It is a universal truth that sometimes the ‘smallest room in the house’ really is the smallest room in the house. However, small doesn’t have to mean cramped and inefficient. There are many ways in which you can maximise the potential of your bathroom and make it a functional and relaxing space. Remember that a small space is less expensive to design because you will save on materials and a small bathroom is easier to clean which already puts you ahead of the game where design is concerned.
Design is crucial
The top tip to remember at all times with any small space is to choose items in proportion. There is no point in browsing for a huge roll-top bath if your space can simply not accommodate it. There are thousands of tubs, showers, sinks and even wall-mounted toilets on the market which are specially designed for smaller rooms and leave more floor space available. It is also wiser to place your shower or bath on the far wall if at all possible, not only for convenience but also to draw the eye forward. Be creative with your available space. Could the door be replaced or re-hung to give you more room to manoeuvre? Be cunning and literally ‘think outside the box.’
In a potentially cramped space, it is advisable to play a few tricks on the eye. Often the ‘feel’ of a room is more important than the actual square footage. Consider using mirrors, or even mirrored tiling to give the impression of depth. Opting for clear shower doors rather than fussy shower curtains can add space too. Art wallpaper containing a design with a visual perspective may help to deepen the viewpoint and even a clever picture, perhaps a landscape, could easily have the same effect. Treating yourself to small splashes of luxury, such as a designer shower head or gold taps concentrates the attention away from the lack of space and on to the design features and details.
Flooring and tiles
When it comes to tiles and flooring, it is best to avoid too much pattern, opt for texture rather than colour and keep your palate limited. You can use dark, dramatic colours but they are best used as a focal point, such as the sink or vanity area. Using larger tiles rather than smaller ones can also give the impression of space even if you are lacking in that department. It may seem counter-intuitive, but sticking to this rule and placing floor tiles on the diagonal can really help create the illusion of distance. Thin (and expertly applied) grouting also helps in this matter.
Good storage makes or breaks any room but this is never truer than in the bathroom. Cluttered bottles and cosmetics are not only unsightly but also create a feeling of panic and disorder in a small space. Equally, storage which is too big saps the available room and is at best inconvenient and at worst, dangerous. Once again, there are a plethora of clever, creative storage options available to you. Consider floating glass shelves to show off your best bubble bath, whilst storing your daily necessities away in compact storage suitable for your bathroom square footage. Don’t forget the back of the door as a useful hanging option and, critically, look up. If much of your wall space is un-utilized, why not use shelving to add an aesthetic and functional feature to your bathroom.
The cherry on the cake with any successful design scheme has to be intelligent lighting. Even the largest room can look small with a poor choice in this area so it is crucial to get it right. Fortunately for you, yet again there are so many helpful options to choose from. Generally, bright lighting is best in a small space and wonderful for shaving and applying make-up but that need not mean one bare light bulb above your head. Consider spotlights that add a touch of glamour whilst highlighting features of your bathroom. These can also be fitted on a dimmer system, allowing you to unwind in a less stark light. LED tape lighting or cornice up-lighting can help with the illusion of perspective and help to create a mood. Meanwhile, splash-proof LEDs and recessed or semi-recessed lighting can help you to make the most of your available space.
Let us not forget about your free source of light, namely your window. If you are fortunate enough to have a window in your bathroom, it is a feature which to some extent dictates your design regardless of where your window is. How you maintain your privacy is another issue. Adhesive frosting for glass is not only fuss-free but also highly decorative and avoids the need for curtains or blinds.
The top five golden rules of small bathroom design
• Keep it simple. Not too much of anything including colour, texture or pattern.
• Keep it in proportion. Always carry a tape measure and consider if the shower or storage unit is appropriate to your available space.
• Keep it tidy. Clever storage will help you to lead a simple life in your new bathroom. It can be beautiful as well as totally functional.
• Keep it light. Good illumination is key but being adaptable can set the mood for a long, relaxing soak.
• Keep it focussed. Know what the assets of the room are and accent them with clever design choices and stylish details.
In such a functional space as a bathroom, a little thought can go a long way. At Bishops of Brighton, we have over 20 years of experience at delivering first-class home improvements ranging from bathroom design and refurbishments to electricals and plumbing. We understand how to deliver and implement successful design schemes and can assist you in making the right design choice.