Struggling with a small bathroom layout? These top tips from a bathroom designer can help to make the best use of every inch of space – offering creative ways to make your bathroom idea feel bigger.
Design expert George Holland, from Victorian Plumbing, to shares his top 10 tips to make even the smallest of spaces feel bigger.
10 ways to make you bathroom feel bigger
1. Go back to basics
‘Ask what you really need in there – a toilet, a shower, and a sink. Anything on top is additional clutter’ George starts. ‘One of the key things to do is remove anything that sits on the floor – towel racks etc – and think about ways to get these up on the walls’.
Top Tip – instead of adding storage solutions outright, think about how you could add them to existing features. For instance could you build around or beneath your basin?
2. Add depth with patterned wallpaper
This is a simple but effective decorating trick. ‘Wallpapering one wall in your bathroom is a great way to make the space feel bigger’ George explains. ‘This is a great option if your bathroom is an awkward shape and you have little to work with, as the pattern will draw the eye away from the room’s actual size.
Adding, ‘You want some attention-grabbing and dramatic to steal focus, so don’t be afraid to go bold!’. Of course always make sure the paper is suitable for use in bathrooms.
3. Consider the colour scheme
‘Small-bathrooms suffer when it comes to natural light – most apartment bathrooms don’t even have windows – and nothing will highlight how dank and dingy a space is than a lack of real light’ he says with honesty. ‘So it helps to make your room as bright as possible!’
‘Think carefully about your colour scheme if you want the room to feel bigger. An easy and effective solution is a white colour scheme warmed up with natural wooden floors and strong black fixtures.’
4. Focus on mirrors
‘Mirrors really help exaggerate space, so simply hanging a large mirror in a small bathroom will make it feel far larger’. Going on to suggest, ‘Shape the space you want with different kinds of frames – frameless mirrors will feel luxurious whilst round ones will make a room feel softer. Combining a mirror with a dark or dramatic colour scheme will help too.
5. Think tall and thin
‘Take advantage of dead-space you wouldn’t usually fill and stretch out your furnishings to save space!’ is George’s advice. ‘Instead of the usual bulky towel racks and rails, look for longer, thinner versions, designed to go up the walls.’
‘Invest in ladder shelves, or open shelves in general. This will add a relaxed feel to the space and the bathroom won’t feel so boxy.’
6. Keep floors clear
‘Remember that game, ‘the floor is lava?’ Take those principles into your bathroom design! Think of the floor as sacred space, and decorate via the walls’ he advises. ‘Wall-hung fixtures are one of those clever small bathroom ideas you can use to suggest the space is bigger than it is.’
George’s number rule for a clutter-free bathroom floor, ‘If it must be in your bathroom, put it on the walls!’.
7. Create the illusion of space with wall lights
Lighting is key for getting the design right in a bathroom, so make it a priority. ‘Many people rely on the single bulb above them to do the job, but it’s one of the easiest ways to make a room feel bigger’ George is quick to point out.
‘Adding lamps can be difficult – not to mention dangerous – in a wet bathroom, but there are some creative solutions for the walls! These days, there are plenty of great wall-mounted lights for under £50, so invest in one that fits your space’.
8. Go big with tiles
‘When it comes to pokey bathrooms, the bigger the tiles the better!’ he exclaims. ‘Smaller tiles mean more grout lines, which will make the space feel tight and grid-like. Wider tiles will make a bathroom feel bigger, especially if you choose light colours.’
Top Tip – if you prefer smaller, mosaic-style tiles limit them to an area that’s already small such as the shower or an alcove.
9. Choose a small storage vanity
‘Think about adding a small storage vanity, especially if you’ve exhausted all the under-the-sink potential of your bathroom. You can get some pretty compact storage vanities these days, so shop around until you find one that fits your space. Hiding your products out of sight will declutter the space.’
Top Tip – choose something with legs, keeping things off the floor helps to make the floor feel more generous.
10. Opt for a frameless shower
‘Replacing traditional, bulky showers with a frameless one is a great way to make space,’ recommends George.
‘Not only will a frameless shower physically take up less room, the glass-screen and lack of tray will reduce visual clutter – making the room feel airy and open.’