how to make a small bathroom look bigger: 10 design and build tricks

How to make your bathroom look bigger

Simple design-and-build tricks to create more space, or at least the illusion of it...

By Paula Woods | 11 January 2022

Wondering how to make a small bathroom look bigger? In the UK, the average bathroom is just over a paltry four square metres – about the same size as a king-size bed. Even more generously proportioned rooms can feel cramped if not designed well.

Whatever your situation, use these 11 simple design-and-build tricks to create more space, or at least the illusion of it.

1. Go minimalist

Using a limited palette of materials and colour will make a small room appear bigger. Select pale neutral shades, built-in storage, and furniture and fittings with clean lines and simple shapes to create the illusion of greater space. If your garden affords you the privacy, then a large picture window will make your bathroom feel much bigger, brighter and hotel-like.

Rimless bath in a bathroom with picture window

Mozzano rimless Quarrycast bath from Victoria + Albert Baths

2. Floating furniture

Choosing bathroom furniture that is mounted on the wall is a smart way to create the illusion of a bigger bathroom – it tricks the eye into focusing on the space below the floating furniture, without costing you valuable storage space. The same applies to floating toilets in small downstairs cloakrooms.

wooden floating double vanity with counter top basins in a natural decor scheme

Photo: Kaldewei

3. Fix the footprint

Reworking architectural features or opting for a more inventive design may be the key to transforming a space. Consider whether a doorway or window can be moved to free up a wall for fittings and furniture. The reconfigured bathroom below also makes clever use of mirrors.

This reconfigured layout makes the most of a small space

Reconfigured layout and interior design by Louise Bradley Interiors. Photo Paul Raeside

4. Reflect the light

The easiest answer to the ‘how to make a small bathroom look bigger’ question is mirrors. It’s a well known trick but bears repeating nonetheless. Using a large mirror will create the illusion of more space. A double vanity, if you have the space, means even more room for mirrors (as shown below). Keeping the room light and bright also boosts the sense of space, so choose a lighter shade of paint and tiles.