Big Design, Small Spaces

By Mark Noonan                                    Plumbing Mart President

Small bathrooms can cause a problem to many homeowners. The bathroom is one of the most highly utilized rooms in the home, yet when this small space is poorly designed, it can be a source of daily frustration. Mirror too small? Shower feeling cramped? Knocking your elbow on that protruding shelf?

With many bathrooms in condos and older homes lacking the desired square-footage, using space effectively can pose as a problem to people while remodeling their bathroom. Luckily, a renovation that maximizes the space can create a big feeling in a little space.

Firstly, really think about how you are going to use the space. Careful planning is crucial when designing for small spaces.  When renovating, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of design options, but you must always keep in mind that you are renovating a small bathroom – a space that indeed deserves to look beautiful, but also must be highly functional. Focus on function. Think about the traffic flow in the room, sightlines, and efficient use of the space. To maintain a light and open feel try emphasizing the window, use open-legged furniture (for a less heavy feel), and keep a simple and cohesive colour palette.

A simple way to enhance sightlines in your renovation is through a newly popular design option, the stand-up shower. This is created with a custom shower base that is proportional to the room, adding a piece of wall panel, and trimming the entire thing out with luxurious, seamless glass. This design creates an elegant look. By using glass walls without metal bracing the line of sight is maintained, keeping the space looking large. You also won’t miss your large soaking tub. Modern shower fixture design has been upgraded – the luxury of the soak tub has been turned upright and brought into the multiple spray heads and rain showers available in today’s design.

Efficient usage of the small space can be achieved through adding clever storage solutions when designing your renovation. The correct storage solutions can make your small bathroom functionally large. The most effective way to achieve this is by employing vertical storage solutions – tall cabinetry and wall-mounted storage utilizes cubic footage without overtaking precious square footage on the floor. It is also wise, when possible, to consider recessed shelving. Another option may be to consider glass-fronted cabinets that add both design appeal as well as more visual interest to keep the space looking large. Make sure that the storage is carefully planned as to avoid clutter on the countertop, which can make the space appear smaller.

Illusions can be created that trick the eye into thinking the bathroom is larger than it actually is, and the best way to achieve this is by maximizing the natural light in the room. The more natural light let into the room, the larger it will appear. This can also be doubled by having a mirror opposite the window to reflect the natural light. In addition to light from the outside, create light on the inside by using a light, monochromatic colour palette to create a brighter feeling atmosphere.

Never feel like your options are limited when remodeling your small bathroom. From the newest bathing options to storage to careful use of colour, a small space can be made to feel large. So when renovating your small bathroom, keep all of this in mind. Your big ideas do not need to be contained by the small square footage of your bathroom.



6 thoughts on “Big Design, Small Spaces

  1. Recessed shelving or a niche will definately allow you to maximize your space in your bathroom and you can build them out of tile or purchase a niche in the finish of your choice to match your fixtures.

  2. I am really impressed along with your writing skills and also with the layout to your blog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s uncommon to peer a great blog like this one today..

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