Every homeowner craves that spa-like feel in his or her bathroom. Many take on a renovation with hopes of replacing a cramped, utilitarian space with a more stylish, comfortable room where they can relax and feel pampered. Some have the luxury of being able to expand the footprint of their bathroom into an adjacent cupboard or part of an adjoining room. If that’s not the case in your home, consider these pointers for making the most out of the space you have.
Maximize Space with Smartly Designed Fixtures and Finishes
A variety of stylish fixtures and finishes exist that can help improve the flow of your bathroom. Start with the sink. It does not need to protrude half way across the room and sit atop a gigantic vanity. A corner sink will tuck neatly out of the way and help create a more open layout.
A trough sink with a side-mounted tap takes up far less space than a traditional sink and vanity. A wall-mounted tapset can also save significant amounts of space by letting you tuck the sink right up against the wall. If you’re convinced you need the storage that a vanity provides, consider one with rounded edges. The difference is subtle, however, the traffic flow around a rounded countertop is much improved when compared to one with sharp corners.
Move on to the bath and shower. Many homeowners prefer hinged shower doors, however, a sliding door is far less obtrusive because it does not swing into the open space of a bathroom. For an even cleaner, more modern look, consider a glass panel. It does not provide the privacy of a door, nor the water protection, but it has become a popular option for its stylish simplicity.
Find Storage for Everything
The more of your toiletries, towels and products you can store away, the larger your bathroom will feel. Most bathrooms contain a number of spots that are just right for housing these necessities.
The space above the toilet is a good place to start. In many bathrooms the toilet is located next to the vanity, in which case an extension of the countertop to the space above the toilet makes perfect sense. In other cases, a cabinet, either mounted to the wall or freestanding and built around the toilet, fits perfectly in that space. Shelving can also be built in that area.
Another common problem in space-challenged bathrooms is locating towel racks. Often, every bit of wall space is taken up by fixtures. If that’s the case in your bathroom, consider mounting them on a door – either the entry door or a shower door. If you’re mounting it on the entry door, you may also want to consider changing the swing of the door so that it swings into the hallway rather than into the room. This will help with traffic flow and also ensure that the towel racks do not damage the wall every time the door opens.
Look up! The space above your head in the bathroom is likely not used for much. Put it to use as storage for your less-than-frequently used items like guest towels or extra soap by mounting shelving. You don’t want to fill every centimeter of overhead space with storage because that will only make the space feel smaller, but pick and choose the right spots. The area above the door can be one location that’s perfect.
Give Careful Thought to Lighting
Bathroom lighting can make the difference between a room you want to luxuriate in and one that you want to get into and out of as quickly as possible.
Natural light can make a huge difference in the way a bathroom looks and feels. If you can add a skylight, by all means do, but even if you can’t there are other ways to maximize the effects of natural light. If you have an attic or crawl space above your bathroom, a sun lighting tube, lined with reflective material, can bring the natural light through that space and into your bathroom. Something as simple as a well-placed mirror can also maximize natural light. When placed across from a window, a mirror will reflect the light that enters through the window.
Your lighting fixtures are, of course, also an important consideration. The more adjustable they are the better. You may want an overhead light for general purposes, but should you also have a light above the vanity for when you are fixing your hair or putting on makeup? Do you need a fixture that casts light into the shower? These are all important considerations. Another tip: Use a dimmer switch to change the mood in your bathroom. You may want it at full brightness when you’re getting ready for work in the morning, but when it’s time for a relaxing bath, you may want to tone it down.
The cleaner and more simple your design style, the larger a bathroom will feel. By limiting the number of colors you use, you will create a visual affect that convinces the eye that a space is larger than it actually is. Many bathroom designers, in fact, choose a monochromatic theme. This does not mean that the entire bathroom is the same exact color, but it does mean that all or most of the colors in the room are various hues of the same color.
When selecting tile, consider larger-sized tiles. This will, similarly, make the space appear larger. Also, don’t forget to look up! The ceiling is an often overlooked part of the room that can be used to make the space feel large, open and comfortable. Vaulted or tray ceilings may be the ultimate in bathroom design, but they are built-in architectural features that might be beyond your renovation budget. If you’re not going that route, consider simply painting the ceiling a lighter, complimentary color or get artistic by adding a mural to the ceiling.
By intelligently planning your bathroom renovation, you can create a room that you look forward to using every day, even in the smallest of spaces.
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