Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes – and not all of them are generously spaced.
If you are stuck with a small bathroom, the reason could be that your period home didn’t originally have any indoor facilities and bathrooms and WCs had to be squeezed in as an afterthought.
Or perhaps you live in a conversion or new build where maximising living space took priority over bathroom space?
No matter whether your bathroom is bijou, your en suite shower room is extra small or your downstairs loo is deceptively spacious – there are many interior design tricks you can use to make the space look bigger and brighter.
Here are our top 6 suggestions:
Maximise natural light
In terms of interior design, light equals space. If your bathroom has a window, make the most of it. Don’t clutter up the windowsill with lotions and potions and choose space-saving blinds over bulky curtains.
If your bathroom is not overlooked, do you even need opaque privacy-giving glass? Clear glass will let more light in. Once you have natural light flow into the bathroom, keep it there! How?
Introduce reflective surfaces
Mirror, glass and other shiny surfaces help the light bounce around the room – crucial when there isn’t much room (or light) to play with.
When looking at bathroom walls and flooring, choose high gloss tiles or reflective material such as glass panels, porcelain, metallic or glitter effect. Go for shiny sanitaryware and gloss bathroom furniture too.
Placing a mirror opposite the window, if it’s possible, will maximise natural daylight and make the room appear twice as big.
Floor to ceiling mirrors are good too, as are mirror effect tiles. Choose frameless mirrors so as not to visually restrict the illusion of space.
Choose a light colour scheme
A light, bright colour scheme for walls and flooring works wonders to make your bathroom look more spacious than it is. Brilliant white is, of course, the cleanest and most hygienic colour and, unless fashion trends suddenly change, still the only respectable choice for sanitaryware.
For walls, creams and pastel shades of any hue will work well too. Keeping to the same tone throughout will unify the appearance and let the light flow unhindered through the room.
If you’re keen to inject a bit of drama into the space with colour, it’s best to do it with accessories – maybe teal coloured bath towels or a colourful print on the wall? Easily changeable if you suddenly prefer, say, cerise, it’s more budget friendly way to add interest too.
Use clever artificial lighting
Bathroom lighting is key, particularly in small spaces where there isn’t an abundance of natural light. A good, strong ceiling light fitting is essential, along with task lighting above the sink, in the shower or wherever else it is needed. Choose LED bulbs for a crisp clean light that is energy saving too.
Make sure you select light fittings that don’t protrude into the room too much – the flusher the fitting, the more streamlined the look and the less chance of someone catching themselves on a fitting.
It goes without saying that all light fittings need to have a suitable IP rating for safe use in a bathroom.
Use all the available space
Banishing mess and clutter in the bathroom is not only a good personal habit to adopt, in terms of design it helps to achieve a sleek, minimalist aesthetic that almost screams wide open spaces.
The solution here is good storage: built-in cupboards, under-washbasin storage, above door shelving, clever cubbyholes, glass shelving under the bathroom mirror or high up over the bath or shower – use every recess, nook and cranny available.
Remove all boundaries
Glass is a great material for bathrooms – it’s hardwearing, hygienic and easy to clean. Use clear glass for shower enclosures or shower walls, and for shelving too. Being transparent (and clean!), it lets the light flood through, giving the impression of more space than is actually there.
To create the illusion of a larger floor area, plain coloured tiles are best. The busier the pattern, the smaller the space will feel, so go for expansive designs or smaller plain tiles.
Make sure you’ve matched the grouting to the tiles, as contrast grouting will make the space seem much smaller.