These Easy Changes Will Make Your Shower Feel Downright Palatial

published Jun 17, 2019
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The bathroom in my first rental apartment was so small, you could brush your teeth, sit on the toilet, and shower all at once. There was no room for a spa-like soaking tub… hell, there was no room for a tub at all. The unusual thing about that bathroom, though, was that even though it was remarkably tiny, it never looked cramped. And when you were in the shower, it actually felt quite spacious.

Looking back, I realize my landlord made some pretty crafty renovation moves to achieve this impressive feat. Find them below, plus a few other tricks to making a tiny shower or tub seem double its size.

Install a curved shower rod

Unlike a standard rod, where your shower curtain hangs straight down—close enough to cling to your body and give you claustrophobia—a curved rod directs the curtain away from you, creating more room in your tub or shower stall to move around. Some manufacturers claim it can create up to 33 percent more space. Having used one in the past, I believe it.

Choose a curtain that’s the same color as your walls

There’s nothing wrong with patterned, colorful shower curtains. But if your goal is to make your shower or tub look larger, you’ll something plain and simple that blends with your bathroom walls. Going uniform will keep your eye moving around the space, which gives the impression of largeness. You can also try a clear curtain to minimize the division between the shower and the rest of the room.

Or, do away with a shower curtain altogether

If you’re renovating, consider glass doors instead of a curtain. The less visual impact the doors have, the more open the room seems. For a practically invisible look, spring for frameless doors: They’re more expensive than framed versions, but they’re highly customizable, which can come in handy if you’re dealing with an especially tight space.

Choose reflective tile

Glass tile reflects light, bouncing it around a space and making it feel brighter, and, in turn, bigger. Other tile tricks that help a space feel larger: Using oversize tiles, especially on the floor (the fewer the grout lines, the more cohesive the space looks) and keeping the tiles on the floor and walls the same color.  

Minimize clutter

Lining the edge of your tub with bottles upon bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other cosmetics will make your space feel like it’s closing in on you. Instead, corral all those containers in one tight area, such as a corner shower caddy. Go for a minimal design that matches your shower stall, like these options Umbra or this one from Zenith.