hall bathroom white with tub and small vaniety and window in shower

Photo by RemodelOrMove.com

Update: Many modern homes now have several smaller bathrooms in addition the larger main bathroom. If you want to remodel a small bathroom, or convert an existing space into a guest bath, then you’ll need to get creative with space saving ideas! Firstly you’ll have to accept that you won’t be able to fit in everything you’d like, so this means sacrificing that large tub for a compact shower unit. There are plenty of ways to maximize space in a small bathroom, with clever storage ideas, inventive use of light and color, and even smaller sized fixtures and fittings.

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when remodeling a small bathroom is to try to cram in everything they’d like to put in a big bathroom. The second mistake is choosing fixtures, decorative items, and the like that are either too bulky or too ornate for the small space. Choosing items with clean simple lines and without a lot of decoration, will make the space look larger.

One way to approach a small bathroom remodel, then, is to keep it simple. Sometimes less is more; and this is true of small bathrooms. If you are trying to create an elegant and luxurious bathroom, you can still do so in your selection of materials.

Starting with the big things, here are some tips to help you with your small bathroom remodel:

  • Choose a compact shower stall or a whirlpool or spa tub that is small and deep (this will fit nicely in a corner). Some of the tub designs now being advertised for seniors would work in a small bathroom.
  • Choose a pedestal sink or a wall mounted sink. This will leave more floor space and make the room feel bigger.
  • Choose the most compact toilet you can find. Choose a taller model over a shorter wider style.

Now for decorative items:

  • Choose a mirror with no frame or a mirror with a small frame — this will make the room look bigger and the mirror will reflect light farther in the room.
  • Cover an entire wall with a mirror — this will create the appearance of a much larger space.
  • Use fewer wall-mounted towel rods or rings — choose a ring beside the sink to save space.
  • Store extra linens nearby, but put only a minimum out in the room at any one time.
  • Place light fixtures where they will reflect light throughout the room.
  • If you don’t have a window, consider installing a tube light to bring in sunlight.
  • Find creative ways to add storage in walls – sometimes you can place shelves in between the wall studs.  This way the storage unit does not project out into the room.

Decorating ideas:

  • Choose lighter and brighter colors.
  • Use glass block windows or frosted windows instead of curtains — it will make the room look larger.
  • Use wallpaper or a paint design that draws the eye upward to make the room appear larger — either vertical stripes, vertical designs, or a border at the top of the wall.
  • Use small shelves above and under sinks, toilets, etc. to provide storage and decoration.
  • Keep color combinations minimal — no more than two colors.
  • Avoid clutter — don’t set decorative items around that are not necessary.
  • Add luxuries in ways that do not use more of your space (massaging shower heads, spa tub, radiant floor heating, fogless mirrors, heated towel rods, fragrances, etc.)

In small spaces, simplicity is generally best if you want to create a feeling of spaciousness and elegance. Clean simple lines, lots of light, no clutter, and an eye to the necessary will help you create a very comfortable and luxurious small bathroom remodel.

If you want help with your bathroom remodeling design, check out out Bathroom Remodel Workbook by clicking here.