How to make your bathroom look bigger
Simple design-and-build tricks to create more space, or at least the illusion of it
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.
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.
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.
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. Keeping the room light and bright also boosts the sense of space, so choose a lighter shade of paint and tiles.
5. Frameless shower screens
Make your bathroom design as seamless as possible by opting for frameless designs. Lines and frames disturb and add clutter, whereas frameless shower screens trick the eye into thinking there’s more space than there actually is.
6. Sleek fittings
Likewise, sleek, unfussy fittings create the illusion of space. Keep your design as fuss-free as possible with minimalist fittings. Black bathroom fittings are an on-trend option for the hotel bathroom look and often are very simplistic in their design. In fact, a monochrome colour scheme will help make the space look bigger than it truly is.
7. Match wall and floor tiles
Keep your design scheme cohesive by choosing the same tiles for your wall and floor coverings. This creates the look of a fluid space that is everlasting without it being broken up by a difference in design. The same rules apply with colour – to make your bathroom look bigger, choose one colour or similar tones for a uniformed look.
8. Steal space
If you’re up for a relatively simple remodelling project, increase the size of your bathroom by taking space from an adjacent corridor, cupboard or room. Seek advice from an architect or designer, and if the work involves removing a load-bearing wall, consult a structural engineer via The Institution of Structural Engineers.
9. Smart lighting
Design your lighting scheme to ensure there are no dark corners or shadowy recesses. The aim is to create an even level of brightness throughout the room by incorporating a combination of task, accent and ambient fittings. Bathroom lighting has come a long way in recent years, offering way more options for feature lighting.
10. Clever storage
A wall of built-in cupboards with handleless doors painted the same colour as the walls takes up a small amount of floor area, and it appears to recede into the background while providing plenty of storage for towels and toiletries.
11. Work the windows
This is another one that requires getting the builders in, but enlarging the original window openings can make a small bathroom look much bigger – ask an architect for advice. Opt for slim-framed or frameless glazing for maximum impact, and choose opaque or mirrored glass if you need privacy.