You don’t have to add square footage to your tiny bathroom for it to feel less confined and look fabulous. With the help of practical designing tips, your intimate space can be transformed into a sanctuary that has you enamoured and willing to linger.
Interior designers Liz Howell-Jones of Woods Furniture & Design, and Lydia Geerlings of International Design Group (IDG) share some tips to help you maximise the use of your limited bathroom space, giving the illusion of roominess.
“Dark colours make a room look smaller, so my recommendation would be to use light colours to give the illusion of a larger space,” says Liz.
Lydia adds: “Use a limited finishes palette and try to keep it light – for example, using the same light colored tiles on the floor and the walls will help visually enlarge the space.
“Try to avoid white tiles unless you are particularly tidy and clean; it can look messy very quickly which won’t help at all.”
With regard to tiles, Liz stresses consistency. “To keep interest and give the impression that the space is bigger than it is, use light coloured tiles in a monochromatic pattern that can go from floor to wall.”
Who wants a small, drab bathroom with the added whammy of inadequate light? Nobody!
Liz advises getting creative when lighting a small bathroom. She says: “You want your bathroom to be a bright space and there are many options to introduce light into a small bathroom, such as introducing the fifth wall [the roof].”
Recessed lighting is a light fixture installed into a hollow opening in a ceiling and is perfect for a small bathroom, as you can save valuable wall space. The installation of a skylight can introduce much needed illumination, and if your finances permit, you can even add a window.
A shower or tub glass enclosure is currently all the rage. Not only is it trendy and chic to look at, it also tricks the eye by making the space look larger.
“If your budget allows, install a glass door or fixed panel for the shower rather than using a shower curtain. Even better, if you can go with the frameless option as it will open up the space and avoid any visual and physical separation of the room,” Lydia explains.
Liz agrees: “For a small bathroom space that needs a shower or tub enclosure, you are better off going with a panel of glass.”
Toilet and fixtures
“People are now opting for energy saving toilets to help with utility bills,” adds Liz. “However an energy saving low compact design that is wall mounted would be the best option for a small bathroom.”
Regarding fixtures such as faucets, Liz suggests that they should all be wall mounted, if possible, and sinks under mounted.
Pay attention to detail
They say it’s the small things that count, and this is no more evident than in a cramped bathroom that needs a facelift.
“Small details like lining up the top of the mirror, the top of the shower glass, and the top of the door molding will help keep everything consistent, allowing the eye to move through the room without being jarred,” advises Lydia.
“You want to add depth to a small bathroom and my recommendations for this are having a mural painted, or hanging a calming picture, for example with a beach theme,” suggests Liz. She also pointed out that wallpaper is a back en vogue, trendy alternative, which with a geometric pattern can also achieve depth.
Clutter be gone
“Keep clutter and exposed storage to a minimum – this can be done inexpensively by storing bathroom products in matching boxes stacked on a shelf or under the vanity, or you can go the more expensive route and have a builder install recessed storage behind your mirror,” says Lydia.
Liz says: “With a small space you never want protruding objects. Knick-knacks and accessories must be kept to a bare minimum. If you opt for a vanity ensure it is wall mounted or has feet.
“Naturally small proportions are necessary for a miniscule space, so if you plan to have shelving ensure that it has an open look.”
Consult the experts
“Get an interior designer involved,” suggests Lydia. “They are trained to help you make the best use of your space, and have a multitude of tricks up their sleeves for visually playing with a room. The initial investment will be worth it in the long run as you will have a well functioning bathroom that is a pleasure to be in.”