Tackling a bigger bathroom renovation project—six ways to make the most of the space you have
Have a too-small bathroom? While some renovators choose to expand the space or reimagine the footprint, those types of changes can increase the budget. So how can you make a bathroom appear larger with the space you already have? Read on to learn how Sweeten general contractors undertook bigger bathroom renovation projects. Here’s how they updated homeowners’ small bathrooms to feel bigger—without changing the overall square footage.
1.) Install a floating vanity
If having a closet in or next to your bathroom isn’t an option, consider a vanity with drawers or doors. Some vanities are freestanding, but floating vanities are attached to the wall and do not “sit” on the ground. That extra space means the flooring can extend to the wall, which actually makes the room look larger. Nancy’s bathroom perfectly demonstrates that idea, showing off the ornate black and white tile. Since she couldn’t change the layout of the space due to code compliance, this offered a great alternative in the overall vision of opening up the bathroom.
If storage isn’t an issue, a classic space-saving option is a pedestal sink. In Saira and her husband’s East Village apartment, they had two small bathrooms they needed to update to accommodate their family of four. In the powder room, they opted for a classic, white porcelain pedestal sink. They used shelving above the toilet and a mirrored vanity for their storage needs.
Jeremy and Chris chose a pedestal sink with console legs that show off the tiled walls and floors, and give this classic NYC bathroom a more spacious feel. “In such a small space, we took a cue from hotel bathrooms and put a pedestal sink atop console legs to keep the space open. An extra-tall recessed medicine cabinet provides both storage and electrical outlets,” Jeremy shared.
3) Stick with neutrals or go tone-on-tone
Too much color can be hard to get right in a small space. A safe bet to opening up a small bathroom? Choose neutrals that don’t compete for attention. Jessica and Kevin swapped out pink marble for a white and gray color palette that lent their space a more spa-like feel.
4.) Opt for a larger mirror
Christina had wanted to renovate her 550-square-foot studio in Murray Hill since she moved in. She knew exactly what she wanted—including tons of bathroom storage space. To achieve this, she installed a large, mirrored medicine cabinet. The mirror takes up most of the wall, automatically giving the room the illusion of more space, without changing the layout at all.
Even if your bathroom has a small footprint, you can always build onto the wall, or in Maria and Eric’s case into the walls. Their recessed shelving unit tucks in just behind their bathroom door. This minimalist solution boasts more storage without adding bulk.
6.) Ditch the tub & shower curtain for a bigger bathroom
A fairly common bigger bathroom renovation project is to ditch the tub in favor of a walk-in shower with a glass shower door. Using glass in place of a shower curtain allows light to flow through the space, which is especially important if the bathroom has a single source of natural light. In one of Tara and Mike’s bathrooms, they did just that, while leaving the rest of the floorplan as-is.
A glass bathroom door is even more effective when used in an open shower style, like in Charon and Lex’s bathroom. Removing the tub altogether opened up the space, making it more comfortable for two people (especially since Lex is 6’2″). Another factor that worked in their favor: the use of one color (in different shades).
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