Since we've been chatting a bit about remodeling (both in real life and in these articles) I figured it was time to address the small bathroom. In my cabin over in Lincoln (over a decade ago) the bathroom was squeezed between the two main rooms of the home.
This made for a complete lack of privacy, as you can imagine. It was comprised of a small sink, stand-up shower and commode. Thankfully there were wall-mounted shelves above the toilet which actually made a world of difference. But we'll get to storage later. Let's see how we can make the most of a "too small" room.
I have said before that I enjoy working in small rooms and bathrooms for remodeling projects. I enjoy the big impact for relatively low workload. Painting, tiling, replacing fixtures, and all of those upgrades are made easier and less expensive simply by their size and scope.
It is also less stressful to try things out on a smaller scale. You can throw up some wallpaper or try out an exciting new paint color (or texture). The beauty is, if you don't like it, it is much easier to swap out than if you had done a full bedroom or larger living space. Get creative with your wall coverings. I promise it'll be fun.
In my old bathroom (just like in all small bathrooms) floor space was a premium. One creative way around this is with a "floating" vanity. These are super popular right now and the design and effectiveness are not going anywhere. Basically it affords you the storage of a couple drawers or a small cabinet without sacrificing the floor space.
Not only can you stand right next to the sink without smashing your toes, it appears (to the eye) to not even really be there so you regain all of that floor space giving the room a fuller feel. Of course you can always wall-mount your sink, but I much prefer the former option which provides all that storage.
Art seems like a funny topic when it comes to bathrooms, but there is certainly a place for it here. We're not just talking about hanging pictures of outhouses, old tubs or that one scene from "Dumb and Dumber." Feel free to add "real" art, creative pieces or literally anything to liven up the room and bring a sense of comfort and home to the area.
"I always appreciate outdoor imagery in small rooms," Badger Realty agent Deirdre Braun said. "It feels like another window and an exit to the outside world."
We have noted before that bright, light colors will help keep the room feeling open and airy. I'm a huge fan of this simplicity all throughout the house. One of the main benefits of a clean palette is the ability to liven things up with accent colors and fun details.
The white background allows for your fixtures to stand out a bit as well as anything you decide to add to the walls. Of course you don't want it to be a complete white-out (think padded cells from the movies). Start with a clean, white slate and spice it up as you go.
As I mentioned up above, storage is pretty critical in these small spaces. You may be fortunate enough to have a linen closet right around the corner. Those are lifesavers. If you don't, just work on eking out any small space you can use. Under the sink, above the commode, even behind the door. You don't want the walls coming in on you, but you also need to have this be a usable space.
Lastly, and this is the oldest trick in the book, is to consider glass doors for the shower. The ability to expand the visual space (even though it is not really "usable" in this sense) is pretty magical in these small spaces.
Of course, this will increase the cleaning needs, but the effect is well worth the extra effort. I wouldn't get too crazy with the mirrors in here (the "other" oldest trick in the book) since that can cause some confusion and give the bathroom a funhouse feel. Just expand the visual lines as much as possible and enjoy the view.
Bathrooms are very important rooms in our homes. They help sell the home when we're ready, but they are one of the more crucial rooms that we all frequent. Have some fun in your bathroom and see if there are ways you can spruce it up and maybe even make it feel bigger and more useful. It'll be a fun project and you'll reap the rewards almost immediately.