Designing for small spaces can be difficult, and nowhere is it as difficult as the bathroom. With a small bedroom or living room space, you can at least choose furniture and create a layout that maximizes the interior space – but that’s not the case when you have a small bathroom.
No matter what, you’re still going to need a sink, toilet, storage space, and a shower at minimum. And unless you’re looking to put some serious dollars into the pocket of your local plumber, the interior plumbing of your home dictates that you’re stuck with the existing layout as well.
Although getting the most out of a small bathroom space can be difficult, you can create the illusion of a roomy space by applying basic principles of interior design and adding a touch of your own creativity. The key is to examine each and every element of your bathroom with an eye towards elimination and integration. Does the item take up more space than necessary? Could its functionality be integrated with another item? Could it be tucked away somewhere else?
You’ll also want to ensure that you eliminate any features that jut out into your already small space – this makes it feel more cluttered and cramped. Combine this with the right color combinations and lighting to create the illusion of a spacious retreat.
Whether you’re looking to remodel your bathroom, or just add some finishing touches, here are some additional DIY ideas that you can implement to get the most of your small bathroom space.
1. Use Narrow Wall Shelves
While your first instinct may be to tuck your storage space into the vanity or in a medicine cabinet and eliminate shelves altogether, narrow wall shelves let you maximize interior space while still looking stylish. They’re also extremely easy to install.
A secondary benefit is that you’ll have your key toiletries easily accessible, without needing a large counter space. Use narrow wall shelves to store your soaps, shampoos, cotton balls, towels, and lotion, while leaving your more private toiletries for the vanity.
Photo: Narrow Wall Shelves
2. Switch To A Pedestal Sink
There’s certainly a trade off here – on the one hand, a vanity offers hidden storage space and more counter surface. On the other hand, it takes up unnecessary space and makes the bathroom feel smaller. While a pedestal sink may not always be the best choice for your overall design scheme, it’s certainly something to consider.
Photo: Pedestal Sink
3. Switch To A Floating Vanity
If a pedestal sink isn’t the right look for you, consider switching to a small floating vanity. This will give your bathroom a more modern and spacious feel, while also giving you some easily accessible storage space under the vanity – a place to tuck your trash can for example.
4. Use A Clear Shower Curtain/Door
You can’t magically expand your bathroom space – or can you? If you have an opaque shower curtain or shower door, you’re just closing off your existing bathroom space. If you want your cozy little bathroom space to feel a little bigger, just add a clear shower curtain/shower door. Your bathroom will instantly feel a whole lot bigger.
5. Choose Soft, Pale Color Schemes
Choosing softer, pale color schemes will help give your bathroom the illusion of space. This certainly doesn’t mean your bathroom has to be painted a flowery pink or all white, but it does mean you’ll want to avoid using bold, strong colors. For background surfaces like the floor and walls, choose from a palette of white, neutral colors, and pastels. Add some brightly colored accessories and towels for accents in order to add some “pop”.
Photo: Soft, Pale Color Schemes
Simon is a professional blogger/designer/SEO guy a sort of “digital renaissance man” of many talents. He writes the blog of Seattle plumber company Fischer plumbing and his own blog. In his free time he works on DIY projects around the house.