Expert tips for smart small bathroom design during a bathroom makeover or home remodeling project. Includes where to position fixtures, choices in cabinets, and more.
Small bathroom design may seem simple—the options usually are few—but a small space is much more difficult to design well than a large one, because it is unforgiving. A poorly-placed fixture can make the area almost unusable. The keys to small bathroom design are using space efficiently and making the spaces feel open and non-confining.
Small Bathroom Design Tips
During the 1950s and 60s, millions of American homes were built with 5-by-7 foot bathrooms, a size that is ample for basic fixtures but leaves little room for any conveniences. During a remodel, the challenge is often to make these small rooms feel bigger.
You can make the standard 5-by-7-foot bathroom feel—and function—larger in a few ways:
1Set the toilet and sink along one wall of the bathroom. Doing this leaves a clear corridor of space. Ideally, position the toilet so it isn’t the first thing you see when you walk into the room.
2Consider opting for a pedestal sinkinstead of a more conventional cabinet-mounted sink. The standard vanity base cabinet can be a real space gobbler. If you need storage, however, a vanity cabinet may be necessary—just keep it small.
3Raise cabinetry off the floor. Wall-mounted cabinets open up the area visually and allow for more floor space.
4Install a large mirror behind the sink area. A mirror never fails to make a small room feel significantly bigger.
5Locate the bathtub or tub/shower combination across the width along the far wall so it doesn’t become an obstacle. If there is a window on that wall, all the better. This will allow the eye a space-enlarging view to the outdoors.
6Opt for a shower curtain instead of sliding shower doors. A curtain can be a decorative, cozy addition and, when drawn back, feels less confining.
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