Whether we admit it or not, no one likes a strictly utilitarian bathroom. We often have them but when we use them we make every effort to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Small, cramped and spartan, functional and efficient but dull and uninspiring—that’s a common bathroom “style,” instituted by designers and builders based on the assumption that bathrooms aren’t “living” spaces and it is therefore a waste of time and money to fuss over their design too much.
But we do live in our bathrooms, or at least we would like to at any rate. Attractive, well-designed bathrooms can be like mini-retreat spaces where we go to relax and reflect.
So if your master bathroom is cramped and uninspiring you should try to do better. Of course you aren’t going to knock out any walls just to make your bathroom bigger. But if you’re willing to do some remodeling, there are design choices that can help you improve your bathroom’s visual atmosphere and increase its available floor space.
Make Your Bathroom All that it Can Be—and Should Be
You bathroom is filled with hidden potential and here’s how you can bring it out:
- Paint, tile and decorate everything in light colors (white, ivory, beige, etc.) to create a feeling of airiness and openness.
- Unify your color scheme to eliminate or de-emphasize contrasts between the floor, walls, ceiling and fixtures.
- Use large tiles on the floor and on the walls. Even in relatively small bathrooms large tiling looks better and will make you feel less cramped.
- Install shower tiles all the way to the ceiling. A space that used to feel tight will suddenly soar to the sky.
- De-clutter wherever you can. Remove all excess shelving, racks and anything you’ve been hanging on the wall.
- If it is structurally feasible install recessed cabinets and shelves for storage.
- Get rid of your vanity or counter and replace it with a pedestal or wall sink.
- Go for more natural lighting by installing new and/or larger windows, preferably facing the south so you can maximize your exposure to sunlight. Cover them with clear-colored curtains if you need shading during the daytime.
- Put a clear glass door on your shower to create a sense of continuity with the entire room.
- Install one or two large mirrors that extend all the way to the ceiling. This will add visual depth to your bathroom, and if at least one of these mirrors is opposite a window that will increase the perception even more.
Better Bathrooms for Better Living
We’d all like a bathroom style that fits our personality and makes us feel comfortable. Your bathroom can and should be your oasis, and you have it in your power to transform this under-realized space into a room your whole family will appreciate and enjoy.
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