10 Clever Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Larger (2024)

Small bathrooms aren’t just short on square footage, they can feel cramped, confining, uncomfortable to move around in. space. It’s no wonder many homeowners want to expand them. However, this can be a difficult feat if you don’t have a bathroom remodeling budget of $2,000 to $18,000. Luckily, there are a few cost-effective ways to make this room look bigger.

Aside from pure aesthetics and functionality, another reason you may want a bathroom that looks larger is when you’re selling your home. Bathrooms, especially the primary bathroom, are scrutinized heavily by home buyers. If this room feels cramped, this could be a dealbreaker for some buyers. So doing all you can to make the bathroom appear roomier could be just enough to close the deal.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to make your existing bathroom appear larger than it is without investing an enormous amount of money to do an entire bathroom renovation.

How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

Here are a few design tips.

Banish clutter

Any room can feel confining if it is filled with too much stuff. The first thing you should do is look around your bathroom with an objective eye to pinpoint the items you can do without. Focus on the countertop—this is one area that can easily be overrun with toiletries, but when it’s cleared off the whole space seems cleaner. Placing a tray on the countertop to corral a few bottles leaves everything looking neater while allowing you to keep a few key items close at hand. This practice alone can make this room airy instantly.

Let in natural light

10 Clever Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Larger (1)

Enhancing the natural light is one of the easiest ways to make a room feel airy and bright. Not all bathrooms will have a window, so this may not be an option for you. However, if you have a window, find a way to bring in some sunshine while preserving privacy. One option is to change your window to frosted glass or, for a cheaper alternative, apply a frosted or tinted window film to your existing window glass which will partially obscure the view. Consider swapping heavy draperies for light-filtering panels, roller shades, or bamboo shades. Top-down/bottom-up cellular shades also allow you to open the shade from the top of the window to let in light, so that the bottom half of the window is covered to offer more privacy where you need it.

Improve the lighting

Proper bathroom lighting will reduce the amount of shadows and therefore make a small space look less dark and dingy. If your bathroom only relies on one overhead light, you may see a significant difference if you add additional lighting in the form of vanity lights directly over the mirror or wall sconces mounted on either side of the mirror.

Even changing the light bulbs can enhance the ambiance of the entire room. Make sure to choose a wattage that is appropriate to your light fixtures, but when it comes to the temperature, a crisp cool white will be most inviting as opposed to a warm tone (which can skew yellow) or daylight (which can seem bluish).

Enhance with mirrors

10 Clever Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Larger (2)

The reflective power of mirrors can make small spaces feel more expansive and brighter. So, if your bathroom just has a dinky medicine cabinet mirror, consider swapping it for a a more substantial mirror over the cabinet vanity. You could even add mirrored decorative accents, like a soap dispenser or a tray, or switch out your fixtures to polished chrome to catch the light throughout the room and help illuminate the space further. Another option is to create a mirrored wall so long as the room won’t become overly busy.

Shrink the sink

10 Clever Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Larger (3)

Does your sink cabinet take up a lot of space in your bathroom? Consider getting rid of the cabinet and opting for either a floating wall-mounted vanity or a pedestal sink instead. A slender, cabinet-free pedestal sink has a much smaller footprint, freeing up some additional wiggle room in your bathroom, however it also will offer less countertop space. Another thing to keep in mind if you decide to switch to either of these options is that you may have to fill in the remainder of the flooring that was previously covered by the sink cabinet; make sure to factor in this cost in addition to the price of a new vanity or sink when budgeting for this project.

Install a glass shower door

10 Clever Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Larger (4)

Unlike a shower curtain, having frameless glass shower doors will create a seamless look throughout the bathroom, giving the illusion that there is much more space than there is. Remember to keep the glass clean as soap scum and mildew will block the view and re-create the cramped feeling again.

Match floor and walls

Instead of an obvious line of demarcation between the bathroom’s tiled floor and the paint on the walls, create a seamless floor-to-wall transition by continuing the floor tiles up the wall. This consistency in the floor-to-wall design can create the illusion of a bigger bathroom, especially if you use lighter-colored tiles. If you’re not up for the project of tiling the walls, even painting the walls the same color as the floor will lend that similar uninterrupted effect.

Switch to a sliding door

Your bathroom door may be taking up precious space simply by the way it is configured. You don’t necessarily have to have a door in your bathroom that swings open. Incorporating a sliding barn door that slides along the exterior wall of the bathroom will free up space inside the bathroom. Another way to go is to opt for a pocket door that slides in and out of a wall to close, though that will require taking down and repairing drywall..

Keep paint color light

As a general rule of thumb: When it comes to paint colors for small spaces: darker colors absorb light, making a room appear more closed off, while lighter hues reflect light, making the walls recede so the room seems bigger and brighter. You don’t have to rely on just white either. Try pale blue, light green, soft grey, taupe, or lavender.

Get creative with storage

Almost every homeowner looks to their vanity for the storage they need in the bathroom. However, there are other clever design tricks to increase storage in the bathroom. Mount whatever you can on the walls—wall hooks for hanging robes and towels, open shelving stocked with matching baskets for toiletries, even toothbrush holders. You can lean a ladder against the wall to hang towels without it taking up much floor space. Opt for an extra-narrow storage cart that can slide into tight nooks like between the sink and the tub.

Not every homeowner can have a large bathroom. Besides, it isn’t always necessary. After all, the bigger the bathroom, the more cleaning and organizing you’ll have to do. If you must keep your small bathroom, incorporating these techniques can make your bathroom feel more spacious without having to redo your existing bathroom layout.

10 Clever Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Larger (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Last Updated:

Views: 6173

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Birthday: 1997-10-17

Address: Suite 835 34136 Adrian Mountains, Floydton, UT 81036

Phone: +3571527672278

Job: Manufacturing Agent

Hobby: Skimboarding, Photography, Roller skating, Knife making, Paintball, Embroidery, Gunsmithing

Introduction: My name is Lakeisha Bayer VM, I am a brainy, kind, enchanting, healthy, lovely, clean, witty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.