Maybe you’ve found the perfect house or apartment — except for the fact that it has a tiny, cramped bathroom. If you’re facing this dilemma, you’re not alone. Many homes and buildings, especially older ones, don’t offer the corner tubs and double custom bathroom vanities that have become more common in recent years. Don’t panic: There are lots of ways to make a small bathroom more functional and comfortable. Here are five strategies to get you started.
- Nix All the Decorative Tchotchkes
Start with the easy stuff: Forget cutesy knick-knacks that serve no purpose. You can make your bathroom look attractive by choosing better-looking versions of functional items, instead. Store toiletries and such in pretty class containers, or splurge on some beautiful spa-quality towels.
- Play With Smoke, er, Light and Mirrors
Light does a lot to make a small space feel larger, so it may be worth installing some beautiful sconces or choosing a lighter paint color. You can also bounce light around with mirrors; just be sure to avoid the dated look of large, frameless mirrors. (DIY tip: You can glue pre-painted molding onto an existing mirror to make it look like a much more expensive framed mirror.)
- Extend Stone/Tiling Outside the Shower
If you’re putting tile or natural stone in the shower or bath surround, consider extending it to all or most of the walls. Not only will having a continuous surface make the room feel larger, you’ll also find it much easier to keep clean.
- Put the Laundry Hamper in Your Bedroom
Laundry hampers eat up a lot of floor space in the average bathroom, so it’s best to move them into individual bedrooms, instead. If it’s wall space that you’re lacking, consider putting hooks for towels in individual bedrooms, too. No one will ever have to wonder again which towel belongs to them — and given that larger rooms often get better ventilation than tiny bathrooms, the towels may end staying drier, too.
- Invest in High-Quality Custom Cabinetry
If a real overhaul is in your budget, nothing adds more functionality to a small space than custom cabinetry. Because custom made cabinets are designed specifically for your room, they’ll be able to make use of every single inch of available space. Plus, reducing clutter by being able to put everything away will make your space feel larger. Of course, custom wood cabinets cost more than pre-built shelves or vanities, but they’ll also last a lifetime.
Is a bigger project such as custom cabinetry right for your bathroom, or will you be going with a more modest solution such as floating shelves? Share your plans in the comments.