How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

Small bathroom with floral wallpaper, a white vanity, and brass sconces. Image Provided by At Home With Ashley

If you’re a homeowner with a small bathroom, you know firsthand how limiting it can be. Small bathrooms might be perfectly functional, but a restrictive layout in any room can keep it from its true potential. Knocking down walls to remodel your whole space isn’t always an option, but there are other ways to make a small bathroom look bigger. Try out these eight simple solutions that will make your space feel roomier while sprucing up your current look.


Swap in an Open Vanity

White vessel sink on a wood vanity. Image Provided by Angela Chrusciaki Blehm

A large vanity is meant to provide helpful storage but can easily cramp the style of a confined bathroom. Switch out your bulky vanity for one with an open design and a vessel sink to free up the space between the floor and the top of the sink. When more of the floor is visible, your small bathroom will feel more navigable and open. If you can’t do without the extra storage, consider using the space beneath the vanity for storage baskets.


Use a Space-Enlarging Color Scheme

White Tile on the Bathroom wall and floor Image Provided by At Home With Ashley

Another easy way to make a small bathroom feel bigger is to implement a space-boosting color scheme. An all-white motif is best for creating an open feel, but soft neutrals and pastels in lighter shades are also effective. You don’t just have to paint, though. Using tile on your bathroom floor or walls can add much-needed texture and contrast to keep the look fresh.


Move Storage Onto the Walls

Black Floating Shelves with towels and Toilet Paper Image Provided by CG Home Interiors

Small bathroom storage is essential, especially if you’re eliminating vanities or freestanding cabinets to save space. Small wall-mounted storage options, like over-the-toilet cabinets and floating shelving, can house extra towels, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. Be selective with storage – too many protruding cupboards and ledges will make the upper half of your bathroom feel cramped. Whenever possible, install recessed storage that’s partially inserted into your walls to reduce its horizontal profile.


Maximize Your Mirror

Wood frame mirror above a white vanity in a small bathroom.

In addition to helping you look your best as you get ready in the morning, your bathroom mirror creates an illusion of space with its reflective surface. The bigger your mirror, the more spacious your bathroom appears. Hang a frameless rectangular mirror for maximum coverage or choose a large circular option for a stylishly modern look. This room-enlarging trick doesn’t actually give you more space, but the perception of a big, beautiful bathroom is just as important.


Strategically Place Your Bath Hardware

Black towel hooks hung on the wall in a small bathroom. Image Provided by CG Home Interiors

You should place bath hardware, like towel racks, toilet paper holders, and robe hooks, in a way that intrudes on your available space as little as possible. Replace standalone towel racks and toilet paper holders with wall-mounted options, and if you can, remove any mounted accessories that extend too far from the walls. A row of hooks mounted on the back of your bathroom door is a particularly effective solution for storing towels or robes while keeping your bathroom walkway open and clear.


Make Sure It's Bright and Well-Lit

Edison bulb wall sconce hung above the mirror in a small bathroom. Image Provided by CG Home Interiors

Adequate lighting goes a long way in making your small bathroom seem bigger. Eliminate shadows and brighten up the look with stylish and practical bathroom lighting. Flush-mount ceiling lights are great for illuminating your bathroom without intruding into your functional space. If a single fixture isn’t enough, couple a ceiling light with wall-mounted lights above your mirror or sink. You may even want a waterproof fixture in your shower to keep the level of light consistent throughout the whole bathroom.


Install Clear Glass Shower Doors

Glass shower Door

No matter how small your bathroom is, the one thing you don’t want to shrink is the size of your tub or shower space. Instead, get rid of opaque shower curtains or doors that visually divide the room, and then install clear shower doors to make the full length of your bathroom visible. This should add at least two feet to the perceived depth of your small space, or more if you have a roomier shower. A full-length shower door that goes to the floor is especially effective, but if you have a shower-tub combo, a sliding-glass door that rests on the tub’s edge will still open things up considerably.


Cut Clutter With a Shower Organizer

Aluminum shower caddy with shower accessories.

Once your shower space is visible, it becomes more important to have it well organized. Shampoo and body wash bottles stacked along the wall or on the floor can get in the way of that open look you’re working toward. Cut the clutter by using a shower caddy to organize and store your shower soaps and accessories. An over-the-showerhead option should be able to fit multiple bottles on the top rack and smaller items on lower racks. For bathrooms shared by multiple people, it may be best to go with a corner shower caddy that has more shelving and extends from your shower floor to the ceiling.

Now that you know how to make a small bathroom look bigger, you can tackle the projects that will make the biggest impact in your compact space. For tips on creating a gasp-worthy bathroom with stylish decor and fixtures, take a look at these 6 Ways to Decorate Your Bathroom Like a Designer.