A large bathroom is something of an indulgence in many homes, as floor space is at a premium. The main issue with a functional bathroom is that you have to work around the basics — shower or bath, toilet, sink; you can’t just start removing pieces of furniture the way you might do in a lounge or bedroom. When it comes to maximizing the space, your options depend on how much work you are prepared to do and how much money you have to spend.
Tips From a Builder
One of the best ways to open up a space is with natural light, and in a small bathroom that’s often in short supply. “If your bathroom is landlocked, has small windows, or a dark aspect, solar tubes can be a good and cost-effective way to pull in the light,” says Inside Out builder Wayd Munro. “Frameless shower doors look modern and contribute to a light and airy look, too.”
It’s also worth thinking about actually making the usable space bigger by installing a pedestal basin rather than a vanity and recessing cabinets. However, “this isn’t always an easy task, as it may involve re-routing pipes or wires,” says Munro. So make sure you consult with an expert before you start digging into the walls.
Tips From a Handyman
“The main consideration when selecting tiles in a small bathroom is to go for minimal contrast, to create a sense of harmony,” says stylist Lisa Koehler. “The tile color will help create the illusion of space more than its size. An option is to match the wall and floor tiles, ensuring the same flooring runs into the shower. Once you’ve selected the tiles, matching the grout will help create that seamless look as well. Light colors will always make a space feel bigger, as it will reflect more light.”
Tiling to the ceiling line looks great, but if you can’t do that, “match the wall paint color to your tile to help keep everything tonal. Also, the ceiling could be the same color as the wall paint, just a shade lighter,” Koehler says.
Tips From a Stylist
Mirrors are an amazing tool to make a space feel bigger, but plan before you mount. “The trick in a small bathroom is to ensure it’s not reflecting the toilet or the towel rail,” says Koehler. “If you’re going to use mirrors to increase the size, you want to be reflecting something beautiful. The best way to use mirrors in a small space is to make them a focal point: A beautiful shape, frame, or unique style helps take the focus off the size of the bathroom.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.