skillful ways to refinish my bathroom to make it comfortable and accessible. Thank you for stopping by.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 26, 2013:

The bathroom looks so spacious and so beautifully organized with such helpful tips one can be most successful in making the difference in bathrooms.

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