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Make Your Small Bathroom Look and Feel Larger

You Don't Have to Build an Addition to Your Home

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Towels for Guest Bath

Light walls give this bath an open feeling.

Coral Nafie

Unless you live in a custom-built home with a luxurious bath and dressing room, you probably wish your bathroom were larger. Without adding any more square footage, you might feel less cramped if you use some of our tips to make your small bathroom look and feel larger.

It's true that a small bathroom can feel cozy and intimate. But it can also feel claustrophobic and depressing. Depending on your decorating style, it can be quiet and sophisticated, charming, or sparkling like a jewel box.

No matter what style you decorate your small bath, though, it will always be a small bath.

But with a bit of visual magic, color change, and lighting, you can transform your small bath into a cozy retreat.

A bathroom is a very special space, but the theories about space enlargement apply here as to any other room in the house. Use some of these decorating tricks to make your bathroom look and feel larger, even if it stays the same size.

Select Colors for Serenity

Pale, soft color schemes tend to give the illusion of more space. I'm not saying that the small bath has to be pink, but avoid strong, exciting colors. Use the brights for accessories and towels, but select pastel tones, neutrals, and whites for backgrounds. "Cool" colors give the feeling of serenity.

Brighten Up the Room

Without taking up any counter space, you can add extra lighting to "open up" the look of your bathroom and add interest. Recessed can lighting can be installed into the ceiling and focused on any work space. Wall sconces or a countertop lamp will add warmth. More expensive alternatives for bringing more light into the room would be skylights, larger windows, or Solatubes.

Trade a Large Vanity for a Delicate Pedestal Sink

A vanity cabinet provides nice storage under a sink, but takes up lots of floor space in a small bath. Replacing the vanity with a pedestal or wall-mounted sink can be be fairly inexpensive. Your bath will definitely feel more open. Find alternative storage space with a small shelf or organize a nearby linen closet. When you remove the vanity cabinet, you'll probably have to repair the flooring.

Cut Back Anything That Sticks Out

Even the smallest piece of furniture or accessory that sticks out into the room can stop where your eye goes and make your room seem to "shrink". Remove wall shelves, hanging racks, or decorative accessories on the walls that cut into the room and make it look smaller. Of course, you may need some of the pieces for comfort and their usefulness, but if the room feels bigger without them, think of some other way to supply the space you need.

Next: Accessories, Flooring, and Mirrors

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How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

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