The Illusion of Space
The functionality, comfort, and style of your bathroom need not be proportional to its size. There are a bunch of design ideas that you can incorporate into a small bathroom to make the most out of the existing space. The goal? Maximum impact per square foot plus a completely satisfying bathroom experience.
There is more to bathroom space than just your scant square footage. You can create the illusion of a bigger bathroom by employing some of these tried-and-tested techniques:
Monochromatic color schemes. Monochromatic color schemes are effective at expanding the sense of space in a room. A unified palette helps your eyes travel continuously throughout the whole room, while contrast calls attention to divisions and boundaries. Keep in mind that ‘monochrome’ doesn’t mean that you have to limit your palette to shades of white and ho-hum neutrals. If you’d prefer a bold or dark color, go for it. Just remember to keep your color scheme consistent.
There are, however, exceptions to this rule:
- If you want to add visual height to the room, choose a lighter shade for your ceiling.
- If your space is architecturally bland, use a contrasting color for an accent wall, shelves, or windows.
- If you want to even out a long, narrow space, choose a darker shade for the two shorter (farther) walls.
- If you want to elongate or widen your bathroom, use stripes.
Mirrors. Mirrors reflect light and will help make your small bathroom look bigger and brighter. The trick lies in positioning. What a mirror reflects is just as important as its reflective ability. Mount a mirror in areas where you need visual continuity, e.g. a wall that would reflect a great view of the bathroom interior.
There is one rule of thumb when it comes to bathroom mirrors: bigger is better. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors create more continuity and therefore a better illusion of space than a grouping of smaller mirrors. But if you want to go with a multi-mirror setup, try layering them atop each other to create depth.
Minimal visual transitions and obstructions. Visual transitions and obstructions are the bane of small bathrooms. This last tip is in the same vein as going monochrome and using large mirrors. Continuity is important.
Below are some of the ways to preserve or maximize continuity:
- Bleed a material (e.g. tile) from one area of your bathroom to the next.
- Use clear instead of textured glass in your shower.
- Extend floor space by replacing floor cabinets with wall shelves and by replacing a large vanity with a pedestal sink.
Stay tuned for Part Two of our three-part blog series on Big Ideas for Small Bathrooms, where we’ll talk about how to maximize your available space.