Embrace Your Small Bathroom

by Rachel Laurendeau on September 20, 2012

It’s easy to get discouraged by a tiny bathroom, thinking that no matter what you do in terms of home improvements, it will never be a grand spa and will always feel cluttered and cramped. Sure, you may not have room for an Olympic sized hot tub, but why not flip this around and make the most of your small bathroom?

The Positives:

  • For starters, smaller square footage means there is less to clean. That, in and of itself, is reason to celebrate the small bathroom, in my opinion.
  • On a practical side, having a smaller bathroom means that renovation costs are lower or that you can splurge on higher end finishes since you need less of them. Think of the beautiful glass tile that you love but may not be able to afford for a large space. In your small bathroom, you might be able to make it fit into the renovation budget.
  • It can be overwhelming to take on a large remodeling project but when you are dealing with a smaller, well-designed space, renovations can typically be done in a shorter time frame and with less disruption to your life.
  • It is easier to create a cozy and charming bathroom when it is smaller. Really large bathrooms tend to feel like cold and awkward much of the time.

A Few Design Tips:

  • If you have an exterior wall and your budget permits, why not have a window installed? This will increase the visual space and also give you a source of natural light. If you already have a window in the space, new energy-efficient replacement windows can help take care of any moisture or air leakage problems.
  • Do you really need a bathtub? If not, you can save some space by installing a stand-alone or corner shower. Using a frameless shower door is another way to create visual space as it will not obstruct the view. However, if you go with this option, keep the visual clutter in the shower to a minimum.
  • Good lighting can go a long way in a small bathroom. Replace dated lighting fixtures with modern ones to create more flattering and functional lighting.
  • Forget the “shoulds” and focus on what you actually need in your bathroom. There is no need to overstuff your bathroom just to feel like you have all of the same amenities as a large bathroom.
  • Keep counters clear and visual clutter to a minimum. If you can, simply use the drawers and vanity for storage and don’t litter your walls with shelves and extra distractions.
  • Just because the room is on the diminutive side, does not mean that you have to fall into all of the old traps such as using neutrals. You can create a bold or dramatic bathroom if that’s what makes you happy.

When it comes to bathrooms, less can most certainly be more. If you have the right approach to designing and maintaining a functional and aesthetically pleasing bathroom, there can be more positives than negatives in the cozy bathroom.

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