• May 9, 2014
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The typical bathroom is 9 by 11 feet in size or 100 square feet. Anything smaller than that is considered small. Bathrooms are typically the smallest room in any apartment, condo, or house, but some run smaller than average; that does not mean they have to feel as cramped as they look. Luckily there are only 3 major pieces that make up a bathroom: a toilet, a bathtub and/or shower, and a sink. With an idea of what you want and proper planning, you can get the most out of your bathroom layout and make it feel more spacious than it really is. Knowing tricks to make spaces feel larger and new bathroom design trends is also an advantage to designing the perfect compact bathroom.

A good imagination can come in handy when planning the layout of your future bathroom. First draw a bird’s eye view of the bathroom and all of its features. Then make a list of the features you would like to have. What do you need to have and what can you go without? For example, can you live with a shower instead of a full bathtub? Do you need a his-and-hers sink or is one sink enough? Of course, you want to get the most out of your bathroom so using a few tricks may come in handy to get all of your wants and needs met.

When it comes to the shower or bathtub, skip the bathtub. A shower is highly customizable and perfect for the small bathroom. The key is to use as much as the bathroom as possible for the shower because that will be the area most room is needed. An easy option is to install an acrylic or fiberglass unit. A more durable and attractive option is the tiled shower which can be customized to a size that best fits your bathroom. A tiled shower will make the bathroom look more open as well, especially if the door is clear glass. For a very small bathroom you can clip a corner off the shower and install the showerhead in the furthest corner of the shower to maximize space. A more recent trend is the Eurobath which makes the entire bathroom a wet space. These types of showers are open and have no walls or doors. Instead of a door being what completely separates the shower from the rest of the bathroom, there is some visual cue that has the same effect. Panels between the shower and other features can break up the room while offering some protection from the spray of water.

Standalone sinks instead of a sink paired with a vanity cabinet creates a bigger look. There are a few different kinds of standalone sinks to choose from: wall-mounted, console, and pedestal. Each of these sink types reduces the material between the sink and the floor and creates more open spaces. The sinks should have oversized mirrors above them as well. The reflective surface of the mirror will make your bathroom look like it continues on and as a result, feel bigger.

There are many extremely easy tricks that you can apply to make the bathroom appear larger. An easy way to break up the space in a small bathroom is to centralize the entry door. A bathroom that looks like a hallway inherently appears smaller, but being able to have features on either side of the entry door makes the bathroom feel more like the other rooms in the house. Another way is to keep all of the features in the bathroom the same tone and color and if you have a tiled shower, make the tile the same color as the walls. What this does is make the room one complete room instead of a room that is small and broken up; each piece of the room will be connected through color and make it look larger. For example, a bathroom that has a white granite countertops would look more spacious if the walls were also painted white because it would appear as though the countertop and wall were continuous.

If you can manage it, a great way to open up the bathroom is to add a window if it does not already have one. Not only does this add natural light, but it creates an effect that the bathroom space is open to the outdoors.

For storage of linens and bathroom supplies, cabinets can be integrated into many spaces. The most common storage is found beneath or above the sink. A medicine cabinet hidden behind a mirror is an easy way to store things without an obvious space-reducing cabinet. Instead of adding cabinets, you can recess shelving into the walls.

For any size bathroom, the key to keeping it open is to increase storage space creatively to reduce clutter, use colors to create a continuous room, take advantage of all nooks and crannies, and design your sink and shower/bath to compliment the bathroom.

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