Tips for Decorating a Small Bathroom
Read on for tips for decorating a small bathroom.
12:44 05 October 2021
Decorating a small bathroom can be tough. There's less space to work with, and no one wants to feel cramped while they're trying to get ready for the day or relax in the tub after a long day of work. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to alleviate cramped feelings in a small bathroom without extensive remodeling.
It doesn't matter whether the bathroom is a half-bath used only by guests, a downstairs powder room, or a fully functional bathroom used by the entire household. There are plenty of ways to make it work no matter how small it may seem. Read on to find some simple decorating tips that can help.
- Place Mirrors Strategically
Mirrors can be very helpful when it comes to making small rooms feel larger, but only if they're placed strategically. Homeowners should pay attention to where the light comes from, both in terms of natural daylight from the windows and artificial light. Once it's clear how the light enters the room, it will be easier to find a place for a wood mirror that will reflect it back to brighten things up and make the space feel less confining.
- Don't Block the Windows
Homeowners shouldn't underestimate the effects of natural light on both their bathrooms' appearance and the mood of those who use them. If there are windows in the bathroom, make sure they're not blocked by plants, dark curtains, shades, or shelves. It's still fine to use gauzy curtains to add privacy, but try to let as much light as possible shine through.
Unfortunately, not all bathrooms have windows. When that's the case, focus on adding more full-spectrum artificial light. In tall bathrooms with small footprints, focus on overhead lighting. In smaller, shorter spaces, consider adding some extra task and accent lighting to make sure the key areas of the room are fully illuminated.
- Stick with Neutral Colors
In smaller bathrooms, it's best to stick with light, neutral colors. Choosing a neutral color palette doesn't mean everything has to be white, though. Play around with different shades of grey, off-white, light blue, or blush, and make sure to keep the color palette light and airy. Darker colors tend to make any space feel smaller and more confining.
- Go All-Natural
Obviously, man-made materials tend to draw a lot of attention to themselves when they're placed in small rooms, regardless of their use. It's best to stick with natural materials like wood, linen, wicker, and stone when decorating a small bathroom because these materials will add plenty of visual interest without overwhelming residents and guests. Even a few shade-tolerant plants placed in hard-to-reach areas can brighten up the room and complement its decor.
- Declutter the Bathroom
Some people have a tendency to hoard beauty and wellness products. While it's fine to have a preferred beauty routine, the chances are good it doesn't involve using every single face wash, lotion, and mask currently in the collection. Try to declutter by paring down to just what's really needed and leave the rest of it in storage or, better yet, throw it away.
Excess beauty products aren't the only items that tend to accumulate in bathrooms, either. If there are lots of cleaning supplies taking up the space beneath the sink or towels lining every inch of open wall, think about moving some of them to other rooms. As a rule of thumb, it's best to keep no more than two sets of towels per resident and to store only the most essential cleaning items in a smaller bathroom. The rest can be stored elsewhere in the house.
- Avoid Pedestal Sinks
Pedestal sinks may be attractive, but they waste space. If there's currently a pedestal sink in the bathroom, think about replacing it with a vanity that features storage space beneath the sink. That way, residents can keep their most essential personal items hidden away without having to cart in a shower caddy from another room every time they want to freshen up.
- Hide the Toiletries
If a homeowner's goal in redecorating a small bathroom is to create the illusion of having more space, it's time to find a way to keep toiletries and other frequently used items out of sight. Even if residents have pared down their beauty products and tossed out everything they don't use, leaving toothbrushes, combs, and other products out on the sink creates clutter.
There are a few ways to keep toiletries hidden away without creating unnecessary inconveniences for residents. Think custom medicine cabinets with built-in shelving, vanities with drawers instead of large cabinets, or storage niches outfitted with small baskets to keep everything organized and out of sight.
- Make Use of Vertical Space
Not all small bathrooms have low ceilings, and thinking vertically can help designers save a lot of space. Those areas above the sinks and toilets are prime areas for adding storage cabinets, shelving units, or unique decor. They won't get in anyone's way, and, if chosen well, will add visual interest to the room while complementing its color palette and overall decor.
- Opt for Larger Art
This may sound counterintuitive, but in small spaces, it's best to use larger pieces of art. small paintings or photographs tend to draw attention to the fact that there's not much space, while larger ones add to the ambiance without making it feel more cramped. Just keep in mind that the opposite is true for the frames on paintings and photographs: slim frames tend to be better than thicker ones.
The best place to start when redecorating a small bathroom isn't by heading out to the store to buy new furniture, art, or other products. It's sitting down with a piece of paper and a pen to start brainstorming. Create a budget, explore some ideas in magazines or online, and jot down a list of the most important things to change before heading to the store or breaking out the credit card to buy new products.