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Twelve Tips to Make Your Smallest Room Feel Much Bigger

By Michelle Hopkins Nov 25, 2015

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No matter how spacious your condo bathroom is, chances are as time goes by it will seem like there just isn’t enough room for all of your toiletries or your curio collections that have found their way there. This can be especially problematic for condo owners who have just downsized from a large family home and the bathrooms just aren’t as roomy as the ones left behind.

Whatever the situation, the good news is there are many tricks interior designers employ that can create a sense of grandeur. In addition, there are several ways to maximize your precious amount of square footage. So, how do you combine style and function in a small space? 

“There are many smart ways to make a small bathroom appear more spacious,” says Alda Pereira, principal of Alda Pereira Designs. “First off, de-cluttering your space is one small, easy way to instantly create a feeling of spaciousness.”

Another, the veteran designer says, is, "Use a minimum amount of accessories on the floor and ensure it is kept clear and uncluttered. If you choose to use a rug, use one large one rather than clutter the floor up with several small ones. The more separate pieces you have, the more the floor space is broken up visually. One rug unifies the floor as one large whole and maximizes your bathroom area.”

Whether you are ready to do a little remodeling or just want some quick, simple and inexpensive ways to reclaim your bathroom’s footprint, Pereira provides West Coast Condominium readers with some great tips.

Tips to maximize your small bathroom’s footprint

·       While darker paint colours do make a room seem cozy, they often give the illusion of less space. The reason is simple: lighter hues reflect and multiply light, while dark colours absorb it. To make a room feel airy,opt for shades of white, off-white, beige or cream. Not only are they soothing, clean-looking colours, they will make a room appear larger.

·       Another way to create a sense of space is to replace your cabinet doors with mirrored ones. “We did this in a client’s new condo and it looked fabulous,” says Pereira.

·       Accent lighting also gives an illusion of space. If you place lighting under the vanity, it gives the impression that it is floating.

·       Get your vanity off the ground. By floating a vanity, you eliminate the legs, which is an effective way to give a small bathroom a sense of more space. “In addition, it's very functional for cleaning and a great opportunity to showcase your beautiful flooring,” adds Pereira.

·       If you have an electric toothbrush, you can have the plug inside the vanity so it’s hidden away. “There are many simple ways to find new homes for things that clutter our countertops,” says Pereira.

·       Recess those accessories such as your toiletries, towels holders and display items into niches in the wall. Another consideration is to recess the toilet paper holder. “Niches in the wall will create visual interest and will help avoid objects protruding into valuable floor space,” adds Pereira. Use this same idea in showers and bathtubs to hold soap and bath accessories.

·       Rather than that bulky medicine cabinet which visually makes your small bathroom feel even smaller, switch out the cabinet for a wall mirror. However, if you really want a medicine cabinet, look for one that is low profile and doesn’t extend far off the wall.

·       If the bathroom has high ceilings, store items right up into that empty usable space. However, Periera says, be mindful of clutter and adding too many items on the shelf.

·       Lighter toned wood cabinetry allows more light to reflect off the surfaces and will not stop the eye at the dark cabinetry.

·       If you are going to renovate the bathroom, choose glass shower doors over a shower curtain. The latter becomes a visual barrier instead of letting your eyes take in the space that exists behind the curtain.

·       Think about installing a European space saver – a wet room can be the perfect solution to the traditional built-in, enclosed shower cubicle. Essentially, you have a drain in the centre of your bathroom, which creates an open room with no glass shower.

Once you’ve set the scene, de-cluttered, maximized your storage space and changed up the lighting, it’s time to think about aesthetics – especially in your guest bathroom. “You can go militaristically, or you can focus on one particular area,” Pereira says. She recommends using those distinctive pieces that you aren’t sure where to put, such as that gorgeous antique mirror your grandmother gave you or that vase that you don’t know what to do with. She went on to say, “If you want to show off a piece of your home, the powder room is the place to do it because your guests aren’t looking across a huge room.”

Michelle Hopkins
Michelle Hopkins is a Vancouver-based freelance writer with extensive magazine, newspaper and online writing experience in home décor, new home developments, culinary adventures, wine, travel and more. Michelle writes for many notable publications including Real Estate Weekly and other Glacier Media Group publications, Western Living Magazine, Vancouver Magazine, Home Décor & Renovations, to name just a few. Michelle is passionate about anything to do with real estate.
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