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Small Bathroom design tips for rooms that are actually small

An internet search for guidance in remodeling a small bathroom often yields photos of bathrooms that most of us would consider reasonably spacious. I recently viewed a slideshow of photos accompanying a list of helpful design tips for small bathrooms. Some of the bathrooms were actually compact, but many photos showed just one small part of a bathroom, so I couldn’t see if the actual room was big or little. There was even one “small bathroom” that included a double vanity and a free standing tub inside a large glass shower enclosure! Please, give me that “little” bathroom. Let’s take a look at how to make the most of your available space even when your small bathroom is actually…..well, small.

Good Shower Design Is Helpful When You’re Short on Space

There are rare exceptions, but usually a glass shower can be installed even in a tiny bathroom. Why does this matter? Water containment is an issue you’ll have to address one way or the other, and having a transparent barrier instead of a shower curtain is one of the most effective ways to make a tiny space look and feel larger. Here are some shower options that are especially advantageous for small bathroom design:

  • Clear glass…for the reason stated above.
  • Frameless glass, because it enhances the open, airy feel (and it’s easier to clean than glass with lots of hardware on it).
  • A shower screen, because this is a single piece of glass with the entrance to the shower left open, which creates continuity between the shower area and the rest of the room.
  • Rolling “barn style” shower doors, because they don’t require any more space than a shower curtain – no need to ensure that the door can swing open without hitting the toilet!
Good Shower Design Is Helpful When You’re Short on Space

Choose a Vanity for a Tiny Bathroom

Choose a Vanity for a Tiny Bathroom

One option is, of course, to forego the vanity entirely and use a wall mounted or pedestal sink. A wall mounted sink is probably the wiser choice of the two because you can put a small set of free-standing shelves or a bin below a floating sink for extra storage. If you feel your space can accommodate a vanity, keep these points in mind:

  • To keep a small bathroom from feeling crowded or being difficult to maneuver in, have the vanity and commode installed along the same wall.
  • A vanity with open shelves can create a more spacious vibe.
  • Replacing the wood door fronts on vanity cupboards with clear cabinet glass is another way to create an open ambiance.
  • Opt for a vanity with lots of storage that’s laid out in a way that meets your practical needs.
  • Don’t just think about the vanity’s width – avoid buying one that will extend too far out into the room.

Make the Most of Mirrors

Every bathroom needs a mirror, but the size, style, placement, and number of mirrors can have a dramatic effect on a small space. When it comes to sizing a vanity mirror for a tiny bathroom, there are a couple different approaches:

  • Choose a mirror that is proportional to the vanity and the room’s square footage. Basically – small bathroom, small vanity mirror. If you go this route, ensure that the mirror does double duty as a wall hanging. Choose a beveled edge, metal wrapped edge, antique style mirror glass, or some combination of these. If it’s a shared bathroom, you can also have another small mirror installed elsewhere in the room for added convenience.
  • Alternatively, you can adopt a “go big, or go home” approach to the vanity mirror. A mirror that extends up to the ceiling and from wall to wall can make the ceilings seem higher and the room appear larger. This also has the practical benefit of providing plenty of mirror space for mornings when you and your spouse may be getting ready for work at the same time.
Choose a mirror that is proportional to the vanity and the room’s square footage.

Be Storage Savvy to Keep the Room Tidy

Get creative about creating storage options – glass shelves above the toilet, a corner cabinet, a hanging basket, a row of robe hooks, etc.

Bathrooms in general can easily become cluttered, but this danger is all the more significant in a small space. Follow these steps to successfully ward off clutter and keep the room looking well styled:

  • Go through the bathroom’s contents and weed out anything that can be discarded, donated, or better stored elsewhere.
  • Get creative about creating storage options – glass shelves above the toilet, a corner cabinet, a hanging basket, a row of robe hooks, etc.
  • Arrange the items to be stored in a way that makes them look like a decorative display. For instance, line a shelf with baskets or bins and fill these with things like hair brushes, curling irons, etc. Roll or fold towels neatly and place them with an eye to color and visual effect. 
  • If you realize that some of the items are damaged or ugly – unraveling towels, for instance – this can be the perfect time to replace and upgrade.
  • As much as possible, make storage solutions convenient and accessible so that it’s easy to put things back where they belong when done with them.

ABC Glass & Mirror Can Help!

If any of the glass or mirror products we’ve discussed would be a good fit for your bathroom, small or otherwise, we hope you’ll give the ABC Glass & Mirror team a call at (703)257-7150. Learn more about the products and services we offer and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our glaziers!

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