Make Your Small Bathroom Feel Large

Dear Daniel,

I live in an old house and have limited space for a new master bathroom. How do I create a bathroom that people will want and that I will enjoy without taking out a whole bedroom?

Sincerely, Bathroom Poor

Dear Poor,

As a disclaimer, I should say that I'm not an advocate for giant master bathrooms. They seem like a ridiculous waste a space to me. There's no reason that you need a bathroom big enough for a dance party. That said, it should be a nice place to start and finish your day, without tripping over your hair dryer cord.

Here are some of my tips that could make a small bathroom feel larger:

I always prefer to have two sinks in a master bathroom vanity, because as adults there are some things we don't like to share and if you have the space, I would not negotiate this attribute.

White porcelain sinks and fixtures are clean, classic, and add brightness to a small space.A light, polished flooring can make your space feel larger and cleaner, even if it isn't! I recommend small carrara or calacatta marble tiles.

A single mirror that extends across the entire vanity will give the illusion of a larger room and allow you to stand wherever you would like and still see your beautiful face smiling back at you. I also like to put mirror panels on the left and right ends of the vanity which formalizes and defines it as it's own space, as well as allowing you to see the back of your head. Carrying mirrors all the way to the ceiling also heightens and expands your room.

If you have an adjacent room that you can grab a small amount of space from, you could create a mudset shower that is enclosed on all sides. Using a glass door panel on this enclosure separates the private shower space from the rest of the room. This would only require a small expansion into the adjacent room, and if you can get the shower enclosed in its own space, you're left with an unbroken form for the rest of the bathroom layout. Breaking up the form of the room makes everything feel smaller.

Using even just a few of these tips will make the space that you have feel larger, with minimal encroachment on the other rooms of your house.

Sincerely, Daniel

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