Tips For Making A Small Bathroom Appear Bigger

The challenge of transforming a small bathroom into a space that feels both functional and spacious is a common dilemma in home design. Small bathrooms, often found in apartments, older homes, and compact urban dwellings, can feel cramped and claustrophobic. However, with the right design strategies, it’s possible to create an illusion of space without knocking down walls. From color choices to fixture selections, certain tips can significantly impact how big a small bathroom feels. This article provides practical advice for homeowners and decorators looking to maximize their small bathroom spaces, turning them into comfortable, visually appealing areas.

1. Use Light Colors

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to make a small bathroom appear larger is by using light colors. Light and neutral tones like whites, creams, and pastels reflect more light than darker colors, making the space feel open and airy. Painting walls, ceilings, and even floors in light colors can create a more expansive feeling. Additionally, using similar or complementary light tones for bathroom fixtures and cabinetry can enhance this effect, creating a seamless look that doesn’t visually segment the space.

2. Maximize Natural Light

Natural light can transform a small bathroom, making it feel brighter and more open. To maximize natural light in a small bathroom, consider design elements like frosted glass windows which provide privacy while letting in light. When you’re remodeling a small bathroom bathing area, think about adding a skylight or enlarging the window if possible. The goal is to allow as much natural light in as possible, which can visually expand the space and give the bathroom an airy, open feel.

3. Install Larger Mirrors

Mirrors are not only functional in bathrooms but can also be a powerful tool in creating the illusion of space. Installing a large mirror, or multiple mirrors, can amplify natural and artificial light and reflect the room back on itself, giving a sense of depth and openness. For maximum effect, consider placing a large mirror opposite a window or in a position where it can reflect light effectively. The reflective surface breaks visual barriers and extends the room’s appearance beyond its physical boundaries.

4. Choose Compact Fixtures

In a small bathroom, every inch counts. Choosing compact and streamlined fixtures can free up valuable space. For instance, a pedestal sink, as opposed to a bulky vanity, occupies less room and can make the bathroom feel less crowded. A corner toilet or a small, modern toilet with a shorter projection from the wall can also save space. When shopping for fixtures, look for those specifically designed for small spaces; they can be both stylish and functional.

5. Utilize Vertical Space

Leveraging vertical space is key in a small bathroom. Wall-mounted cabinets and shelves can provide essential storage without taking up floor space. This approach helps keep the bathroom organized and clutter-free while making use of often-underutilized areas. Consider open shelving for an airy feel or tall, narrow cabinets for storing toiletries and linens. The use of vertical space draws the eye upward, creating a sense of height and openness in the room.

6. Opt for Glass Shower Doors

Replacing shower curtains with glass shower doors can have a significant impact on the perception of space in a small bathroom. Glass doors provide an unobstructed view of the entire room, making the space feel larger and more continuous. Unlike shower curtains, which can visually divide the room and make it feel smaller, glass doors allow for a seamless look. For an even more spacious feel, consider frameless glass shower doors, which offer a sleek, modern appearance and minimize visual clutter.

7. Keep it Clutter-Free

A cluttered bathroom can feel cramped and uncomfortable. Maintaining a clutter-free environment is essential in a small bathroom. Utilize smart storage solutions to keep toiletries, towels, and other necessities organized and out of sight. Drawer organizers, under-sink storage, and over-the-toilet shelving units can help maximize storage space. Also, be mindful of what you keep in the bathroom; only store what’s necessary and frequently used to avoid overcrowding the space.

8. Use Large Tiles

In the world of tile, bigger can be better for small bathrooms. Using larger tiles can create the illusion of a bigger space. Large tiles have fewer grout lines, which can make the floor or walls look less busy and more expansive. When choosing tiles, consider light colors to further enhance the sense of space. For a cohesive look, you can extend the same tiles from the floor onto the walls, creating a fluid, continuous appearance.

9. Incorporate Smart Lighting

Good lighting is crucial in making a small bathroom feel bigger and more welcoming. Incorporate a mix of lighting sources to brighten up the space effectively. Recessed lighting can provide overall illumination without taking up visual space. Wall sconces or a well-placed vanity light can add warmth and character. If possible, install a dimmer switch to control the intensity of the light, creating different moods and atmospheres as needed.

10. Consider a Monochromatic Color Scheme

Using a monochromatic color scheme can make a small bathroom appear larger. Sticking to a single color, or varying shades of the same color, creates a seamless look with less visual interruption. This simplicity allows the eyes to move easily around the room, giving a more open and airy feel. When using a monochromatic scheme, you can add texture and interest with different materials or finishes to prevent the space from feeling flat or monotonous.


Creating the illusion of more space in a small bathroom can be achieved through thoughtful design choices and smart strategies. From opting for glass shower doors and large tiles to maintaining a clutter-free environment and using smart lighting, each tip contributes to a more open, airy, and inviting bathroom. While the physical space remains the same, these design techniques can dramatically transform how the space feels, making even the smallest bathroom more comfortable and enjoyable to use. With a bit of creativity and planning, you can turn your small bathroom into a beautiful, functional space that feels much larger than its actual dimensions.

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