Bathroom updates don’t always require expansion. Sometimes, when a bathroom requires an update, not everyone has the space, money and time – or the inclination – for doing anything more than working within the space they have.
Even so, bathroom remodels in existing footprints – especially in older homes where bathrooms are smaller – can be exhaustive. Are walls getting stripped to the studs or just getting a wainscoting and paint update? Is the shower-over-tub getting new trims or will there be new tile, tub and trims? Designing and/or redesigning these average-size spaces can be a daunting task, especially if the room has some awkward dimensions. There are, however, many ways to give these spaces character and a comfortable feeling.
To tub or not to tub
A home with more than one shared bathroom can more easily get away with eliminating the bathtub in one. For example, the full bath designated for guests can be converted into more of a grown-up space with a walk-in shower while the second full bathroom should retain the bathtub because of its usefulness for bathing small children.
A smaller sink is another great way to free up space without sacrificing style. A pedestal sink with open shelves at arm’s reach to hold/contain the things that use to sit on the vanity creates a more open and airy feel. There are also integrated vanity/sink pieces available that have a narrow footprint but still provide storage underneath and space on top for necessities like soap and a toothbrush holder.
Let in the light
Glass shower walls are another great way to open the space up. When you can see through things, it provides the illusion of a bigger space than what it is.
When it’s time to choose the paint color – or tile – lighter, brighter shades (think lavender instead of plum or sky blue over navy) will probably work best in a smaller space. Plus, this is the bathroom and morning routines require more light rather than less. Dark colors will make the space seem more confined and suck up or reflect poorly the light from fixtures overhead and/or on either side of the mirror.
Another way to add personality to a smaller space is through accessories. Rugs, hand towels and cabinetry hardware are all small elements that have big impact. You can easily swap these pieces out every few years to completely change the look of your room.
Did you remodel your smaller bathroom? Share your story and photos with us in the comments!