Most old homes are equipped with small bathrooms, which leaves many homeowners wondering how to make the most of the limited space. Although the past thirty years have seen bathrooms, essentially, doubled in size; bathrooms within older homes average approximately 5 X 8 feet. In order to overcome the virtual claustrophobic haven, homeowners can opt for scaled down designs as a way to save space.
Should it be decided that the bathroom remain small, the remodel can be achieved by way of a do-it-yourself (DIY) project and a budget that is feasible for your current lifestyle. All aspects of the remodel, barring plumbing and electrical projects can be handled without enlisting a professional. The following will give your existing small bathroom a new, fresh look without the cost of expansion:
- Updating the paint or wallpaper
- Replace current lighting options with lights that are LED
- Introduce accessories that fit your style. Replace or update the following: artwork, linens, towel racks, plants, and mirrors
- Install or build storage in the form of storage containers, shelving and/or hanging racks
- Replace the tile flooring of the bathroom. (For this option, you may wish to employ a professional if you are unsure of the process).
- Replace the older fixtures (bathtub, sink, faucets, etc.) with models that are more modern and, quite possibly, nicer than what is currently in place.
Using items that will create a fluid design in conjunction with dark, rich coloring for the walls will give the appearance of additional space. The darker colors make the walls appear to recede, which will cause your bathroom to no longer feel so minute. The addition of ambient and task lighting will also give the illusion of the room being larger than its dimensions.
Horizontal lines that are continuous alongside frameless large mirrors will lend the illusion of additional space as well. A shower with an entry that is curbless will eliminate the demarcation of a footprint that is limited. Floor to ceiling cabinets are a viable option for storage space for bathrooms that are relatively small. When paired with white marble and mirrored surfaces the trio creates a fluid design that makes the room seems as if it has increased in space.
It is a common design trick to create a spectacular focal point within a smaller room. To better accent the focal point, recessed lighting should be used for increased enhancement.
As you determine how to remodel your small bathroom, you must consider each element currently within the room and how it all interacts. Consider if any item is using more surface area than needed. Maximize your space by, first, removing any clutter. A great start for most small bathrooms is to replace a current vanity with a pedestal sink that will match the style overall of the interior. Reducing the size of the bathtub or opting for a shower only option, will also assist in the reduction of clutter and the increase of space.
For those that have an incredibly tight budget and would prefer that their bathroom space be refreshed as opposed to a complete remodel; the following are plausible suggestions.
- Accent Coordination – A designer or high end feel can be given to your wash room with the use of matching accessories. Most homeowners choose to coordinate lighting fixtures with medicine cabinetry.
- Tile Countertop – Rather than opting for a slab of stone, a less expensive, water resistant option used by a multitude of DIY’ers.
- Fixture Refinishing – Instead of choosing to replace fixtures that can cost up to $2,000 for a pair, a professional can reglaze them for you for a less expensive $800.
- Revive Wood Flooring – If the wood flooring in your bathroom has become worn, breathe life back into it by brushing the wood boards with porch paint that is glossy and tinted to compliment the chosen color scheme.
- Create a Towel Rack – Salvage an old wall hanging coat rack from a yard sale, flea market or antique shop. After you seal the finish that has been aged with polyurethane, hang it so that your towels will always be within arm’s reach.
- DIY Wallpaper – With the use of a vintage book, create your own wallpaper. The backs of the pages will need to be brushed with wallpaper paste so that it is able to properly adhere to the bathroom walls. Once all the needed pages are adhered to the wall, the surface will need to be sealed with a top coat that is clear.
- Tile Brightening – If your bathroom has a tiled floor that is vintage, using eco-friendly acid etcher will remove the ground in dirt from the grout lines and surface of the porcelain tiles.
- Use a Color Palette that is Harmonious – A stunning effect that is monochromatic can be achieved by matching the wall paint with the floor coloring.
- Use Wainscott – Wainscott is water resistant, does not need to be painted, and requires less maintenance than wood. The cellular PVC beadboard paneling comes in eight inch wide panels in either blue or white.
- Add an Overlay – Amp up a plain mirror that is attached to the wall by way of a wood frame that is overlaid.
- Plantation Style Shutters – For illumination that is subtle while providing privacy, the installation of plantation style shutters is a wonder option. Shutters that are constructed of vinyl are warp and mold resistant and ideal for a small bathroom.
- Two Tone Walls – Break up the monotony of high ceilings a monotone walls. Add a cozy feel to the bathroom by adding a second color to the bottom half of the room’s walls.
- Candle Light – Set the mood within you bathroom, minus the fire hazard. Achieve the look and feel of candlelight by way of battery powered wax pillars that are illuminated via LED lighting.
- Roman Shades – Roman shades with bright colors with an eye-catching patterns are a wonderful way to adorn windows while adding style and flare.
- Construct a Rustic Towel Rack – A wood holder can be constructed by cutting sections that are 12 inches in length. The sections are then nailed to a mounting strip cut from a 2X4. The wood should be brushed with wood stain and then fastened to the assemblies on the wall.
Image: Erik Olsson
Image: HUNTED INTERIOR