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10 tricks to make your bathroom look and feel bigger, according to interior designers

Cheyenne Lentz   

10 tricks to make your bathroom look and feel bigger, according to interior designers
There are several things you can do to make your bathroom look bigger.Joe Hendrickson/Shutterstock

Tiny bathrooms can easily feel unwelcoming and uncomfortable for both you and your guests. But with the right design tips, you can transform the small room into an open space with a zen-like vibe.

Business Insider asked three interior designers to share their best tips for opening up a small bathroom.

Keep the counters free of clutter.

Keep the counters free of clutter.
Clean counters give the appearance of more space.      Jonathan Park/Shutterstock

One of the easiest things you can do to make your bathroom look bigger is clear the counters, according to Robert Novogratz, principal designer of The Novogratz and author of "Novogratz Design Fix: Chic and Stylish Tips for Every Decorating Scenario"

Allowing your bathroom to become cluttered will just make the room feel smaller.

"Go for a utilitarian but still design-savvy space, much like a boutique hotel," Novogratz told BI.

Shelby Greene, interior designer at Living Spaces, added that no more than one-third of the counter should be used.

Create an orderly space in the shower.

Create an orderly space in the shower.
Shower caddies can help organize your toiletries.      APN Photography/Shutterstock

It's equally as important to create an orderly space in your shower.

"Condense it all onto a showerhead shelf or a caddy you can store under your vanity and pull out when needed," Greene told BI.

If that's not possible, Novogratz said, only place items that you really need in the shower and make all of the bottles look uniform.

Hang your shower curtain high to draw the eye upward.

Hang your shower curtain high to draw the eye upward.
Shower curtains can help create more visual space.      Shutterstock

Trick your guests into thinking you have a spacious bathroom by drawing their eyes upward.

One way to do this is by hanging your shower curtain higher than necessary.

"You don't need to stop right where the showerhead starts," Greene told BI. "Hang your curtain about a foot above, and see how much taller and grand your ceilings appear."

Add artwork to trick people into thinking the room is bigger than it is.

Add artwork to trick people into thinking the room is bigger than it is.
Artwork can brighten up your bathroom.      karamysh/Shutterstock

Another thing you can do is hang a fun piece of artwork in your bathroom.

This will draw the eye upward and trick you into thinking the room is larger, according to Bre Hance, principal designer, CEO, and founder of InHance Interiors.

Adding a piece of art will also elevate the simplicity of a small room and make it more distinctive from a design perspective, Novogratz explained.

Allow natural light to pour through the room to create depth.

Allow natural light to pour through the room to create depth.
Natural light can make a bathroom look larger.      Artazum/Shutterstock

Making room for more natural light is another simple way to open up a small bathroom.

"If at all possible, maximize natural light where you can," Hance told BI. "This gives off the look and feel of extra depth by utilizing shadows, creating more space."

Ideally, you want to keep bathroom windows clean and uncluttered to let as much natural light through as possible, according to Greene. Additionally, you can remove the curtains and opt for a frosted glass or Roman shade instead.

Paint the walls white to open up the room.

Paint the walls white to open up the room.
White walls create the illusion of more space.      Mirjana Ristic Damjanovic/Shutterstock

Another way to open up the space is by painting the walls white or covering them with white tiles.

"It is clean, uniform, and will make the room look bigger," Novogratz told BI.

Bright colors or busy wallpaper, on the other hand, can make the space feel cramped.

Maximize the hidden storage spaces in your bathroom.

Maximize the hidden storage spaces in your bathroom.
Hide away any unsightly bathroom necessities.      design.at.krooogle/Shutterstock

It's also essential to maximize the hidden storage space in a small room, according to Novogratz. The space under the sink, for instance, is a great place to put bathroom items.

If you have cabinets, they should have a door to hide the clutter. But you can also get clever with your storage, especially if the space is really tight.

"Consider using a small basket to store the toilet paper," Novogratz told BI. "Super stylish and the toilet paper is mostly out-of-sight."

Get a large mirror to trick the eye into thinking there's more space.

Get a large mirror to trick the eye into thinking there
Big mirrors can open up small bathrooms.      B Brown/Shutterstock

Hanging a large mirror is another trick to make your bathroom look bigger.

Not only does an oversized mirror create the illusion of enlarging your space, according to Novogratz, but also it can be a distinctive piece that makes a design statement.

Opt for open shelving instead of bulky storage units.

Opt for open shelving instead of bulky storage units.
Floating shelves can make the room feel less cramped.      ArchiVIZ/Shutterstock

You'll want to avoid bulky shelving and large decor that sticks out because they will crowd the space and shrink the already small room.

Instead, Hance suggested using alternatives, such as open shelving, for storage.

Build vertically to save floor space.

Build vertically to save floor space.
Make use of the height of the room.      New Africa/Shutterstock

In a small room, ground space is limited, so building upward is key. You want to make sure your shelves are placed properly to give the illusion of space.

Save space by building your wall shelves vertically, Greene suggested, and then you have a new area to store items in decorative jars, trinket trays, and acrylic boxes for a functional and decorative display.

This story was originally published in September 2020 and most recently updated on April 8, 2024.

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