Posted by Dan O'Malley in Home Design

When you downsize your home, you also downsize spaces in the home, like the bathrooms; however, just because your bathroom is smaller does not mean it needs to look or feel that way.

If you want to know how to make a small bathroom look bigger, here are eight tips to help you out!

1. Use Natural Light and Keep it Bright

This may seem obvious, but lighter colors will naturally expand the size of a room—okay, it’s not actually expanding the room, but it does make it look bigger.

This is a very popular tactic among small bathroom design ideas.

Some people even go all white in their small bathrooms, as white reflects light and naturally recedes to open up a space. Lighter colors in tiles and on walls create a spa-like look, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed in your bathroom.

If you have a window in your small bathroom, keep it uncovered. The natural light paired with light walls will make the space even more airy and enlarge the feel of the room.

Light and Bright Bathroom

2. Go Big With Mirrors

Mirrors reflect the room, which allows them to really stretch the space, essentially doubling what you see. Going larger with your mirror(s) will reflect more light and stretch the space even further.

If you have the mirror on a longer wall, it can create the illusion that the room is wider. Frameless mirrors add to this illusion.

Bathroom With Frameless Mirror

3. Give Your Bathroom Some Character

Leave everything at eye level simple and bright, and add some drama to the lower half of your bathroom. Having darker elements and pops of color or design will let your personality shine through without compromising the size of the bathroom.

Incorporate things such as dark cabinets below the vanity—this contrast will make the top half of the room feel even bigger.

Bathroom With Dark Wall Paint

4. Opt for Clear Glass Shower Doors

If you’re really aching for more visual space that offers a seamless edge, choose frameless clear glass doors.

Usually, full bathrooms have shower and tub combinations that already take up a chunk of space. How you choose to enclose this area affects the overall feel of the room.

Don’t get me wrong: shower curtains can have fun patterns or add color, but they don’t contribute to the illusion of more space. A shower curtain creates a divide and closes off sections of a bathroom, making it feel smaller than it is.

5. Consistent Colors and Materials

Don’t go overboard with patterns, colors, and textures. When you have a simple design selection in your bathroom, such as white or light gray walls paired with white cabinets and gray tile floors, you will create an airy and spacious room.

Less chaos translates to a larger space.

Bathroom With Neutral Colors

6. Use Large Floor Tiles

Another way to add to the space illusion in your small bathroom is to eliminate any excess lines, especially on the floor.

Larger tiles help expand the look of the floor by reducing the amount of dividing lines in the room. You’ll be amazed by how much this opens up the space!

Bathroom With Large Floor Tile

7. Save Some Storage Space

Instead of adding an extra cabinet in a bathroom, there are various hanging storage pieces where you can display your products without cluttering your sink. Floating shelves and over-the-door hooks are great for this, too.

Keeping counters clean and free of excess will make your small bathroom feel nice and big. I know I always feel like I have more space after cleaning and organizing.

8. Don’t Go Crazy With Decorations

Simple pieces of art and a quaint rug should be the extent of your bathroom decor. You can add a few decorative touches to the vanity, too.

If you really want to get the most out of your small bathroom, keep it simple and focus on efficiency.

Bathroom With Simple Design

Ready to tackle a bigger bathroom design project? Read about some of the modern bathroom design trends that can really maximize your bathroom space!


Dan O'Malley
Dan O'Malley


Dan O’Malley is the Vice President of Product Development for M/I Homes.With over 30 years of expertise in residential architecture and design, Dan has been overseeing the product needs of the company's 16 divisions located throughout the Midwest, Southeast, Nashville and Texas for the past 12 years. Before joining M/I Homes, he was a partner in the Chicago office of BSB Design, a national residential architectural firm, for 14 years. Dan is an expert in all aspects of single-family and multifamily design and has received several awards for his successful projects. He is also a popular speaker at various industry events, including the International Builder’s Show, Midwest Builder’s Show, and Multi-Housing World.

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