10 Ways to Make Any Bathroom Look Bigger
A spacious bathroom with all the perks is something most of us dream of, but not all can attain. Make your bathroom live up to its full potential with these design tricks to give it a larger look — without moving any walls.
1. White on White
An easy way to give your room a more spacious look is to use a lot of white. Think white tile, white paint, a white vanity, etc. As a non-color, white reflects any available light and naturally recedes, creating the illusion of a larger space. Especially effective in a bathroom, white finishes combined with white fixtures (tub, toilet and sink) work together for a seamless look that makes the space appear airy and open.
Using a lot of white does not mean the room must lack character. Highlighting with textured elements, such as molding, stone, or tile and fabric accents, are a good way to create visual interest. In addition, a touch of metallics or wood will give the eye a lot to take in while retaining the seamless look.
2. Tone on Tone
For those not thrilled with the all-white look, the same big and breezy effect can be obtained using a tone-on-tone palette in light shades, such as beige, soft grays or faint hues like powder blue. Simply choose a luxurious-looking tile, and then find a paint color for the walls that picks up on one of the colors within the tile. The overall look will still be serene and spa-like, without the abrupt visual breaks that chop up a room and make it feel smaller.
3. Floating Vanity
A tight bathroom space makes it tricky to balance storage needs with breathing room. One answer is a floating vanity. Not only does it provide a lot of room to store daily essentials, it makes the room feel a bit more open by showing the floor underneath. In really small spaces, every little bit of room can make a big difference.
4. Less Is More
If you are not concerned with maxing out your storage space, consider a smaller vanity rather than using the largest unit you can fit into the area. This will give you a little extra open space and make the room feel less stuffed. This small addition of negative space is especially appreciated in bathrooms where the toilet or bathtub is next to the vanity.
5. Big Mirror
Installing a large mirror can double the size of your space, helping to visually double your investment. Although a large mirror can be expensive, when compared to the price of tiling the wall, the mirror provides an equally dramatic look at a much better value.
Invest in a large mirror with a beautiful frame, or choose a custom-sized piece and go wall-to-wall with it. Doing this alone can be so powerful that little else is needed to give the room a perfectly finished look. Slim powder rooms with small walls are especially good candidates for the magic of large mirrors.
6. Glass Panel
Make your shower more open by replacing the shower curtain, which tends to form a visual wall, with a glass panel or door. This makes the entire square footage of the room visible all at once, creating a more spacious look. For those who prefer more privacy, use a frosted or tinted glass panel, which will still allow light to filter through. If a complete renovation is in your plans, consider skipping the bathtub and installing a shower stall instead. This not only eliminates a lot of bulk, but showers are easier for most people to enter and exit.
7. Bright Lighting
In bathrooms, where natural lighting is at a premium, good lighting is especially important for making the space look big and open. It’s also important for shaving or makeup application, so the benefits are two-fold. For these reasons, a rich lighting scheme with multiple light sources throughout the space are key. Consider a grid of ceiling lights paired with sconces or a contemporary edge-lit mirror for the ideal set up.
In a small powder room where the electrical capabilities are limited, try changing the ceiling light to one with multiple bulbs. This way, while you are only using one fixture, the light will come from several directions.
8. Create Long Lines
No matter what the physical shape of your bathroom, there is usually one wall or area that is a bit longer than the others. Emphasize it! Add a shelf, a band of tile or another long element (it can be as simple as a stripe of paint) to help enhance the longest line in your room and draw the eye to the widest point.
9. Push the Walls Apart (Visually)
For bathrooms that are long and tunnel-shaped, instead of adding more emphasis to the length of the room, try visually stretching the width. For instance, avoid running long floor tiles the length of the room. By running them the shorter width of the space instead, a more balanced and less tunnel-like look is achieved.
10. Go Vertical
Sometimes it’s smartest to embrace the height of a room as the largest dimension and emphasize that, rather than trying to make the room look bigger horizontally. An example of this would be using vertical elements like a tall, thin mirror and a bold accent color on a narrow wall. This enhances the height of the space and makes the room feel big and airy from that perspective. Throw in some delicate lighting and patterned tiles? There will be plenty to keep the eye moving from floor to ceiling.